Hard water and hair

Strange as this may sound at first, water can sometimes cause dry hair; that is right, if your water supply is too hard (that is, if it has a high level of salts dissolved in it) then it can definitely dry your hair, damaging its appearance and making it feel brittle and lifeless. So, if you have been feeling your hair brittle and drier very often during the hot months of summer and taking measures such reducing the use of your hair dryer has not reduced very much the issue, and then you should consider checking the level of hardness of your water supply. The quality of the water you use to wash all your hair everyday will play a very big role in how it will look.


The first and foremost harmful effect hard water has on your hair is dryness; hard water can make your hair look dry and make it hard to brush or comb, and it can cause this not just by damaging your strands of hair, but by affecting the hair follicles directly, making your hair thinner, more fragile and prone to falling off; it can additionally make your scalp feel itchy which combined with thinner hair means it will break easier.

In case you have dandruff, using hard water to wash your hair will just worsen your condition much more, since it will dry your hair and scalp, and make your scalp feel itchy, potentially increasing the desquamation that come with dandruff.

The reason that makes hard water so harmful for your hair and scalp is that the salts that make water hard (which are magnesium and calcium) are ions. Ions are molecules that also have an electric charge, in the case of magnesium and calcium, such charge is negative while your hair has a positive charge, and since opposite charges are attracted to each other, the salts that are dissolved in the water will readily attach themselves to your hair and damage it.

Each of the two salts are responsible for the different negative effects of hard water on your hair; magnesium damages curls and also reduces the natural shine and color of your hair, making it look lifeless, dull and dingy; calcium, on the other hand, tends to make your hair feel heavy and flaky, which magnesium also does but to a lesser extent. If the water supply also contains chlorine, then the damages will be even worse, as chlorine makes your hair dry and dingy on its own and also reduces the color if your hair has been dyed.


On top of all these effects, hard water can also be extremely harmful for your skin and nails, making your skin dryer and itchy, and making your nails look dingy, dry and more brittle.


If you live in an area where the water supply is too hard, then all these problems can be solved by installing a water softener, which will remove the dissolved salts or neutralize its harmful effects on your hair, skin and nails. So if you have noticed any of these problems with your hair, skin or nails very often, then checking the levels of hardness of your water supply is advisable; even if the levels of hardness are not too high to cause such dramatic effects, but are still above average, then a water softener will greatly improve the health and overall appearance of your hair, skin and nails, making them smoother, shiny and really hydrating them, making them more resistant to dryness.


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