Hard water, soft water and your hair

General Hair Loss

The hair is very sensitive to changes including the weather, diet and water. The majority of people use tap water to wash their hair and this can either be hard water or soft water.

Soft water is the best for washing as it does not contain high levels of magnesium and calcium that can cause damage. Soft water will encourage the hair shaft to renew itself more easily as it can penetrate the follicles easier than hard water.

Hard water can cause damage to hair, making it look dull and lifeless. The build up of magnesium and calcium dries out the hair and causes the ends to split and break. Hair dyes do not last as long as when using soft water and loses its shine soon after washing. As it has a drying effect on the skin as well as hair the scalp can also become dry and flaky causing dandruff.

Although soft water seems the better option as the hair seems to grow healthier, there can be a feeling that it has not been rinsed thoroughly and seem as if there is no volume to it. There are hair products on the market that can help with volumising the hair but it can still feel as if it needs another rinse.

For most of us we have no choice as to whether we have hard or soft water as it will depend on the area in which we live. However, it is possible to treat hard water with softeners or chemical supplements. The use of the correct hair shampoo and conditioner will also help. There is a wide variety of products on the market to suit most hair types from dry, greasy, blond and dyed to thick, thin and unmanageable hair.

The hair withstands not only the stresses from the body but also has to cope with the outside environment. The sun, for instance, can naturally bleach hair and if in it for a length of time can dry the hair. Swimming where chlorine is used will also have an effect on hair as will swimming in salt water. It can damage the hair roots and special attention needs to be taken when washing the hair. Again, the use of good hair products will reduce damage.

Water is not always the cause of damaged hair. Hair loss or thinning is normally a good sign that there is something wrong and this needs to be checked by an expert. There are many reasons as to why hair changes and this can be as much to do with the body as it has to do with the environment. To many people losing their hair can cause embarrassment and lack of confidence. One of the first features to be noticed on a person is their hair.

For some hair loss can mean a sign of aging, just as wrinkled skin can. Plastic surgery to reduce wrinkles, tighten skin and give a more youthful look has become more common in the battle with age. Hair loss can be hereditary and the hair can start to recede at quite an early age.

Other causes can be helped once the underlying problem has been found. Illness and medication is a factor in bald patches and once the treatment is finished the hair will grow back. Stress and anxiety are also associated with hair loss. The use of relaxation therapies, scalp massages sleep and a good diet will help to strengthen the hair follicles and produce more hair.

The way to healthy hair is not dependent just of the type of water used. Both hard and soft water have their drawbacks but there are products on the market to help balance the minerals in the water and give the hair a healthy, shiny head of hair. Lifestyle is an important factor and all should be taken into consideration.


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