View Full Version : More Hard Water ?s for the chemists

October 10th, 2008, 09:54 AM
So I know there are lots of threads on this topic but I haven't seen this question.

Basically as I understand it, there are two problems with hard water, the reaction with soap and soap scum and scaling. I don't use soap or really shampoo on my hair so I shouldn't have the issue of soap scum since there isn't any soap involved to cause the scum. Scaling occurs when the water evaporates and leaves the mineral residue behind. Assuming my water is hot enough to evaporate while I'm showering (which I'm sure it is with the amount of steam in my bathroom when I'm done) and leave a film of minerals on my hair, I've read that acids work to remove hard water deposits, so an ACV rinse or similar acid rinse should take care of this if it's even happening. Oh and any high PH issues would also be taken care of by the acid rinse.

So what would the other issues be with hard water? I really can't think of any. I've been contemplating purchasing a water softener for my shower, but if it's unnecessary, why bother. I'm a CO gal so I guess there could be chemicals in the conditoner that react with the dissolved minerals, but I wouldn't know what they were?

Oh and I do use a carbon type filter to remove any chlorine or ammonia in my water.


Jivete, currently :horse:

October 10th, 2008, 10:44 AM
Your post is pretty much what I understand the situation to be. An acidic rinse should dissolve most of the minerals left in your hair by the water. Occasionally clarifying should remove just about everything that gets left behind after that.

Another option that many folks like is doing a final rinse with distilled water, or with distilled water + vinegar. That has the benefit of starting with fewer dissolved minerals in it, so it presumably can remove more from your hair.

Personally, I don't believe I've seen significant benefits to my hair when using a water softener, versus using hard water. I would be curious to compare my softened water to naturally soft water, which I imagine generally contains fewer dissolved minerals.

October 10th, 2008, 10:59 AM
It may depend on your hair type, but London water - whether it's the hardness or other additives (it can't just be the chlorine - Ithaca water, where I lived for years, smelled like a swimming pool and yet my hair was happy with city water there) - makes my hair incredibly brittle and rough.

Acid rinse by itself is not enough. I now have a filter in the shower, and do a final rinse with a half-gallon jug of water that's been through a Britta filter with a little lemon juice added to change the pH, and all of that makes my hair reasonably happy.

Really, I ought to move. :)