By Stephen ThomsonEverybody wants healthier & better-looking hair. But, sometimes we get a bad hair day with dull & lifeless hair. This could be because of water we use to wash our hair.
So, what is the relation between water & hair?
Presence of minerals like calcium, magnesium makes water hard or soft. When we wash our hair, these minerals are absorbed into the hair and change the look & feel of hair. Amount of minerals absorbed by the hair depends on acidity & hardness of the water.
What is hard water?
Rainwater is naturally soft & mineral free. When it falls on the ground, it seeps through the soil and rocks & picks up the minerals & become hard water. The degree of hardness increases as mineral content increases.
Higher the hardness or ph level of water, the greater is the absorption of minerals in the hair. These characteristics of water can determine the amount of dye that is absorbed into the hair, how your shampoo and conditioning will work on your hair, look & feel of hair after drying.
A study published in ‘Sci Total Environ. 1999 Oct 1;239(1-3):189-93’ has mentioned that uptake of minerals by the hair varies depending on the initial total hardness and pH of the water. The study was conducted to see the uptake of minerals like calcium & magnesium by human hair from waters of 24 different locations throughout the world. The findings have shown that water of high initial total hardness or high initial pH resulted in more absorption of minerals.
Acidity or mineral content varies in local water supply from day to day. Chlorinated, mineralized or fluorinated house water can also affect your hair. Because of these variable factors, your hair looks great one day & shabby & limp on the other day.
Effect of pool & seawater:
Salt water & chlorine can dry & discolor your hair. The chemicals that are used in pool water can damage your hair. These chemicals can attach with hair and give it a grayish or green cast. To protect your hair from these effects, wet your hair thoroughly with tap water and apply conditioner before going to pool. It will help your hair to soak up the normal water instead of the chemicals & chlorinated water of the swimming pool. Rinse your hair immediately after coming out of the pool.
So, condition of your hair & scalp also depend on type of water used for hair wash.
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