What's up with hard vs. soft water?

Like Tree1Likes

I'm just wondering, why is it so important whether your water is hard or soft? What are the disadvantages of hard and soft water? Because my water is hard, and it doesn't seem to really care.

"Smile...just do it."

3aMii, medium porosity, medium to low elasticity

Shampoo & Conditioner: HE Hydralicious Featherweight
Styling: HETMS Spray Gel and Finishing Touch Cream
DT: GF Triple Nutrition

Here's some info

http://chagrinvalleysoapandcraft.com/hardwater.htm

You need water to shampoo your hair and hard water makes it harder to wash your hair. Each hair shaft is made up of little scales, like shingles on a roof. Hard water tends to make the scales stand up, which makes your hair feel rough and tangly. Since your hair is tangled and rough, it is more difficult to rinse out all of the soap. Soap is less effective in very hard water because its reacts with the excess minerals to form calcium or magnesium salts. These are not easily soluble in water and can result in soap film. Washing hair in soft water will have a different result because it leaves fewer insoluble deposits on the hair.

http://www.malibuwellness.com/conten...ard_Water.aspx

Water hardness is determined by the level of calcium that is in the water either found naturally from the ground or put into the water by the treatment plant.

While calcium is the element that determines hardness of water, there are many other elements in the water that effect the texture, volume, shine, control and health of hair.

What are the minerals that effect hair?

Calcium
Iron
Copper
Magnesium
Silica
Lead
What other elements effect hair?

Chlorine -a harsh oxidizer added to the water to kill bacteria also adversely effects hair.
How do minerals and chlorine attach to the hair?

Our hair, scalp and skin have an electrical charge and that charge is negative. Minerals and oxidizers are charged positive. When a positively charged mineral comes in contact with our hair, scalp, or skin, it attaches on like a magnet.


How do hard water minerals and chlorine effect hair?

Calcium - If your source for water is a well, then more than likely you have calcium in your water. If your source for water is coming from a treatment plant, calcium may have been added to your water. Calcium is the mineral that determines hardness of water.

How calcium effects hair:

Calcium leaves the hair feeling dry and weighted down. It can even cause a perm to appear relaxed.

Calcium builds up on the scalp causing flaking of the scalp, giving the appearance of dandruff.

Calcium can choke the hair at the mouth of the follicle causing the hair to break off, then coating the scalp, blocking further new hair growth.

Iron - Iron is found in ground water from domestic wells and wells used by treatment plants as the source for local water.

How iron effects hair:

Iron leaves the hair feeling dry, brittle and weighted down.

Iron can cause dark hair to tint darker and blonde hair to turn orange.

Iron can block perms and color from properly processing.

Copper - Copper originates in water in three ways:

It comes from the ground and is pumped into the water from a well.

Particles of copper can come from copper piping. The corrosion caused by hard water lifts the copper particles off the pipes and deposits them into the water.

Copper sulfates are added to swimming pools to control the growth of algae. Copper is often added to lakes (that are a source of drinking water) in the summer to kill algae.
How copper effects hair:

Copper discolors hair causing blonde hair to turn green and dark hair to tint darker.

Copper can weigh hair down and cause dryness.

Copper can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color and relaxers.

Magnesium - Usually found wherever calcium comes naturally from the ground, magnesium is abundant in the soil and is very much a part of the mineral complex associated with hard water.

How magnesium effects hair:

Magnesium causes hair to feel dry.

Magnesium causes hair to appear weighted down.

Magnesium can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color and relaxers.

Magnesium causes hair to lack shine.

Silica - Silica is a sand-like substance found in desert or volcanic areas. It is usually bound to calcium or magnesium and forms very hard, virtually insoluble deposits.

How silica effects hair:

Silica causes many of the same effects on the hair as calcium.

Silica causes hair to feel dry.

Silica weighes hair down.

Silica can cause dandruff-like symptoms of flaking.

Build up of silica can choke the hair follicle causing hair to fall out.
Lead - Lead acetate is used in certain home remedy gray hair cover-ups.

How lead effects hair:

Lead can cause the hair to feel dry.

Lead can prevent the proper processing of perms, color, and relaxers.

Chlorine - unlike the other elements listed above, chlorine is not a mineral but an oxidizer. Chlorine is put into drinking water and swimming pools to kill bacteria. In addition to the following effects chlorine has on hair, due to it's oxidizing effects, chlorine also oxidizes minerals onto the hair causing worse effects of those minerals.

How chlorine effects hair:

Active chlorine in the hair can cause hair to feel gummy when wet and straw-like when dry.

Chlorine can damage the cuticle and proteins of the hair.

As an oxidizer, chlorine can cause the air and sun to oxidize hair and worsen the conditions listed above.

Chlorine can cause hair to feel dry.

Chlorine can cause hair to become brittle.

Chlorine can cause hair to lack shine.
CurlyCowgirly likes this.
My hair doesn't seem to care either, or maybe likes the hard water better? I do shampoo though. My kids also say that whenever they go somewhere with soft water they feel slimy when they shower? I've had the same feeling, like instead of rinsing cleaner the soft water just wasn't rinsing everything....
2c / C / iii (FIA)
Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

Shoulder-Length now.

Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

Henna!
great post crimson! That was awesome.
Grand Goobah Caedran, Aqueous Infusion of Demulcents, Order of the Curly Crusaders

Fia 2cFi, fine texture, med porosity CG 5-29-09 * My hair loves protein! Currently using : DermOrganics Shampoo and IHM, G2B Kinkier Mousse, Re:Coil VMM, Anything Spiral Solutions! MO Sealing. Coconut Oil Pre-Poo, once a month Hard Water shampoo. Avoiding Glycerin in finishing products.

Good question. Excellent answer.
http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
Cowash: Tresemme naturals
Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
My hair doesn't seem to care either, or maybe likes the hard water better? I do shampoo though. My kids also say that whenever they go somewhere with soft water they feel slimy when they shower? I've had the same feeling, like instead of rinsing cleaner the soft water just wasn't rinsing everything....
Originally Posted by Robin-in-FL
Same here!

"Smile...just do it."

3aMii, medium porosity, medium to low elasticity

Shampoo & Conditioner: HE Hydralicious Featherweight
Styling: HETMS Spray Gel and Finishing Touch Cream
DT: GF Triple Nutrition

I went to visit my husband when he was stationed in South Korea for a year. The dorms he was in had been built in the 50's with the base and they had terrible hard water. My hair felt so sticky and I coudn't detangle it for anything. It was a bad time for my hair.
CG since10/26/09
Co-wash Suave Naturals Wild Cherry Blossom
Leave-in Suave Naturals Wild Cherry Blossom (Just a little before adding La Bella Max Hold Plus Volume Styling Gel.)
Just bought Olive Miracle Leave-in Conditioner to try. I used it to scrunch out the crunch and it smells wonderful. (05Jun2012)
Fotki pwpics
My hair is fine with hard water, no build up or dryness or any other problems. It HATES softened water. I dread going on vacation or staying at anyone's house with a water softener. It loses all definition, loses curls, becomes flyaway and feels dry.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
So I don't think I've ever had the chance to compare. How would you tell if you have soft or hard water in your house?
~Yazmin~

My hair - 3c: MOP Mixed Greens cowash - MOP Hydrating Conditioner - MOP Extreme Moisture - Aura Hypoallergenic Gel or AG Re:coil
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Website Development ☆ ← What I Do → ★ Handcrafted, Limited Edition Jewelry
How would you tell if you have soft or hard water in your house?
Originally Posted by aprettyrock
Hard water leaves a mineral deposit on your shower doors, the shower head and/or walls. You'll see a ring of white crust around flower pots that are watered.
My hair is fine with hard water, no build up or dryness or any other problems. It HATES softened water. I dread going on vacation or staying at anyone's house with a water softener. It loses all definition, loses curls, becomes flyaway and feels dry.
Hey, me too! My hair likes the 'extremely hard' water (according to map in above post) at my house. My fine hair doesn't like the relatively softer 'very hard' water (from map) at a relatives house. Lose curl definition, fly away, dry. Yup. Strange.
http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
Cowash: Tresemme naturals
Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers

Hard water leaves a mineral deposit on your shower doors, the shower head and/or walls. You'll see a ring of white crust around flower pots that are watered.
Originally Posted by crimsonshedemon
Thanks! I tend to have "red georgia clay" stains in areas touched by water, so I looked this up more and found this good article on how to determine if you have hard water or not:

http://atlantashomeinspector.com/pos...ostly-repairs-
~Yazmin~

My hair - 3c: MOP Mixed Greens cowash - MOP Hydrating Conditioner - MOP Extreme Moisture - Aura Hypoallergenic Gel or AG Re:coil
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Website Development ☆ ← What I Do → ★ Handcrafted, Limited Edition Jewelry
Huh, map in this link
totally different from the map in this link
The first map rings more true to me for my area of the country. Darn, I liked the idea of a simple and easy to read map for water hardness. Oh well.
http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
Cowash: Tresemme naturals
Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
My hair doesn't seem to care either, or maybe likes the hard water better? I do shampoo though. My kids also say that whenever they go somewhere with soft water they feel slimy when they shower? I've had the same feeling, like instead of rinsing cleaner the soft water just wasn't rinsing everything....
Originally Posted by Robin-in-FL
Funny thing about that. The "squeaky clean" feeling you get when you shower with hard water is actually from the hard water preventing all the soap from rinsing off your skin. The "slimy" feeling from showering in soft water is the actual feel of your hair and skin when wet after all of the soap is rinsed out.

I have a really hard time when I go on vacation and have to shower somewhere with hard water. My skin gets really dry from the residue left on it and it will crack and peel. My scalp is affected the same way and will itch and sting and scab. It also makes my hair really dry and brittle and tangle-y.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

Darn, I liked the idea of a simple and easy to read map for water hardness. Oh well.
Originally Posted by putaheya
Me too. Bummer.
~Yazmin~

My hair - 3c: MOP Mixed Greens cowash - MOP Hydrating Conditioner - MOP Extreme Moisture - Aura Hypoallergenic Gel or AG Re:coil
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Website Development ☆ ← What I Do → ★ Handcrafted, Limited Edition Jewelry
I've lived in some countries in Europe where the water is so hard that it is only used for coffee, tea, and cleaning. If people wanted to drink water, they had to buy it in bottles. What I did during those times was washed my hair with a clarifying shampoo (once in a while I used baking soda).

I understand from different articles and the local water department that most American homes have hard water.

Because I usually shampoo with a clarifying shampoo, I wouldn't know if the water was soft or hard. So, after I shampoo, I'm always able to style it.

When I'm in the pool or the ocean during the summer, I follow the same method. I do coat my hair with sunblock lotion before going into the water, though.
Mod CG-Naturally Highly Porous and Dry
This list is not exhaustive...
Winter Regimen
Pre-poo: Hempseed oil
Cowash: HE The Sleeker The Butter, Trader Joe's Moisture Conditioner
Shampoo/Clarifier:various
PT:Not for a while...
DT:
Smooth Sexy Hair Sulfate-Free Smoothing Conditioner
LI/Detangler: It's a 10!, CURLS Cashmere Curls leave-in
Stylers: various
Sealers: Tamanu oil, The Body Shop Wild Argan Solid Oil

*experimenting and loving it!


My hair doesn't seem to care either, or maybe likes the hard water better? I do shampoo though. My kids also say that whenever they go somewhere with soft water they feel slimy when they shower? I've had the same feeling, like instead of rinsing cleaner the soft water just wasn't rinsing everything....
Originally Posted by Robin-in-FL
Funny thing about that. The "squeaky clean" feeling you get when you shower with hard water is actually from the hard water preventing all the soap from rinsing off your skin. The "slimy" feeling from showering in soft water is the actual feel of your hair and skin when wet after all of the soap is rinsed out.

I have a really hard time when I go on vacation and have to shower somewhere with hard water. My skin gets really dry from the residue left on it and it will crack and peel. My scalp is affected the same way and will itch and sting and scab. It also makes my hair really dry and brittle and tangle-y.
Originally Posted by Nallia
If I lived in the olden days, and had to wash with soap, I would be crying for sure. I have experienced the feeling of soap and hard water and do not care to feel that again. But no, I am not a slimy person walking around under a thick crust of soap scum, because:

We Do Not Use Soap in my household. Because yes, it does not rinse away in hard water. No natural soaps of any kind. Detergents do fine in hard water. We use body washes but never anything with actual soap. I banned soap twenty years ago. I don't know why they even sell it in Florida, it does not work here.

I just think of hard water as mineralized water, and soft water as plain water, and softened water as slimy. As long as we use the right products I think it's fine. I grew my hair way past my butt undamaged, if hard water was damaging it I think it would have showed up on the very old hair.

And we aren't walking around peeling and stinging and scabbing, I'd notice that!
2c / C / iii (FIA)
Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

Shoulder-Length now.

Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

Henna!
Oh, no, I didn't mean that you were having skin issues like that. My second paragraph was separate from my response to you. I envy those who have no issues with hard water. I and my children have eczema and hard water exacerbates it no matter what we use. We visit FL a few times a year because most of our family is there and it's always really hard on us because of how hard the water is. But the worst I've experienced was Mexico. The water was so hard that my professionally done permanent hair color, which was over a week old, came out on the towels when I washed my hair there.

lol We don't use soap either, but nothing rinses out of my hair properly when I shower in hard water. I see what you're saying about the difference between soft water and softened water. I think it might be the salt used to soften it. I've known people who feel that all soft water is slimy so I didn't think of whether there's any difference. I miss the soft water in NYC, where I grew up. Now I have to make due with a water softener, and you're right, it isn't the same!
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

I think it all depends on what you are used to as to what you will prefer. I moved recently to a place with hard H2O from a place with soft and I hated what the hard water was like. I felt dirty every time I took a shower. Like a sticky film was left on my body & hair. I had that "squeaky dirty" feeling. I bought a shower head filter to filter out some of the chlorine (which really wasnt even the problem) and impurities but that barely did anything. Then I got the Malibu shampoo for hard water which helped a little with the buildup in my hair (and I barely use any products) but it did not help with the grimy feeling on my skin, the excessive dryness and itching, the break outs all over my body (and I used very minimal body wash!) One thing I learned is that when you have hard water you should NOT use extra soap to try to make a lather- I saw an experiment done which proved that more soap only equals more buildup- it will NOT help with cleaning!!! Also my clothes have been wearing out faster & no matter how many dryer sheets I used they were stiff after drying and stains/smells were NOT coming out but actually being "set" in instead. GROSS!! Our hard water level was a 10 which is moderately hard and I now know for a fact that it WILL NOT wash as well as soft water. We finally broke down (after 5 miserable months) & got a water softener installed yesterday!! I am SO glad to have soft water again!! I felt CLEAN after a shower for the first time in a long time! My light bouncy waves are back today- no more heavy, weighed down, dirty-feeling, tangled unmanageable mess of hair any more! My natural body oils are able to get through again because the film of soap scum is being cleansed away and my pores are opening up again! I cant wait to see the tranformation over time. I will never take my water for granted again after this whole ordeal! Also, the people that have lived here (NW Michigan) all their lives pretty much dont know any different- they have nothing to compare it to so they used to it and it seems normal to them. I am the biggest fan of soft water now and nothing can convince me of anything else after this mess.
Where I live (lived here since first grade, and I'm a senior now) we have well water which means we have very hard water. Hard water has its down sides, like you get mineral build up in your sinks and on your shower heads and in your dishwashers. But I don't have any problems with getting clean and my hair doesn't get build up with the hard water, which seems to be a big problem for most people. I house sat for a friend and he has a water softener and I hated it! I had to use way more water to get my hair clean. It also felt very slimy to me. I'm assuming that may just be the actual water softener that gave me the slimy feeling and if the water was naturally soft I may not have had that feeling. I've never showered anywhere that has actual soft water.
2c/3a with some 2b-fine/coarse-iii-low porosity-normal elasticity
Started CG 10/16/12
Co-Wash
:
Vo5 Kiwi Lime
Conditioner: Tresemme Naturals
Styling Products: La Bella Lots of Curls gel

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com