Bad Hair Day? Consider Testing the Water in Your Home

Have you ever bought an expensive shampoo to help control your dry, frizzy hair only to be disappointed with the results? This can be especially frustrating when you purchased the brand on the recommendation of someone for whom the shampoo worked wonders.

If this has happened to you, or you are constantly trying new shampoos because your hair is always dry and unmanageable, it may be time to consider that your shampoo isn’t the problem but rather it is your home’s water supply. Many people are surprised to learn that their home’s water supply can dramatically affect how well shampoos and conditioners work.

If you really want to find out if hard water is the culprit behind your frizzy hair, you can get it tested or contact city officials. Your local water department will be able to tell you what level of hardness is in your water supply. And don’t be surprised if you have hard water running throughout your home. Approximately 85 percent of homes in the United States have varying degrees of hard water.

Hard water can cause a dry, itchy scalp and certain shampoos-because of the way they react with the minerals in hard water-can acerbate the problem. The chemicals in these shampoos react with minerals in the water and leave a soapy film on the scalp which causes itches and irritation.

Here is a brief overview of how minerals commonly found in hard water can wreak havoc on your hair:

  • Calcium is hard to wash out, causes hair to feel heavy and makes the scalp appear flaky. However, it’s more than skin that is flaking off of the scalp, it also is calcium on your scalp coming loose.
  • Copper discolors hair and drags it down.
  • Iron leaves hair brittle and dry and is a common cause of split ends.
  • Magnesium dries hair out, making it feel heavy and appear dull.

In an effort to counteract the damage hard water can inflict on your hair, many people conduct an internet search for tips and tricks for dealing with those damaging effects. Recommendations may including using specialized shampoos or conditioners, rinsing with apple cider vinegar or keeping bottled water in your shower for a final rinse.

Of course, the best solution to hard water problems is to install a quality water treatment system. While a water treatment system requires an investment on your part, it is a permanent solution to problems with water throughout your home.


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