- The water quality in Bangalore has worsened due to population growth and industrialization.
- Bangalore relies heavily on groundwater, which has high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) exceeding safe limits.
- Hair fall is a common issue among Bangaloreans, especially young adults, due to hard water.
- Hard water causes lather issues, dryness, frizziness, ionization, scalp issues, and hair cuticle issues.
- Prevention methods include using water softeners/RO systems, shower filters, purified bottled water, choosing the right shampoo and conditioner, using moisturizing masks, and considering PRP/PRF treatments for hair loss.
The quality of water in Bangalore has deteriorated over the past few decades. With a growing populous, the issue gets worse every year. The influx of industries and IT centers makes it harder to acquire safe-to-use water.
Bangalore, for the most part, relies on its groundwater to meet the city’s growing demands. Bangalore’s hard water has an alarming TDs level of over 1600 mg per litre. The prescribed safe level of TDs for drinking water is 500 mg.
Such high TDS levels in groundwater pose many health hazards. The most common ones are associated with skin and hair fall problems. Hairfall is the most obvious and predominant issue that many in Bangalore face.
The largest demographic of Bangaloreans facing hair fall issues are young adults.
5 Reasons Why Hard Water Causes Hair Fall
Lather Issues: Hard water, due to its composition, does lather as much as soft water. Soaps and Shampoos do not combine well with water due to the fatty acids. Instead of producing lather, they form a sticky mass known as soap scum which is hard to wash off.
The calcium that causes this soap scum also deposits in your hair, causing long-term damage. Calcium can also build up in your scalp, causing skin issues as well.
- Dryness and Frizziness: Hard water, instead of moisturizing your hair, dries it out. Prolonged exposure to hard water can cause your hair to become frizzy. This, in turn, can cause issues such as tangling, breakages, and thinning.
Hair without any moisture can also contribute to dry scalp and dandruff.
- Ionization: Minerals in hard water with high TDS levels often carry a positive charge. These minerals bond with the negatively charged hair and cling on. The presence of heavy and often corrosive minerals can weaken your hair strands.
This effect of course, causes a build-up of minerals over time. This can speed up the withering process. The minerals also weaken the effects of oils, shampoos, and conditioners. The minerals also cause oxidation which can cause hair damage.
- Scalp issues: Hard water is known to cause several scalp issues. Existing conditions such as Eczema and alopecia worsen with the use of hard water. Hard water absorbs moisture and makes the scalp dry. Hard water also tends to stick to the scalp surface longer.
The build-up of minerals in the scalp is a major reason for scalp problems. Heavy minerals such as manganese and magnesium can cause many scalp issues.
- Hair Cuticle Issues: Hard water and the many minerals it carries can build up in the cuticles of your hair. Hard water lifts the cuticles of your hair, exposing the main hair shaft. That can weaken your hair and cause various issues, such as breakage.
What Can I Do to Protect My Hair?
While hard water’s effects on the hair can be harmful, these are reversible. There are many remedies to repair your scalp and fix hair problems. But prevention is often better than cure. So, here are some effective methods to protect your hair from hard water.
Use a Water Softener/RO
Turning your hard water into soft water is the best solution to protect your hair and body. There are many water softeners out there that you can use to treat your water. A whole-house water softener ensures the safety and longevity of water-related appliances.
Water softeners can remove impurities and reduce your TDs to safe levels. Bear in mind though water softeners can be quite expensive. Maintenance can also be an expensive affair. Water consumption will also be much higher.
Get a Shower Filter
A more cost-effective alternative to reduce the TDs levels of your bath water is a shower filter. These filters go in your shower heads or somewhere in the connecting pipe. These are easy to install and easy to use.
You can also install such filters in your kitchen taps and other outlets. These filters will have to be replaced often, though.
Use Purified Bottled Water
As an immediate remedy to help protect your skin and hair, you can use purified bottled water. Water cans can cost you anywhere between Rs. 30 to 75 for 20 liters. Purified water cans are safe enough to drink, so the TDs levels are among the lowest.
Bottled water may have TDs levels as low as 120 PPM. Canned water is also ozonized and has optimal pH levels for safe consumption. Like with an RO or softener, bottled water is free of any bacteria or fungi.
You can also rinse off your hair after a hard water shower for an effective treatment. Be thorough with your rinses, though.
Choose the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
The first step toward combating the harmful effects of hard water is using the right shampoo. If you have used hard water for a long time, a clarifying shampoo can help remove the mineral buildup.
These shampoos can be used once a week or even once a month, depending on your TDs levels and the harshness of the water. Remember that if used daily, clarifying shampoos can have an adverse effect.
Use Moisturizing Masks
Hair moisturizing masks are a great way to restore and protect your hair from hard water. Hair masks can be used once or twice per week. Massage your hair and scalp till the mask sets in deep and then rinse off.
These masks will lock in the moisture in your hair and revitalize it. You can also use leave-in conditioners for protection and moisturization after a wash.
Go for PRP/PRF Treatments
Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) and Platelet-Rich-Fibrin (PRF) treatments can help prevent hair loss. Here either the plasma or the fibrin in your blood is extracted and injected into the scalp. These rejuvenate your scalp and promote fresh cell growth.
PRP and PRF treatments, once active, can reverse the damage caused by hard water. Although done through OP, these procedures come with some risks. The effects of using needles on your scalp are worth being cautious about.
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