Think about this. Hard water leaves cloudy spots on dishes and ruins your coffeemaker, so you can imagine what it does to your hair. While it’s difficult to change your water supply source, you can prevent the buildup from hard H2O and restore beauty and shine to your hair. But first let school you on chemistry as it relates to this kind of water and your hair. Then put the site’s tips to use.

First, what’s hard water, and why does it cause buildup?
Hard water contains dissolved minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and silicon. These elements react with the ingredients in soaps and shampoos. The reaction creates byproducts that bind onto hair and creates a rough surface that prevents moisture from penetrating into the hair shaft.

What are some other effects of hard water buildup on hair?
Hard water’s mineral deposits on hair also attract and trap grease and dirt. This dulls tresses, kills their ability to retain curls and makes hair more tangle- and breakage-prone. In some cases, hard water buildup can even cause hair to develop unpleasant odors.

What can you do to prevent buildup?
There are a few ways to bust up buildup. One: Install a water filter to remove the water’s metal ions before they attach themselves to hair. Two: Use a chelating shampoo. Chelating shampoos have molecules and acids that bind with metals in the water as you wash your hair. Voila! They get rinsed away instead of clinging to your hair. But chelating shampoos can be harsh on sensitive hair, so follow up with a deep conditioner. Three: Try an at-home vinegar rinse. Vinegar rinses help loosen the mineral scales on hair so they easily rinse away. What’s more, these rinses can dissolve trapped matter in the hair, leaving tresses sparkling clean.

That means, before your shower’s up, you’re on your way to shiny, healthy hair.

Did you know hard water isn’t the only thing that can cause buildup? Some hair care ingredients are also culprits. Click here to find out more.