The Truth Behind our Bad Hair

The first semester of the year can be a stressful time, new classes, new friends and new activities. As the semester progresses we may notice our hair feeling fine and beginning to thin out. You may believe this is due to all this new found stress and activity, however, this is not the case. The water we use to shower everyday is the source that is essentially killing our hair. I uncovered this the hard way, my hair began to fall out and literally turn green, yes you heard me right green. Penn State water is unlike anything we are used to, Penn State uses a type of “well water.” Well water is made up on minerals such as magnesium and calcium and can be extremely tough on your already vulnerable hair. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it is estimated that more than 85% of the water used by consumers in the US can be classified at some level of “hard” water. Due to the lightness of my hair the chemicals in the well water tinted parts of my hair green, the type of hair you would find with chlorine damage. I noticed my hair breaking as well, so I called up my hair dresser who explained this water theory to me. These chemicals can even damage your skin and your scalp. Hard water makes it difficult to even wash your hair, leaving your hair feeling greasy and dirty. Hard water tends to make the scales stand up, which makes your hair feel rough and tangly. Since your hair is tangled and rough, it is more difficult to rinse out all of the soap. Soap is less effective in very hard water because its reacts with the excess minerals to form calcium or magnesium salts. Over the past few weeks I have been extremely cautious when it comes to treating my hair and here are some tips I have discovered:


  • there are treatments you can buy in stores or make at home that strip your hair of the chemicals from the hard water
  • Filtering your water, there are filters you can buy and place on your shower head

Well water is all around us and we need to be educated on the subject in order to ensure healthy hair. Please monitor your showers and if your hair is starting to feel damaged, take action to save it!

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4 thoughts on “The Truth Behind our Bad Hair

  1. Brian Cunningham

    I’ve definitely noticed my hair feeling a lot more rough and tangled when I run my fingers through it recently (living in the dorms). Even after using extra conditioner, it still didn’t have the softer feeling I was used to. On the bright side, it seems like I have less issues with bed head, as my hair is almost entirely stagnant as I sleep when it’s this hard…

  2. Devon Green

    I have personally experienced feeling like my hair has a different texture to it since coming to penn state and I definitely feel like I’ve been losing a lot of hair and its been thinning. Its comforting and not, reading this because I know its not the stress and everything making my hair go weird, but I can’t do anything about the water so I just have to deal with my hair continuously being different than what i want. I think penn state should look into this problem and see if it can be changed.

  3. Lauren Elizabeth Jardine

    Not only have I found the water here affects our hair, but our skin is being damaged as well. One of my roommates found her skin was coarser and sometimes rashy since coming here so we decided to look into it. The problem was that the hard water was making it harder to remove residue from soap and oil on her skin and was causing the issues. The residue clogs your pores and hard water dries out your skin! Exfoliation and lotion my friends!

  4. Erin Nicole Kemp

    I was actually just about to wash my hair and this blog worried me. This is actually useful information that can help me in everyday life. I also find it useful that you listed treatments to help with this problem. Good job!

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