Moisture Basics: Working with Hard Water

Hey folks, it’s Audrey!

Okay, so after finally finishing up the follow-up videos for this moisture series, I realized that it was waaaay too much info to put in one video. Way too much! No one wants to hear me drone on and on . . .  and on  . . . for 20 minutes straight- Right??  (I know I get antsy after 5 minutes or so!) So, for your sanity and mine, I split the video into the three main topics I wanted to focus on:

* water hardness
* pH
* water temperature

The series is 4 videos all together. Here’s Part I of the series, and I’ll link to others as I post them.  Today, I’ll post the hardness video! Enjoy!

In Part II of “Moisture Basics: Water Problems” we cover hard water and how it affects the moisturization process. We answer questions like:

“What is hard water?”
“What makes water hard?”
“How does hard water affect our hair?”
“What can you do about water hardness?”

Hard water is definitely something to consider, especially if your regimen is textbook solid- yet you still struggle with dry, brittle hair.  Hard water is basically water that contains a high mineral content.  Minerals are good for us inside the body, but on the hair– not so much! These minerals can build up on the hair shaft and cause all kinds of problems with dryness and hair breakage.  If your hair is color-treated or relaxed, you’ll really feel the pain.  Conditioners and moisturizers –even the highest quality ones– struggle in hard water situations. On top of the tangles, dryness and breakage, hard water can cause even natural hair colors to fade. It’s bad. Fortunately, there are special shampoos out there that can provide some relief if you battle with hard water in your area!

You can read more about hard water in The Science of Black Hair book, pages  72-74.  In the next part of this series, we will cover pH problems and what you need to look out for!

All the best!

– Audrey



  1. I think your blog is great I would like to purchase a bulk order of your books. Please email me or call 9126789686

  2. daisha2328Daisha says:

    Is there a test to determine whether the hardness if my water is temporary or permanent.

    • Hi Daisha! I guess the unofficial test is to boil the water. If you have a kettle to heat water for tea, you’ll find that there’s this white scale (bicarbonate) that builds up after a few uses. That’s the hardness “precipitating” out of the water. You can also see it if you look under the faucet where the water comes out- it’ll be a white crusty buildup.

      Permanent hardness isn’t affected by heating and has to be treated by softening. Some municipalities and companies will do free tests of your water to determine its purity– and they test for hardness, chlorine, etc. Your water’s pH is a good clue as to whether you are working with some hardness. It’ll be slightly higher than 7.

      • Thanks for such a quick response, Audrey! I just performed a quick check & yes the telltale signs of the white crusty buildup you speak of is on our faucets. 😦 we are currently renting a home so I don’t want to invest in an expensive water treatment system. Are there any showerheads/filters for the shower available that would do the job? If so, do you have any recommendations? Also, I have been using a chelating shampoo from Kenra (from the list of suggested products in your book) but it leaves my hair extremely tangled and hard which I’m sure has a lot to do w/my hard water problem as well.

        I read on the internet that Bentonite Clay can be used as a clarifier/cheater as well. I’ve tried it & it seems to do the same thing as the shampoo but w/out the hardness & tangling. What are your thoughts on Bentonite Clay? Have you tried it at all?

        Thanks so much for responding. Thank you for writing an awesome book & for taking the time to produce these videos which so many of us are in need of!

      • Janice Robinson says:

        whats your out look on bentonite clay l heard its works well on 4c hair. my hair is very dry and that’s my reason for wanting to use it l have a desire to take care of my hair but l don’t know really where to start. I have just heard of your books which once should l start with I have been nature 7yrs at 1st my hair was healthy


  1. […] for Part 3?  We’ve talked about water hardness here, now as promised, here’s the second water problem we run into that can lead to dryness– […]

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