What is hard water? How can what’s in your home’s water change how well you can wash and care for your hair? If you’ve been trying different products and ideas, but still wind up with unhealthy hair or you’re just not that happy with your water or shower overall, it could be hard water to blame for bad hair. It could be you’ve never thought of checking your water and finding out how to improve it.
Hard water can impact how clean you feel. It can leave hair feeling thinner, frizzy, faded and more prone to damage. If the water flowing into your home is too high in minerals or additives, such as calcium, chlorine, fluoride and magnesium, this can be harmful to your skin and hair no matter what else you use or try.
What is Hard Water?
When setting out to know if hard water’s messing with your hair, first let’s know more about hard water. Why could it be to blame for your hair issues and, really, everything to do with showers or baths.
Water high in minerals is hard water. Water with a low mineral content amount is soft water. Magnesium and calcium are naturally in the ground, then run into groundwater and bodies of water which then are sources for water treatment plants or wells. Hard water has degrees of how hard it is. It depends on the concentration of minerals.
Hard water is most often thought of being an issue with well water, and especially in rural water sources. It’s very common, however, for city water facilities to have high levels of hard water because of what is put in to treat city or municipal public water.
Hard water is safe to use. It’s safe to consume and wash with. The downsides though include how it can leave build-up on your body and in your hair. If you see residue or film gradually stay in a sink, on the floor of a shower, or in other fixtures or appliances it’s likely from hard water. A filmy, scaling white layer of junk is a typical sign. It’s possible this is being left on the inside of plumbing around your house. It’s leaving the same stuff on you, too.
Your Hair and Hard Water
If you’ve never thought about if water is hard or soft, and what difference it could make for your hair, it’s ok. There are some signs you might notice.
Hard water can leave a film or filmy feeling on hair and skin that no amount of rinsing gets rid of. You could have build-up stay in hair and get worse. If your hair feels rough or brittle, even after a shower, it doesn’t always mean your hair or skin is unhealthy. It could just be the effect of the hard water always being on it. Calcium in particular hurts
hair and skin feeling, texture and durability.
If you can’t get shampoo or other cleaning products to lather like you think it should in the shower, it’s probably hard water. Hard water and mineral residue may make hair tougher to curl, straighten or style. It can make hair weaker and thinner.
Hard water can also take away or change the color of hair. Hair coloring may fade faster in repeated washings with hard water. The combination may combine to damage hair faster as well.
What Does pH in Water Mean?
Hard water has a higher pH level. What’s pH level? It’s the acid level. Water, your skin, your hair, shampoo, food, basically anything has a pH level on a scale from 0-14. A 7 pH is neutral.
Hair is usually 4.5-5 on the pH scale. Hard water can have a pH well above neutral. It’s usually about 8.5 and can go to 10 or higher. This doesn’t mix well with your hair and can damage it.
Knowing More About Your Water
You can go to the U.S. Geological Survey website, at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/qw, and find a great deal of current data about water supplies, including for sources in and near Charlotte. You can find temperature, pH levels and more.
pH test strips – often used for pools and hot tubs – are easy to find and use. You can test water, shampoo, soaps, food, just about any product you want to put on or inside you. You might learn some interesting information about more than hard water and your shower.
Helping Your Hair
There are numerous ideas to try if you’re thinking hard water is the problem. Some are different things to try without being able to change or improve the water. Some are ways to filter or soften the water.
- Water softening – There are plenty of methods and devices available now for water softening. There are water softener units for whole homes, including ion exchange water systems. This could be a smart decision for improved drinking water as well.
- Try a different showerhead – You can filter and soften just the water for a shower with a new showerhead.
- Try a new shampoo – Clarifying shampoo may do a good job rinsing more minerals out of your hair.
- Make a rinse – You can make and try out hair rinses from products such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. There are endless ideas, recipes and recommendations on the web.
South End Water Filtration specializes in HALO Water Filter products including the HALO H2 Zero Whole Home Water Filter. We’re just a click away to help and answer any questions. South End Plumbing and South End Water Filtration will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-486-1988 or contact us online to schedule a visit.