From using the right products to protecting against damage, hair care takes a lot of effort. Water quality is often overlooked as part of this process, but it’s at the root of all hair care regimens. Curly and textured hair especially needs the right type of water to thrive. It can be the difference between hair that looks full and bouncy and strands that fall flat. Got hard water and curly hair? Here’s what you should know.
The Importance of Proper Care for Curly Hair
Because curly hair tends to be drier than straight or wavy tresses, it needs more moisture to stay healthy. Many shampoos, conditioners, and styling products designed for curly hair contain hydrating ingredients to keep the hair shaft healthy and frizz-free.
While water is a moisturizing agent, it’s not the only thing that penetrates your hair when you wash it. Your tap water is likely filled with other substances that are canceling out pure water’s natural hydrating effects. This is especially true if you have hard water.
Curly Hair, Hard Water: A Challenging Combo
Hard water refers to any type of water that has a high mineral content. While not necessarily unhealthy when consumed, water that’s rich in minerals can wreak havoc in other areas of your life. It can leave behind calcium deposits in your showers, sinks, and tubs, can damage your skin, and—you guessed it—takes a toll on your hair.
Hard water and curly hair are an especially bad combination. The excess minerals can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry, brittle, and damaged. While these effects are problematic for any hair type, they’re especially concerning for people with curly or textured hair, as it’s already on the drier side naturally. There’s even evidence to suggest hard water can decrease hair’s elasticity and strength, making it lifeless and more damage-prone over time. And, just as the minerals create deposits on your plumbing fixtures, they can also create a frustrating layer of buildup on your scalp. This buildup can leave hair feeling heavy and greasy right at the root, no matter what the length feels like.
Hard vs. Soft Water: Hair Care Considerations
The good news is that it’s entirely possible to avoid the damage of hard water by caring for your curly hair properly. And the best place to start is at the source itself: your water. Installing a filtered shower head is a simple way to protect your hair against the damage caused by hard water. It works by filtering out agents like minerals, ensuring all that reaches your hair is nourishing soft water.
Curly hair will benefit not only from the absence of excess minerals but also the removal of chlorine. This chemical is used throughout U.S. water systems as a disinfectant, but it also removes moisture from the hair, leading to issues like weakness, dryness, and even discoloration. A filtered shower head is easy to install and will provide lasting benefits for your hair, as well as your skin and nails.
In addition to using a filtered shower head, you can treat your curls to some extra TLC by shampooing no more than once a week. While people with straight hair often need to wash away grease and grime more frequently, curls can easily go several days between washes because they have less oil than other hair types.
If you’ve already developed buildup due to washing with hard water, try rinsing with apple cider vinegar (ACV) after your next wash. Mix two parts of water with one part of ACV to break down minerals and leave your tresses fresh and clean. But remember: Unless you're washing with a filtered shower head, the issues caused by excess minerals will persist.
Finally, make sure you’re washing, styling, and protecting with products formulated specifically for curly hair. Water-based curly hair products help to deliver the extra hydration curls need to stay healthy and vibrant. You might also consider using a protein-rich reconstructing product to repair damage caused by minerals and rebuild your hair’s structure.
Here at Canopy, we care about cultivating a soothing home experience with healthy hydration. Our filtered showerhead is easy to install and removes chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants from your water supply for smoother skin and hair.