You put in maximum effort to keep your hair as healthy as possible. You’ve carefully chosen a specific brand and type of shampoo and conditioner and you never use a product without first doing your homework or getting input from a close friend. You do everything you can to avoid heat too. But there’s still something that’s causing damage to your hair that you’ve probably never thought of.
The water you use to wash your hair several times a week could be doing more damage than you think! That’s because depending on your home, your water could be filled with things that dry and weigh down your hair – hard water. You don’t have to have well water to have hard water, in fact, many homes have it. But what exactly is hard water? It’s water that is full of minerals.
When it rains, the water is free of minerals but as it falls to the ground and seeps into the earth passing through dirt and rock, the water picks up minerals. If left untreated this water that was once soft is now full of minerals like calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates and/or sulfates. These added minerals are what make your water “hard,” The more minerals in the water, the harder your water is.
Unfortunately, hard water means you’ll need to use more soap to get the job done. This includes shampooing, doing the dishes, or even laundry! This is because the minerals in hard water actually keep the soap from working as well; it is much harder for the soap to lather with all of those minerals.
So how is hard water damaging to your hair? Each strand of hair on your head has a shaft with little scales. When your hair smooth, sleek, and healthy, these scales lie flat. But hard water makes these scales stand up which makes your hair rough and more easily tangled. Not only does it make your hair harder to tame, it makes it harder to rinse out all the soap. Because soap is more difficult to rinse in hard water, soap can easily build up in your hair without you even noticing which can falsely lead you to believe you have a dandruff issue! Hard water prevents moisture from getting to your hair and it will weigh down your locks so you’ll have flat, frizzy, and dull hair.
If you’re stuck with hard water, you can combat it with a vinegar rinse. The acid in vinegar removes the build up from your hair, giving you more body and helping to smooth the cuticle. This leaves your hair silky and soft; it’ll also boost the shine! Just mix one tablespoon of either vinegar or apple cider vinegar with 3 cups of water. Shampoo your hair like normal, then massage the mixture into your hair. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse! But be careful because using this rinse too often can dry out your hair, just use this method once or twice a month.