If your hair feels dull, brittle and just lacking vibrancy and life, it might not be a problem with your hair, it might actually be your water.
Barcelona has a serious problem with hard water. I considered the issue of hard water to be very important when I opened Royal Oak and so I had a water softener installed in the salon to filter the water before it touches your hair. Most of my clients comment how soft their hair feels after a service here and this is partially the reason why. I hope this post will help to educate you on the effects of hard water and how to handle the problem at home.
WHAT IS HARD WATER?
Hard water is water that has high levels of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. This happens as water filters through deposits of limestone, chalk or gypsum before entering the ground water. Minerals generally aren´t harmful to your body and some claim that small amounts are beneficial. Unfortunately for your skin and hair this isn´t really the case.
You probably know if you have hard water at home, when you notice the shower head not spraying as usual or white crystals forming on the bottom of your hot water kettle. If you are unsure you can get a pretty cheap test strip from an aquarium shop.
WHAT IS HARD WATER DOING TO MY HAIR?
If you have just moved to Barcelona from a place with relatively soft water you probably noticed a change in your hair pretty quickly. Oxidized hair is negatively charged and minerals are positively charged and therefore attach to your hair like a magnet. The more damaged your hair is, from coloring your hair or from UV damage, the more oxidized it is and the more it attracts the minerals in your water. These minerals create a hard crystal film around your hair shaft.
This mineral film around your hair creates a dull, lifeless hair strand that tends to fall flat. Regular shampoos are not formulated to remove this mineral build up. The mineral film then acts as a shield preventing conditioners and treatments from penetrating the hair. No matter how many products you buy, you might not ever notice the real benefit if your hair is coated in this mineral barrier.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
If a home water softener isn´t an option where you live, there are some products and methods you can use at home to get rid of that mineral film.
Malibu C Hard Water Hair Remedy
Malibu C has made a home hair remedy specifically to remove minerals at home. The product is specially formulated to weaken the magnetic bonds that bond the minerals to your hair so that they can be easily rinsed away. It comes in a small packet that can be brought with you on holidays if you know you are going to a destination with especially hard water. It is recommended that you use this around once per month depending on the quality of your water.
Kevin.Murphy MAXI.WASH is an amazing hair detoxifier that removes product and mineral build up. Using the MAXI.WASH once a week or every two weeks, depending on how often your shampoo your hair, will greatly help you fight off the mineral build up. I always use MAXI.WASH as the first shampoo in Royal Oak to give me a clean base to then apply other beneficial products.
Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
I have had several clients comment recently about the benefits of a vinegar wash on dry skin, but have been reading that it can also remove minerals from the hair. Dilute a small amount of Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle filled with water and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to mask the vinegar smell. Spray the mixture onto your hair after shampooing and leave for 5 minutes before rinsing and applying your conditioner.
What ever solution you decide to try, I wish you luck and let me know how you get on. I am always looking for more information to help spread to my clients to give them the most relevant treatments to improve their hair.