I did not know anything about hard water until I moved to my current residence. All I remember was that every time I washed my hair, it felt extremely dry and became extremely tangled. Even after distributing product after product on my hair, for moisture, my hair still felt and looked lifeless and was rough feeling. I kept wondering, what in the world is wrong with my hair? It wasn’t until I spoke with an African American woman, who had lived her for a while, that I found out that the city had/has: HARD WATER.
Soft water is water that contains little to no levels of magnesium and calcium. The water makes the skin feel soft and is extremely moisturizing to the hair. Hard water, on the other hand, contains large deposits of magnesium and calcium. Because of the amount of minerals, the water leaves the skin and hair dry, flaky, and itchy. The water causes hair color to fade and takes away the hair’s natural shine, leaving behind a dull and drabby appearance. Many times, during washing, the deposits cling to the scalp and even after washing, the hair still looks dirty. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to rewash my daughter’s hair, due to left over hard water deposits. It certainly does not make the washing process easy or quick. On top of that, the water makes it difficult for soap base or natural products to lather.
If you happen to live in an area there are remedies to the hard water situation:
- Install a water softener, which removes some of the minerals. It is expensive and ranges from $300-$2000.
- Purchase a water filter, such as Brita, Pur, or Culligan which you can place over your faucet. These systems are not as expensive as water softeners but require for you to periodically change the filter. Price: $40-$100
- Purchase a chelating shampoo, such as, Joica ($9.00), Mizani Neutralizing-Chelating Shampoo ($17.00) both from http://www.sleekhair.com or a clarifying shampoo like Ion Clarifying Shampoo ($7.00) from Sally’s. You can even use Apple Cider Vinegar rinse, which like the shampoos, loosens the deposits off the scalp and leaves behind a cleaner scalp.
- Wash hair with inexpensive bottled water or distill water.
- Washed hair with bottled water or distilled water.
- Pro:Hair did not feel as dry
- Con: Water was exceedingly cold even in room temperature
- Boiled Water
- Pro: Not a lot of tangles and I felt noticeable different in the feel of my hair
- Con: Took too long to boil and for the water to cool
- Purchased a water filter for kitchen faucet (Pur)
- Pro: Hair felt cleaner and seemed like it was growing faster
- Con: Still had to use lukewarm water, according to the Pur directions and a piece of the filter would not come off of the faucet. (Had to stop using)
Present Hard Water Treatment (Working so far!:) &Not Having to Spend Money on Filters or Bottle Water.
Limited my water use during washing
- Rinse hair with water
- Shampoo hair-wring excess shampoo out-shampoo again-wring excess shampoo out-add conditioner
- Rinse hair
- Use bottled water throughout the week, as a spritzer, instead of water from faucet
The result, I have not had any more problems with hard water. I stopped using shampoos with chemical ingredients because, when used with the hard water, made my scalp itch terribly. Rinsing my hair twice, limits the amount of time the water comes in contact with my hair. I do not have to spend extra money on filters or products and my hair is not being affected by it any longer.