“Hard” water is generally defined as water that contains many minerals. Large amounts of calcium are usually thought to be the cause of hardness, but large amounts of copper and magnesium can also contribute to poor water quality. It should be noted that laboratory studies have shown that there was little noticeable difference in tensile strength and elasticity between hairs treated with hard and soft water. However, there is anecdotal evidence that water containing a large amount of minerals can make your hair feel drier and more brittle, leading to more hair loss. If you suffer from this, you can find some measures below that you can take against this.
Method 1 of 3: Taking steps to soften your water
Step 1. Soften your water
Hard water is unlikely to cause hair loss right away, but softening the water you use to wash your hair can help you get a healthy, strong head of hair. The most profound way to do this is to decrease the amount of minerals in the water. Water softeners have been specially developed to solve this problem.
- A water softener is usually installed in the basement or garage and lowers the amount of calcium and magnesium (limescale) in the water.
- If you don't already have a water softener installed in your house or apartment, you may want to consider buying one.
- In some cases, it is possible to rent a water softener to try it out before actually buying one.
Step 2. Buy a water filter for your shower head
A more practical and cheaper option is to simply buy a water filter for your shower head. Such a filter works in much the same way as an ordinary water filter and neutralizes the pH value of the water. You will need to replace your shower head, but this is a lot cheaper and easier than buying a full water softening system.
- You will need to replace the filter in the shower head itself every six months, but such filters are relatively inexpensive.
- A filter for your shower head costs several tens of euros.
Step 3. Try adding some alum to the water
Another way to get softer water is to fill a bucket with water from the shower head or faucet and use this water to rinse your hair. Before rinsing, put a spoonful of alum in the bucket of water. This agent ensures that the minerals in the water sink to the bottom and remain there.
- You can then scoop the water from the top of the bucket to rinse your hair.
- This water will contain fewer minerals and be softer.
- You can find alum powder in the supermarket on the spice shelf.
Method 2 of 3: Using the right shampoo and conditioner
Step 1. Look for hard water counter shampoos
There are shampoos on the market that are specially formulated for use with hard water and can help reduce hair loss. A chelating or clarifying shampoo is a good choice. Such a shampoo is formulated to remove and prevent mineral buildup in your hair, but it is aggressive and should therefore only be used occasionally.
- Look for a shampoo that contains EDTA.
- Use this shampoo only once a week.
- After using this shampoo, treat your hair with a moisturizing conditioner.
Step 2. Use conditioner
It is always a good idea to use conditioner after washing your hair with hard water. This prevents your hair from drying out and becoming brittle, which can cause hair loss. Look for a conditioner with natural ingredients that moisturizes the hair.
- Argan oil is a strong moisturizing ingredient to look out for.
- There are conditioners for sale that are specifically intended for use with hard water.
Step 3. Consider using a leave-in conditioner
To take better care of your hair, you can use a leave-in conditioner. After shampooing, apply a layer of conditioner to your hair and let it soak in. Gently rubbing two or three drops of coconut or almond oil into the lower part of your hair will keep the moisture in your hair and prevent your hair from drying out.
- Do not apply more than this or you will get greasy hair.
- If you live in a hard water area, taking good care of your hair is even more important to prevent hair loss.
Method 3 of 3: Try natural remedies
Step 1. Add vinegar to the water you use to rinse your hair
Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with 750 ml of water. Take a shower and shampoo your hair as you normally would. The vinegar can rinse the minerals from the hard water out of your hair, making your hair shinier and stronger. When it's time to wash the shampoo out of your hair, use the water and vinegar mixture you prepared.
- Gently pour the mixture over your head, making sure to soak all strands of hair with it.
- Rinse the mixture from your hair after a few minutes.
- Some people prefer to use apple cider vinegar.
Step 2. Try rinsing your hair with lemon or lime juice
Instead of vinegar, you can also rinse your hair with lemon or lime juice. This juice breaks down the salts and minerals left in your hair, just like vinegar does. Lemon and lime juices also remove excess oil from your hair, making them particularly suitable for those with oily hair.
- Use the same mixing ratio as with the vinegar method, one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice per 750 ml of water.
- Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp after shampooing your hair.
- Rinse the mixture from your hair after a few minutes.
Step 3. Finally, rinse your hair with filtered water
To use less hard water, you can rinse your hair with filtered water as the last step when you wash your hair. You need about a liter of water for this. Simply pour a little water over your head at a time to rinse the shampoo and conditioner from your hair.
- You can also use short mineral water or bottled spring water.
- It is expensive to use well water for a long time and this is not good for the environment.
Step 4. Wash your hair with rainwater
Rainwater is also a good alternative to hard water when you wash your hair, as it is very soft and contains almost no salts and minerals. When it rains, put a large bucket outside and collect as much rainwater as possible. When it's time to take a bath or shower, always heat some water in a large pan over medium heat and use the water to wash yourself.
- If you're not using the water right away, store it properly in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Don't assume that rainwater is safe to drink.
- If you've tried all of the above and are still experiencing hair loss, it might be a good idea to see your doctor.
- Your hair loss may be related to factors other than hard water.