If you have been following NenoNatural.com for a while you may have heard me complain about my itchy scalp! My itchy scalps is what led to all these blogs on how to reduce or prevent itching!
I've finally discovered what the problem was. Seriously, I had latterly been talking to my hubby about seeing a specialist because it was getting so bad.
At first I thought it was grapeseed oil because the itchiness coincided with the first time I used it. Then I thought it may be a food allergy but I couldn't figure out what precisely. Then I went home to my country Malawi and noticed that my scalp wasn't itching and at this point I thought the British weather was the culprit, I began contemplating buying a one-way ticket back to the Warm Heart of Africa!
It's a small tragedy that led to the discovery of the real culprit: our bathtub started leaking so upon our return we started using our separate shower and this shower doesn't have a water filter.
Two weeks into our return I realized the itching hadn't returned and the only thing that was different is that I wasn't using the shower hose with a filter - so the filter was it! One of the chemicals in the filter must make my scalp itch but it normally happens a few days after my wash, probably when the power of the peppermint essential oil that I add to my conditioner wears off!
If you have an itchy scalp and you use a shower filter try not using it for a month to see whether it's the problem. Keep in mind that it may not be; just because I'm allergic to something in my shower filter it doesn't mean you'll be!
Watch the video!
Put tersely, hard water damages hair.
Hard water has a large quantity of calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. It’s this high concentration of minerals that damages hair.[i]
Washing hair in hard water causes it to become/feel straw-like, dry and brittle; it’s likely that your hair will break or start thinning because the hair follicles become blocked thereby preventing the flow of nutrients to the scalp. Your scalp may also become dry and flaky.
Click one of the maps to see if you live in an area with hard water.
Don’t despair, there are some simple solutions to the hard water problem.
4. Add the juice of a lemon to water. Squeezing lemon juice into water can help to reduce the water's hardness. However, note that the pH of lemon juice is 2, i.e., it’s very acidic so you should dilute it in water (pH = 7) to reduce its acidity before applying it to hair. Healthy hair has a pH of 4.0 to 5.5.
How about magnetic water conditioners?
These devices allegedly reduce lime scale; they are fitted to a pipe in the house and are reputed to benefit not only your hair but also other appliances whose function can be reduced by limescale, e.g. the central heating system, boiler and dishwasher.
However, although some argue that they work, the US Navy did a series of tests to check the effectiveness of ‘magnetic’ and ‘electric’ water softeners. They concluded that they have no effect at all. It appears that although the limescale is removed from water that come out the tap, that limescales stays in the pipes ultimately leading to problems with the heating system. “Magnetic lime scale reducers are a plumber's dream,” according to one Amazon product reviewer.
How about chelating shampoos?
Chelating shampoos prevent and remove mineral build-up but they strip hair of all the good stuff too so I personally wouldn’t recommend them. Even on Caucasian hair, a chelating shampoo should not be used more than once a week.
[i] How to Prevent Hair Build-up from Water
Highly rated shower heads with water filters:
Hard water can be very damaging to hair. It contains a large quantity of minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron and copper) which bind to hair and block products from working effectively.
Hard water could be damaging your hair if you notice one or more of the following:
1. Your hair gets very tangled after washing
2. Your colour-treated hair fades easily or turns brass-like and dull quite rapidly
3. Your hair's breaking and nothing appears to be able to stop it
4. Your hair is highly unresponsive to treatments, e.g. if you relax your hair it doesn't even straighten well
5. Your shampoo doesn't lather. Note that some natural shampoos don't lather anyway so if it's a new shampoo that isn't lathering, that could also be the issue
6. Your hair's always dry and it just won't respond to anything
You might also like:
The 3 best ways to protect your hair from hard water!
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
The Science of Black Hair, pages 73-5
Hard Water Hair Damage?
Hair Treatment for Hard Water
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx