Simply put, “hard water” is water that has a lot of minerals dissolved in it. Think of a cave with water dripping off the ceiling… If it’s hard water, the drips eventually form stalactites and stalagmites. This is really cool after a long time in a cave, but you don’t want that happening to your pipes in your house or your appliances. It can also wreak havoc with your hair and skin:
“Each hair shaft is made up of little scales, like shingles on a roof. Hard water tends to make the scales stand up, which makes your hair feel rough and tangly. Since your hair is tangled and rough, it is more difficult to rinse out all of the soap.”
“Soap is less effective in very hard water because it reacts with the excess minerals to form calcium or magnesium salts. These are not easily soluble in water and can result in soap film. Washing hair in soft water will have a different result because it leaves fewer insoluble deposits on the hair.”
There are some inexpensive options you can use to soften your water. For hair washing, the two common solutions are to use distilled water (or boil your own water to remove some of the impurities – instructions here), or to install a shower head filter. Many people in this community have had success with AquaBliss shower filters which are easy to install.