Have you noticed that your hair seems more dry after moving to Munich? Does your skin feel itchy and look dull? Don’t worry, we have your back. Here are some easy, at home, remedies you can do to treat hard water build-up on your hair and skin.
Munich’s tap water quality is considered some of the best in all of Europe. It is sourced directly from the Alpine uplands and is very pure with a high mineral content. That means, it contains large amounts of Calcium and Magnesium. Although the tap water may be healthy to drink, it can wreak havoc on your hair and skin (and pretty much on all your appliances, bathroom and kitchen surfaces – but more on that another time). This build up is referred to as “Kalk” in German which translates to chalk or lime in English.
OK, so there´s Kalk! So what?
- These minerals react with soaps and shampoos, reducing their effectiveness to clean.
- Over time, they build up, preventing moisture from entering the hair.
… Results: Dry hair & skin… Ugh!
There are several things we can do to tame that mane and soften the skin. Here are some simple tips:
- Clarify – this is the first essential step in removing build up on the hair. This can be done once a week, bi-weekly or even monthly depending on your hair texture. However, do not clarify more than once a week as that can also cause the hair to dry out. Tip: Start clarifying your hair once a week for a period of time, and then gradually, you may find bi-weekly or even monthly treatments are all you need. *See below for DIY Hair Clarifying recipes and directions.
- Shampoo – less often which means every other day or even every two days. If you absolutely need to wash, try co-washing or using a dry shampoo.
- Condition – between clarifying treatments, it is imperative to use a great conditioner after shampooing. For those folks with natural curly hair, a leave in conditioner after showering is also beneficial in keeping frizz at bay.
- Treat – Apply oil treatments with pure, cold pressed coconut, olive, or jojoba oils once a week or even bi-weekly. Massage the oil onto the scalp and ends (concentrate more on the ends if you tend to have an oily scalp). Leave for 20 minutes or however long you want. Then shampoo out.
- Install a shower head water filter or just do your final rinse with bottled or filtered water.
- Moisturize your skin directly after getting out of the shower with your favorite lotion or natural oil. We recommend Jojoba Oil as it closely resembles skins natural sebum and has a neutral odor. Find it here and here.
* DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse or Lemon Rinse Hair Clarifying Treatments
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: mix 1 to 4 tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces of water. Experiment to find a dilution that works best for you (dry hair will use less ACV and oily hair more).
Lemon Rinse: mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice into 2 cups of water
Mix up your preferred rinse in a plastic squeeze bottle, spray bottle or other container before you head into the shower. Then, shampoo your hair and rinse well. Apply the mixture, leave on for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. There’s no need to condition afterwards, however, folks with natural curls may find it beneficial to apply a leave in condish before styling. Tip: We recommend raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “mother” which you can find here.
Or if you are willing to splurge a little, we can recommend John Masters Herbal Cider Hair Clarifier & Color Sealer. Also, a weekly, bi- weekly or monthly treatment that not only removes build up, but also seals in color. We also find that the vinegar aroma dissipates much quicker due to the added essential oils.
Let us know some of your tips for keeping your hair & skin beautiful, despite the hard water.