How Water Quality Affects Curly Hair


You may never have thought about it before, but water quality greatly affects how your hair turns out every wash day. If you want to guarantee the best turnout on your wash day, your cleansing routine may need to change a few times a month. The water type we should be most concerned with is hard water, although water that is too soft can definitely affect your hair too.If you aren't sure what kind of water you have, you can contact a local water softener and treatment business that will often test it for you.  

Have you noticed your hair feeling dry and brittle lately?

Have you noticed how your hair does better (or worse) when you're at the cottage, on vacation or at a friends house? 

Is it feeling or looking weighed down?

Have you noticed more frizz than usual?

Do you feel a sticky feeling to your hair often when its dry? 

If so, you MAY have been met with hard water!

Here’s an real life client example of a client who is experiencing hard water and didn't even realize it!  Below I will share some ideas of how to correct it. 

"In the last few weeks I have really been struggling with my finished look. The curls have been weighed down; there’s barely a wave where normally there are lots of waves and curls.  No matter what styling products I chose to try and boost the curl, it just was hanging there; lifeless.  It dawned on me…I hadn’t checked my water softener in a while. I went down to the basement and this is what I found. It was EMPTY! The salt had run out.

My suspicions were correct as to why my hair wasn’t behaving.  The hard water that’s left when the salt runs out of my water softener unit, causes my wavy hair to flop and the curls to be barely there.

I solved the problem by adding a few bags of salt into the unit and voila!  I can’t wait to wash my hair again and have it back to it’s old curly self.  The bonus of having soft water is that it makes my shampoo lather and my curls bounce which makes me one happy curly girl!"

Here's the hard truth: Hard water leaves behind heavy mineral deposits on your hair that weigh it down which results in your products just sitting on top of the deposits and never soaking in as they should. If you’re a s’wavy or wavy haired girl, you will have a more difficult time getting rotations and volume when your water is hard.  Your shampoo also has a hard time lathering up, and your shampoo and conditioner won't rinse as clean, leaving a heavy or greasy feeling to the hair. Also, hard water can wreak havoc on your colour and cause blonds to turn rusty and warm tones.  

In general, hard water sucks the life out of your hair and using some of the tips below will help your hair out greatly. 

To help your curls get their groove back:

  • Install a water softener unit: It's an excellent long term solution if you are planning to stay a while in your home.  If a water softener is not an option, the next best thing is a shower head that filters at least chlorine, dirt and odours from your water but it does not necessarily filter the minerals out.  You can buy them at your local hardware stores.  It’s not the same as a water softener, but can help your curls if your water has these issues. There are many brands available on the market, so shop around and do your research to see what the filter actually claim to remove
  • Use Malibu Hard Water Wellness Shampoo: If your water is very hard, you can use this up to once a week (or as needed); it lathers well but doesn’t dry your hair out. You may need to do two shampoos on this wash day if it doesn't lather the first time
  • Use Bottled Water on wash day: Another alternative is to wash, condition and final rinse your hair over the side of your tub, or your kitchen/bathroom sink using distilled bottled water, as it doesn't have the heavy mineral deposits that your tap water may have.  It’s worth a try, as you will definitely notice better finished results when your water is soft. Remember you use distilled water in your spray bottle too for refreshing your hair. 

Water quality does make a huge difference in your hair!  When people contact me through my social media, I often wonder if they are not getting the results they want for their hair due to an issue with poor water quality.

Maybe they are doing everything right, but their water is hard and the curls are limp and frizzy as a result.

If you aren’t sure if you have hard water, you can always try this simple test. Try some of these suggestions and post your results in the comments below! I am forever a student and always learning how to help others. 

xo Krista 

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