Hard Stop on Hard Water

2 years ago by

When venturing abroad, your thoughts are rightly occupied by where to have pre-dinner drinks, how swiftly you can do the pool-to-bar lap and what gem-adorned shoes go with the most outfits pre-planned in that diligent head of yours. All great streams of consciousness, but we rarely consider the effect of a locale’s water on our hair and skin.

We wash our locks, splash our face and carry on our merry holiday way. And things are better on vacation, there’s no doubt there. But when moving abroad, those little shifts we’ve never really noticed (read: willfully ignored in a nebulous negroni haze) start to add up. Having recently taken up residence in California, I know this all too well. One perilous shower in, no difference. So I carried on idly by. But two weeks in? The vacation abruptly halts. I notice my skin drier than days prior, my hair takes longer to dry and I need more body lotion than ever before. Gallons of it.

A frenetic Google search later and the concept of hard water pours into my lap. Think less freshwater stream, more high mineral content as a result of city infrastructure, climate and other additions to your zip code’s water in the name of drinkable water. The minerals in question? Calcium and magnesium. Great for break-free bones and sleep shortcuts but in high amounts, that lavish shower routine begins to work against you. Not to mention literal dirt and excess chlorine traipsing its way into your steam session uninvited.

As Dr Mamina Turegano, thrice board-certified dermatologist and forever-sharer of aging-well wisdom explains, “Hard water is more difficult to rinse off, which can also lead to more build-up on the scalp, leading to itching and dandruff, and sometimes hair loss. When it comes to the skin, the most common issue from hard water is dryness. However, having more dryness can exacerbate conditions like eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and even conditions like acne and rosacea.”

And though it may manifest itself in conditions such as those, a change in your bath-water can cause a disruption in your skin’s natural oils, making for texture woes or unendingly parched skin. Perhaps your curls won’t hold or your post-shower body lather doesn’t sink in, even a certain dullness – these moments could be a hint at your water’s hardness taking its toll.

It’s not just your imagination, in speaking to the chief cultivator of all things Violet-Grey worthy Sarah Brown, the quality of the drop makes a difference. “I have fine, wavy hair, and how it looks on any given day has to do with the hardness or softness of the water, humidity levels (or lack thereof) and the time of year. My hair looks its absolute best during early summer in New York, and its worst basically any time in Florida. It never looks great in Paris. But I don’t care: because it’s Paris.”

Celebrity strand-tamer Lauren Mackellar and founder of Robe hair care concurs, “My hair and skin suffered greatly living in LA – the change from lovely Aussie water to LA’s hard water made my hair shed excessively, become extremely brittle, and my skin broke out worse than anything I’d experienced in my life. After months of trying different products, I ended up attaching a water filter and a vitamin C filter to my shower head-and it helped immensely”.

Enter a beauty device that stops hard water in its tracks or rather, pipes. A fixture added to your shower-head to filter out excess minerals and soften the water before it touches your skin. Ranging from 8-level filters to laser-focused 2-story options, to the rose-quartz infused or Vitamin-C enriched – who knew hygiene could be so hubris?

Co-founder of Jolie Skin, Ryan Babenzien thought first of the shower-head solution after a particularly dry skin moment post rinse. “Chlorine strips your skin of its natural oils, as well as your hair and your scalp, your skin’s biome – all of it… that’s where the idea for Jolie – it actually happened in the shower, I was realizing that water was damaging, and I had an epiphany that we could create a beauty wellness brand that addresses the purity of your water for better skin, hair and wellbeing.”

The chic shower-head works on a two-level filter to capture the muck and grime running from your water source and bonus your bathroom looks x11 superior in the process. (An arbitrary figure, I’m no Architectural Digest writer.)

While the Violet-code approved (and brilliantly inconspicuous) T3’s Source Showerhead, uses tourmaline to help balance the pH and copper, zinc and calcium sulfide to help reduce free-chlorine and other impurities. Brown adds of her derm-approved shower routine wherein the T3 plays a crucial cleansing role, “Better water, softer skin, hair with more bounce and shine (minus the build-up from excess minerals and everything else coming out of the faucet), and color that stays truer and lasts longer. The most shower-friendly strategy for healthy skin and hair is to keep showers on the short side, to keep water temperature on the less-than-scalding side, and to use gentle, fragrance-free products.”

Or there’s the serum-sort, silverware infused with Vitamin C from Vitaclean who seek to add zest to your skin, hair and a freshly-squeezed aromatherapy moment. Infused shower situations are ever popular in the skin-capitals of South Korea and Japan, so perhaps they’re onto something.

And one thing they don’t compromise on? Water pressure. Where past iterations of Amazon-carts before have dimmed the stream of your beloved me-time as they whittled away the ick, these new iterations focus on the whole shower experience. For need-no-handyman installation to every last drop of fogged-up bliss.

What do those that care for your strands and pores have to say? Dr Mamina suggests testing your water at home or nabbing a free report to ascertain whether your water is to blame; though other habits may come into play, “Certain shampoos and soaps, pollution, and dry, cold weather can also aggravate these conditions in the hair and skin (as well as certain internal diseases like hypothyroidism), so sometimes it can be difficult to identify the cause.” And while Dr Mamina nary recommends a specific brand, she does note that these shower-head filters aren’t superfluous – they do indeed help.

Mackellar notes the benefits from soothed scalp to silky ends regardless of your zip, post or arrondissement, “A water filter can help greatly – I see clients all the time that have that have chlorine build up – it presents like a really superficial shiny coating on the hair, but instead of hair feeling silky and lush, it’ll be really knotty and prone to tangling. Over time it can cause blonde hair to go darker, with muddy green reflects, change the texture, and become hard to manage… a lot of my Aussie celeb clients both here (in Melbourne) and in LA loved the results from using the filters. It also helps restore the porosity and smooth the cuticle of the hair – meaning it can withstand more regular coloring and intensive heat styling.”

So we’ve resolved to pursue soft water, the antecedent of moisture-robbing, color-quarreling hard water – but what does that exactly mean? Arjan Singh, the other half of Jolie Skin Co, notes it’s tricky for customers (read: converts) to verbalize, because they’ve never experienced it, “There’s sort of struggling for the right words, but the way she described it is that her lotion goes on better. My lotion is absorbing into my skin and creating a better moisture barrier than prior. And that’s an effect of your skin not being stripped of the oils that are there naturally, which is what happens when it’s chlorinated. We take that out. ”

Through these disruptions to radiance, brilliant shower thoughts are born. Both the artful shower solve and Mackellar’s plucked from the salon-chair, active hair range, “Thankfully, over time my hair was shinier and my skin cleared and became glowy again, but that was the time that I came up with the idea of Robe’s soon to launch scalp tonic, vitamins, and a range focused on density – all of which assist with controlling hair shedding and regrowing hair – so the suffering wasn’t for nothing!”

Soft Tips For Hair And Skin

– Use warm water, never-scalding
– Turn that brilliant face of yours away from the stream to avoid any angry-burst capillaries
– Rosacea-prone people (hand-raised reluctantly), wash your face with cool water or use a fancy shower-head (look at you glow) in the shower to keep your visage trigger-free
– Evaluate your whole rinse-routine and omit fragrance or potential irritants one by one (looking at you boyfriend’s body scrub with whole shards in it)
– Layer up on lotion (or oil) straight after the shower when your skin can soak it up merrily
– Consider a shower-head filter for Brita-than-ever skin and hair, per the experts recommendation herein
– Look holistically at your vitamin intake, styling products, makeup and if in doubt, speak to a dermatologist or preferred medical-wonder to assess what edits to make for you


Add yours
  • Beijinhos negro sexy contaminados

  • best product is called ShowerStick.It uses salt on resin beads to soften water. All you do is attach it to your showerhead and add salt once a week. Absolutely perfect solution and hair is transformed with no special products. Costs around $200

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