Is soft or hard water damaging your hair?

When it comes to healthy hair, we spend a lot of time worrying about the best shampoo to use, how to prevent heat damage or the best conditioning treatments. Sometimes, frustratingly, we seem to do everything possible and still aren’t seeing the results we want. The secret? It could be your water.

Yep, the condition of the water from your shower could be the culprit when it comes to healthy hair. None of those amazing shampoos or treatments will work if the water you are using to wash your hair is too hard or too soft. What to do about it? Here is everything you need to know about getting the best water for those locks.

What is Hard Water?

In Toronto, we have moderately hard water. Hard water has high amounts of minerals like magnesium and calcium. You know you have hard water if you notice white deposits on taps, faucets and shower crevices. This means that these mineral deposits will also end up on your hair.

The mineral buildup on your hair and scalp can cause weighed-down, lifeless, dry hair. Hair can also become more frizzy and prone to breakage. These minerals tend to strip the hair of colour which means it gets faded well before you are due for your next colour. Long term, your hair tends to become less manageable and more resistant to styling and colouring. 

What is soft water?

Soft water is the total opposite of hard water. This type of water has a low concentration of magnesium and calcium and a high concentration of sodium. This type of water can feel almost slimy. 

It is also a not-so-awesome type of water to have when it comes to clean, manageable hair. The lack of minerals in soft water means that shampoo and other products don't fully wash away. Your hair and skin can feel oily and removing products can be challenging which leads to limp, lifeless hair.

What is the solution?

Whether you are using a well or the city’s water or heading up north for a summer of lake water showers, you can solve the damage to your hair and skin with a few simple solutions. 

Water Filter

Purchasing a water filter for your shower is an easy way to get the best possible water quality for your hair without breaking the bank. There are a wide range of filters available on the market and a few simple things to look for. You want to make sure that the filter has a good flow rate (meaning that enough water passes through and is cleaned quickly) of around 2.0 gallons per minute. You also want to make sure that it is a multi-layer filter that uses carbon. These are the most effective in removing chlorine, sediment and other unpleasant compounds. 

Great Shampoos for Hard Water

Kevin Murphy MAXI.WASH detoxifying shampoo

Kevin Murphy YOUNG.AGAIN.WASH shampoo

Joico Clarifying shampoo

The Best Products for Soft water

AG Balance Shampoo

AG Thikk Wash

AG Thikk Rinse

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