Have you ever done a load of dishes only to discover that your crystal-clear glasses are ridden with spots or a cloudy film? While it’s not dangerous, it doesn’t look right, and it’s an indication of hard water.
Have you ever washed your hands, only to feel as though they’re still slimy once all the soap is gone? When water contains a higher concentration of dissolved calcium, it reacts with the soap you use to form “soap scum.”
Hard water can make everyday tasks like doing laundry or washing your hair that much more difficult!
When it comes to hair care, nothing is more frustrating than finding your hair to be dull, limp, or even crunchy. Luckily for you, we’ve got 9 tips for washing hair in hard water.
Keep reading to find out what they are!
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that is high in dissolved minerals, particularly those such as magnesium and calcium.
Water hardness is typically measured by the amount of dissolved calcium carbonate in your water, and it’s measured in parts per million (ppm).
While soft water contains between 10 and 50 ppm, hard water contains 100 to 200 ppm, and very hard water contains over 200 ppm.
From soft to hard water, that’s a big difference!
Why Is Some Water Harder?
There are many reasons that contribute to making the water become hard or soft.
For example, in dryer regions, moisture evaporates. This results in minerals remaining intact and can leave water harder than average.
Other times, hardness occurs as a result of groundwater that flows through limestone. And even though it’s not a health risk, many home and business owners find it to be a nuisance.
But, there are things you can do to combat the annoying. Here are 9 tips for how to give your hair extra TLC if you have no choice but to wash it in hard water!
1. Do a Vinegar Rinse
Vinegar is amazing at getting rid of gunk, both on silverware and in your hair. Plus, it’s an antibacterial! When you opt to use vinegar on your hair, it neutralizes the effects of hard water. It also stops fungus growth on your scalp.
When you wash your hair in dry water, calcium builds up on all your precious follicles. The acidity of vinegar works to remove that build-up. At the same time, it smoothes down cuticles, balances the PH of your hair, and leaves it feeling soft and silky!
Any vinegar will work, but apple cider vinegar is optimal. Mix 1 part of vinegar to 2 parts of water.
After you shampoo, pour it onto your hair and massage your scalp, working your vinegar mixture through your hair. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse it out.
Don’t do it every day, or your hair will become dryer. Once a week is optimal for removing that hard water gunk!
You could also put your mixture in a spray bottle, and add coconut water and a couple of drops of lavender oil for a more luxurious treatment. Spray it on and leave it for 15 minutes before you rinse it out.
2. Use Bottled or Filtered Water for Your Final Rinse
While we don’t want to encourage contributions to the water bottle crisis across the world, using filtered water as your final rinse will help to reduce hard water damage.
Opt for a large bottle that you can refill with filtered water so that you aren’t wasting so much plastic, and only use it for your final rinse.
3. Use a Leave-In Conditioner
Hard water can leave your hair brittle and dull, and it can even change its color. Often it’ll discolor lighter hues or strip the color from hair that’s been treated.
To combat dry hair and reduce breakage, use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner at least once or twice a week.
Look for ingredients like jojoba oil, almond oil, coconut oil, and argan oil. All of those seal in moisture within each strand and help to give you a glossy, smooth finish.
4. Do a Citrus Rinse
Citric acid like lime or lemon juice is an effective remedy for combatting the effects of hard water on hair.
Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice (or both) and dilute with 3 parts water. After you shampoo, pour the mixture on and thoroughly mix it through your hair, paying special attention to your scalp.
Leave it on for a few minutes before you rinse and condition.
Your hair should feel silkier and look healthier and shinier as a result. Plus, if you use lemon juice, the antiseptic properties will also fight dandruff!
5. Use a Clarifying Shampoo
If you use a clarifying shampoo once a week, it’ll help to remove all that mineral build-up from the hard water. It washes away lingering residue and restores shine.
Just watch out for market-bought clarifying shampoos as some of them can be harsh on your hair. Look for products that have natural and safe ingredients and stay away from those containing alcohol.
When you find one that works for you, you’ll find that it adds shine and volume to your hair. Plus, it’ll make your hair feel smoother and thicker!
6. Stock up on Rainwater
We aren’t kidding. Rainwater is naturally soft, and many sufferers of hard water showers swear by it. Of course, it takes a bit of effort and patience to collect.
Rainwater is mineral-free. It’ll neutralize the effects of hard water. Just mix 2 cups of collected rainwater with 3 cups of your regular tap (hard) water. Boil them together, and then let it cool down. Use it for your final rinse or for your entire shampoo if you have enough!
It’s free, and you’ll notice a difference.
7. Get a Shower Filter
If you don’t want to break the bank on a water softener, a water softener shower head is a cheaper alternative. While it’s not as effective as a water softener, it’ll significantly reduce that chlorine, limescale, and other chemicals found in hard water.
There are many different types to choose from, some more effective than others. They’re also relatively easy to install.
8. Get a Water Softener
All of the solutions mentioned above are temporary. Plus, you have to use them regularly to enjoy long-lasting effects. But you can get those same effects without having to mix solutions or catch rainwater in a bucket if you opt to get a water softener.
They work to remove magnesium and calcium in your house’s water supply, leaving you with soft water. As a result, you’ll have smooth, silky, manageable, and healthy hair.
Even though it’s more expensive than say, a shower filter, soft water requires less soap in every facet of your life. That means you’ll need fewer rinses to get optimal results, and you’ll spend less on soaps, detergents, and shampoos.
Plus, soft water balances your hair’s pH level. It can also help to reduce topical issues like dandruff or dry skin and eczema.
9. Get a Powered Anode Rod
The cathodic protection principle has been used for decades in ships, boats, and many pipelines. Every water heater has an anode. It’s a steel core wire that’s surrounded with 1 of 3 different metals. It’s screwed to the top of your water heater and protects it from rusting.
But in regions where water is particularly hard and aggressive, your hot water tank’s life is affected. The Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rod provides a protection layer on the tank walls and its weak points. As a result, the water heater gets permanent protection against corrosion, regardless of how hard your water is.
Limescale deposits can be particularly damaging to water pipes and heating installations. They’re also responsible for significant energy loss. With the Corro-Protec Powered Anode, you’ll destabilize the calcium molecule and soften your water long-term.
Plus, you’ll eliminate any sulfur smell within 24 hours and stop corrosion inside your hot water tank.
And it’s designed and tested to last over 20 years!
Follow Our Tips for Washing Hair in Hard Water
The best way to combat hard water and save your hot water tank is by putting our Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rod in your water heater.
While it costs more than rinsing your hair with vinegar, it’s a long-term solution that will leave your hair feeling and looking healthier!
That being said, all the aforementioned tips for washing hair in hard water really do work! As long as you maintain a steady routine after finding what works best for you, you don’t have to live with dry and brittle hair just because you have hard water.