While soft water has many effects on your hair, two of the most obvious effects are cleanliness and overall texture and feel.
What Is Soft Water?
“Soft” water is usually water with a lower calcium content, a characteristic that often results in a heavier and better lather in shampoos and other cleansing products. This usually results in cleaner hair as the shampoo penetrates deeper into each strand. However, a thorough cleanse can strip some of the essential oils from your hair, which can cause curls to look listless, flat, or dull.
The Effects Of Soft Water On Hair
Soft water lacks high calcium levels, so it won’t cause the same problems for hair as hard water. Depending on the condition of your hair, washing with softer water may result in smoother, shinier strands. In addition, perms, relaxers, and dyes won’t fade as quickly, and since the water is low in calcium, you’ll run less risk of damaging your hair.
To be clear, softened water cannot completely change your hair’s natural texture. You can’t expect frizzy hair to become straight after washing it in soft water or vice versa. Your DNA determines these traits. So far, scientists have discovered that oval-shaped follicles produce straight hair, while curved follicles produce wavy, curly, or curly hair.
Hair washed with soft water will benefit more from the shampoo you use to remove excess calcium deposits. This will make your hair softer, but you may also notice that your hair is greasy.
Does It Affect Your Shampoo?
One of the most significant and noticeable effects of soft water on your hair is how well your shampoo works and how clean your hair will look. People who soak their hair in soft water often see more suds than in calcium-rich water, partly because calcium ions tend to bind the shampoo and hair, reducing the resulting suds. On the other hand, those who use soft water usually don’t need much detergent because of a bit of work.
Natural soaps like castile soap tend to leave a residue after washing, making hair look sticky and greasy when washed with hard water. In these cases, using soft water on the hair works better because any residue is easily washed away. However, as people increasingly migrated to urban areas and, in many cases, did not have direct access to soft water, manufacturers began developing alternative cleaners, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, to perform well in hard water conditions.
Otherwise, the only option available is to purchase a water softener or shower filter to soften hard water so it can be cleaned more effectively.
Recommended Shampoo Frequency
Because over-washing can lead to dry or greasy hair, it’s essential to find the right balance. Unless your job or lifestyle has you getting dirtier or sweating more than average, you don’t need to wash your hair daily. Those with greasy hair may need to wait at least a day before washing. People with normal hair should wait two days between shampooing. People with dry hair should wash their hair less often — no more than once or twice a week.
Your hair texture can also affect the ideal frequency of shampooing. For example, thinning hair should be washed every other day to remove built-up oil. Shampoo about every two days; thick hair works best. Textured hair, especially African-American hair, will stay healthiest when washed once a week.
Soft water lacks high calcium levels, so it won’t cause the same problems for hair as hard water. Depending on the condition of your hair, washing with softer water may result in smoother, shinier strands. Overwashing can lead to dry or greasy hair. It’s essential to find the right balance.
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Julia is a professional hairstylist that worked in different hair salons in the U.K and Australia. Julia has worked with some of the greatest hair care brands and attended many Hairstyling fairs in Europe and North America. Julia is here to share her tips and knowledge with you, to help you get that "dream hair" you want.