Washing hair in tap water

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Old 02-Oct-2011
Washing hair in tap water

I have been using tap water to wash my hair and I feel that is the reason my hair looks damaged. Please advise on a haircare regime that can not only stop further damage but can restore my hair's health.
S.Z., Ajman
A major portion of the water used for domestic purposes here in the UAE is supplied from desalination plants and underground sources. Desalination refers to several processes that remove excess salt and other minerals from water. The term ‘hardness' is an indication of the presence of usually calcium and magnesium carbonates that reduce the lathering of soaps or precipitate soap residues.
Tap water in the UAE contains safe levels of Total Dissolved Solids. Chlorine is used almost universally in the treatment of public drinking water because of its toxic effect on harmful bacteria and other waterborne, disease-causing organisms.
But scientific evidence shows that active chlorine in water may cause problems to hair and skin. Chlorine bonds to skin and hair destroying the natural bacterial balance. This may lead to dryness, itching, flaking and premature aging of the skin.But don't blame it all on the quality of the water. Hair problems could be due to other factors like diet, lifestyle, genetic inheritance or illness. Here's how you can fight the problem:
[*]Dry hair can be a sign that your diet is lacking in essential fatty acids, which can be found in salmon and fish oil, walnuts and flax seeds. Include good sources of protein (cold-water fish; salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines); calcium (milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables); selenium (mushrooms, cabbage, onions, wholegrains, garlic); zinc (red meat, seafood, brewer's yeast, wholegrain, bran flakes, wheat-germ, eggs); fluorine (cold-water fish, millet, black tea, water); magnesium (vegetables, legumes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, crab-meat, milk); biotin (liver, egg yolks, soy products, oats, nuts, carrots, brewer's yeast, wheat-germ, Brussels sprouts) in your diet. This will help improve the condition of your hair.[*]Beat an egg yolk until it's frothy, add a teaspoon of castor oil then beat again while adding a cup of water. Massage into the scalp and throughout your hair. Leave it in for 30 minutes and rinse well.[*]There are many water purification products, and de-chlorinating shower filters available in UAE shops that you could try.

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