If you have any doubt about the affects of long term hard water usage on your hair and scalp, just take a look at the bottom of your kettle. White, flaky residue is the by-product of hard water and can damage your hair, making it unmanageable and lack-lustre. How do you know if your water is hard? Well if you’re using regular tap water it invariably is… Hard water strips the hair of its natural oils, add to that the residue, and the harsh chemicals in our shampoos and it pretty much leaves us with brittle hair that is rough to the tough and often times frizzy.
Of the permanent solutions to your hair woes is of course investing in a soft water filter. They come in a variety of calibres and sizes. Some filters are attached to the main water supply, affording soft water to all pipes. The less costly options are attached to individual taps, that are used in the shower specifically.
Another option is to wash your hair with drinking water. This makes a world of a difference although can be seen as quite inconvenient. Some opt to use drinking water only when washing, others are satisfied with a final rinse of drinking water only.
Ok so the above will help your hair going forward, but what are you to do about your current hard water buildup?
There are a few tried and tested DIY hacks, all involve rinsing your hair out with an alkaline substance to help neutralize the acidity of the buildup. These should not be done more than once a month, as the process is actually quite harsh on the hair and scalp.
A teacup worth of apple vinegar, diluted with water will help reduce damage when left on the hair for 5 minutes then washed out (with drinking water of course).
Lemon juice also plays the same role, again diluted with water, left on for 5 minutes then rinsed out.
There are also chelating shampoos that work to remove minerals, slime and residue from the hair and scalp.
The above attempt to rid the hair of residue but don’t actually nourish and protect. A deep conditioning treatment is recommended after the ‘stripping’ to restore moisture to the hair and scalp.