If you live in a city – chances are you hear this term fairly often! Did you know that a major contributor to premature hair loss and dry, sensitive skin is the hard, chlorinated water that we are forced to use for bathing purposes?
The water that we get in our homes – be it from borewells or tankers or our city’s metro supply is high in mineral and salt content. Metro water is also treated with high amounts of Chlorine which is used as a disinfectant. This water is harsh and harmful to our hair, skin and overall health.
Is my water hard?
Do your notice – hard calcified green-white deposits on your bath fittings? White spots on your utensils? White-yellow coatings on your buckets and mugs? These deposits are called limescale and are a sure sign of hard water.
Why is hard water so harmful to your health?
Minerals and salts from the water get deposited on our skin, scalp and hair causing it to block pores resulting in dry itchy skin and scalp and dry, broken and frizzy hair. The coating of minerals on the hair prevents moisture from entering the cuticles and keeping them nourished, eventually resulting in severe and consistent hair fall and skin issues.
A lot of the products we use become less effective after reacting with the minerals in hard water. Scalp calcification is often a side effect of shampooing with hard water, which means your scalp gets coated with calcium carbonate. This prevents the follicles from getting the nutrients they need, and you will notice a constantly itchy and flakey scalp.
Every time we shower – our hair and skin absorb the elements in the water – a process called dermal absorption. This is meant to be hydrating and nourishing to your hair and skin. However, if the water is contaminated with hard water salts and chlorine that is what your hair and skin absorb causing dryness, itchiness and allergies.
How do I protect my hair and skin from hard water?
Wash with filtered RO/drinking water
If not for the entire shower at least for the last rinse.
Boil the water before bathing
Temporary hard water is hard water that mostly contains calcium bicarbonate. Permanent hard water contains dissolved calcium sulfate. If you have temporary hard water then boiling precipitates the dissolved minerals out of the water resulting in softer water. This will not work if your water contains calcium sulfate.
Hard water shampoos
These shampoos are specifically designed to help cleanse the build-up and deposits caused by hard water on your hair and scalp and restore its natural shine.
Invest in shower and tap filters
An affordable, effective no-fuss option that tackles hard water issues are shower and tap filters that have inner filter cartridges that give you clean water. They are simple easy-install gadgets that can either retrofit onto your existing bath fittings or replace your old bath fittings.
A more expensive option, and that requires some level of maintenance, bathroom water softeners are usually fitted to the inlet line of the geyser in your bathroom. It works on an ion exchange process. The process reduces hardness in water by exchanging magnesium and calcium in water with sodium and potassium.
While hard water issues are rampant, and should not be overlooked, solutions are ranging from simple DIY home solutions to more long term options. Take the time to research and find a solution that’s convenient, effective and efficient.
About the author: Pavithra Rao- Co founder, Waterscience.
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