Effects of Hard Water on Hair

Scientists around the world are confirming what hair stylists have long known to be true. Hard water is our nemesis.

A study in 2013 from the International Journal of Trichology studied whether hard water, characterized by water with higher levels of calcium carbonate, lime and magnesium sulphate actually effects the strength and elasticity of hair. All hair stylists are aggressively nodding their heads right now. However, this study conducted over 30 days revealed no evidence that this is the case. Wait, what? Read on. A separate study focused on the same strength and elasticity was conducted in 2016 was done over three months and it did in fact show a reduction in the strength of the hair. Vindication!

On top of actually weakening the hair strand, another report released in 2016 from the Department of Dermatology at the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research showed that under microscope the surface of the hair treated in hard water has a ‘ruffled appearance with mineral deposits’ as well as a second vote for decreased thickness.

Water chemistry experts over at Malibu C have been saying this all along and helping hairdressers combat the effects of mineral buildup on hair with at the bowl treatments to remove deposits, priming hair for the color service as well professional additives or color prepping services that certified colorists around the globe swear by. And where does this revolutionary science stem from? A root to tip perspective of the hair that finally focuses on water and the effects of repeated exposure to hard water. No wonder Malibu C was one of ECOHEADS friends in water awareness from day one.

Plus, no head of hair is the same. Although no mention of whether it was virgin hair or colored was part of the studies, we all can make an educated assumption that the effects of hard water on color treated or lightened hair are amplified, damaging the beautiful color at a faster rate.

Conclusion? The effects of hard water on hair and skin are immense. And with 85% of households in the US reported by a US Geology Study as having hard water, this means it’s a problem for most stylists and, the salons they work in. Your services shouldn’t introduce minerals to the hair at the basin, that’s for sure. Why would you want to pack those minerals back onto the hair on their first rinse plus the treatments and backbar products you use are immensely affected by the hardness of your water. Many ECOHEADS clients have mentioned that they have to reduce the amount of backbar product used after switching to the water-cleansing showerheads. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions that bind to ingredients used in shampoos and soap, making them insoluble. You better believe you need to use clean water for optimal performance.

Dying to know more about hard water?

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