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This might be hard to believe, but the seemingly crystal clear water you see flowing from the
kitchen sink tap or the shower is not only damaging to your skin and hair, it can also have harmful
effects on your overall health and wellbeing. According to the experts, the water that comes into
your home, whether it be from the city’s metro supply, a well, or even a tanker, contains a lots of
hard minerals and salts. Metro water, in particular, is treated with a toxic disinfectants, the major
one being chlorine. These chemicals when combined with the hard minerals create an H20 recipe
that can be harmful to your body, both inside and out. Here is what you need to know about the damaging effects of hard water.
How Do You Know if Your Water is Hard?
The tell-tale signs of hard water can be everywhere in your home if you know where to look. For
instance, if there’s calcified white-green deposits on your bathroom fixture fittings, that indicates
the presence of hard water. White spots on your utensils after washing are also an obvious sign.
So are yellow-white coatings on mugs, coffee cups, drinking glasses and more. In technical
terms, these deposits are what’s called limescale, and it is a major league sign that your water is
Why Hard Water can be Harmful to Your Health
The hard minerals and salts from the water coming into your home’s shower will remain on your
skin even after drying, blocking the pores which will result in dry, scaly, itchy patches. It can
also cause eczema.
It’s the same for your hair. Minerals and salts get deposited on your scalp and hair every time
you shower and bathe, causing it to become dry, frizzy, and broken. The minerals that coat your
hair prevents necessary nourishing moisture from getting inside the cuticles.
What all this means is that hard water will cause persistent damage to both hair and skin unless
you take action like making an investment in a water softener installation.
Products that Become Ineffective in Hard Water
Let’s face it, we all need to shower in order to keep our bodies clean and healthy. But soap and
shampoo become much less effective when washing in hard water. Shampooing in calcium and
salt rich water can cause calcification. What this means is, your scalp literally becomes coated
with calcium carbonate. The result is perpetual nutrient deprived hair and an itchy, scaly, flakey
Taken a step further, with every shower you take in hard water, your hair and skin will soak in
the chemicals and minerals—a situation that’s termed dermal absorption. Dermal absorption is
intended to be a way for your skin and hair to rehydrate. But if your water is hard, its chemicals
and minerals will block the hydration and result in itchy dryness and even allergies.
So What can You do to Protect Yourself from the Harmful Effects of Hard Water?
One simple and inexpensive way to protect yourself is to wash with filtered drinking water. But
if it’s not practical to use filtered water for an entire shower or bath, than use it for the last rinse
Another idea is to boil your water prior to bathing. If you have “temporary hard water,” or water
that holds calcium bicarbonate, boiling will marginalize the calcium, turning it into soft water.
Permanent hard water however, likely contains calcium sulfate, and boiling it will not make it
Shampoos Created for Hard Water
If you look hard enough at your local mega-mart, you can find shampoos that have been
engineered specifically to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp of unwanted minerals and salts
typically found in hard water. They are said to restore your hair’s health and its natural texture
and shine. It can also reduce scalp itching and flaking.
Filters for Your Tap and Shower
Those of you who are willing to make an investment in your home, but don’t have a whole lot of
cash on hand, can purchase shower and tap filters. These easy to install devices contain inner
filter cartridges that will clean your hard water of its minerals and deposits. You have the option
of either retrofitting your existing bathroom fixtures or replacing them altogether.
Water Softener Installation
The expensive but highly effective option is to invest in a water softening system that can be
fitted to the inlet line in your bathroom. In general these machines work on the principal of ion
exchange. This process is said to reduce water hardness by replacing its calcium and magnesium
with potassium and sodium.
Hard water can not only be damaging to skin and hair, it can give you internal problems as well.
No one wants to be including toxic chemicals like chlorine in their everyday diet, anymore than
they want to be ingesting calcium and minerals like metal. Investing in a water softening system,
while seemingly pricy, just might be one of the best moves you can make for keeping both
yourself and your entire family happy and healthy.