If you’ve been noticing dull, dry, or thinning hair lately, you might pass it off as side effects of growing older. After all, people often notice changes to their hair as they age.
Before you blame all of your hair issues on the aging process, however, it would be worth your while to look at one more factor – the water you use. You may just find that hard water affects your hair and is actually the culprit behind your new-found problems.
What is hard water?
According to the Water Quality Association, hard water can be defined as water that contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium. Water hardness levels vary by geographical location and can even vary widely within a specific area.
According to some estimates, around 80% of all the water in the United States is considered hard water. Although it’s generally regarded as safe to drink and use, it can wreak havoc in several areas throughout your home. The negative effects of hard water include:
- Mineral buildup inside pipes
- Scale buildup inside, around, and on fixtures
- Faded clothing and linens
- Stains on tubs, showers, toilets, dishes, and silverware
- Higher energy bills and reduced life expectancy of water-using appliances
How hard water affects your hair
Showering or bathing in hard water can also affect your hair and skin. Essentially, the calcium and magnesium minerals in your water leave a coating that is difficult to penetrate. Therefore, it’s difficult for moisture to get in and your hair and skin are left dry.
Over time, dry hair can also become brittle and even fall out, leading to unwanted hair loss. In addition, hard water decreases the effectiveness of soaps and shampoos. This means that you will need to use more of them to get the same job done versus washing in soft water.
How hard water affects your hair depends on your overall water hardness and how often you wash with it. In general, however, these are the most commonly reported effects:
- Dry hair and scalp
- Thinning hair that breaks easily
- Frizzy hair that is prone to tangling
- Dull or discolored hair
How to prevent hard water hair damage
Before you start looking at different shampoos to try to repair hard water hair damage, it’s important to look at the source of the problem – your water. The ultimate solution is to reduce your household’s water hardness level and you’ll enjoy the benefits of soft water throughout your home, not just in your hair.
What’s the best way to do this? Purchase and install a home water softener. This helpful device treats your water supply before it even enters your pipes. It essentially removes hard minerals, leaving soft water to flow through your home’s plumbing and out at the taps.
With soft water, you’ll no longer have unsightly hard water stains on dishes and fixtures. Your water-using appliances will last longer and use less energy. And, you’ll enjoy fewer plumbing issues thanks to reduced mineral buildup inside pipes. Lastly, soft water will leave your hair moist, smooth, and healthy.