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Does water quality affect hair?

Posted Jul 16 2013 2:05am

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Karuna asks…I travel a lot. There are some places with very hard chlorinated water and some with very soft water. I notice my hair and skin feels best with soft water, more than any shampoo or conditioner I ever use. Also, I’m only in my mid twenties and I have already started getting a lot of greys. plus I seem to have a copperish brown tint in my hair which I did not have as a child. I know a lot of it is to do with genes, but does the quality of the water affect the colour? (I wash and condition my hair almost everyday). Is it worth investing in a portable water purifer? and are there any that convert hard water to soft water? Someone told me once that taking silica supplements helps with greys and hairfall? Is that really true?

The Beauty Brains respond:
It’s not surprising you notice a difference in the way your hair feels when you shampoo it with different sources of water. The minerals in hard water can deposit on hair can interact with some cleansing products.

At the very least the minerals leaving a residue on your hair that makes it look dull and feel rough. And, if the mineral cocktail includes copper it could actually be accelerating damage to hair.(At least according to ongoing research by P&G .) Theoretically this sort of damage could contribute to changes in your natural hair color. (There’s no question that exposure to water will affect artificial color from hair dyes.)

Unfortunately, portable water purifiers are really just filters that won’t remove all the hard water ions; you need a real water softener for that. You might try buying bottles of deionized water to use on your hair when traveling to cities with hard water.

Silica and other nutrients (like biotin) are very important for healthy hair growth. However, unless you’re extremely deficient in these nutrients it’s unlikely for ingesting additional quantities will provide any additional benefit. Despite what is commonly recommended on various beauty websites, there is little technical data to support the premise that taking silica will improve the health of your hair.

Image credit: http://evetus.deviantart.com

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