Soft Water & Hard Water (And What They Mean For Your Hair)

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If you’ve ever travelled or moved to a different city, you may have noticed seemingly unexplainable changes in your hair. Despite using the same shampoo, conditioner, and/or products, the texture completely changed. It’s probably due to one simple reason: the water. There are actually two kinds of water, soft and hard, and they both have dramatically different effects on hair. Find out which kind of water you’re dealing with below!

Soft water has low amounts of dissolved minerals, and results in softer hair. Generally soft water is ideal, but if you have oily hair or use a lot of product you may need to wash your hair more often and use larger quantities. Soft water is usually found in areas where water is sourced from glacial lakes or river basins that are low in calcium.

Hard water has high amounts of dissolved minerals. This leaves extra buildup in your hair, leaving it dry, dull, and possibly discolored. Hard water causes more hair issues, so you’ll need to take extra care of your locks. Hard water is commonly found all over the world, and could even be found in a city that neighbors a soft water city.

So, what can you do to combat hard water? If you’re simply traveling to a city with hard water you can probably tough it out, but if you’ve moved to a new city with hard water consider taking more drastic action.

Install a water filter

They’re not just for drinking water! A water filter will balance pH levels and remove excess minerals, making your shower water as soft as possible. This might be a bit pricey but it will definitely help your hair. Soft water is also gentler on your skin, so it’s an all around win-win.

Find the right products

Use clarifying or chelating shampoo when dealing with hard water. These shampoos work harder than regular shampoos to strip away excess mineral buildup. This also means that they dry hair more than regular shampoo, so follow it with a deep conditioning treatment. Remember that chelating shampoo is intense on hair, so only use this treatment once or twice per month.

Do a rinse

Try a weekly apple cider vinegar, lemon, or lime juice rinse. The acidity helps remove mineral buildup while also adding shine and volume. To make the rinse, simply add one teaspoon of vinegar or juice to three cups of water. Apply the mixture for a few minutes after shampooing, and rinse. You don’t need to condition afterwards.

Moisturize

Give your hair some extra love with a hair serum or oil. You want to find something that’s light enough to easily wash out but strong enough to be effective. Try pure argan oil or aloe vera.

With the right tools, you can happily cohabitate with hard water. Shine on!

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