Well Water and Hair
Name: Sandi C.
How do I remove well water ( mineral deposits, iron,etc.)
from my hair. Is there a simple solution? My blond hair is now, yellow
and red streaked. So much static, that it lies flat to my head.
Exceptionally dull and limp. I am a cosmetologist and should know the
solution, but I cannot resolve the problem.
Darn. I like getting rid of hard-water deposits with CLR and "Lime-Away", but I am
reluctant to put such strong acids in your hair.
Phosphoric acid and vinegar have the best mineral action for the least acid attack, but
they would probably still damage your hair more.
There may be some chemical which steals iron by chelation (wrapping around) instead of
acidity, but they tend to be toxic and there is only a small amount in most shampoos and
conditioners (on the ingredients label, the "methyl-iso-thiazolinone" or some
Strictly using only non-hard water for a week to a month, and often using oils and
conditioners, followed by a slight haircut, seems about the best you can do. I think I
could wash my hair with a 25-cent gallon of machine-purified water.
Maybe adding a slight amount of lemon juice to a thin conditioner with isothiazolinone and
pure water, and rinsing it out pretty quick.
Find a hair-oil, because the surface is stripped ragged.
All this presumes you will use no hair colorings meanwhile, and have not used them while
it got bad.
Minerals can mess up colorings weirdly - maybe that is what happened to you.
Acids even more so.
I do not think any of this speculation about acids is any help at all for sea-salt or sun.
Maybe it is no help for minerals, either.
Then pure water, frequent oil, soft conditioners, and haircuts are the best you can do.
Sometimes oil makes rust just loosen up and fall away, when I am cleaning up old metal
Maybe a similar effect on a microscopic scale can slowly help your hair.
If the "mineral deposits" are calcium and magnesium, they may be removed by a mild rinse
with white vinegar. If iron oxides have penetrated the hair shaft, they cannot be removed
by any chemical treatment that is safe to use. Your "red streaked" comment leads me to
think that iron may be the culprit. If so, you will simply have to find a more mineral-
free source of water with which to wash your hair. Over time, as the hair is trimmed, the
iron-stained part will be removed. It will take patience.
Static problems stem from dry air (low humidity) circumstances and the action of
brushing/combing. You might try holding onto an electrically grounded metal water faucet
pipe during the brush/comb operation so as to drain off the static charge.
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Update: June 2012