Articles By Tom Porter at Malibu C Wellness

Swimming pools nationwide are required to have chlorine levels that are no less than 1.0 ppm (parts per million) in order to control potentially harmful bacteria levels in the water. But water treatment facilities are also adding at least that amount of chlorine, often more, to your household water, especially this time of year for the same reasons. You already know what high amounts chlorine from pool water can do to your hair, scalp and skin. Now you understand why you experience the most damage to those areas during the summer months when you are not only exposed to chlorine on a regular basis in your shower, but also in the pool. Following is a ranking of the cities with the highest levels of chlorine present in the shower water based on Water Quality Reports from the respective cities measuring chlorine levels.

Read More: Curly Beginner’s Guide: Swimming With Curly Hair

U.S. Cities with Highest Levels of Chlorine in Shower Water

  1. Houston, Texas
  2. Dallas, Texas
  3. Nashville, Tennessee
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. San Diego, California
  6. Austin City, Texas
  7. El Paso, Texas
  8. Washington, DC

Read More: Top 10 Chlorine-Fighting Conditioners

U.S. Cities with Highest Levels of Chlorine in Shower Water

  1. Indianapolis, Indiana
  2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  3. Columbus, Ohio
  4. Jacksonville, Florida
  5. Baltimore, Maryland
  6. Boston, Massachusetts
  7. Memphis, Tennessee
  8. San Antonio, Texas

Read More: Curly Hair Care for Swimming & Summer Humidity

Problem Caused by Chlorinated Shower Water

  1. Strength of the Hair: The cuticle of naturally curly hair is more open (as compared to straight hair where the cuticle lays down tight) which allows oxidizers such as chlorine to penetrate deeper and violate the integrity of the hair, thus causing more damage. Think of chlorine as a termite “eating away” at the strength of your hair. This is why your hair becomes weaker and more fragile over time, making it difficult to manage and maintain. In addition, it is important to note that damaged hair is more frizzy. Therefore, the healthier your hair, the less frizz you’ll experience.
  2. Minerals on the Hair: The majority of the population in North America is shampooing in water that contains minerals, which stick to the hair like magnets. Chlorine oxidizes the minerals and literally binds the minerals onto the hair, thus compounding the problem and causing a wall to form that blocks chemical services, such as color, straighteners and relaxers, from processing successfully. While it is a popular misconception that chlorine turns your hair green, it does however contribute to discoloration. Copper is the mineral that binds to the hair and creates a green tint to your tresses. Chlorine can speed up the oxidation of copper, creating a darker green tint that is bound tighter to the hair.

Read More: Dealing with Damage Done to Your Hair by…Water?

  1. Attack on Proteins: Remember that hair needs water to retain its elasticity and the better the elasticity, the stronger the hair. Chlorine is a severe chemical aggressor that depletes the natural moisture in hair, resulting in strands that feel dried-out, often crunchy and straw-like in appearance. Hair is approximately 70 percent keratin protein and naturally contains moisture. Protein gives hair strength and structure and chlorine depletes protein. There are various protein-based hair care product that boast the ability to reinforce the hair shaft and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage. Some of the most popular salon services coupled with cuts and blowdrys are deep conditioning treatments, which infuse moisture and protein.
  2. Dry Scalp: The nature of chlorine lends itself to abnormal exfoliation of the scalp, which results in flaking, itching and irritation and also creates an increasingly dry scalp. Calcium is a mineral that is highly present in the water in salons and showers and while it is good for your bones, it’s bad for your scalp. Calcium deposits from the water latch onto your scalp, clogging your roots. Chlorine can alter the electrical charge of calcium and cause it to bond stronger to the hair, which can act as a trigger for contact dermatitis and is also known for exacerbating common conditions including dandruff and eczema.

Read More: Shower Water Filters Offer Benefits to Hair and Skin

The Natural Wellness Solution

In the past, salons used clarifiers to rid the hair of chlorine and minerals. In reality, the unusually high pH levels found in these products is only good for removing hairspray buildup. Recent studies have shown that in order to remove chlorine and mineral build up simultaneously, formulas must have a low pH and be guaranteed active. Therefore, salons are finding that the use of treatments comprised of dry vitamins and other food grade ingredients is the best approach.

Chlorine can also deplete the oils in the hair and scalp, causing dryness in those areas. Once you have naturally removed mineral and chlorine buildup and know how to keep it out, it is important to use reconstructors and other protein minerals to restore the integrity of your hair and “patch up” the holes created by the mineral deposits that were eating away at your hair. You’ll notice a difference with regular use of a wellness conditioning treatment. You can find out more about the Malibu C Natural Wellness Solution in this video.

Look for future articles about how factors such as pH and humidity, among others, affect how your hair looks, feels and responds to chemical services. In addition, look forward to more city rankings to help you stay in the know about the area in which you live.

Click here to receive a free test strip to test your water so that you can learn more about your water and your hair. We look forward to empowering you, as together we explore customized conditions and wellness solutions in upcoming monthly articles.

Read More: Post-Summer Hair Repair


About Tom Porter

Since 1985 Tom Porter is the founder and president of Malibu Wellness, Inc. As a researcher, formulator and educator, Porter began exploring the use of the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C in personal care products in 1981 and is the pioneer of the fresh-dried form of vitamin C that is found in the nationally recognized Malibu MakeOver. He uses more than twenty years of research and development in the training of tens of thousands of cosmetologists, estheticians and medical professionals world-wide to encourage a wellness lifestyle. To learn more about Natural Wellness Solutions for your hair, visit www.MalibuC.com.

 


Over half of the population is shampooing in water that contains calcium and magnesium and is otherwise considered “hard water.” While these minerals are important for us to drink and take as supplements, they can actually attach to the hair and cause problems for textured hair, such as textural changes and difficulty getting chemical services, including color and straightening, to take to the hair.

Some of the best drinking water can be the worst water for shampooing or cleansing your curls.

Hard Water Hair Issues

  1. Texture: With curly hair, you’ll notice a difference in hair texture in areas with various levels of water hardness. For example, areas with soft water typically have more relaxed, soft and manageable curls while areas with hard water will note their curls are heavier and the texture is rougher.
  2. Frizz: Other than humidity, the most important environmental issue regarding frizz and maintenance of naturally curly hair is the minerals in the water.
  3. Gray Coverage: Often you’ll note increased difficulty with gray coverage because the color will attach onto the minerals and not onto the hair, making it impossible to cover up those pesky gray strands, especially at your crown.
  4. Longer Lasting Color: Similar to the problem listed above about gray coverage, you’re colorist will notice it is difficult to get vibrant shades to deposit onto the hair, due to the mineral buildup resulting from hard water, resulting in a lack of satisfaction with your color service.
  5. Blondes: A common problem for blondes who shampoo in hard water is that the color appears to lose vibrancy and appear “muddy,” which is often referred to as fading, when really, blondes don’t fade.
  6. Relaxer/Straighteners: These chemical services have a harder time taking in areas with hard water, which can yield to unhappy clients when the services seems to have “not worked” the first time. Often, the problem is the minerals attached to the hair, and not the salon professional performing the chemical service.

Below is the ranking of the best and worst cities for textured hair, based on water quality reports from the respective cities measuring water hardness. If any of the problems above seem to be occurring to your waves, curls or coils, your city's water service may be the culprit.

Worst Cities for Textured Hair

1. Indianapolis, Indiana

2. Jacksonville, Florida

3. Phoenix, Arizona

4. San Antonio, Texas

5. San Jose, California

6. San Diego, California

7. Los Angeles, California

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

9. El Paso, Texas

10. Dallas, Texas

11. Washington, D.C.

12. Chicago, Illinois

13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

14. Columbus, Ohio

15. Houston, Texas

Best Cities for Textured Hair

1. Atlanta, Georgia

2. Boston, Massachusetts

3. Seattle, Washington

4. Memphis, Tennessee

5. San Francisco, California

6. Nashville, Tennessee

7. New York, New York

8. Austin City, Texas

9. Baltimore, Maryland

10. Detroit, Michigan

How Do Minerals Sneak into Your Water?

"Minerals attach themselves to your hair like magnets, and proceed to wreak havoc on your chemical services and everyday management. This is a very huge issue, especially for those with curly hair, and having a keen understanding about what’s in your water is essential for the wellbeing of your tresses."

Ground water is a major source of water for homes. As the name implies, ground water quite literally comes from underground. The ground is essentially rock and is comprised of limestone, calcium, magnesium and iron, which leads to mineral water. The ground is hard mineral rock, and the acidity of acid rain actually increases the dissolving effect of minerals, making it a prime culprit of the minerals in your water. The acid rain is what dissolves mineral solids in the water that is then pumped above ground and used in your shower.

Surface water is also a prime source for the water for homes. It comes from rivers or lakes, usually containing fewer minerals because the water has not filtered down through the mineral layers. While one would think this would actually be a better option for shower water, as it naturally lacks the minerals that latch onto your hair and cause problems both in and out of the salon, it is not the case.

This type of water is often highly polluted, which lends itself to an influx of bacteria. Water treatment facilities add compounds such as chlorine to kill the bacteria, and then add lime to help control the chlorine levels, and so goes the vicious cycle of additives in your water that yields mineral attachment on your hair.

Remember that minerals attach themselves to your hair like magnets, and proceed to wreak havoc on your chemical services and everyday management. This is a very huge issue, especially for those with curly hair, and having a keen understanding about what’s in your water is essential for the wellbeing of your tresses. Your hair will tell whether your water is well.

If you are unsure about what is in your water, let us send you a free test strip to test your water so that you can learn more about your water and your hair. We look forward to empowering you as together we explore customized conditions and wellness solutions in upcoming monthly articles.

City Comparisons

Keep in mind that there are myriad reasons for water variations that are not purely geographical. It is interesting to note the following examples.

Areas with copper piping have an influx of copper in their water, especially when there is calcium already present in the water, as copper leaches onto the water by means of osmosis. One such example of this is Boston. Many homes in that city have old copper and/or lead pipes. Naturally textured hair in this city is not as frizzy, and the curls are softer in appearance, however, you may note a greenish tint to the hair due to the copper build up, which creates challenges with chemical services.

You’ll also note that though San Jose and San Francisco are in the same geographical area, people with naturally curly hair in those cities experience completely different issues as a direct result of their water. Many people commute to San Francisco from San Jose for work, and hairdressers in San Francisco frequently notice they have greater challenges with their clients from San Jose, who have harder water than their local clients.

The Difference You’ll Notice

"Back when women were bending over the skin to wash their hair once a week, on average, the mineral deposits were primarily made on the hair under the neck, which is why salon professionals would notice that the hair at the nape of the neck was most resistant to chemical services."

The mineral attachment creates a "wall" of minerals on the hair that serves as a blockade and prevents the proper penetration of color, perm and relaxer. Minerals found in water at home are continuously exposed to the hair during bathing. You’ll recall that both hot and cold water open the cuticle, thus allowing positively charged elements, such as minerals, to get inside.

A basic illustration of this idea involves your grandmother washing her hair in the sink. Back when women were bending over the skin to wash their hair once a week, on average, the mineral deposits were primarily made on the hair under the neck, which is why salon professionals would notice that the hair at the nape of the neck was most resistant to chemical services, as it gathered the most minerals. Now, the hair at the crown is most resistant to chemical services as that is where the water hits your head in the shower and where the bulk of the mineral deposits are.

The Hard Truth

The unavoidable reality of the situation is that minerals in your water negatively affect the quality of your hair, manageability and chemical services. That being said, you may be wondering what you can do resolve the situation.

The key lies in advanced vitamin technologies. Natural Wellness Solutions is designed to remove minerals should be used in the salon under heat before a chemical service, as well as at home as a weekly follow-up. This is especially important for curly hair, as often curls can appear to be dry and/or “weighed down” in appearance due to mineral build-up. Remember that by removing the minerals, you can safely restore the integrity of your hair.

A Before & After

See how the integrity of your hair can be restored after removing the minerals and build-up.

Look for future articles about how chlorine affects various hair types. These articles will take a more in depth look at how factors such as pH, chlorine and humidity, among others, affect how your hair looks, feels and responds to chemical services. In addition, look forward to more city rankings to help you stay in the know about the area in which you live.

Tom Porter

Since 1985 Tom Porter is the founder and president of Malibu Wellness, Inc. As a researcher, formulator and educator, Porter began exploring the use of the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C in personal care products in 1981, and is the pioneer of the fresh-dried form of vitamin C that is found in the nationally recognized Malibu MakeOver. He uses more than twenty years of research and development in the training of tens of thousands of cosmetologists, estheticians and medical professionals world-wide to encourage a wellness lifestyle. Learn more about Natural Wellness Solutions for your hair.


Woman showering in waterfall

In the last forty years, showers have become a vital part of the American lifestyle. In the time when showers were not customary and/or widely used, women were shampooing and rinsing their hair under the kitchen sink, usually once a week. Now, women (and men) are shampooing no less than 3-4 times a week, and many are even shampooing daily, which can lend itself to serious hair issues.

This is the first in a series of articles sharing research that seriously impacts every single person who shampoos their hair in the shower.

Naturally curly hair, straightened hair, relaxed hair and hair styled with a large round brush with intense heat are all affected by the water in your shower. If your hair is colored, bleached or highlighted, the condition of your water affects you. The issue is not a “good or bad” water issue; the issue is specifically about the the conditions of the water that affects your hair every day and how can you best manage your hair knowing those conditions.

What’s in Your Water

You get in the shower to remove dirt and other elements from your hair, scalp and skin. But have you ever thought about how your shower could actually be depositing common minerals and oxidizers invisible to the bare eye? These sneaky compounds latch onto your hair and create a wall of rock that compound and intensify frustrations with your hair. A few of the major culprits include calcium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium and chlorine.

The Temperature of the Water

Want to learn more about how the water in your area is affecting your hair?

Receive a free test strip to begin the process of learning more about your water and your hair.

We look forward to empowering you, as together we explore customized conditions and wellness solutions in upcoming monthly articles.

Keep in mind that the temperature of your water affects the quality of your hair. Hot water opens the cuticle and allows more of the oxidizers listed above as well as other chemicals to get in. Cold water, on the other hand, closes the cuticle and essentially aids in preventing such factors to enter. It also “locks in” potentially harmful elements, such as those listed above.

Naturally curly hair has more of a flat structure as opposed to straight hair that is round and reflects more light. When you use hot water, the cuticle expands open, allowing more elements into and onto the hair affecting the texture and manageability of your hair.

How Long You Stand Under the Shower

In contrast to when women were shampooing under the faucet at the kitchen sink, most women stand under the shower for long periods of time, allowing warm-hot water to massage their scalp and hair for extended “relaxation.” However, what might be perceived as short term relaxation actually causes more stress due to all the elements blasting through the shower head and attaching deep into the hair structure.

Final Thoughts

Upcoming articles will help you better understand how your textured hair is uniquely effected by what’s in your water, and how your water affects your hair so that you can make smarter decisions with a better understanding of how to control and manage your hair. Knowing what is in your water, how it affects your hair and other lifestyle choices that impact your hair will empower you to make wiser decisions about the services, styles and the products you choose to use on your hair.

Tom Porter is the founder and president of Malibu Wellness, Inc, manufacturer of Malibu C Wellness Salon Products. As a researcher, formulator and educator, Tom began exploring the uses of the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C in personal care products in 1981, and is the pioneer of the fresh-activated form of vitamin C that is found in the internationally recognized Malibu MakeOver. With more than twenty five years of research and development, Tom continues to lead education to influence the tens of thousands of cosmetologists, estheticians, medical professionals and their client/patients worldwide to encourage a wellness lifestyle.


Total 3 results.

10 Models with Natural Hair

Here are stunning women who have backed away from the chemicals and are embracing their natural tresses.
April 16, 2014 Read more »

Volumize Fine, Low Density Hair the Charmsie Way

A step-by-step tutorial for how to creating more volume.
April 16, 2014 Read more »

21 Products That Actually Work for All Hair Types

Many products promise to be effective for every curl pattern. These actually deliver.
April 16, 2014 Read more »