8 Ways to Save your Hair from Hard Water - hair buddha
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8 Ways to Save your Hair from Hard Water

8 ways to save your hair from hard water1


Do you live in a hard-water area? Is your hair giving you daily grief? No amount of conditioners or styling sprays can rescue you, as the root of the problem lies in your tap water.

I recently visited Amsterdam. This was my second visit, and my love for the city is getting bigger with every visit. And it’s not just me, but my hair too have fallen in love with the city. When I am in Amsterdam, I don’t need conditioners or hair styling products to make my hair look good. Just bathing in the Amsterdam water is enough. Amsterdam, also called as ‘City of water’, due to many water bodies – canals, dikes, podlers – is very soft compared to London. And soft water is treat for your hair and skin.

If you live in hard water areas – I live in London – you will exactly know what I am talking about. Hard water gloom!

What is hard water? Hard water is water that has a high mineral content – especially calcium and magnesium – in comparison to soft water. Although it’s not considered as harmful for your health, hard water can cause serious problems to your hair and skin. After many washing, minerals dissolved in the hard water create a scaly film on the hair. This prevents the moisture from entering the hair. The result is dry, dull, tangly, and strange coloured hair. Hard water can also cause build up on the scalp, causing a dandruff-like condition to form.

However, do not fret. Hard water need not ruin your hair. For those of you who desire silky and shiny tresses, here are some effective solutions.

8 Ways to Save your Hair from Hard Water

1. Vinegar Rinse

The acidity of vinegar works to remove scaly build up from your hair. It also balances the pH of your hair, smoothes down the cuticles, and leaves your hair feeling soft and silky.

You can use any vinegar, but apple cider vinegar is the best for hair. Mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar to 3 cups of water. After shampooing, massage this mixture on to your hair. Leave it for couple of minutes and rinse it off. Vinegar rinse also increases shine and gives body to limp hair. Use it once a week, as every day use will make your hair dry.

Tip: For extra shine and boost, use herbal tea instead of water. You can choose herbs such as chamomile, rosemary or shikakai. Place 1-2 tablespoon of herb in a mug/jar. Pour 2 cups of hot water and let it steep until cool. Strain the infusion and add 1-2 teaspoon of vinegar to it, stir and use as above.

7 Ways to Save your Hair from Hard Water

2. Lemon/Lime Rinse

Like vinegar, the acidic nature of lemon juice will help remove buildup from your hair.

To make lemon rinse, take 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and add 3 cups of water, and mix well Apply this rinse to your scalp and hair after shampooing, and let it sit for couple of minutes before rinsing off. This rinse will add shine and luster to your hair. Plus the antiseptic properties of lemon also helps with dandruff.

Note: Lime juice can lighten your hair over time.

3. Water Softer

A water softener is a good, but expensive way to solve your hard water worries. It removes calcium and magnesium (limescale) and certain other metal cations from the hard water – making the water soft. While installing a water softer is expensive, it may be extremely useful for people experiencing hair problems, eczema and other hard water related conditions.

4. Shower Filter

Shower filter is a cheaper alternative to water softener. It can considerably reduce lime scale, chlorine and many other chemicals from hard water. There are many different types of shower filter that attach to your shower unit. You can buy these online or in home stores.

bottle water

5. Bottled Water or Filter Jug

Another option is to use bottled mineral/spring water for final rinse. Although not that expensive, but you will have plastic bottles piling up (and one plastic bottle can take up to 400 years to biodegrade). This can be a temp solution especially if your hair is giving you a hard time, or when you are visiting hard water area for a short period of time. Instead of bottled water you can also use water from filter jug, and that may not be so much of plastic waste.

collect rain water

6. Rain Water

Rain is a soft water which hair loves. And it’s free! You can catch rain water in a wide mouth container and use that to wash your hair. Although I haven’t tried it, many people swear by its benefits. It is said to make hair really soft and glossy.

The only drawback – you can’t have it all the time 🙂

7. Clarifying Shampoo

According to me one of the most effective and natural clarifying shampoo is soap nut (reetha) and shikakai shampoo. This all-natural shampoo not just cleans your hair, it adds volume and shine and makes hair feel thicker and smooth.

Market bought clarifying shampoos can be harsh on hair so use them sparingly. And when buying a clarifying shampoo or any products for that matter always choose products with natural and safer ingredients.

apply a leave-in conditioner

8. Use a leave-in Conditioner for Glossy Finish

This will not remove the buildup, but it will surely pep up your hair. After shampooing, apply a few drops of natural leave-in conditioner like argan oil, jojoba oil or almond oil. This will seal the moisture within the strands and give you that smooth glossy finish.

Please note: Lime juice may lighten your hair over time. Also, avoid using vinegar rinse and lime juice too often, as they may cause your hair to become too brittle and dry. Instead, use them only once or twice a month.

Do you live in a hard water area? have you tried any of these tips? 

You may also enjoy: 4 Things I Do to Save My Hair from Hard Water



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