Fix Your Pipes to Fix Damaged Hair

Sometimes, when it's particularly hot outside or perhaps when there isn’t enough moisture in the air, you have a "bad hair day." They happen to the best of us. But have you ever stopped to consider that your hair is reacting to something other than the weather? That maybe, just maybe, there is a silent hair killer lurking in the very shower you so dearly love and trust?

A new study has found that our lackluster and lifeless hair might be the cause of copper lurking in our water pipes. While low levels of the metal occur in water naturally, large deposits from rusty pipes and hot water tanks soak into your hair like a sponge and make any damage you have in your hair already much worse. Too much copper results in dry hair, split ends and dull color.

 The leader of the study Dr. Jennifer Marsh, a research fellow at consumer goods multinational Procter & Gamble, said that with a lot of copper present, "hair is less able to stand up to physical processes like brushing, blow drying and washing...It will break down faster, leading to split ends, a lack of shine as well as making it harder to manage."

The research, which was published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, studied many women all over the world and found varying amounts of the metal in hair strands. While everyone seemed to have some copper in their hair, some women had far more than others. The research suggest that the best way to fight back against copper is by treating the hair with chelants, which are chemicals commonly used in washing powder, which can neutralize the copper. Now, it's just up to beauty companies to develop shampoos, conditioners and dyes that incorporating chelants in their formula.