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Topic: Does Hard Water Damage Your Hair?
Did you know that 85 per cent of the United States has hard water?
Unless you’re in Maine or Mississippi, the water coming out of your faucet is loaded with minerals and heavy metals. On its own, that’s not a bad thing — but it’s not always the best for your hair. Hard water damage may result in stiff, dull hair based on any remedies or bleach you have applied.
Wondering just how the water on your faucet is impacting your hair’s health? Here is what science says and what you could do about it.
Hard water includes a high degree of minerals. Normally, this includes magnesium, calcium carbonate, bicarbonate, and sulfates. These are naturally occurring substances that dissolve into groundwater as it goes through limestone. It’s also possible to find aluminium, iron, and manganese in the water in some areas.
The majority of the United States has heard much of our continent is formed from limestone created from ancient seabeds. You will just find soft water — water missing magnesium and calcium in particular — in most areas with little or no limestone, for example, Mississippi and Maine.
On its own, hard water isn’t bad for you. The World Health Organization indicates that no evidence is present towards hard water being harmful to the health of individuals. Instead, hard water can have few health benefits associated with it, functioning as a supplement for magnesium and calcium. Mammals need these nutritional supplements, and they help in metabolic processes.
However, hard water poses challenges in different manners. It’s connected with limescale, also referred to as scum, the buildup of calcification in pipes, taps, and appliances. Over time, this buildup can lead to clogged pipes and unsightly discolouration on surfaces that routinely become moist.
Likewise, the calcium and magnesium in hard water inhibit the creation of soap, making it more difficult to wash dishes, laundry, or ourselves. That’s why so much soap — notably dish liquid — has”extra foaming” activity. It must make up for the way hard water will impact it.
These effects raise lots of questions regarding what hard water does to our hair. Here is what science says.
Many researchers have set out to ascertain precisely how hard water impacts human hair, and the results are mixed. Here’s a roundup of research from the 1980s about hard water along with your hair.
1. Hard Water May Cause Dull Hair
A 1988 research about the effects of components in shampoos and conditioners is often cited as one of the earliest parts of research, noting that hard water is bad for the hair. Specifically, the researchers in France claimed the same calcification buildup which happens on your faucet also occurs in your hair. Calcium salts from the water get trapped in the cuticles, leading to a dull appearance, brittle strands, and overall poor-quality hair.
2. Hard Water May Cause Dull Hair… So Does Poor Quality Shampoo
Following up on the concept that hard water might cause dull hair, a 2010 journal article notes that it very well might. Calcium and magnesium cause scum in your scalp and cuticles the same way it does in your faucet. The study noted that sequestering agents, which prevent the creation of scum, are enough to prevent this from occurring under most conditions. Nevertheless, these substances are also often absent in economical or”natural” shampoos.
3. Hard Water May Cause Stiffer Hair
In 2011, The Procter & Gamble Company commissioned research to understand exactly how elevated levels of magnesium and calcium in tap water affect hair. This research found that hair may capture significant quantities of magnesium and calcium from water from its cuticles. In bleached hair, this led to a poorer appearance. On the other hand, the higher stiffness assisted virgin (never bleached) hair retain its styling better.
4. Hard Water Does Not Appear to Affect Tensile Strength or Elasticity
Tensile power is the resistance of a substance to breaking when put it’s under tension. Elasticity refers to the ability of a substance to return to its normal shape after stretching. A 2013 study analyzed the effects of hard water on both these qualities in hair. In other words, it doesn’t make it break easier or lose its shape.
5.Hard Water May Weaken Hair Significantly
In 2016, further research revisited the idea that hard water could lower the tensile strength of hair. Examining the effects specifically in men, researchers discovered that hard water reduces the tensile strength of hair compared to de-ionized water. It’s worth noting that this research administered therapy for three weeks, whereas the study above administered treatment for 30 days.
The research outcomes above are mixed, but we could research a key takeaway from all of them: hard water does result in scum on your hair, especially from the cuticles in which it may result in dullness, breakage or breakage stiffness based upon your hair.
Because of this, you might choose to consider steps to lower your hair’s exposure to your natural hard water. Consider:
Employing a good quality shampoo. Most pulp bars don’t have a sequestering agent, where many liquid shampoos do. Use a quality, liquid shampoo to ensure you receive all the soap buildup from your hair. A shower filter can reduce the hardness of the water by removing calcium and magnesium from the water itself. With this procedure, you’ll also appreciate less calcification in your shower.
Working with a naturally acidic rinse. If you don’t need to modify your shampoo, consider adding apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to your beauty routine to decrease mineral buildup on your scalp.
For those with particularly thick or sensitive hair, hard water hair damage can be a serious hassle. All of those minerals and heavy metals that naturally occur in water are fantastic for the rest of the body but can prove a challenge to keeping luscious locks. Fortunately, managing hard water hair damage can be as straightforward as picking the right shampoo or employing a shower filter.
It might just be the secret to helping your hair’s natural beauty shine.
At Holistic Meaning, we’re enthusiastic about assisting you in achieving the perfect hair day daily. Check out our additional Twisty Hair Tips for simple, natural, science-based advice and techniques for managing your beautiful hair.
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