The last couple of hairstylists I’ve visited have said that my hair is coated with minerals, most likely due to hard water — water high in calcium, magnesium and/or iron. I had noticed that my hair had been feeling very “crunchy” and kept conditioning every day in order to try and soften the feel. Both stylists said that conditioner doesn’t help, that I actually need to strip the minerals from my hair. One of them suggested a Bumble & Bumble product that is specially designed to eliminate build-up, but it can only be used once a week. I was happy to see that the product does not contain parabens, but I wanted something more natural, gentle, that I could use more often as my hair seems to be getting crunchier.
I came across the following suggestions:
1) Baking soda rinse (add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup warm water, pour this solution over hair and massage into hair for about 1 minute, rinse and shampoo as normal)
2) Aspirin rinse (crush several aspirins and follow directions for Baking Soda rinse)
3) Vinegar rinse (add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 cup of water and pour over your hair as a final rinse after shampooing)
It seems that these treatments can strip the hair, so it is recommended that you follow with a conditioning treatment. I found an olive oil and egg treatment that looks interesting, along with several other natural hair care ideas.
In reading about high mineral content in water, I found that it can also dry out your skin, and because it makes it harder for soap to sud, leaves your laundry less clean. A commonly noted solution to this is to get a household water softening unit. I had noticed a “minerally” taste to our water, and had been considering a purifier. It seems like it’s definitely worth looking into a water softening/purifying system since it can address so many different issues.
The Organic Consumers Association report on research linking parabens to breast cancer
Environmental Protection Agency’s list of non-toxic alternatives to household and personal care products
[NOTE: When I originally wrote this, I neglected to add another excellent source for finding non-toxic hair care and body care products, the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database of Cosmetics]
This article originally appeared in my other blog, Becoming Your StellarSelf.