Found in varying degrees in water supplies across the United States, hard water contains minerals from rocks and soil, primarily calcium and magnesium. This mineral-rich water decreases the lathering ability of soaps and shampoos and ultimately leaves mineral residue on the hair. If a water softener or filter is out of the question, a vinegar rinse is the next best thing.
Not Just for Pickles
A vinegar rinse cuts through the buildup of minerals and other residue that cause hair to look dull. To make a vinegar rinse, mix a small amount of apple cider vinegar with distilled water, then apply the rinse to your hair after shampooing. Rinse or leave the vinegar in your hair to create shine and eliminate snarls. The vinegar smell evaporates relatively quickly. Vinegar can dry the hair, so once or twice every week is enough.
Chelating Shampoos Say What?
Chelating shampoos contain chelating agents that dissolve and remove minerals from the hair. Generally, the label indicates that the product is a chelating shampoo, but it may be labeled as a swimmer's shampoo because it removes buildup of chlorine and other impurities. EDTA is one common chelating agent that is often -- but not always -- found on the list of ingredients. Most chelating shampoos are safe for daily use, but always follow with good conditioner to moisturize the hair and scalp.
- Huff Post Style: How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Beautiful Hair and Skin
- Real Health Hair Center: Soften Up: How to Prevent Hard Water Buildup on Hair
- University of Virgnia: Metals in Medicine and the Environment
- Real Simple: What Are the Best Beauty Products to Use With Hard Water?
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Chelates and Chelating Agents
- Nikolay Suslov/Hemera/Getty Images