View Full Version : What is "hard" water?

August 9th, 2014, 01:36 PM
How do you know if you have "hard" water? I live in Washington state and I don't know what the water conditions are here, "hard" or "soft". What's the difference and does it really have an effect on what you can do with your hair?

August 9th, 2014, 02:46 PM
I don't know about the effect but I can tell you how to know if you have it. Make a cup of tea without milk. If you see this filmy stuff on top or on the sides of the cup when you drink it or pour it out, that means you hard water.

August 9th, 2014, 02:49 PM
Hard water has a lot of minerals dissolved in it. The most common is calcium.
It depends on where you are in Washington. I'm in the Puget Sound region, and the water here is soft.

August 9th, 2014, 02:54 PM
Hard water contains more minerals while soft water I believe contains more sodium. This is not including chlorine and fluoride which are often added to our water supplies. Hard water creates more of a build up on your hair and can keep it from being as soft as you want it. There are many tricks you can find online to find out which you have, and sometimes you can even just look it up on your city's water bureau website. Softness and hardness don't necessarily depend on state because different regions often get their water from different sources.

Hope that helped!

August 9th, 2014, 03:19 PM
I swim in very hard water a lot : If you have very hard water,your hair will feel stiff and rough and as if powdered for no reason,and you might have something dandruff-like in your hair,which is what very hard water leaves when it evaporates,a kind of a residue,like you'd get from salt water.

August 9th, 2014, 07:28 PM
How often do you have to de-limescale your kettle? How about your taps/drains/sinks/etc.? That'll pretty much tell you.

August 9th, 2014, 07:51 PM
I live in western wa where the water is soft. I went to school in eastern wa where the water is hard but I didn't know it until my iron spewed out black stuff. Didn't know I was supposed to use distilled water in it due to the minerals.

August 9th, 2014, 09:16 PM
I grew up in Mississippi where the water is very soft. I live in Tennessee now, where the water is somewhat hard. My hair and skin went absolutely batty after the move, and it resulted in my cutting my almost WL hair back to CBL because of dryness and tangling. My hair now feels very stiff, dry, and "coated" after a wash, even with clarifying, whereas when I had soft water it felt clean and soft. Detangling has become a nightmare. I had to find products that worked with the water in my area, namely Nature's Gate.

If you do have hard water, you'll notice areas in your bathtub/shower that have a hard, crusty, calculus-type material caked on them (especially around the faucets) and/or limescale on the chrome bits. The walls and floor of the tub will have a rough, almost waxy feel after they're dry. This crusty rough material is very difficult to clean off, even with cleaning products. I have to use either Barkeeper's Friend or Lime Away to clean it.

August 10th, 2014, 06:55 AM
I have very hard water. I even have to mix some citric acid in my little spray bottle I use to clean glass when I don't want to use glass cleaner (like the aquariums). Otherwise I get hard water spots and streaks left behind when it dries.

August 10th, 2014, 10:18 AM
I live in an area with pretty soft water, but most people in the USA have hard water. You can look up your municipality's water quality report. They should put one out at least once a year.

I also use a shower filter which takes out anything from the pipe systems.

Wiki explains hard water in heavy detail: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water

I can't stand showering in areas with hard water. My skin dries up, my hair gets crispy, and I never feel clean. I never break out, but hard water will make me get these awful cystic pimples that will take a couple months to go away. That's why I only oil wash my face when I'm on vacation, unless it's a place with soft water.

I have gone on vacation to places with even softer water than home, and my hair and skin get so unbelievably soft and everything rinses off like a dream. My thick iii hair takes half the time to rine out than it does at home.

August 10th, 2014, 03:14 PM
If you have very soft water your skin will feel slippery. When you wash your hands it will feel as if the soap is still on.

When you have hard water it will feel "regular" and if you have very hard water your skin will feel squeaky clean in a bad way. Your skin will look and feel dry and your hair might be a frizzy mess. At least that is my experience. At uni the water is so hard and my hair had never been worse - it was dry, frizzy, and tangled very easily.

August 10th, 2014, 04:18 PM
We've had the hardest of hard water here for all my life. And it doesn't make one bit of difference on my hair whatsoever, but then I don't *know* what soft water is. I once had my hair rinsed with distilled water (my mom washes it for me, due to health reasons), and it didn't make one iota of difference.