Softened Water Hair Damage

Since I moved into my university dorm this year, my super-fine 3b hair's been getting progressively worse. It's gotten extremely dry and the back has completely matted itself into something similar to (but much less attractive than) dreadlocks. In addition to this, my hair is breaking off and falling out in large quantities; I'm pretty sure I've lost about 20% of it's total volume since moving in. It's really, really bad.

I initially thought this must be due to hard water, but I spoke to the facilities manager at my dormitory and he tells me that the water in the dorms is softened in brine tanks (that is, with salts). I've found a tiny bit of information online claiming that the phosphates in softened water can also aggravate hair. Does anyone have experience in dealing with this?

I'm probably going to start rinsing my hair with spring water (will that work? I don't know?) but any other suggestions are very welcome.

Things I've tried:
Starting to shampoo again (used to be no-poo, thought shampoo might remove mineral buildup. No dice.)
ACV Rinse (This seemed to work really well the first time I tried it, but since then it hasn't seemed to do much. I'm worried about screwing with the pH of my hair excessively when I don't really know what's going on.)
Malibu Hard Water Wellness kit (described as working for softened water too. This definitely helped, but I'm still looking for other things to try.)

This is kind of a matter of opinion I guess, but I'm also not sure what to do about the mats of hair, which are in a kind of inconspicuous spot at my nape... Should I untangle them with my hands and lose a bunch of hair/volume in the process despite the fact that they may very well re-form, or leave them in and just... sort of leave them be?

Any help is really appreciated. I've been losing a lot of sleep over this lately...

Last edited by hikikomori; 11-22-2013 at 10:11 PM.
I'm afraid I can't help you with soft water advice, but yes, you should finger detangle the mats. I'd suggest getting some coconut oil to apply to dry hair first, or using something called Slip, made by Curly Hair Solutions, on wet hair.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008

Last edited by Morgan_Adcock; 11-28-2013 at 11:23 AM.
If you are a university student you need to look at your diet, sleep, exercise and stress levels.

I've lived and stay in many different areas with different types of water and if any of those out of sync then my hair suffers.
Hmmm.

Well if the Malibu thing is working then keep it around.

What is your hair texture? (Fine, medium, coarse)

My hair is fine, and can get matted at the nape, but only if it's over-conditioned. Since I use protein regularly, it doesn't happen.

You can try washing and rinsing your hair in distilled water. It should work but budget?
fine - low/normal porosity - medium density - normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Cowash: Cure Care diluted with water 1:1
RO: Cure Care, V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: no guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, gelatin gel

Recent findings: my hair likes Cure Care diluted with water as a cowash; does NOT like guar h.c.!

iherb discount code: CFN646
It can be a huge challenge trying to figure out why your hair is falling out. I personally found that my hair depends on my taking in the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals. I started taking a daily supplement designed for the health of my hair to help make sure that i am getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals. I try to balance my diet properly, but as a busy housewife and mom it can be a huge challenge at times. I did notice that I didn't have to clean out the drain as much when I use a supplement and my hair doesn't break off as easy either. I also have to be very careful with the conditioners I use, as well. It really has a tendancy to dry out when I use conditioners to much and don't eat enough iron, zinc, or vitamin E.

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