Water quality affects hair health
Water affects many of the aspects of our daily lives. We drink it, cook with it, clean with it, shower in it.
According to the 2011 Little Rock Water Quality Report, “Central Arkansas Water receives its supply from two surface water sources, Lake Maumelle in Pulaski County and Lake Winona in Saline County. Both lakes can supply water to Jackson Reservoir, a regulating reservoir located within the Little Rock city limits at Reservoir Park.”
Little Rock’s water supply is considered to be very good, scoring an 89 out of 100 whereas the U.S. as a whole only scores 55 out of 100 possible points. This is a measure of the quality of Little Rock’s water supply as rated by the EPA in June 2012. The EPA measures the watershed quality using a complex method that tests 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges.
However, if you’ve noticed a layer of grime on your showers, sinks, and dishes, or you’ve been losing more hair in the shower since you came to UALR, this could be due to hard water. Hard water can be caused by a calcium buildup in the water. Calcium deposits form in water pipes and can affect our tap water.
If you are living in an older building, you might experience more calcium in your water than say, a freshman that just moved into West Hall. The water is fine, but when the water is heated, evaporated, and drained from your sink or shower, deposits can leave a fine residue on the various surfaces the water contacted.
Another issue, one that girls complain most often about, is the water’s effect on your hair. “Hard water is alkaline and alkaline liquids cause the cuticles of your hair to lift up. When your hair cuticles are raised your hair feels rough and it is often prone to tangling and breakage,” according to TruResource Guide.
Minerals in the water can weaken your hair and cause it to break. The best advice experts give is to use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are designed to strip away impurities like minerals and build up of chemicals from your hair. Such a product will help restore you hair back to health and give it shine. Using a conditioner appropriate for your hair type is also important. Using conditioner helps prevent you from stripping away all of the healthy oils that your hair needs.
Another tip involves using apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair. Mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and two cups of water and then pour the mixture over your hair as a final rinse. Because of its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar tightens and closes raised cuticles. This allows your hair to retain more moisture and encourages healthier growth.
Although changing the quality of our water is not an option, thankfully there are ways for us to work around it.