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How To Solve Hard Water Hair Loss:What I Did(& 7 Other Ways)


I wrote this post to save you all the trouble I went through with hard water, all the time I spent researching ways to stop my hair thinning. No one should suffer from hard water hair damage, especially when all it takes to solve it, are a few simple things.

After reading this post and implementing the solutions outlined, I’m quite certain that you’ll be able to shower carefree without worrying about your hair.

Let’s get started.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is called so because it contains excess amounts of minerals. Rainwater or freshwater seeps into the ground and absorbs minerals from the rocks and soil to become hard.

Not all hard water is the same though. They can have different composition of minerals, not all of which are equally harmful to us. Usually though, hard water contains an excess of magnesium and calcium, that are quite damaging to our hair and skin

How can you know if you have hard water?

Generally, you can visually confirm this. You see, hard water causes limescale(white, scummy deposit) that you can look out for in several places, such as:

  • Your shower-head, bathroom tiles, kitchen sinks
  • You may also notice this on your clothes after you’ve washed and dried them
  • Plumbing may start to clog up from hard water. Once you open the pipes up, you’ll notice hardened, white deposits
  • Also, you’ll have a hard time lathering/sudsing your soaps

If you’re still unsure about whether your water is hard or not, you can simply get an inexpensive TDS tester, such as this one from Amazon.

Signs of Hard Water on Hair:

  • Dry, itchy scalp
  • Dandruff
  • Brittle hair and hair fall
  • Dull, frizzy hair
  • Weighed down, heavy-set hair
  • Split ends

A lot of us understand that one shouldn’t drink water that’s very hard than the recommended limit(TDS> 500mg/L, acc to W.H.O), but few realize the damaging effect that hard water has on our hair and skin. The excess minerals in hard water are what cause the harm.

Here’s how the 2 common culprits,calcium and magnesium affect our hair:

  • Forms a coating around hair strands that has a drying effect and makes the look dull, weighed down
  • Accumulates on the scalp- like dandruff- and blocks the hair follicles at the mouth. This leads to hair breakage
  • Blocked hair follicles, unless cleared may prevent further hair growth which manifests as hair thinning

Apart from these, there are a few other minerals to be found in hard water:

Copper: Causes light hair to tint green and dark hair to take on a darker shade. This happens because most urban water supplies around the world contain oxidisers such as chlorine which, more often than not, oxidise copper from the plumbing and introduce it into the water supply.

Iron: Can leave the hair feeling dry and impart a reddish tint to hair.

Finally, If you have had your hair colored, you might notice it fading too fast, or problems with your perms due to hard water.

Effect of Hard Water pH on Hair:

The other big problem with hard water is that it is alkaline. The high pH level of hard water can cause negative charges to develop on our hair, leading to friction among them, which in turn causes hair breakage. The reason this happens is, because of the huge difference in pH levels of our hair and that of hard water.

pH is basically a measure to determine how acidic or alkaline(basic) something is- on a scale of 0 to 14 where 0 is the most acidic and 14 the most alkaline. Keep in mind that pH is a logarithmic scale. This means that there is a 10x difference if the difference in pH levels of two elements is 1. If the pH level difference is 2, there is a 20x difference…. and so on and so forth.

Our hairs have a pH of 3-3.5 and the water is considered hard at a pH of 8.5. That’s about 50 times more alkaline, at the minimum, because, as the water gets harder, the pH level keeps increasing. Even soft water, with a pH of 6.5-7(neutral-ish to neutral) can have this effect on our hair. This is why pH balancing shampoos exist to condition our hair. I found this relatively cheap one on Amazon

Hard Water Skin Problems

And hard water isn’t just bad for your hair- it is bad for your skin as well. While the least you can expect is skin dryness, a lot of people who are slightly more sensitive to hard water experience rashes and acne as well.

People suffering from eczema, psoriasis, etc will find their skin conditions aggravated due to hard water.

How To Protect Hair From Hard Water

The following are a few ways you can solve the issue of hard water hair from the root-cause, i.e by stopping hard water from reaching your hair. I recommend implementing any one of these solutions first so that you tackle the disease and not the symptoms, so to speak.

  1. Shower Filters
  2. Water Softeners
  3. Bottled water
  4. RO water for hair 
  5. Rainwater

#1 Shower Filters

I personally started using a shower filter late last year when I realized how thin my hair had become after years of hard water damage. I also had constant, year round dandruff. My hair was so brittle that I’d be oiling my hair and uproot 15-20 strands in the process. Something had to give.

Since I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed a remarkable change in hair quality. It’s much softer, way less brittle and my dandruff has almost disappeared. My patchy hair on the sides has also filled in considerably. While I don’t expect  close to 10 years of neglecting my hair in hard water to be compensated for so soon, the results so far are really encouraging.

The reason that my #1 recommendation is shower filters is because they are extreme value for money(generally priced anywhere between about 20-80$) AND they provide so much extra value by filtering out other contaminants in your water. Contaminants such as chlorine and chloramines, which can cause hair thinning, dry hair, dry skin and breathing problems, to name a few.

They’re easy to install and use as well, hardly takes a few minutes and can be done yourself.

Just one thing to remember- you will need to change the filter cartridge every 6 months or so, depending on your water quality.

So, if there’s only one thing you pick off this list, let it be a shower filter. For hard water, I recommend a KDF shower filter, instead of a Vitamin C shower filter. You can read my detailed review and usage guide for my personal hard water shower filter here.

#2 Water Softeners

Let me start off with this- water softeners are usually quite expensive, more than many can afford. According to improvenet.com, manual regeneration softeners(least expensive option, but takes a fair bit of maintenance) will cost around 400$.

The price increases from thereon and the average cost of a water softener sold is 3000$. Not including the few hundred extra dollars for installation costs.

The advantage of a water softener is that it’ll protect your plumbings from hard water damage, and you’ll get soft water throughout the house– if you choose a whole house system, that is(some people just choose to buy a water softener for their bathroom)

You can check out a lot of water softener options online, such as this one on Amazon.

#3 Bottled Water

A lot of people just choose to buy bottled water for their hair. And yes, while that’s great for the hair, I don’t think it needs to be said how harmful it is for the environment. The world doesn’t need more plastic waste people!

On top of that, it’s really not cost effective. In the long term, it’s just a really expensive and unsustainable way of maintaining your hair.

#4 Reverse Osmosis Water For Hair

Many people have RO(Reverse Osmosis) systems installed in their homes and use that water to wash their hair. RO purifiers have the advantage that they can make hard water soft, and are the most effective water purifiers available commercially.

They are the least efficient when it comes to water wastage though. Every 10 L of water purified wastes about 60 L of water. That’s a lot, but if you live in a hard water area, it’s also your only option to get soft water for drinking. Consider storing the reject water in a bucket for household tasks like mopping floors, watering plants, etc.

If you have one at your home or are going to buy one, you can consider using RO water for washing your hair. Here’s the one I recommend you buy from Amazon.

#5 Rainwater

Rainwater is soft, and hence-great for the hair. Collecting rainwater just for your hair is going to be too inconvenient though. Plus, you can’t do it all the time.

A lot of people choose to do rainwater harvesting though, certain buildings in urban areas do it as well- if you have access to that, well, there’s nothing stopping you from great hair.

How To Manage Hair With Hard Water

The following will only help manage hair in hard water. I recommend you take the following suggestions up in supplement to one of the 5 ways listed above. This way, you can attack the underlying problem AND speed up your recovery from previous hard water hair damage.

#1 Chelating Shampoos

The mineral build-up in your hair fibres and scalp isn’t easy to remove by a normal shampoo. Chelating agents such as EDTA, however, make them soluble in water, which means they can be easily washed away from hair.

Keep in mind though: 

Chelating shampoos can be harsh and leave your hair feeling dry. Limit their use to 2-3 times a month.

Also, look for sulfate and paraben free chelating shampoos. Sulfate is a lathering agent that makes the hair and scalp dry. More worryingly-it has been found to have cancer causing tendencies in some studies.

Parabens is a preservative that has been known the raise estrogen levels leading to increased chance of breast cancer. I found this chelating shampoo on Amazon that fits the bill(sulfate and paraben free)

#2 Leave-in Conditioners

These help seal in the moisture in your hair and give a glossy look. Mostly used after a hair wash, while these aren’t going to directly affect your scalp or hair health, they definitely can help make your hair look better if it’s been feeling dry and rough. You can check out leave in conditioners for women and for men both, on Amazon.

#3 Wood Comb

Getting a wooden comb is great because it’s won’t irritate your scalp, unlike a plastic or metal comb. Wooden combs also don’t cause friction and hair breakage as they don’t conduct static electricity – other types of combs certainly do that.

As most people with hard water hair have dandruff problems due to excess buildup on the scalp – a wooden comb can be great for gently removing the buildup from the scalp, restoring blood circulation and opening up hair follicles, blocked by buildup, for further hair growth. Here’s a great one I found on Amazon.

#4 Home Remedies

Apple cider vinegar or baking soda rinses are very helpful for removing mineral buildup in your hair from hard water.

Simply mix 1 part apple cider vinegar/ baking soda with 2 parts water and rinse your hair with it. Especially useful for women with long hair, as it adds visible bounce and shine to your hair.

Apple cider vinegar smells quite pungent though, so if you’re unaccustomed to it, you may find it better to just mix it with your shampoo, in the same proportion as above.

Also, if you’ve applied hair color, both of these remedies may remove it or make the color dull. So be careful there.

Soft Water Hair Issues- Why Some People Think Their Hair Looks Better With Hard Water

While a lot of people love how soft the hair texture becomes after washing in soft water, there are a few common complaints when it comes to soft water hair:

#1 My hair is limp and hard to style 

While hard water hair issues are numerous and highlighted above, many still prefer it because hard water gives the hair volume and makes it easy to style. According to Chagrin Valley, our hair is made up of tiny scales, like the shingles of a roof, that stand up when placed in hard water. This makes our hair coarse and rough, but also gives the impression of having volume and being easy to hold a hairstyle.

In the long run though, it is damaging to the hair and you shouldn’t let a purely cosmetic decision curb your hair health. Once you make the switch to soft water, if you feel this is a problem, you can buy a conditioner for hair volume, like this one on Amazon.

#2 My hair looks really thin and fine

Soft water just kinda exposes your hair for what it is. If you were experiencing some sort of hair thinning earlier, maybe that wasn’t as visible earlier because of the volume that hard water tends to provide to our hair. There are other products you can explore for that, like this one on Amazon.

#3 My hair feels really oily with soft water

Again, if you had an oily scalp, that fact could have been getting masked by the harshness of hard water. The dehydrating effect it has on the scalp would probably mean that it had been neutralizing your scalps natural, oily tendencies. Again, this is just something that switching over to soft water exposed and not a reason for sticking to hard water, no matter how bad it is for your hair.

You can easily solve the oily scalp problem with a good shampoo or conditioner, such as this one on Amazon.

Conclusion

Firstly, if you live in the city, buying a shower filter may no longer just be a luxury, but a necessity for you. (Check out my review of my personal hard water shower filter: CLEO SFW 815)

Secondly, if you already have damaged hair from hard water- complement your shower filter purchase with a chelating shampoo or one of the other remedies to ‘manage’ hard water hair that I outlined above.

In fact, I found an interesting little product- an Apple Cider Vinegar shampoo that would be helpful for those who don’t want an expensive chelating shampoo. You can check it out on Amazon here.

That’s pretty much it. That’s all you need to do to protect your hair from hard water.

To good hair days, all year round!

Kent Vs Aquaguard Vs Pureit- The ONLY Post You Need To Read!


I was recently helping a friend buy a water purifier for her home and later realised my research might be helpful to others as well- which is why I’m writing this article. Initially, I had shortlisted the top 3 water purifier brands in India. These were: Kent, Aquaguard and Pureit. Now it came to picking the best product from these brands.

So, Kent vs Aquaguard vs Pureit- which has the better water purifier?

Kent Grand is definitely the best water purifier in the market currently.  A close second is HUL Pureit Advanced. It mostly offers the same specifications as Kent Grand and is slightly cheaper. Aquaguard Reviva comes in third for being overly packed with features which makes it expensive 

Let’s look at what I mean in detail:

The #1 Thing You Must Know Before Deciding On A Water Purifier

There is another thing that I want you to keep in mind while reading this post. Please don’t decide to just buy based on my recommendation. Also think about the customer service in your area of the water purifier brand you’re considering.  

As we all know, customer service of water purifier brands usually is pretty poor in India.  There isn’t a single brand that can claim superior service. The only difference is that some brands have better service in some areas and really poor service in others.

If you’re not sure about this then go and talk to a neighbour or several neighbours about what water purifier the use and how the customer service for that has been.

The reason I am highlighting this so much is that most RO purifiers are essentially the same and the only differences we see are because of the marketing language. Which is why product specifications should be a secondary thing, because most products clear the basic specifications criteria for everyone, anyway.

Remember:

The maintenance for a RO purifier can be 3000 to 5000 rupees per year, a significant amount of money which can easily turn out to be more because of shoddy customer service.

Let’s take a look at the products I compare in this post. I basically researched the most popular products for these three brands and rated them according to how useful I think you might find them in your homes.

#1 Kent Grand

Features

  • Can be used with any source of water – borewell, municipal supply, overhead tank etc.
  • 8 L water storage capacity. Ideal for 4-5 member families
  • Water purification rate = 20 L/hr
  • Added protection of UV + UF along with RO
  • TDS controller
  • Filter change alarm and UV bulb failure alarm
  • Latest spin welded RO membrane technology
  • Auto on-off functionality.

Pros

  • 11 W high powered UV bulb provides additional purification layer
  • TDS of output water can be changed according to preference
  • Fantastic water purification rate of ~20 L/hr

Cons

  • Higher maintenance cost than a simple RO purifier owing to added components – UV + UF

My Rating-8/10

There are no complaints with this product, it has all the features one would want in a RO UV UF water purifier. Especially the high powered high powered 11 W UV bulb- much more effective than the standard 8 W bulb most brands use. Check it out on Amazon

#2 HUL Pureit Advanced

 

Features

  • Voltage fluctuation protector
  • 5 L capacity
  • 1 year warranty on product

Pros

  • Can filter REALLY hard water as well- TDS upto 1800 ppm

Cons

  • No LED or sound indicator to check status of machine or to alert when the filter needs changing
  • Small tank capacity and a slower than average water filtration rate- ~10 L/hr
  • No see-through water level indicator

My Rating- 7/10

Due to it’s small capacity, HUL Pureit Advanced is suited for those that are in the habit of storing water in bottles/ containers at home or for bachelors. It has some missing features too such as TDS controller, water level indicator, etc but it’s still a great budget product. Check it out on Amazon

#3 Aquaguard Reviva

 

Features

  • Can be used with any source of water – borewell, municipal supply, overhead tank etc.
  • 8 L water storage capacity. Ideal for 4-5 member families
  • Water purification rate = 15L/hr
  • Added protection of UV + UF along with RO
  • TDS controller
  • In built pressure pump to drive water from a low pressure source
  • Silver surety technology provides added protection from bacteria and viruses
  • Electronic Membrane Life Enhancer(EMLE) prolongs life of RO membrane
  • Performs additional E-boiling of water- as if water has been boiled over the stove for ~20 mins
  • Automatic on/off system

Pros

  • Lesser service costs due to EMLE feature that prevents scaling of RO membrane
  • Additional layers of purification- UV+UF+E-boiling+Silver Surety Technology
  • TDS of output water can be changed according to taste
  • In built pressure pump- usually an external attachment that one has to buy with most purifiers

Cons

  • Too many status signals communicated by the machine via different colors, blink rates of LED indicator. Would have been nice to have at least one or two sound alarms for the critical indicators such as filter change or UV bulb failure
  • Extremely poor reviews of after sales service

My Rating(7/10)

Honestly, I believe that Aquaguard Reviva is a fantastic product. No other product in this price range has as many features packed into it as Reviva.

However

The sheer number of features in it are just too many in my opinion. If you have a RO filter with the standard carbon pre filter and post filter, you don’t really need much else. Instead, by adding on extra components such as e-boiling, EMLE, etc- it just seems unnecessary.

Buy it if you can afford it, of course, but you can get the job done by buying a Kent Grand or a Pureit Advanced in a much more cost effective way. Also, keep in mind that with more number of components, the maintenance costs are just going to keep adding on. Check it out on Amazon

Conclusion

Kent Grand is undoubtedly the best water purifier in my opinion. I feel comfortable making this statement after having gone through hours and hours of research comparing specifications of ALL the water purifiers on the Indian market today.

As a side note- if you’re in an area with hard water, I would highly encourage you to get a shower filter for hard water as well. You can read more about it in this post.

Hope this post answered your burning questions! If it didn’t, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to come back with a better answer.

RO Vs UV Vs UF: How To Choose A Water Filter For YOUR Needs


Since I was a kid, we had a UV purifier at home, as most Indian homes in the 90’s had one. In the late 2000’s , as RO purifiers became popular, we started using those instead.

Most people in countries like the US and UK won’t know a lot about water purification since over there, the tap water is good enough to drink. That’s not the case in India though, and you naturally end up knowing a lot about RO, UV water purifiers since you use them everyday.

Additionally, at a previous job, I was in charge of designing a portable water purifier- so I got to learn a lot about Ultrafiltration(UF) and hollow fibre membranes as well. 

So, since I know a lot of people have questions regarding the differences between RO, UV and UF online, and there wasn’t a good enough article- I decided to create this resource.

Let’s get started.

RO Vs UV Vs UF- Quick Summary

Specifications Overview Reverse Osmosis(RO)

Ultraviolet(UV)Purification

Ultrafiltration(UF)

Requires Electricity?

Removes all contaminants from water?
What contaminants can’t it remove?               – Cysts and turbidity Doesn’t remove small viruses
Makes Hard Water Soft?
Eco Friendly?

(~60% water wastage)

Suitable For? Water that’s hard, contains heavy metals or other dissolved impurities Soft water without heavy metals or dissolved impurities Soft water without heavy metals or dissolved impurities

What is Reverse Osmosis and How Does It Work?

Reverse Osmosis is the most comprehensive water filtration process out of these 3. And that isn’t necessarily a great thing.

But more on that in a minute. First- how does an RO filter work?

Well, a RO purifier basically has two chambers separated by the RO membrane or sheet. The first chamber- containing hard water- is subjected to pressure inside the purifier, due to which the water migrates across the membrane into the other chamber.

The hard water minerals and other impurities- such as viruses, bacteria, etc are unable to cross the membrane barrier, get left behind and voila! You get pure water.

This is why the Reverse Osmosis process needs electricity- because pressure needs to be formed inside the machine to desalinate the water.

As for what material an RO membrane is made of- According to this paper published by the University of Bath-it usually is Thin Film Composite polyamide.

RO Water Purifier

The RO Water Purifier At My Home

How To Maintain A RO Water Purifier

The RO filter membrane will need to be changed every couple of months or so because the membrane gets clogged over time, as impurities are filtered out.

I’ve been using a RO purifier for the last 10 years, and on average, I’d say a filter cartridge should last you 3-4 months, depending on how hard your water actually is.

I also get the pre-filters changed as well whenever I’m getting the RO filter changed. The pre-filters are responsible for extending the life of the RO membrane and bear the brunt of the filtration load.

Usually, the prefilters used will be a Microfilter(MF) + Carbon filter(useful for enhancing taste and to remove chlorine), but in some RO purifiers-the MF might be replaced by a UF(Ultrafilter) membrane.

Maintaining a RO water purifier is costlier than a UV or UF water purifier. You can expect to shell out ~70-100$ or about 4000-6000 Rs every year, depending on how high-end your purifier is, and how many replacable parts it has.

I also find that getting paying your purifier company for a year’s worth of servicing in advance turns out to be cheaper than paying for every single visit by the service guys. They also tend to treat you better.

Apart from this- it’s also good to sanitize the filter body by washing it with water on the inside while the parts are getting serviced. But if you’re lazy, maybe do it twice a year, if not every time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of RO Water Purifiers

The biggest advantage of an RO purifier is that it’s very effective at making hard water soft by reducing Total Dissolved Salts(TDS- a measure of how many minerals are dissolved in water, i.e: how hard is the water) as well as removing viruses, bacteria and any other contaminants that may be present in your water.

However

RO water purifiers can reduce TDS(Total Dissolved Salts) too much. So much so, that the water becomes unhealthy to consume(anything below TDS 50).

As a solution to this – See if there is a mineralizer in your RO purifier, which adds some minerals back and makes the water fit to consume. Or a TDS adjuster, which allows you to manually choose the TDS of your purified water.

Secondly, as mentioned above, the maintenance costs are way higher than a UV or UF water purifier.

Third, RO purifierswaste a lot of water. Roughly 60% of the input water gets rejected as a part of the reverse osmosis process. That means you’ll waste 6 L of water for every 4 L you drink- which, by the way is how much water an average person consumes daily.

This means that in a yeara single person will end up wasting 2190 L of water!

If you have hard water supply and need something to ease your conscience- here’s what I do:

I have a small bucket to collect the reject water as it flows out. This water can be used for a variety of things such as:

  1.  Mopping Floors
  2.  Watering Plants
  3. Flush water for the toilet
  4. Filling up water coolers

What you should not do with the reject water is wash clothes or utensils as the hard water minerals tend to leave a calcified residue over time.

You shouldn’t bathe in it as well, as some online articles suggest, because hard water can be harmful for your hair and skin(I personally use a shower filter to protect myself)

So, if you have a RO purifier at your place- make sure you’re collecting the waste water and putting it to good use.  Here are some of my recommendations for the best water purifier brands in India

What is UV Water Treatment and How Does It Work?

There are basically 3 types of UV light – UVA, UVB and UVC.

  1. UVA has the lowest frequency and is the least effective in killing germs
  2. UVB is found in sunlight and is slightly more germicidal. It also causes tanning.
  3. UVC has the highest frequency and is used for purifying water.

UV water purifiers contain a mercury vapor bulb, also called germicidal bulb, that emanates UVC light.

And while UV rays are not visible to the human eye, they are very effective at killing viruses and bacteria in water. According to Scientific American, UV light damages the DNA of viruses and bacteria in water, which eventually makes their cells unable to function and leads to their death.

Let me make something clear here- UV purifiers do not physically filter out viruses and bacteria in water- they just kill them, making the water safe for consumption.

Advantages and Disadvantages of UV Water Purifiers

Let’s talk about the biggest disadvantage first because it’s more important here:

For a UV water purifier to be truly useful in your home, it needs to have  a pre-filter attached that can remove visible dirt or turbidity in water. UV light becomes increasingly inefficient at purification if the water is cloudy or contains mud, silty, sand, etc.

Also, the pre-filter needs to have a pore size smaller than 0.1 micron(Thousandth of a metre) in order to be effective enough to remove cysts- the only contaminant that UV rays cannot kill due to the hard protective shell around them.

As long as your UV purifier has an adequate pre-filter(such as a microfilter or ultrafilter) you should be good.

Advantages of UV water purifiers:

Lower maintenance costs as compared to RO purifiers. You can expect to spend 1/5th of an RO purifier’s yearly maintenance costs with a UV system. On average, you’ll just need to change the UV bulb once a year and it also uses less electricity as compared to the RO purifiers.

What is UF and How Does It Work?

Ultrafilters(UF) are a type of hollow fibre membrane. In simple terms- hollow fibre membranes are a physical filtration media that contain small pores on their outer surface.

Anything bigger than these pores gets filtered out- anything that’s smaller- passes through.

Not all hollow fibre membranes are made equal though. There are 3 types based on pore size:

1. Microfilter(MF):

  • Has a pore size of roughly 10 micron(10 thousandth of a metre)
  • Can filter out all contaminants except viruses.
  • Generally used in portable water filters and as a pre-filter.

2. Ultrafilter(UF):

  • Pore size of about 1 micron(millionth of a metre).
  • More efficient than MF, it can even remove some viruses
  • Used in gravity filters for home, portable straw and hiking filters.

3. Nanofilter(NF):

  • Pore size of about 0.005 micron(5 billionth of a metre).
  • The most efficient hollow fibre membrane, it can filter out all contaminants and even reduce TDS by 80-90%.
  • Used as a pre-filter for RO membranes, for water softening in some applications and in the dairy industry.

UF Maintenance

As with any filtration membrane, over time, the particles that get filtered out will start clogging the filter. This decreases the filtration efficiency and flow rate of water as it gets purified.

Once you start to notice a decreased flow rate- it generally is time to backflush your UF filter membrane. 

Here’s how you do it:

Open your UF water purifier and remove the filter membrane. Now place it back upside down and pour purified water into the input end of the water purifier.

What this does is, since the filter is placed in reverse, the pure water carries away all the clogged particles with it and you’ll see a stream of dirty water pouring out of the output end of your water purifier.

You should repeat this backflushing process 2-3 times until the stream of water coming out clears up, i.e: all the clogged particles have been removed.

After this, you can place your filter back in the normal position and resume normal usage.

So, whether you have a Microfilter or Ultrafilter- backflushing periodically is important.

Also, every 3-4 months or so, you should change the filter cartridge. Over time you’ll notice that even backflushing won’t help increase the flow rate, and that’s when you’ll know it’s time to change the filter.

Advantages and Disadvantages of UF Water Purifiers

Pros:

  1. No chemicals used
  2. No electricity needed
  3. Low maintenance costs- only the UF membrane needs to be changed every 3-4 months

Cons:

You should only use a UF purifier if you’re confident your water won’t contain viruses. Most urban water supplies across the world don’t but where I live in India, you can’t count on it.

Conclusion: RO Vs UV Vs UF- Which Water Purifier Should You Get?

If you have a hard water supply or water that contains dissolved impurities(heavy metals, chlorine, etc), you pretty much have no choice but to buy a RO water purifier.

But if you get soft water, I implore you to get a UV+UF or a UF water purifier. It’s way better for the environment and it’s going to cost you less as well.

And while it’s nice to know the top purifier brands, don’t go crazy on a particular brand-choose a purifier according to your needs and it’ll serve you well.

Quick Guide on Water Purification – Germs in Water


Do you get confused by the various different technicaI terms that water purifier manufacturers use?

Terms like :

  • Turbidity
  • Crysptosporidum
  • Giardia
  • E.Coliform

It is absolutely essential that you understand terms like these before you buy a water purifier, in order to be able to cut through the marketing language the brands use and truly understand what a product can and cannot do.

 

Unless, that is, you want to be at the mercy of other opinion/product review articles on the internet- some of which aren’t always accurate, some of which are downright misleading. Like I always say, knowledge is power. Let’s start from the biggest to smallest contaminants in size.

#1  Turbidity

Turbidity or cloudiness in water is caused due to visible contaminants such as mud, sand, silt, etc and can be removed by a simple mesh filter or by letting them settle down. Turbid water hinders the purification process and encourages growth of germs.

 #2  Bacteria

Bacterial contamination in water usually occurs from human or animal waste. They vary in width from 0.2-1 micron(micrometer). Common bacteria that most labs will test for are E.Coliform and  Legionella. E. Coli indicates fecal matter contamination in water and is 0.5 microns wide. A Legionella cell, on average will be about 0.5-1 micron wide and can cause Legionnaires disease.

#3  Protozoa and Cysts

Protozoa(such as Cryptosporidum, Giardia) are unicellular germs that usually enter water supplies through sewage or animal waste and can cause gastrointestinal diseases, diarrhea, etc.

Cysts are a stage in the life cycle of some protozoa, which form a protective wall around themselves. It can be hard to remove cysts from water using conventional methods such as chlorination.

The good news is that, Cysts and Protozoa are both are bigger than 1 micron in size, so you can rest assured that any mechanical filter media (such as Lifestraw, Sawyer) that filters out bacteria can filter out protozoa as well.

#4  Virus

Viruses are the smallest contaminants in water, ranging in size from 0.005-1 micron. They are tough to kill and can stay dormant in frozen water for a long time. A lot of water filters do not filter out viruses. Talking about membrane based systems, only Ultrafilters and Nanofilters can claim a considerable reduction in virus in the water source. Reverse Osmosis, of course will completely remove viruses.

If you take away one thing from this article, it should be the knowledge of the sizes of different kinds of germs in water. This will help you make a decision on whether the water purifier you are going to buy can actually filter out these contaminants or not

For Part-2 of the Guide on Water Purification, go here.

Any questions? Jump into the comments section below and I will answer them soon enough!

Live Better,

SC

Best Hard Water Shower Filter India: It Stopped My Hairfall


If your water is hard or contains chlorine, you know the feeling.

How your hair feels rougher than it used to…

How it breaks off so easily these days…

How you always have dandruff now…

And you might even have experienced some of these- skin rashes, acne, or eczema.

 

Quick Summary

CLEO SFU 717 Shower+Tap Filter

Tap Filter For Hard Water

CLEO SFW 815 Shower Filter

CLEO SFW 815 Shower filter for hard water & chlorine


I mean, don't we shower to be clean and look better? Turns out, the effect hard water and chlorine has on us may be somewhat opposite. 

Till recently, I was in the same spot as you. I was in a fix- because I didn't want to burn my money on mineral water for bathing or on costly shampoos.

That's because I didn't know shower filters for hard water and chlorine existed.

Here's my recommendation:

CLEO SFW 815 Shower Filter 

CLEO SFW 815 Shower filter for hard water & chlorine

My Personal CLEO SFW 815 Shower Filter- Been using it for 6 months now with absolutely no complaints!

I highly recommend the CLEO shower filter. I use it at home and it’s worked extremely well for me.

But first- what’s a shower filter?

A shower filter is basically a shower-head that contains a filter cartridge inside it. The exterior looks like the picture above.

The filter cartridge for CLEO looks like this:

CLEO shower & tap filter cartridge

Shower filters are the only cost effective way to actually solve the problems caused from hard and chlorinated water.

The only other ‘real’ option is to buy a whole-house water softener and/or chlorine water filter, but that would set you back by about 50,000 Rs.

And while people also spend a lot of money on expensive shampoos and home remedies, they don’t do anything about the underlying issue; i.e bad water quality.

So, first up- here are 11 Reasons why you should buy the CLEO SFW 815 shower filter:

11 Reasons Why You Should Buy The CLEO Shower Filter....and 2 Cons

Pros

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    Removes 2 major causes of hair fall- Hard Water and Chlorine
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    Protects skin from premature aging- wrinkles and skin darkening
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    Prevents worsening of respiratory diseases due to VOC's 
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    Removes odors from water including the most common- sulfur
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    Prevents lime scale formation
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    Prevents bacteria buildup in shower heads
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    Value for money- comes to about 1 Rs/33 L of filtered water
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    Filter Cartridges can be easily ordered online
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    Works well for hot and cold water
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    2 year warranty on the product!
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    Easy to install yourself. Fits standard 1/2'' shower arm

Cons

  • Maintenance cost of replacing filter cartridge - ~500 Rs every 6 months or after 25,000 L of usage, whichever comes earlier 
  • Doesn't filter out chloramine- a compound formed when ammonia and chlorine both are used in water purification

How Does the CLEO SFW 815 Shower Filter Work?

The CLEO shower filter works through a 4-stage filtration process:

  • The first layer mechanically filters out suspended micro-particles.
  • The  second layer reduces effect of hard water salts and lime-scale.
  • The third layer reduces chlorine levels(upto 90-95%) and heavy metals like lead and mercury.
  • The fourth layer is the nano-silver carbon layer which removes odor from the water and prevents bacterial growth

Let’s talk about how the hard water gets treated. According to Waterscience:

Part of the Cleo’s unique 4 layer filtering system is the hardness-removal layer- a combination of natural MicroSieve Zeolites and food grade anti-scalant media, which ensures that hard-water salts are filtered, reduced and washed away and don’t stick to your skin.

As for chlorine removal, that happens in the 3rd filtration stage, which is made using patented KDF technology. Going through the KDF website made the scientific process clear.

Let me explain:

The KDF media contains a unique proportion of Copper and Zinc which reacts with the impurities in water and filters them out. The process is called oxidation-reduction(redox).

This basically means that there is a reaction between oppositely charged particles which either creates a harmless component that gets passed on with the filtered water or that the harmful components react and form deposits on the filter medium, thus removing them from the water supply.

What that means for us is- free chlorine in water changes into harmless, water-soluble chloride and passes out along with the filtered water. And if there are any heavy metals in your water, they’ll get filtered out by the cartridge.

That’s pretty much all you need to know!

CLEO SFW 815 Shower Filter Installation:

Added Recommendation- CLEO SFU 717 Tap Filter

Remember everything I said about showering in hard and chlorinated water?

It still stands true when you’re taking a bucket-bath or even washing your hands at the sink!

It just takes a few seconds for the chlorine in water to absorb into your skin.

That’s why, along with the CLEO SFW 815, I recommend the CLEO SFU 717. It’s more versatile than the 815 as it can be used as a shower AND tap filter, both.

Apart from it’s multi-functionality and sleeker design – there’s no other difference between the CLEO SFU 717 and SFW 815 filters. They both function on the same technology and even use the same filter cartridges.

If you want to use it as a shower filter, it’s easy to manually attach it to any standard 1/2″ shower arm. In case you have a non standard tap and you want to use it as a tap filter, you’ll need to buy this attachment – a 28 mm aerator-which is quite cheap, thankfully.

You can read more about the CLEO SFU 717 shower & tap filter in my detailed review

Final Word

CLEO has improved the quality of my hair drastically. I used to have constant, year-round dandruff and hair fall. My hair had been growing patchy at the sides!

6 months later- it’s growing normal again, and the patches have filled out. I’ll be honest- while my hair-fall and dandruff hasn’t completely disappeared, it’s still better than it used to be. 

After you get to know just how many contaminants are present in your shower water, you realize that a shower filter is not a luxury.

A shower filter is a necessity.

Check out the CLEO SFW 815 shower filter on Amazon