What’s in your water, and how does it affect 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

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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.