How Plumbing and HVAC Can Save Your Hair
What’s the secret to healthy, beautiful hair? If you want a great mane, you’ll need more than the best products for your hair type. Even the most expensive conditioners, oils, gels, and other products cannot save hair that is constantly being damaged by water and air. If you’re not able to achieve your desired hair health, it’s time to start thinking about the quality of your air and water.
For gorgeous hair and skin year-round, learn how HVAC (humidification) and plumbing (water softening) can help.
The Problem with Hard Water
The water that comes out of your faucets and showerheads could be “hard,” which means it has a high mineral content. The water collects all these extra minerals as it percolates and runs through deposits of chalk, limestone, and gypsum. While the minerals, largely calcium and magnesium, are entirely safe to drink, they aren’t doing any favors for your skin, hair, or plumbing system.
Here are some of the problems that hard water creates:
- Strange tasting or smelling water
- Mineral stains around sinks, toilets, and drains
- Lots of soap scum
- Difficulty lathering and removing soapy residue
- Bad hair days
- Clogged faucets and showerheads (pipes can also get clogged)
- Worn-out, faded, itchy clothing
- Dry, itchy, and irritated skin (can worsen eczema symptoms)
- Shorter lifespans and costly repairs for water-using appliances
Lots of people have hard water without even realizing it. They continue to use more and more soaps and detergents only to continue to experience poor performance. If you have hard water, it’s in your best interest to start using a whole-house water softener to improve the quality of your water and hair.
During the water treatment process, soft minerals (sodium or potassium ions) replace the hard calcium and magnesium ions. This gets rid of the hard minerals that are causing all of the problems above.
Here are some of the problems that hard water creates for your hair:
- Less bounce
- Color fades faster
- Feels rough, dry, and frizzy
- Requires more product
You may not notice a difference when soft water comes out of your faucet, but your hair and skin will. Soft water make skin and hair look and feel great. It’s especially helpful for people with eczema, dandruff, and dry skin. Soft water also helps you save money on skin and hair care products since it will be much easier to create foam and lather. Who doesn’t want their soap and conditioners to last longer?
Water softeners are available through quality plumbing companies, who will also handle the installation so the new system will do its job correctly. At Sobieski Services, we offer a variety of residential and commercial water treatment systems to Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.
A professional plumber will find the right size water softener for your home, and advise you on any other water treatment you may need. Some homes benefit from a reverse osmosis system working in tandem with a water softener to achieve an ideal pH balance.
The Problem with Low and High Humidity
Humidity is simply the amount of water that is contained in the air at any given time. If the indoor humidity falls below a certain level, the dry air will start to pull moisture from the surrounding area until the material reaches “equilibrium,” when moisture is no longer gained or lost. Materials, such as wood, paper, textiles, some plastics, porcelain, fruits, vegetables, skin, and hair are considered “hygroscopic” (water absorbing). These materials will always strive for equilibrium with the environment.
Here are some of the problems that dry air creates:
- Dry, itchy hair and skin
- Dry, itchy nose, eyes, and throat
- Nose bleeds, chapped lips, and brittle fingernails
- Contact lens discomfort
- Cracking of wood and other materials
- Static electricity discharges
The three main reasons for installing a humidification system is to protect hygroscopic materials in the home, solve health and comfort issues, and reduce static electricity. It’s important to maintain a healthy relative humidity of 40%-60% to increase the health and comfort in the home.
Human hair is very sensitive to the moisture content in the air. You probably know this already and own multiple products promising “frizz-free radiance.” In fact, people have used hair as a hygrometer to measure the amount of moisture in the air (Smithsonian).
The bundles of keratin proteins that make up your hair are chemically bonded, making it unusually susceptible to humidity. Hydrogen bonds break and form every time there is a change in moisture content. Water molecules get incorporated into hydrogen bonds. The more humid it is outside, the more hydrogen bonds are created. What this means at the visual level is curlier and frizzier hair.
Dry air, on the other hand, leads to dandruff, flakes, and brittle, damaged hair. If you hate what humidity does to your hair, you may need a humidifier or dehumidifier (or both). A whole-home humidification system is installed directly into your existing duct system, out of sight but constantly working to maintain a healthy indoor humidity level.