Many people spend a lot of money on soaps, shampoos, beauty care products, and more. They are trying to do the right things to make their skin and hair look great, but the results are not matching their efforts. The problem in most cases, the results can be improved significantly when a switch is made from hard to soft water. In this article, we will look at how hard and soft water affect skin and hair.

Understanding Hard Water

Approximately 85% of American homes receive hard water which is water that contains an elevated level of dissolved minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and more. The hardness of the water will vary depending on where you live and certain other factors. The mineral content is added as the water passes through various strata of soil, rock, and sand. Water is a solvent, it can dissolve many materials, and these are added to the makeup of the water. Hard water is safe to consume, but it damages the plumbing pipes, water using appliances, and it affects our skin and hair.

How Does Hard Water Affect Our Skin and Hair?

The minerals and chemicals present in hard water leave behind a residue on the skin and hair, which prevents the formation of natural oils. Pores are clogged, hair becomes tangled, and this can lead to itchy skin and bad hair days. Attempting to rinse this material away with more hard water doesn’t work, and those with sensitive skin tend to suffer more. If the hair is color-treated, the minerals bond to the hair, and this can make the colors look dull, and they fade quickly. Another annoying aspect of hard water minerals is that they inhibit the formation of soap suds which reduces the cleaning power. Adding more soap or shampoo to compensate doesn’t work, and it’s simply a waste of money. The excess material in the soap becomes soap scum which is a sticky material that’s an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water has been treated by an ion-exchange water softener which has swapped the mineral ions for more benign salt ions (sodium or potassium). Soft water is safe to consume, and when it’s used for washing, it can give skin and hair a slippery feel. This may seem strange at first, but the lack of hard mineral content allows the skin and hair to lubricate with natural oils. The result is softer skin and cleaner hair which is easier to manage. There is a drawback, soft water can make hair feel too relaxed or flat, but this can be negated if with a switch to a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Soft water lathers very easily and most people notice that they use less soap and shampoo with no lack of cleaning power. This phenomenon is noticeable on laundry day too; less detergent can be used, and the washing cycle can be set at a lower temperature.

If you want to install a water softener in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.