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Does Hard Water Hurt Your Hair? An Expert Explains

Mineral buildup, post-shower film—the horrors of hard water hair are truly tough on the tresses. While hard water isn’t necessarily harmful health-wise, it definitely can damage your hair. Pesky hard water minerals can stick to your strands as you shower, causing dryness, breakage, and a slew of other issues. But with the proper care and attention, hard water hair damage can be minimized and managed.

So how do you combat this common curse? That’s where our expert, Roxbury Institute PA-C Michael Bontekoe, comes in. We asked this skin specialist for a full-on breakdown of the hard water conundrum. Read his answers below!

(via Unsplash)

So, What Exactly Is Hard Water?

We’ve been throwing this term around for a minute, but what exactly does it mean. “Hard water refers to water with increased levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium,” Michael explains. Countless households are outfitted with hard water, and while it’s perfectly safe to shower with, it can make your mane unmanageable over time.

Know the Signs of Hard Water

How do you know if your household has hard water? There are a few indicators you should keep in mind. “Signs of hard water include rust-colored stains in the bathtub, a funny smell like rotten eggs, calcium or lime buildup on faucets, or an increased amount of soap scum in the bathtub,” Michael cautions. If you’ve noticed any of these hard signs, you may want to consider taking some remedial steps to save your strands.

(via Unsplash)

How to Combat Hard Water Hair

Like we said, hard water is technically safe. But it certainly puts stress on your strands and scalp. “Over time, calcium and magnesium can build up on the scalp and hair causing dryness,” Michael states. But don’t despair, you can defeat dryness with a few simple solutions. “Spending less time in the shower and daily washing with a gentle shampoo will keep the minerals from setting into the skin and hair.” Michael recommends, “[a]fter showering, gently blot the hair and skin with a towel and moisturize the skin with a thick moisturizing cream.” Weekly clarifying shampoos are an easy way to keep minerals at bay. There are permanent solutions on the market as well. “Ultimately, I recommend installing a filtration system to filter out minerals,” Michael says.

Ready to invest in a new shower head to avoid hard water hair? HERE are some we highly recommend!

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