True or False: Water is the best moisturizer for curly, kinky, coily hair.
The correct answer is both. True, because water is superb in giving our hair the moisture it so desperately needs. However, the statement is also false because there’s a catch. All water is NOT created equal. Using the wrong type of water on your hair could be your worst nightmare. There are different kinds of water based on what it contains; on watch is Hair’s Most Wanted Criminal.
Hard Water : A Nightmare on Hair Street
Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals along with a high probability of salts and the ghastly chlorine. Have you ever seen a whitish film on your shower head? How about a ring around your bathtub? Those are hard water’s fingerprints left all over the crime scene.
The minerals in hard water, such as calcium and magnesium, are attracted to our beautiful curls. They stick to them creating a barrier of film that lives on our cuticles. The film barrier prevents moisture from lubricating our hair and produces a layer of buildup on the scalp making it dry, flaky, and causing dandruff. Remember that film on your shower head? That’s the same film living on your hair cuticles and building up on your scalp.
Hard water also interferes with the cleansing power of shampoos and conditioners which make it tough to clean our hair. We respond by using more shampoo and more conditioner to achieve that clean feel, but unfortunately, we’re adding insult to injury because this creates product buildup on the cuticles. Remember the ring around your bathtub? That’s the same ring (product buildup) forming around your hair cuticles.
As you can see, the use of hard water over time will wreak havoc on your hair. By the way, did I mention how it also blows a kiss of death on our hair color changing it and making it dull?
Don’t you worry natural babes; we have top notch security at our disposal. Here are some solutions to ward off hard water damage.
1. Shower head water filter – balances the pH water and filters out the unwanted minerals
2. Chelating shampoo*- has EDTA that will bind and remove those nasty minerals.
3. Clarifying shampoo* – removes product buildup.
4. Vinegar rinse – doing a final rinse with 2 cups of distilled water to 2 tbsp. of vinegar.
*Follow up with a deep moisturizing treatment after using a chelating or clarifying shampoo because these can be drying. Only use these shampoos a maximum of once per week.
Check out this color-coded photo to reveal the levels of hard water in your area.
Tiffani Davis, founder of the Natural Hair Guru, is an enthusiastic hair lover who has even been described as a total hair geek! Intrigued with hair ever since she was rocking pigtails, she is ever so eager to help any and everyone on their hair journey. Tiffani aims to help people show off their true potential with amazing, vibrant hair for as she says “There’s gorgeousness in every hair strand, the trick is to unlock it; I have the key.” Visit the Natural Hair Guru Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/thenaturalhairguru or contact her at NaturalHairGuru@gmail.com.