The Importance of Water and How it Affects Hair
Having moved to Florida seven years ago from Australia, I have experienced a number of changes that I needed to adjust to, both personally and professionally. I have become more aware of the importance ofin .
One of the biggest professional adjustments has been with the condition of people’s hair.
In Australia people don’t think twice about drinking water straight from the faucet. It is totally safe to do so. In Florida (as well as many other parts of the USA) it appears you can be putting your life at risk by doing so.
I can distinctly remember my early visits to the States, going into the bathroom of the hotel and (because of the strong smell of Chlorine) wondering where the swimming pool was.
I learned that Chlorine was used to ‘sanitize’ the water. I also noticed how different my hair felt within a couple of days.
Each time I go back to Australia the exact opposite happens; within 48 hours my hair feels and looks very different.
So what is this difference I’m talking about and why is it relevant to hairdressers?
The fundamental difference is this: a large percentage of the water supply in the USA is a chemical cocktail that alters the state of the fabric that you have to work with.
I live in Clearwater, Florida, a beautiful part of the States. As with a large part of the southern part of the States, the water supply is artesian (meaning it comes from below the ground). Our water comes from the Floridian Aquifer.
Not only do we have a very high level of Chlorine in the water but, about 2 years ago, they also added(in the form of Chloramindes) to the water.
Then more recently they added Fluoride as well. While there are numerous arguments and research against adding Fluoride to drinking water (I’m very much against this), that’s not my issue or point here.
The issue is, that where I live and work, the water is very hard (full of minerals) and has a PH of about 8 to 8.2. This is about the same as a swimming pool with about as much Chlorine. These sort of figures apply to about 80% of the USA.
Thesedehydrate your clients’ hair and coat the hair with deposits of minerals.
There are measures you can take to soften the water in your salon. You can also advise your clients on the use of shower head filters and water softeners. (Water softeners are more expensive than a $45 shower head filter that you can buy at your local hardware store).
A simple shower head filter makes a remartkable difference to the condition of hair and the lasting power of colors. The more expensive shower heads will eliminate even more chemicals and minerals.
It is also worth mentioning that well water can have an even higher concentration of minerals. Iron and copper at high levels in the hair can create havoc with chemical services.
If you have a client that uses well water or if you are in doubt, clarify the client’s hair before chemical services. And get your client to use a clarifying product from time to time as part of their normal routine. (Thesecan be very aggressive so educate your clients to do this infrequently).
It is also worth noting that there are products on the market, (shampoos,
In some cases they even use Mercury to do this. (Apart from the havoc that this can have on potential chemical services, I have great reservations about the toxic factor involved for the client.)
If you put a chemical lightening powder on a client’s hair with any of the above build ups you can (and probably will) get a chemical reaction and a strange result. This can also happen with color and perms.
As professionals we need to become informed and educate our clients on what is best to use and what to avoid. Educate them about how to look after what they have invested money and time into.
The Q range of products were developed to give hairdressers a performance-based retail line to maintain healthy hair. These same products can be used in the salon as well to counteract certain problems that you or your clients may encounter.
These products are very effective. Try them and see the results for yourself. You’ll be convinced.
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