Is My Water Ruining My Hair?
Signs of Hard Water on Hair
Why is my hair dry?
Why does my hair feel brittle?
Why does my hair have a greenish tinge?
If you have asked yourself such questions, you are not alone. These and other conditions are common effects that water quality can have your hair. If you've recently moved, live with copper pipes and/or wash your hair in heavily chlorinated water then it’s possible that your tap water is harming your hair.
While tap water is often treated to a baseline standard for human consumption, there is still a lot of variability in water quality chemistry. Certain concentrations of chemicals in your tap water (shower water) might be causing your hair problems.
Why Is My Hair Dull and Brittle?
Hard water is water that has elevated concentrations of minerals, namely magnesium and calcium. It is proven that hard water can cause hair to have a weaker tensile strength, meaning that hair can break more easily. Hard water can also leave a layer of minerals on the hair and scalp that prevents water from breaking through and moisturizing, leaving you with brittle hair and a dry scalp. Dry hair often results in dullness and frizz.
Hard water also prevents the lathering of soaps, which can decrease the ability for shampoos and conditioners to work on your hair. It is also suggested that hard water can weaken hair dyes and potentially turn hair grey.
There are many telltale signs to indicate you have hard water. For example, you might notice a mineral deposit, known as scale, on your faucets or other plumbing appliances. You may also notice white or grey stains on your glassware.
It has been said that soft water can cause your hair to look flat, but at this time we could not find any studies to back up the effects of soft water on your hair.
Why Is My Hair Green?
If you are noticing that your hair is turning green, it might be the case that your tap water has high levels of chlorine or copper.
Greenish, brittle hair due to chlorine in the water is common among swimmers who spend a large amount of time swimming in pools with high concentrations of chlorine. Chlorine concentrations can also be high in drinking water (but not as high as swimming pools).
Chlorine is the most common disinfectant used to kill disease-causing pathogens in tap water. Chlorine levels are maintained in our water after leaving water treatment plants in order to kill pathogens that live in the pipes.
Normal, healthy hair has a thin layer of natural oil that protects the hair itself from over drying. Chlorine strips away those natural oils and can then cause your hair and scalp to dry out quickly. Excessive exposure to chlorine can make your scalp itchy and your hair turn brittle and green.
Additionally, showering with hot water can open your hair follicles so they absorb more chlorine. Although many postulate that chlorine causes hair loss, there were no studies that indicated that being the case.
Concerned about chlorine levels in your water? You aren’t alone and Tap Score can help! The Advanced City Water Test includes testing for chlorine and related compounds that may be making bad hair days worse! The results from this high-precision lab test also include treatment recommendations. So, if your water does have high chlorine, the Tap Score team of chemists and water treatment experts will include personalized treatment recommendations to help.
Chlorine isn’t the only culprit when it comes to green, brittle, or dry hair. Your hair might look green because of the concentration of copper in your tap water. When copper undergoes a chemical reaction known as oxidation, it turns green. Deposition of copper on hair in this oxidized form causes your hair to have a greenish tint!
The most common way for copper to get into your tap water is through the corrosion of copper pipes, faucets, and appliances. A sign that copper is in your water is if you notice blue-green stains on your clothing and fixtures, or if your water has an unfavorable metallic favor.
How Do I Know If I Have Hard Water?
If every day seems to be a bad hair day, it may be time to test your tap water. SimpleLab provides a variety of water testing options, including general tests for utility and well water. Water testing can include anything you want, for example water hardness, magnesium, calcium, copper, chlorine and more. Reach out to the Tap Score team if you have questions about which water test might be right for you!
Every Tap Score Report includes a detailed breakdown of all parameters tested, presented in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Take a look at an example Tap Score Report here. Every test also includes personalized and unbiased treatment recommendations to address any potential issues we find in your water.
More questions? Reach out to our team of water scientists and engineers anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.