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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
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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