Happy September, curl friends! Although it seems like summer has instantaneously vanished, we've still got until September the 22nd before we enter the season of fall. With that being said, a lot of us have been going on holiday! Whether it'd be a staycation or a full-on vacation to the Bahamas or somewhere idyllic like so - we've definitely been enjoying ourselves!
As we jet, sail or ride off to some of the most beautiful places in the world, it's important to remember that water isn't all the same. For instance, I recently visited Devon in the south of the United Kingdom where the water is a lot harder than in the north. And boy did I notice such a difference to my hair. Unmanageable frizz, constant dryness and my scalp even a little tender and itchy - it was safe to say that the moisture of my hair had just completely gone. Poof, vanished. As soon as I returned I knew that it was time for a reset - but first off, let's take a look at what hard water actually is.
What is hard water?
Hard water is water that contains many minerals that produce a film-like cast or coat on our curls. This cast decreases the penetration of moisture in the hair. As hard water has high concentrations of calcium and magnesium, it was expected that I would notice such a difference. There are other various dissolved minerals in hard water too, such as chlorides, sulphates and carbonates. Where I currently reside, we have soft water and the soft water consists mainly of sodium.
Hard water can be very apparent as it reacts with detergents and soaps by creating excessive soap scum, cloudy watermarks on utensils and the water itself can appear quite cloudy. Another way to find out if you live in a hard water area is to give your hands a rinse. If it feels like there is a film on your hands (a subtle one), it is more than likely that your water is hard.
Signs of hard water on your scalp & curls
Although hard water may be safe to drink, it's not so great for your scalp and curls. Here are some effects from frequent cleansing with hard water:
- Dry and brittle hair
- Lack of shine
- Irritated, itchy scalp
- Dry scalp
- Weakened skin barrier
- Loss of definition and volume
And the list goes on. That's why it is so important for us to restore hydration to our scalp and curls. We've collated 3 solutions to rid the impurities that come with cleansing with hard water.
Solution #1: Clarify
Rid impurities from hard water in an instant without stripping your hair of its natural moisture and proteins with our Coconut Mint Curl Refresh Clay Wash.
Key benefits of the Clay Wash
- Bentonite clay purifies and exfoliates
- Rhassoul clay absorbs excess oils
- Antimicrobial properties from Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp for hair growth
Press reset and encourage a healthy and balanced scalp with mineral-free curls. Clarify your curls every 3-4 weeks.
Solution #2: pH balancing rinse
Apple cider vinegar is a great natural way to lower the hair's pH level. You can add citrus juice and water to the mix to further combat hard water damage.
Key benefits of an ACV rinse
- It helps exfoliate the scalp
- It is loaded with vitamin B & C
- ACV lowers the hair's pH level
- Alleviates dry scalp conditions
How to ACV rinse
- Add 3-4 tablespoons of ACV to a bowl with 1 cup of cool water.
- Cleanse your curls with your favourite F&C shampoo and rinse.
- Pour your ACV mixture over your hair and scalp and now massage for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse the ACV out of your hair with cool water and condition as you normally would!
- Rinse out your conditioner and style as usual.
Repeat this once every 2-3 weeks if needed.
Bonus tip: Add a few tablespoons of just the ACV to your Coconut Mint Curl Refresh Clay Wash.
Solution #3: Deep condition
Key benefits of the Cream Conditioner
- Rose water excellently hydrates.
- Avocado oil replenishes and softens.
- Shea butter nourishes deeply.
- Aloe vera powder infuses even more moisture into your strands.
Repeat this at least 2 times a week if you live in a hard water area. Leave your conditioner on your hair for 15 minutes under the Insulated Shower Cap for better penetration of moisture.
How do you tackle hard water? Whether you live in a hard water area or have been on holiday and noticed the hard water - what key tips do you have for keeping your curls cared for? We'd love to know. Share with us and our curl community in the comments below, alternatively send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Team at Flora & Curl