beautyhair care

dead sea salt clarifying shampoo + the effects of hard water

When we were house-hunting last year, I was looking for a few key features like four bedrooms, a pool and a garage.  Smaller things were on my list too like a water softening system.  The house we found checked off most of my list and so far, has proven to be a perfect match for my family.  Here in the desert, we have very hard water that left untreated wreaks havoc on your hair, skin and fixtures/appliances.  While a water softening system has greatly reduced the time I spend cleaning my glass showers doors and faucets, today I’m just talking about the beauty benefits (+ a DIY detoxifying, clarifying shampoo)!

I grew up in central Virginia, which naturally has nearly soft water.  When I moved west to California, I noticed an immediate change in the way my hair and skin felt.  It was the hard water!  Some years later, I was getting the full tour of my friend’s newly purchased home.  She went on and on about how amazing the water softening system she had installed was – how her skin felt so soft she sometimes forgot to even moisturize!  I cataloged this in my brain for a future moment when I would be purchasing my own home.

During my rental years in California, I developed mild eczema that would flare up in the winter and the summer months.  I figured this was just something my naturally dry skin was doing now.  Bummer.  Then our house came along, water softening system included, and something miraculous happened – my eczema flair-ups never came back.  My skin feels softer, cleaner and more moisturized.  My hair feels softer and looks shinier and with more volume.

Let’s recap.

how hard water effects hair and skin

  • Hard water makes the scales on hair stand up, resulting in rough and tangled hair (aka straw hair) that looks dull and dry, even brittle.
  • Hard water (specifically calcium and magnesium minerals) build up in the hair and trap shampoo residue, leaving hair weighed down and limp.
  • Hard water is full of minerals that make it harder to rinse soap from skin, leaving residue that can be irritating and drying to skin.
  • Hard water can cause flare-ups in people who suffer from psoriasis, eczema and other skin problems.
  • Hard water used to launder clothing can leave detergent residue on the clothes, which can irritate skin, creating dry, itchy and even rashed patches.
  • Hard water makes it difficult to rinse all soap from the skin, which can block pores, trapping dirt and oil under the skin, leading to acne breakouts.

Maintaining your water softening system is super easy.  You simply just have to make sure to add salts to the tank, where the hard water is filtered through and minerals are removed.  I use Morton Water Softening Salt, which I pick up at my local hardware store using coupons sent to me.  It is what the previous owners used and so I’ve stuck with it.  The results have been incredible!  Morton Salt bags are easy to open and all you need to do is dump amount into your tank. To find out if you have hard water, visit Morton Salt to fill out a quick form and they will send you will send you a free water test strip.

Once your system is installed and ready to go, let’s get rid of hard water build-up in your hard water hair with a clarifying shampoo.  I find most clarifying shampoos on the market to be really harsh and drying.  Your hair has been through enough with all the hard water, so let’s go gentle yet detoxifying!

Start with your favorite, sulfate-free shampoo.

The key is SALT!  Again, salt to the rescue.  Sea salt naturally de-greases hair by removing dead skin cells, dirt, hard water minerals and product build-up (all the gunk hard water trapped).  This will deep cleanse your hair, giving your hair new life in volume and shine.  This is not an everyday shampoo – do not use more than once a month for a true deep clean.

DIY detoxifying shampoo

  • 3 Tbl sea salt
  • 2 Tbl sulfate-free everyday shampoo
  • 1 Tbl coconut oil
  1. Combine all ingredients together.  Wash hair with the mixture, focusing on the entire scalp.  Rinse thoroughly.  Rinse again with cold water to seal the hair follicles.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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