Calcium causes hair to feel dry and lack shine and volume. It can prevent the proper processing of color, highlights, perms or relaxer/straighteners and can cause a perm to appear relaxed. Calcium builds up on the scalp causing flaking of the scalp, giving the appearance of dandruff. Calcium can choke the hair at the mouth of the follicle causing the hair to break off, then coat the scalp, blocking further new hair growth.
Iron can cause water to have a red or rusty hue. Iron leaves hair feeling dry, brittle and weighted down. It causes lack of shine and can cause dark hair to tint darker and blonde hair to turn orange. Iron can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
Copper discolors hair causing blonde hair to turn green and dark hair to tint darker. Copper can weigh hair down and cause dryness, and can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
Magnesium causes hair to lack shine, feel dry, appear weighted down therefore lacking volume, and can inhibit the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
Silica causes many of the same effects on the hair as calcium. It causes hair to feel dry, lack volume, and can cause dandruff-like symptoms of flaking. Build-up of silica can choke the hair follicle causing hair to fall out.
Lead can cause the hair to feel dry. Lead can prevent the proper processing of perms, color, highlights, and relaxers/straighteners.
Typically, these minerals can be found in groundwater usually extracted using a well. The level of calcium that is found naturally from the ground determines the hardness of water. While calcium is the element that determines hardness of water, there are many other elements in well water that affect hair, scalp and skin.
To improve the hair health and further prevent issues with dryness and buildup, people can use a shower head filter that will remove the minerals found in most city waters. However, hard water minerals and the sanitizing agents like Chlorine and Chloramine can also deposit in or on the hair, building up over time. The chemical and mineral content of water varies by geography. Filtering water through very fine mesh cloth may help to remove larger deposits in the water. Many enjoy collecting rain water, although acid rain is an increasing issue in many parts of the world.
Treatment for well water and hard water conditions are available in a variety of products, such as demineralizing shampoos and conditioners.
Those who swim in chlorinated or salt sea water may benefit from first wetting the hair entirely and then applying conditioner to completely swell the entire hair shaft. Swimmers may also benefit from products on the market that remove chlorine after swimming in pool water.