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View Full Version : Iron Buildup from Really Hard Water?



lengthy_locks
March 9th, 2008, 07:31 PM
I've tried to grow out my hair before, but every six months or so after a haircut the bottom one-two inches of my hair gets so much iron buildup from my hard water that it is dry, rusty-red, rough, and gets split ends very easily. My questions: Has anyone else here had this problem? and: Is there any way to get rid of the buildup without having two inches chopped off the bottom of my hair a couple times a year? One hairdresser said something about a chemical cleaner I could use, but I couldn't find it anywhere, and it doesn't sound very... um, healthy.

Raederle
March 9th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Who was it who had the miracle water she made with citric acid? Ah, here (http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:8cF5k43ObAwJ:www.forums.longhaircom munity.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D59155+miracle+water+site:foru ms.longhaircommunity.com&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a)'s a cached link. You need a chelating shampoo, I think though. The citric acid mix was to be done after each shampoo to prevent buildup IIRC.

AmandaPanda
March 9th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Definitely invest in a shower filter. There are some for regular shower heads, and some for hand helds. I can't recommend one since I have yet to purchase one

Dvips
March 9th, 2008, 08:37 PM
If you can't get a shower filter, then I definitely would suggest the chelating shampoos. I know they sell some at Sally's Beauty Supply, if there is one near you.

akurah
March 9th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Get your water tested before getting the shower filter so you know exactly what type of filter to buy. If you buy the wrong type of filter, it won't do you any good.

Ursula
March 9th, 2008, 09:00 PM
I'll second the others in saying that what you want is a chelating treatment. This is a shampoo or some other type of treatment which is designed specifically to remove minerals. You may not need to use this every wash, but you'll want to figure out the routine which uses it often enough. Nexxus AloeRid had a good reputation for this, but has been discontinued, and I haven't really followed the issue well enough to reccomend specific things to try, offhand.

You may also benefit from using a simple sulfate shampoo fairly regularly - focus on finishing with a good conditioner, as well, of course, but you may need the clean rinsing wash to help reduce buildup. A few people with water issues have had good results using TreSemme Vit. C shampoo. This is a simple formula, with ALS (which rinses very cleanly) as the primary detergent, and not much else.

If shampoo irritates your scalp, you might just shampoo from the neck down, to clean the bulk of your hair, and then do a CO soak all over to clean your scalp and condition your length. (Sort of a reverse CWC.)

Elfling
March 9th, 2008, 09:05 PM
From what I've read, the standard shower-head water filter won't do anything for the majority of minerals in the water; best it can do is filter chlorine. The more expensive whole-house filtration system can handle actually filtering iron/calcium/whatever. *Not* an expert on this so standard disclaimer applies..I was asking around a bit ago because of the heavy deposits I get in my shower from our hard water.

manderly
March 9th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I know some members have used this stuff and liked it. I have no personal experience with it, but it may be worth a try :)

http://www.ecmode.com/content/Cn_Hair_Solutions_Discoloration.aspx

movie zombie
March 9th, 2008, 10:21 PM
went to the website and was all excited to find a product that would help deal with well water! but then i read the ingredient list: EDTA! i'm horribly allergic to this chemical. sigh. i could certainly use something to remove the mineral discoloration but the rash i get from EDTA just isn't worth it. sigh.

movie zombie

Ursula
March 9th, 2008, 10:25 PM
went to the website and was all excited to find a product that would help deal with well water! but then i read the ingredient list: EDTA! i'm horribly allergic to this chemical. sigh. i could certainly use something to remove the mineral discoloration but the rash i get from EDTA just isn't worth it. sigh.

movie zombie

EDTA is (I think) the chelating ingredient. So you'll have this in any chelating product.

You might have good success by having someone wash your hair for you, with you sitting with your back to a sink, as one does in a salon. They can apply it to your length only, (neck or shoulders down) keeping it off of your scalp, and rinse well, so your hair can benefit from removing the minerals, while your skin doesn't have to deal with the EDTA. Perhaps follow with a clarifying shampoo to remove any EDTA residue, and then a good conditioning deep treatment.

Isis833
March 9th, 2008, 10:39 PM
I'll second the others in saying that what you want is a chelating treatment. This is a shampoo or some other type of treatment which is designed specifically to remove minerals. You may not need to use this every wash, but you'll want to figure out the routine which uses it often enough. Nexxus AloeRid had a good reputation for this, but has been discontinued, and I haven't really followed the issue well enough to reccomend specific things to try, offhand.

You may also benefit from using a simple sulfate shampoo fairly regularly - focus on finishing with a good conditioner, as well, of course, but you may need the clean rinsing wash to help reduce buildup. A few people with water issues have had good results using TreSemme Vit. C shampoo. This is a simple formula, with ALS (which rinses very cleanly) as the primary detergent, and not much else.

If shampoo irritates your scalp, you might just shampoo from the neck down, to clean the bulk of your hair, and then do a CO soak all over to clean your scalp and condition your length. (Sort of a reverse CWC.)

Hmm...I have some Nexxus AloeRid, a full, new bottle. Do you know why it was discontinued?

Ursula
March 9th, 2008, 10:41 PM
Hmm...I have some Nexxus AloeRid, a full, new bottle. Do you know why it was discontinued?

The shampoo was not discontinued. The "treatment" was. The treatment being an extra-chelating step to be used after shampooing.

Isis833
March 9th, 2008, 10:48 PM
The shampoo was not discontinued. The "treatment" was. The treatment being an extra-chelating step to be used after shampooing.

Oh, I see. Thank you! :)

Anje
March 9th, 2008, 10:50 PM
EDTA is (I think) the chelating ingredient. So you'll have this in any chelating product.

Yes, EDTA is a chelator of minerals. I'm pretty sure citric acid is as well. (Note that if you use citric acid, you only want a little, like 1/4-1/2 tsp per liter water, and you'll want to make sure that it's fully dissolved before you dump it on your head. Otherwise you get little acidy burny spots, which is somewhat unpleasant.)

tameriska
March 10th, 2008, 12:52 AM
I have heard that rice bran oil has chelating properties

Meezer
March 10th, 2008, 05:04 AM
I have very hard water AND I swim (double whammy), but I've found a routine that works well for me and keeps my hair soft.

Unfortunately it's not a 'natural' routine and I don't know if that's extremely important to you or not. I basically use a chelating shampoo (Ouidad Water Works) on the days that I swim (2-3x per week) and follow it up with a silicone free conditioner. The Water Works shampoo ROCKS and really removes all minerals that are attached to my hair. Even my ends are super soft. I haven't had any issues with it being dehydrated either. :)

lengthy_locks
March 10th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Wow! These forums are the most active ones I've seen in a while. I had a hard time finding my thread! I guess I'll have to subscribe the next time I start one, no?

Great advice everybody! I do believe that the "chelating" stuff is what the hairdresser mentioned, and I do recall her saying that Sally's had it. Unfortunately, there is no Sallys close by anymore.

As for the water treatments... :D We had the water tested once... the guy put a bit of our water in a test tube and added a chemical that turned it one color or another. Then he says that he will add another chemical one drop at a time until it changed to another certain color -the more drops it takes, the more iron is in our water, he said. Well, he added the chemical, drop by drop, drop by drop. Nothing happened. He finally stopped after he had put so many in that he feared he was wasting his precious chemical. He didn't know what to say... it stunned him. He said it would be quite expensive to get a filter "heavy-duty enough" for us.

Anyway, this talk about "citric acid"... could I squeeze a lemon or lime or something into some water to make a rinse good enough? How about vinegar...?

Raederle
March 10th, 2008, 11:10 AM
Maybe you could shop online for a chelating shampoo. I think that the citric acid treatment is more of a "use after each shampoo" type of thing, and it will only remove the minerals from that wetting down of the hair.

lengthy_locks
March 10th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Maybe you could shop online for a chelating shampoo. I think that the citric acid treatment is more of a "use after each shampoo" type of thing, and it will only remove the minerals from that wetting down of the hair.

Sounds good to me. Thanks!

honeybunch
March 11th, 2008, 09:26 AM
I've had water issues as well. I use distilled and bottled water instead since i don't have a filter.

movie zombie
March 11th, 2008, 11:25 AM
i may give it a try. if i wear gloves, wash my hair in the kitchen sink, and don't splash it up onto my arms, it might be ok. also, i don't wash my hair every day so perhaps it will be ok.....

movie zombie

missy60
April 10th, 2008, 10:24 PM
You could get it done in your salon and just keep it off your scalp, or get someone else to do it for you. After the treatment you could start using citric acid to keep it off. I do a final rinse with citric acid and it really helps my hair from the iron in our water. I started doing my full wash with the citric acid water but now I only wet my hair with the citric acid water and then do a final rinse with it. Im not sure how much wetting my hair with the citric acid water helps but I read some where that if you swim alot to wet your hair first before swimming. The theory was that once your hair gets wet it wont absorb as much of the chlorine water. Im not sure how true that is but its what I do.

movie zombie
April 10th, 2008, 10:34 PM
i think i'll get the malibu product and go to a salon to see if i can get the discoloration out of the ends first.

am i getting this right: you now only use citric water for washing and rinsing?

movie zombie

missy60
April 10th, 2008, 10:53 PM
Ok I know I can be so confusing sometimes. I use to use it for my whole wash but now I just wet my hair with the citric water then wash. I do CWC most of the time so I rinse out the shampoo with my tap water. I take a cup of the citric acid water then rinse with that and apply my conditioner. I then get in the shower and wash my whole body then get out and take another cup or two of citric acid water and rinse out my conditioner. This takes less then a gallon of water. I know it sounds really complicated but it really doesnt take me much more time and it helps my hair.

When I dont use the whole gallon of citric acid water in it is still clear for a day or two later. I also use it in my bath water and when washing clothes. It has really helped me out with the terrible iron water I have. I would have to get a whole house water filter to correct my water and Im going to be going on city water soon so I just cant see spending all that money right now. I guess city water will bring a whole new set of problems with the chlorine and stuff.

Silver & Gold
April 10th, 2008, 11:13 PM
You might be interested in this thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=1689).

movie zombie
April 10th, 2008, 11:31 PM
thanks for the clarification, Missy!

and, Silver, for the link!

i think i'm on my way.

movie zombie