I bet you've heard of hard water, but did you know that hard water can be detrimental to your skin and hair?
Hard water is defined as water that contains over 3.5 gpg (grains per gallon) of dissolved minerals, specifically magnesium and calcium. The minerals are collected by the water as it flows over and through the ground from rocks and soil. Hard water is a common problem in many areas globally and can have negative effects ranging from leaving mineral deposits on appliances to reducing the effectiveness of soaps and detergents, Each region of Canada has its own water hardness due to the source and treatment method. Alberta, Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, and parts of Ontario are considered to have very hard water.
Hard water is the stuff that builds up in your kettle and what you have to scrub in your bathtubs (think white and yellow scale). Ever had stiff laundry? Blame hard water. What most people don't know or think of is that it is actually a contributing factor to a lot of skin and hair issues.
The most common effects of hard water on the hair and skin is dryness and irritation. Not only does it suck the moisture and oils from the skin, but it can also clog pores, leading to blemishes. The minerals in hard water react with soaps and detergents causing a buildup on the skin and hair which leaves behind a residue. This residue can pull moisture and natural oils from the skin and changes the pH leading to breakouts. The residue is hard to break down and cannot be done by washing with more hard water. The impurities in hard water can form free radicals that can damage skin cells and especially irritates those with pre-existing skin issues like eczema, seborrhea dermatitis, and psoriasis because the pH is already out of balance, and the sensitive skin is constantly irritated and further dried out.
Hard water has a few negative effects on the hair. Common effects include hair that is dull, straw-like and easily broken, and long-term effects are possible hair loss. High levels of dissolved minerals of calcium and magnesium leaves behinds a deposit on the hair and can make the cuticle stand up. These minerals also make it hard for shampoos and other products to lather effectively, making it hard to break down the deposits. Lastly, hard water can cause the scalp to be dry and scaly and can worsen problems like eczema and psoriasis. Sound like your hair and scalp? Maybe look to your water.
Map of Hard Water in Canada
There are a bunch of ways to combat hard water that can have a profound impact on your beauty routine. Consider installing a water softener, it is an investment that will pay off in many different ways, and we promise your skin will never be happier. If you can't install a water softener, get your hands on a shower head filter. If you notice problems with your hair, look for a clarifying or chelating shampoo that will help to break apart the residue.
If you live in an area with hard water, our Everyday and Everyday Lemongrass shampoo bars may not work well for you as it may produce build up. Fear not, our Juicy, Restore, or Revitalize bars work well in hard water.