I thought I was being paranoid. But each time I’m in Melbourne (Australia), my hair drops more whenever I wash it.
Initially, I was always inclined to pin it down to the shampoo I use. But that didn’t make sense because it happens even when I use the same shampoo (as I use in Singapore).
Then it occurred to me that it could be the water – the other variable.
Hard Water and Hair Loss
What Exactly is Hard Water?
As I learn, water from rainfall is naturally soft. It gets hard as it travels through the ground, picking up minerals like calcium and magnesium and ultimately contributing to the ‘hardness’ of the water.
Natural water from rainfall is usually too salty to be consumed and needs to be treated.
Hardness of water is the measure of calcium ions, as well as other ions such as magnesium, iron and manganese.
Hard water, while generally tastes better than soft water, needs to be treated for the effects that it has on household appliances, increase in energy consumption, build up of scum in the bathtub or in between tiles.
Singapore’s treated water is moderately soft and safe to drink from the tap.
The water in Melbourne, while safe to be consumed straight from the tap, doesn’t lather as well with soap (particularly the dishwashing liquid I’m using). It doesn’t matter whether the soap contains SLS or not.
Why does this bother me? When the soap doesn’t lather, I feel the soap doesn’t seem to do its proper job of cleaning whatever I want to clean, making me use more soap than what I probably need.
In fact as I’m writing this, I notice there’s already a build up of ‘yellowish residue’ on the bottom of the new kettle I just bought. Sigh!
When Is It Safe to Use Hard Water?
This is not a post on effects of hard water but I thought it’ll be good to know what the ‘safe level of hardness’ is.
Apparently, as a general rule, in order to minimise the undesirable build-up of scale in hot water systems, the total hardness (as calcium carbonate – CaCO3) in drinking water is usually kept below 200 mg/L.
I found that the hardness level in Melbourne’s water is about 15-29 mg/L. While that seems reassuring, I still see the effects in my kettle, the general use of soap and perhaps my hair?
Can Hard Water Cause Hair Loss?
Some people may find that hard water makes their hair looks dull after wash.
For me, I find my hair mostly stiff and kind of ‘stuck together’ after I wash it and can hardly be combed, particularly when it’s still wet.
However, I notice that there is a difference when I use the iRestore Hair Growth Shampoo compared to another shampoo that I bought from Priceline.
The reason I bought the Maui shampoo is because the whole range of Maui Moisture Hair Products caught my attention.
I bought the one for weak, brittle hair and I was smitten by the ingredients used in the shampoo, that includes aloe vera juice, neem oil, castor oil and even coconut oil – all great for hair.
My intention in using both shampoos is to see if there is any difference in using these shampoos with hard water.
I have been using the iRestore shampoo since December and I feel that my hair is smoother (even with the hard water).
This is in contrast to using the Maui shampoo when my hair tends to feel course after wash. With contents like coconut oil, castor oil and neem oil, I expect my hair texture to be smoother though. But that’s not the case.
The iRestore shampoo tends to lather easier, perhaps because of its SLS content. As expected the Maui shampoo does not lather as easily owing to the fact that it is SLS-free.
How About Hair Loss?
I believe that since I have been using the iRestore Hair Growth Shampoo for about three months now, I am beginning to see its benefits in that it has reduced my hair loss.
As I run fingers through my hair, I see only about five strands on my hand (although there are still about 15 to 20 strands of hair lost right after wash).
I have to emphasize, however, that this reduction could also be due to having a holistic treatment from iRestore Hair Growth System that also includes the ‘helmet’, serum and supplements.
Using the Maui shampoo, I find there’s more hair loss as I run fingers through my hair…definitely more than after using iRestore shampoo.