Rather than constantly replacing shampoos and conditioners, it may be time to invest in a water softener and conditioning system. Many studies have shown that there is a significant discrepancy between the results of using either soft or hard waters when bathing. If your hair is noticeably dry, puffy, and overall dehydrated following a wash, the minerals contained within may be too harsh on your strands.
The difference between hard and soft mainly has to do with the content level of magnesium and calcium. Because these and other minerals are absorbed through underground aquifers, there is a wide range of “textures” that can be found across the country, varying from soft to moderate to hard. In fact there is such a great variance, people who travel to a new city may be confused at first by the results of those showers. While people tend to say is they feel “cleaner” after a hard shower, the description is not accurate. In fact, a thin layer of soap scum is left on the body and hair. This layer feels so natural that it is mistaken as a clean sensation, when in reality it is the opposite. Water softener is much better at cleaning, which is why it may not feel that way at first. It doesn’t create any barriers on the skin or hair which means that natural oil development will be more noticeable and may seem to increase at first.
So what does all of this mean when it comes to bad hair days? Certain types of hair may benefit more from a water softener system. On the whole, people with coarse, curly hair that tends to frizz in humidity will find their locks smoother over time. Because not as many natural oils are being stripped from the hair follicles, there is less dryness, which is often the reason for a frazzled appearance or split ends. Curls smooth out and regain their shape, and some people report glossier and healthier-appearing strands. People who suffer from dandruff or other dry scalp and skin problems also tend to prefer the results of using a water softener as it can help moisturize and relieve itching and tightness.
Water softener systems aren’t ideal for every hair type. People with fine and limp locks often complain that it leaves their hair flat and too greasy. Sometimes it may feel as if the shampoo suds or conditioner hasn’t completely rinsed out. In these cases, using less hair products can help improve the results while still reaping the other benefits of the system such as fresher laundry. Drying the hair with a blow dryer following a wash can also help inject some volume into the style. But usually the main problem is getting through a short period of adjustment for both individual perception as well as the physical changes that occur. The body can sometimes overcompensate and produce more oils initially, producing the “unclean” feeling. After a few weeks of showers, people often learn to embrace these changes.