Our hair constantly gets exposed to many pollutants that leave a lasting effect on it causing some considerable damage. Aside from pollution, weather changes and dust, one of the most unnoticed causes for hair damage is hard water.
For all the detrimental effects that it has on hair, it is important that we have a special regimen for hair care from hard water. But how can we protect our hair from hard water damage? We throw light on the same, by showing you exactly how hard water harms the hair and how you can prevent that.
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Why can hard water make your hair fall?
Hard water is the kind of water which has got a lot of calcium and magnesium ions in it. Usually, drinking water is softened by reducing the number of these ions or by changing them into milder, less damaging ions. When we use hard water, these minerals get deposited on our scalp near the hair follicles.
This mineral build up can lead to oxidation near and on your hair that eventually makes it weak and leads to hair fall often times. When you use shampoos, since they are filled with chemicals, these also tend to react with the ions on your hair and lead to more oxidation and more deposits. This can lead to some dangerous effects on the hair, especially if it is already dry and weak.
What is the damage that can be caused to the hair by hard water?
Due to these minerals and other chemicals that can get deposited on the scalp and the hair because of hard water, the strength of the hair deteriorates. These are the resulting consequences that are usually seen upon regular, unmonitored use of hard water on your hair. Although all these effects are not seen on all kinds of hair-types, they are the most commonly noticed side effects that are seen, especially if your hair is sensitive.
- Weakening and thinning of the strands of the hair.
- A lot of frizzi-ness that results from the extreme drying up of the hair the lack of production of sebum from the roots of the hair.
- As a result of the weakening of the hair, there is a lot of hair-fall.
- Dandruff, eczema and other scalp infections could result as the ph of the scalp gets disturbed when the chemicals get deposited on the scalp.
- Split-ends is yet another commonly reported problem that was seen due to excessive usage of hard water.
How can we protect our hair form hard water : 10 Natural Remedies
If you’ve been noticing these symptoms on your hair because of usage of a lot of hard water, fret not, for we have some remedies that work really well in protecting your hair from the harmful effects of hard water. Ten such simple remedies have been listed out for you to try out in cases where you cannot avoid using hard water for washing your hair.
1. Using alum
Alum, which is a potassium compound is often used to clean water. It can work by reacting with the salts that cause hardness in water and causing flocculation (masses of impurity + alum) that get deposited at the bottom of the container that has the hard water. Using alum can be done in the following simple process. We find alum in the form of a powder or a stone which we find easily in many stores world-wide.
- Take the alum stone and drop into your bathtub or the container in which you place the water you want to use on your hair.
- In case you have to shower, we’d suggest washing your hair with alum-purified water after you are done showering.
2. Using hard –water safe shampoos
You can get hard water safe shampoos that have got ions which can protect your hair from the effects of hard water. They work by dissolving deposits of minerals that form on your scalp and hair and washing them away. You can get these shampoos and conditioners everywhere in the market lately. These shampoos are called as ‘chelating shampoos’.
With an abundance of the compound called as EDTA in them, these shampoos can protect the hair from hard water. However there are some rules you need to keep in mind when you use this shampoo.
- Get yourself a chelating or a clarifying shampoo from a store near your house from a trustworthy brand.
- Use it only once a week as we recommend against too much use of this shampoo.
- Use a conditioner that can be moisturizing on your hair after you are done using this shampoo.
3. Using a filter over your shower
A mechanical approach to keeping your water soft is to filter it. Filtering water works in the same mechanism as with water filters – by softening the water mechanically with the filters changing hard water to soft water by changing the minerals.
How do the filters work?
You can get tiny filters that can be attached to the opening of the shower head so that the hard water gets converted into the soft water before it reaches you. The filters will need to be changed every month or once in two months based on how much deposit gets attached onto them.
You can find these filters in many stores, especially in the United states.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
An apple cider vinegar hair rinse is useful for many purposes and one of them is to reduce the effects of the hard water on the hair. Being an astringent, the apple cider vinegar is capable of removing all the minerals that build up on your scalp that lead to the damage caused by hard water. Here’s how you make the apple cider vinegar hair rinse and use it.
- Take some apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle and add nearly ½ of the amount of water to it.
- Shake it well so that they are mixed up properly.
- Use this as a hair rinse each time you shampoo with hard water.
- This can make the hair less greasy, healthy and also remove the deposited minerals from the scalp and the hairs so that the damage from hard water is greatly reduced.
5. Lemon Rinse
A lemon rinse is yet another means in which we can reduce the damage that is caused by hard water to our hair substantially. The lemon juice which is slightly acidic can remove the built up mineral deposits from the hair and the scalp and cleanse the hair in general. It also tends to balance the ph on the scalp which makes the damage much less pronounced. Here’s how you use the lemon rinse.
- Take some lemon juice into a spray bottle.
- Dilute it by 75% and shake the bottle so that the lemon and water and mixed uniformly through-out.
- After you shampoo, rinse your hair with the lemon rinse and then wash it with water for protection against the effects of hard water.
6. Use Rain Water
Rain water is one of the best kinds of water for your hair, especially if you are looking to substitute the hard water. Since rain water is nearly like soft water in its composition, the damage that is caused by hard water can be reduced considerably. So the next time it rains, fill it up in buckets or troughs and use it each time you would like to wash your hair. You will also be saving a lot of water. The downside to this remedial measure is that we can use it only when it is the rainy season.
7. Use an Oil Rich Conditioner
While you shampoo, using a conditioner that is rich in oils like Argan oil can be a good way to heal your hair from the damage that is caused by hard water. If this conditioner is leave-in that is an even better way to keep your hair free from the damaging effects of hard water. However, too much use of the conditioner could make your hair greasy, especially if it already has a tendency towards oiliness.
8. Using Club Soda Cleanser
Yet another simple remedial hack that you can use for removing the effects of hard water on your hair would be to use club soda water as a rinse after you shampoo. Because of the alkaline nature, the minerals tend to get dissolved and washed away along with it. This can be done in these simple steps.
- Take some club soda and dilute it if you’d like to (using it raw can be good as well based on the sensitivity of your hair).
- Mix it up well in a spray bottle.
- Spray it over your hair after you shampoo and use it as a rinse.
- Wash your hair with water after this.
(It is to be noted that this remedy may not be suitable for all kinds of hair. So it is better to test it before you actually use it by using a little bit of it on a patch of your hair).
9. Using Egg and yogurt
Using a natural-made conditioner for hair that can keep it soft and nourished is one of the best means to clear out the minerals that get deposited on your scalp after you use hard water. Egg and yogurt are two such simple conditioners that can heal the damaged hair. Using them can be quite simple too. Here’s how you do it.
- Take a couple of eggs break them open.
- Beat them to a fine liquid and add yogurt to it.
- Beat the two of them together until the mixture is fine and uniform.
- Each time you shampoo your hair with hard water, apply the egg and yogurt mixture over your hair and let it stay for about 10 minutes before you rinse it off.
- This can help reduce the damage that is caused due to hard water and keep the hair soft and shiny.
10. Using Olive oil
An oil massage can protect the hair from hard water damage effectively. It can moisturize the scalp, keep it healthy and fight the possible dryness that leads to a majority of the dryness and the frizz. We can massage olive oil on the scalp and hair before we use hard water to wash it. An olive oil mask can also work well in this case. We show you how you can use an olive oil + jojoba oil mask before you shampoo your hair.
- Take some olive oil and an equal amount of jojoba oil and mix them up.
- Heat this mixture slightly so that it is warm enough to be applied on the scalp.
- Using a cotton ball, rub the mixture of oils over your scalp and massage it gently for about 20 minutes.
- Leave it on for 20 more minutes before you shampoo your hair.
- This practice, although elaborate, can work in keeping your hair safe when you need to wash your hair with hard water.
Some of these ingredients are powerful agents and will therefore need careful monitoring when you are using them. Any adverse effects should immediately be brought to notice to a professional so that you can know if you will need to stop using the remedy or continue with it.
As long as enough care is taken, it is quite a bit of help to use these remedies for hard water damage on our hair as they can keep the hair considerably safe in situations where we cannot avoid using hard water. Let us know if these remedies helped you out with the issue!