What's the difference between hard water and soft water?

What's the difference between hard water and soft water?
One of the most important elements when it comes to taking care of your hair is water. What are you using to wash your hair and how does that impact your hair?

According to a Drinking Water Analysis Summary conducted by the city of Toronto in 2011 the average hardness of water is 124 milligrams per litre in the GTA. This is considered by government standards to be moderately hard water. But, what does this mean? And what does it have to do with my hair?

Understanding the impact that hard vs soft water can have on your hair health is essential. It is an eye-opener! Today we’re going to cover information about this topic that has not been brought to the attention of many people. You need to have a hard talk with your water … about its hardness.

What is hard water?

Hard water, unlike pure distilled "soft" water, has minerals in it (e.g., calcium, and magnesium). Rainwater is naturally soft, but it collects mineral deposits on the ground, and these are not filtered out before they reach homeowner taps and showers. This has no adverse health effects - in fact, these minerals are actually excellent to drink!

The challenges of using hard water on your hair

But hard water isn’t a good hair companion. It can leave your tresses feeling dry and dull, making styling more difficult, and ultimately causing breakage.

Hard water impacts coloured hair

If you've coloured your hair, hard water can have a negative effect on that as well. The minerals and ions in water can destructively interact with your strands to leave them looking dull. It decreases the duration and vivaciousness of your colour.  

Hard water impacts cleansing products

On top of this, hard water decreases the efficiency of cleansing products. It doesn’t allow soaps to lather as easily and chemically reacts with them to produce salts that don't clean. On average, you will need more shampoo to wash your hair and will use more soap in your day-to-day cleansing routine.

What does soft water do?

Soft water is better for your hair (and for cleansing !). With soft water, hairstyles better, colouring jobs last longer, and your locks have to endure less dryness.

How do I find out if my water is hard?

There are several ways to test for hard water in your home. You can run a simple soap test, check the latest water reports from your municipality, or use a DIY Test Kit.

If you find that your water is hard, you can invest in a showerhead hard-water filter - but a simpler way to deal with hard water is to limit exposure as much as possible by only washing your hair when absolutely necessary, and using dry shampoos to stay fresh.

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