Looking for recipes to soften hard water for washing your hair at home? Simple ways to rid your hair of limescale and restore its natural strength and shine.
Signs of Hard Water on Hair
At home, hard water is called water that contains a lot of calcium and magnesium salts. Usually this is manifested by certain signs.
My hair won’t rinse out
Even after shampooing, does your hair feel sticky? This can be caused by excessive stiffness. The sticky feeling is caused by limescale deposits on the strands.
Hair is stiff and brittle
Regular washing with hard water causes the hair to deteriorate. Metal salts damage the cuticle, their upper protective layer. It makes strands become dry, brittle and stiff to the touch.
Water prevents the formation of foam
Pay attention to how quickly and well the shampoo foams when you wash your head. If it immediately forms a thick foam, the water is soft. When the detergent is difficult to soap, the opposite is true.
It’s all about chemistry. The alkaline environment prevents foaming.
With the test
You can determine the water hardness level yourself at home. For this purpose special test strips are used.
To choose the right filters for your home, you need more precise and detailed data. Then the study should be carried out in a specialized laboratory.
What Does Hard Water Do to Your Hair
Effects hair only negatively. There are a lot of problems with the hair: from split ends to hair loss.
Dry, dull, frizzy
It’s all the fault of the whitish-gray limescale plaque. The strands become dry, the shine disappears. Plus hair begins to frizz, disobedience and difficulty in styling. Even when the humidity of the environment is low.
Hair damage from combing
Stiff and dry hair is severely damaged by brushing, curling and styling. They have a damaged top scaly protective layer.
Such hair is difficult to comb and style. The curls get tangled and unruly.
Salts of metals interfere with the formation of foam, so the hair is poorly shampooed and the next day after washing it becomes greasy. Poor scalp cleansing disturbs the sebaceous glands.
If you have dandruff, one of the causes could be excess salts in the fluid. To solve the problem, you need to soften it.
Another unpleasantness that often occurs due to hard water is split ends. It gradually breaks and weakens the structure of the strands.
Deterioration of growth
The hardness salts react with the shampoo to form lime deposits. It clogs the pores, interferes with skin breathing and the development of hair follicles. This slows down hair growth.
Systematic exposure of hair to harmful salts leads to damage and thinning of hair. This condition is caused by disruption of follicles and strand structure.
They become thin and brittle. Outwardly the hair begins to look sparser, its density decreases.
Sometimes the problem of poor hair growth is exacerbated: Hard water makes hair fall out. You can see it in your hairbrush and on your clothes. Plus, the partitions on your head and your entire head of hair are thinning.
For diagnosis and treatment, it is sometimes necessary to consult a dermatologist-trichologist. However, the situation often corrects itself as soon as a person begins to wash his or her hair with soft water.
How to Soften Water
What to do and how to save the hair? There are many effective remedies that are available at home. All of them are designed to provide quality cleansing of the hair, its health and beauty.
You can practice washing your hair with boiled water. In the process, harmful salts turn into sediment.
After the liquid has settled. The useful part of the liquid without sediment should be used for washing.
Melt water has long been considered an excellent way to wash your hair. Today you can also take care of your hair in this way: only instead of snow and ice from the street you have to prepare the liquid by freezing.
Take a suitable container for freezing, pour into it 75-80% of the volume of cold tap water. The free space will come in handy, because during the freezing process the volume of liquid will increase.
Let the container stand open for about 2 hours to evaporate the chlorine. Then close it and put it in the freezer.
After the formation of a small crust of ice, pour the liquid part into another container and put it back into the freezer. The first ice formed is considered harmful, it is not good.
When the water is 2/3 frozen, drain the unfrozen third, and let the ice thaw. Use the thawed water for 12 hours.
Important: The water must not be heated above 40 °C.
You can soften tap water by standing it up. Within a day, the chlorine will have evaporated and the sediment of salts will have fallen to the bottom. For washing use purified water without sediment.
Put a filter
A filter can help make water soft. There are table-top, flow-through under the sink, for cleaning water pipes and heating systems.
Filters are differentiated by type and purpose:
- ion-exchange for drinking;
- magnetic and electromagnetic for technical water treatment;
- systems with reverse osmosis for technical, and with a mineralizer – also for drinking water.
A popular option for the home is a filter pitcher. It will clean and soften the water.
Ammonia will do. Take 1 tsp. per 1 liter of water. Use the solution as a rinse.
What else can you use to soften hard water at home? Other inexpensive remedies from the drugstore. Instead of ammonia, take ½ tsp. of boric acid or 1 tbsp. of glycerin. The latter solution is suitable for rinsing oily hair.
Softening hard water with baking soda is also a good way. It is enough 2 tsp. per 5-7 liters of water for rinsing. Mix with warm liquid, wait for sediment to appear on the bottom and use the purified solution.
Sodium chloride can also reduce hardness levels. It dissolves calcium and magnesium salts.
The rinse solution is made of warm water and salt. The concentration is determined by experience. You can take 1 tbsp. per 1 liter.
Vinegar water can soften salt deposits and clean the strands after washing. The vinegar-water solution is an excellent rinse aid that works like a conditioner.
Ordinary table vinegar can be used: 1-2 tbsp. of 6% or 1 tbsp. of 9% vinegar per 1 liter of water is enough. After vinegar hair becomes clean, smooth and shiny.
Caution! Do not allow the solution to get into the eyes to avoid irritation of the mucous membranes.
It is good to use wine or apple cider vinegar (1-2 tbsp. per 1 liter of water). Even better if it is natural. You can take into account the recommendations:
- apple cider vinegar is suitable for colored hair. It has a nourishing composition.
- When hair loss suit apple cider vinegar with the addition of herbal infusion or decoction of chamomile, nettle, mint;
- wine is good for dandruff.
Attention! Do not use a vinegar solution immediately after coloring or perming. The structure of the strands is damaged, so unpredictable chemical reactions are possible.
Acidify and soften hard water at home with lemon juice. It is enough 1-2 tbsp. per 2 liters of water. Natural juice can be replaced with 1 tsp. of citric acid.
The solution should preferably infuse for 3-5 minutes, and then you can use it as a rinse. Now after washing your hair will no longer be sticky. They will be clean, soft and shiny.
The method is popular with ladies with blond hair. Lemon juice is able to lighten the strands slightly.
Seed and herb decoctions
Flax seed, oak bark, chamomile flowers, burdock leaves, melissa will do.
How to make a decoction? We take 1 tbsp. dried raw materials. Pour hot water, boil on a water bath for 15-30 minutes. Cool, strain and add to water (up to 3 liters). Rinse hair.
When there is no time at all, the express method comes in handy. Pour 1 tbsp. of dried herbs in boiling water, cover and infuse for at least 15 minutes. Then strain and use to rinse.
How to restore hair after hard water
How to deal with the effects of hard water? Proper care will save you.
Proper care includes four procedures:
- Cleansing (washing).
- Restorative masks.
Cleansing, or washing
The procedure is as follows:
- Comb your hair so that the strands do not become tangled during the wash.
- Wet the hair with warm water not exceeding 50 ° C (hot water increases the sebum, so it is not suitable).
- Lather up the shampoo, create an abundant foam.
- Soap the roots and scalp, then the entire length of the hair.
- Rinse until the strands squeak.
Shampoo should be appropriate for your hair type. You can alternate several products of different actions.
This is an obligatory step after washing. It helps the curls regain their softness. They become docile, shiny, smooth and easy to comb.
The conditioner can be alternated with balm, mask, solutions for rinsing with vinegar, lemon juice, decoction of herbs. These products affect the upper layer of hair – the cuticle. They smooth out its structure, restore the damage.
Store conditioners and masks should be applied directly to the hair, not to the scalp and roots. In order to avoid unnecessary greasiness.
Wet hair is undesirable: it is prone to particular brittleness.
Do not twist or squeeze wet hair too hard, so as not to damage its structure. You can blot it with a towel or put it on for a few minutes to remove excess moisture.
Natural drying of the hair is preferable. When using a hair dryer it is advisable to use a cold or warm air mode: hot air dries the strands. Protect your hair with heat protectors when styling with hot air.
Ready-made remedies are good to alternate with homemade. Useful folk recipes: kefir with honey and wine vinegar, a mask of rye bread and others. Great restore your hair natural cosmetic oils.
Shampoo for hard water is another product you can use. The anti-lime complex in the composition neutralizes the effects of hard water.
One type is chelated shampoos. They will remove limescale from the strands and scalp. Another advantage is their mild detergent formula.
They should not be confused with deep cleaning shampoos: the latter loosen the hair, wash out the remains of cosmetics and remove grease.
Let your hair be healthy and beautiful!