Well Water and Hair ProblemsQ: I am a 53 year old man with long white hair, I have received multiple compliments on how nice the color and condition are. Within the past six months, I have moved and am on well water, this has never been a concern before as I have had well water at other homes for years.
My problem is, my hair is turning reddish in color, especially the pony tail. I have tried several products recommended by friends and my wife's hair dresser, but nothing seems to clear the problem. I love my white hair, what's left of it, but this is really bothering me. I don't want to cut my hair but I'm considering it. Can you please help? Thank you.
A: Well, it is a pretty common complaint among those persons who have well water that the minerals in the water can cause problems with their hair. Calcium, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Silica, and Lead can all be found in many well water sources and each can have an effect on the condition and color of the hair exposed to them.
There are a number of brands offering products to treat hair that has been affected by hard water and mineral deposits:
EC Mode offers daily-use shampoo, conditioner and styling product for the hair to remove mineral build-up and restore the hair's natural shine. They also offer a ReVitalizing product for weekly use that is a vitamin-enriched deep conditioner to help protect the hair from further damage due to hard water.
Malibu 2000 offers hair care products for treating well-water damaged hair, with specific products to deal with iron affected hair. (Iron is responsible for the reddening or orange tones in the hair when exposed to hard water.) They have shampoo, conditioner, de-mineralizer, and special anti-Iron booster products. The company also offers a "starter kit" for initial use to rid the hair of unwanted discoloration.
These products can be found in some retail locations, and through online buying sources. I have never used these products personally and cannot vouch for their claims or effectiveness, but they are well-reviewed and are worth considering before taking drastic measures such as cutting off the hair.
The effect of hard water on hair
Hair and hard well water
Highlights, well water and brassy hair