Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tackling Hard Water

Having recently moved to a new location, the first thing I noticed was the effect the water had on my body, especially my face and hair. NJ seems to have particularly hard water, as does a good portion of the US. Given the way it was effecting how clean I felt, and because i'm the type to google every life problem, I decided I needed to get to the bottom of this!  

First things first: You  can usually tell if you have hard water based on how long it takes your hands to lather up soap... if it even lathers at all. But it's estimated that 3 out of 4 homes have hard water in the US. In fact, I found this handy-dandy map that tells you what parts of the US are affected with very very hard water! 

Hard water is different than soft water because it has a higher mineral content. This means that hard water may be the preferred drinking water, but, when it  comes to lathering up soap for chores or for cleansing, it can be a pain in the butt. Also, it tends to leave a rusty sort of residue on surfaces. 

For me, this high mineral content means bad news for my hair and skin. The first week I noticed that my hair went from sleek and shiny and soft to.. matted grossness and tangles. Also, i weirdly noticed that it was making my hair more wavy?? not in a good way. After talking with sister #1, she touched my hair and told me "THAT FEELS LIKE SOAP. YOU'RE NOT WASHING YOUR HAIR PROPERLY" So, being the good sister, i took her word for it and the next time i hopped into the shower, i took extra care to rinse and rinse and rinse. 

Nope. Hair was still matted and feeling nastier than ever. And nasty hair = acne starting to pop up on my 25 year old face that should be done with acne. And so i took to trusty google and here are some solutions i found:

1) install a filtering shower head 
2) use chelating shampoo
4) use pure argan oil
5) create an apple cider vinegar rinse.

The filtered shower head didn't seem to be too costly. On amazon it seemed to range from $25-$100+. But the reviews seemed so mixed. Why can't everyone have the same experience?? Although my sister's friend mentioned that she has a filter and it makes the world of a difference. But ordering one would mean i had to wait and i needed a solution stat. Chealting Shampoo seemed like a good solution except when I went on amazon and googled prices... I definitely am not spending $20 on a bottle of shampoo. Argan Oil .. not only do i not know what that is, but i have no idea where to get pure argan oil. Also i have bad experiences with applying oil on my hair because instead of making my hair sleek and shiny, it tends to make it more gunky. And so my last choice: apple cider vinegar rinse. I didn't have to spend a dime as I had some in the fridge. I took the bottle with me in the shower, and after shampooing and conditioning, poured 2 bottle caps worth on the top of my head and the other on my hair and massaged it in. It stinks a bit, but once you rinse it out the smell is not only gone but it noticeably leaves your hair so soft and so tangle free and light.

So in conclusion, the apple cider vinegar worked well for me. I read that too much use can strip away essential oils and cause dryness.. and so I'm only using it once a week or until necessary.

What do you use to fight hard water on your hair?

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