Back then, it seemed like whatever I did, nothing could make my hair behave. Even though I deep conditioned like mad, my hair still remained stiff and dry. Not long after applying moisturizer, my hair seemed dry again. Not to mention how dry and itchy my skin felt after stepping out of the shower. I had to do something. Finally, I came to the conclusion that my water was the culprit and I had to act fast.
That was years ago. Since then my urgency around dealing with hard water seemed to decline a little. And that probably has impacted my length retention over the years. But this morning, I stumbled upon a study on the impact of hard water on the hair and suddenly, I'm fully recommitted rewarding my hair and skin with soft water once again.
We already know that hard water chemical deposits on the hair create a barrier layer that prevents moisture penetration and retention. This mineral absorption could impact the structural properties of the hair without our knowledge. But did you also know that your hair type can determine how much mineral content is absorbed into the strands?
Let me explain what I mean by hair type. I'm not referring to curl texture but the condition of the hair. I'm talking about the condition of the hair. According to the article I read, "the popularity of hair treatments that alter the chemical nature of hair, e.g.. coloring, bleaching, and relaxing, suggests that even more consumers are susceptible to an uptake of mineral absorption if they are exposed to water with any degree of hardness ions." What this means is that has been chemically altered was found to absorb more minerals from water versus virgin hair. Although they didn't mention this in the article, I suspect that damaged virgin hair (from heat or other factors) could attract more hardness ions than healthy virgin strands.
This still holds true no matter what part of the country you live in. If your water isn't that hard, your hair will still "attract significant levels of metal from water that has even a low degree of hardness." So don't get too comfortable if you live in the blue or green area of the map.
Your only saving grace if, you fall under the chemically treated hair territory, is to look into products that prevent mineral absorption. The most obvious choice is soft water unit. I didn't want to invest in a whole house unit so I picked up the Shower Stick. This thing is awesome and does its job wonderfully. But sometimes I get a little forgetful when it comes time to refresh the unit. So I took a look online and I think I've found a product alternative. A brand called Malibu has a water demineralizing product. Women with well water flock to this product to help restore life back into their hair. Another option would be to use chelating shampoo to help strip the strands of hard water deposits. Mizani has a chelating and neutralizing shampoo in one. I'm all out of neutralizing shampoo so I'm gonna purchase this as a replacement. I love the fact that it's pH balanced so it neutralizes the strands while helping remove hard water build up at the same time. It's absolutely perfect.