Even with the best products and regular maintenance, many women find themselves still battling hard, damaged hair and dull, sluggish skin. But why? Well, two words are to blame: hard water. Yes, the water you use to clean your hair and body can be part of the problem when it comes to your beauty routine. Hard water can dry out skin and hair, causing scaling, breakage, split ends, dandruff, and other problems. Fortunately, though, we have solutions!
What is Hard Water?
“Hard water” is water with high levels of metallic minerals like calcium, copper, zinc, and magnesium. It is usually caused by environmental factors, as the soil in some areas simply has higher concentrations of metals and minerals. When groundwater runs though this soil, it picks up and dissolves bits of these elements and then carries them into your household. Copper or zinc pipes can also leach and lead to hard water.
Signs of Hard Water
Inexpensive water-testing kits are available at most hardware stores like True Value or Lowe’s, but you can also keep your eyes peeled for other indicators of hard water. The number one telltale sign of hard water is low froth or foam when using soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, or detergents; if you find that your dish soap or body wash barely gets any lather, you probably have hard water.
Another clue that your water has excess minerals is calcification on your faucet heads; lots of flaky, whitish-green buildup indicates that limestone compounds are flowing through your tap and building up – almost like a cave formation!
On your hair and body, hard water can make your mane hard and brittle. Detangling tresses can be painful and difficult; conditioners and treatments may simply sit on top of your hair in a streaky mess, while skin may look dry and ashy, even when you apply thick, creamy lotions. This is because the minerals in hard water tend to sit on top of hair and skin and harden there, similar to the way they calcify on your faucets. These hardened metals both draw moisture out of your hair and skin and block out all the softening or moisturizing treatments used to correct the dryness. And, as if this double drying wasn’t bad enough, the metals in hard water “cling” to your hair and skin care products, intensifying the buildup.
All of this means that your hair and skin will be covered in a layer of film that blocks moisture, clogs pores, and breeds germs and bacteria. Yuck!
If you have hard water, fight back by purchasing a filter for your sinks and shower. Water filters pull out the unneeded minerals, allowing only pure, clean water to reach your hair and skin, and can cost as little as twenty dollars for a shower unit.
And the investment is worth it! After all, think of all the costs of corrective skin and hair care products and services that get flushed down the drain every time hard water touches your skin: your facial, mani, and pedi all get nullified a little more every time you bathe or wash your hands, and unless you get every shampoo done at the salon, you’re going to ruin your hair, too. And when it comes to hair extensions, can you imagine burying your perfect virgin Indian locks in limestone buildup and bacteria? No way!
So invest a little extra and care for your hair, skin, and nails with filtered water and a good clarifying treatment, to make sure your id your hair of all buildup. You’ll see the difference - and love it - soon!
Take care of yourselves,