Showering Harder Doesn’t Mean Showering More Effectively
There is nothing more relaxing than a hot shower to wash away a stressful day. What compares to that fresh, clean feeling as you slide into bed, or the confidence of shiny, bouncy hair after a morning shower?
Those showering in hard water, however, may be starting and ending their day a little differently. Dry, itchy skin. Flat, dull hair. How does hard water make such a difference?
How Your Water is Keeping You Dirty
Magnesium, calcium, iron, and other minerals in your home water can be hard on your skin and hair. These elements bind to your shampoo, soaps, and washes, and they bind onto the oils and body soil the soaps are designed to wash away, keeping them trapped on your body. This chemical reaction as the minerals react with fatty acids creates insoluble lime soaps, which are unable to clean your hair and body. Positively charged calcium ions displace the sodium ions, leaving limescale, soap scum, and other organic residues in your hair.
This is illustrated by the chemical equation:
2 C17H35COO−Na+ + Ca2+ → (C17H35COO)2Ca + 2 Na+
Knowing how hard lime scale and soap scum are to scrub off the smooth surface of your porcelain tub, imagine how hard it is to safely remove from the porous surface of your skin and hair.
If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with hard water, consider whether you’re able to create a luxurious lather with your shampoo or body wash. The heaviness of hard water makes achieving a proper lather nearly impossible.
It’s also likely that you’re using too much soap, meaning not only is there soap and body soil trapped on your skin, there’s a lot of it!
Many clients who install a water softener find there is an adjustment period while they learn how much less soap they need, and while they grow accustomed to the feeling of truly clean skin.
Hard on Your Hair
Have you ever showered at a friend’s house and instantly gone out to buy whatever shampoo was in their shower, thinking that was the reason your hair was suddenly behaving differently?
Hotels, gyms, and even your friends’ houses will all have differing levels of mineralization.
If it’s at home that you’re experiencing hard water, you may have grown so accustomed to dry and tangled hair that you think it’s genetics. The longer you’ve had hard water, the longer your skin and body have had to accumulate mineral buildup.
A home water softener will take some getting used to, as initially you’ll notice your skin feels almost slippery after a shower. This is how your skin is supposed to feel, and you won’t just grow accustomed, you’ll relearn how to love it.
If you initially notice your hair feeling dirty, greasy, or flat after you’ve switched to a softener, it is likely that you’re using too much shampoo and conditioner. As you adjust, you’ll use less and less and find your hair brighter and lighter than ever!
More manageable hair could shave precious minutes off your morning routine, as styling becomes easier, as well as a few dollars off of your shopping bill every month as you use less shampoo, body wash, and conditioner.
Getting Under Your Skin
If you really want to wash hard water problems out of your hair, you’ve got to start at the scalp.
Calcium crystalizes and builds up on your scalp and can cause dry, itchy, flaky skin.
Most people think their shampoo is causing their dryness, and buy expensive, medicated shampoos to counteract. This can make dandruff and irritation even worse.
The residue left on your skin by soap and hard water can clog pores, exacerbating eczema, acne, and dry skin problems.
Some soaps and cleansers claim to be able to counter the effects of hard water on your skin, but there is no escaping the hard water in your home. Even washing your clothes in hard water can trigger dermatitis, hives, and other skin conditions that make living in your skin an itchy, uncomfortable affair. Soap and minerals are trapped in the fabric, and you spend the day with this residue pinned to your skin.
Scratch That Itch, For Good!
The reason you think these issues are “normal” is that they are incredibly common. It is estimated that 85% of American households experience hard water. While you’re not alone, it may be time to set your family apart.
A water softener is designed to removed dissolved solids like calcium, magnesium, and iron from your water supply. With the minerals removed, you’re left with cleaner, soft water direct from your tap.
To learn more about the most effective and trusted water treatment options in the industry, contact us at 402-453-5730.