Effects of Well Water/Hard Water
Domestic well water is ground water. The source of ground water is from rain passing through aquifers, which are layers of minerals. The acidity (pH below 7) of the rain increases the dissolving effect of minerals. These dissolved solids are found in the water when pumped above the ground and used to bathe.
The majority of ground (well) water is hard. The level of calcium that is found naturally from the ground determines the hardness of water. While calcium is the element that determines hardness of water, there are many other elements in well water that effect hair, scalp and skin.
While well water is fine for drinking, it can cause many problems for your hair, scalp and skin including:
Hair feels dry or damaged. It is resistant to color/highlighting, perming or relaxing/straightening. It's discolored by iron build-up (orange or rust color) or by copper build-up (blondes tint green, dark hair darkens). Hair lacks body and shine, is thinning or breaking, or color fades too quickly. Highlights turn "ruddy" or discolored. Perms fall out. Scalp is flaking, itching or inflamed. Scalp is dry. Symptoms of Dandruff/Eczema on scalp. Skin feels dry, skin flakes, and/or symptoms of eczema on skin.
What are the well water minerals that effect hair?
Calcium, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Silica and Lead
How do minerals found in well water effect hair?
How calcium effects hair:
Calcium causes hair to feel dry and lack shine and volume. It can prevent the proper processing of color, highlights, perms or relaxer/straighteners and can cause a perm to appear relaxed. Calcium builds up on the scalp causing flaking of the scalp, giving the appearance of dandruff. Calcium can choke the hair at the mouth of the follicle causing the hair to break off, then coating the scalp, blocking further new hair growth.
How iron effects hair:
Iron leaves hair feeling dry, brittle and weighted down. It causes lack of shine and can cause dark hair to tint darker and blonde hair to turn orange. Iron can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners
How copper effects hair:
Copper discolors hair causing blonde hair to turn green and dark hair to tint darker. Copper can weigh hair down and cause dryness, and can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
How magnesium effects hair:
Magnesium causes hair to lack shine, feel dry, appear weighted down therefore lacking volume, and can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
How silica effects hair:
Silica causes many of the same effects on the hair as calcium. It causes hair to feel dry, lack volume, and can cause dandruff-like symptoms of flaking. Build-up of silica can choke the hair follicle causing hair to fall out.
How lead effects hair:
Lead can cause the hair to feel dry. Lead can prevent the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
Treatment for well water and hard water conditions are available in a variety of products, such as demineralizing shampoos and conditionersand from products such as Malibu 2000’s Crystal Gel Treatment. Visiting a local salon and speaking with a stylist can help identify corrective treatment for well water users.