Can a water softener cause shedding?

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  • HD-Susan

    Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    I'm trying to determine why I am shedding so much. I started using new products the same week I started using a water softener. I am well-versed in the arena of conditioners, etc., and not applying conditioner to the base or knots but I switched some of the products anyway as a test, but still am shedding. Does anyone know if the water softener could be causing the shedding?

    I use lots of knot sealer and do not have bleached knots. 

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. 

    Thanks! 

    Susan • Sr. Content Developer and hair wearer, formerly known as CurlySue.

  • jonnyboy

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    i would say that you may lose hair on your pillow when you sleep........i`d advise you to ger a satin pillows case or bedsheets...because that will put less stress on your hair when "turning over"...

     Big SmileBig Smile

    this solved my problem of shedding hair...there was a vast differnece...i think this will be your solution..the other tip is not to put conditioner on the base knot side becaquse it loosens the knotts......be aware of this too.......just put it on the hair only.......these tips worked for me...Yes

    JONNY

  • HD-Susan

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Thanks Jonny--

    I don't lose hair when I sleep. There's no hair in the bed or on the pillowcase. I use satin pillowcases. Hair shedding is only noticeable in the very front area (from the front edge until about 2 inches back), the back is fine. It sheds mostly with combing, but for the first 5 weeks I did not shed at all and since then (2 more months later) I shed a lot. Like I said, it mostly sheds with washing and combing. I use a wide tooth comb now because I think the recommended vent brush just rips the hair out...they are very rough on long hair. I am careful with the conditioner. I think it's a combing issue. I am going to switch to double knots on my next order but that won't be until about 6 months from now. I have two new units coming in soon.

    Susan • Sr. Content Developer and hair wearer, formerly known as CurlySue.

  • joebell

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Hi Sue,

    A water softener does add sodium to your tap water.  How much depends on how hard the water in your area may be.  Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium. A softener removes those ions from hard water and replaces them with sodium ions. The more calcium and magnesium in your water, the more sodium is used to soften the water.  Salt isn't good for hair, but there is rarely enough in softened water to make much of a difference.  I went on a cruise that destroyed one of my hair systems once.  After their initial supply of water was exhausted on the ship, they pumped in water from the ocean for showers, toilets, etc.  That large amount of salt can certainly cause problems, but I doubt a softener in your home is a problem.  On other cruises, I had no problem, so go figure. I have a softener at home and it doesn't seem to hurt my system at all.  Someone once told me there was a shampoo and a spray in conditioner that neutralizes salt in water, but I don't really know anything about it.

    Joe

  • HD-Susan

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Thanks Joe. That's very interesting. My hair has gotten softer with the water softener and the products I use. I just was wondering if that was adding to the shedding. Unlikely I suppose. I think it's just getting pulled out when washing/combing because it tangles up so much when it gets wet. It's supposed to be Remy hair and therefore not tangle when it gets wait, however, it's very hard to HD to guarantee Remy hair and it appears to be a crap shoot for them. I understand. Thanks for the feedback!

    Susan • Sr. Content Developer and hair wearer, formerly known as CurlySue.

  • joebell

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Sue, Can I ask you if HD told you they can't guarantee remy hair? Remy hair shouldn't be hit or miss.  You either order it or not.  If you do and it comes back wrong, I'd be pretty firm on getting it replaced.  I know it's not always easy to return a piece, but as customers we shouldn't just accept what we get if it's not what we ordered. 

    I've had a system from time to time come to me and get dried out after a week or so.  I returned one and I gave the others the bleach/ammonia bath.  I can't tell you how great it works.  The hair looks new, shiny and is very smooth.  It can ruin a piece if you do it wrong, so be careful if you never did it before. 

    When I shampoo or condition, I sometimes comb or brush the shampoo and conditioner through the hair.  It keeps it from getting tangled or matted. 

    Joe

  • HD-Susan

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Hi Joe--

    Ahhh, the elusive Remy hair issue. HD did not specifically tell me that they can't guarantee Remy hair, what they told me when I was at their facility is that it's so hard to get true Remy hair that they considered not even offering it anymore. Then I read Bill's Blog on the subject: http://www.hairdirect.com/community/blogs/bills_blog/archive/2008/01/14/remy-hair-true-or-false.aspx  

    He says:

    When a hair system is looped or knotted it is impossible to have Remy because all of the returns are going in the opposite directions. Only half of the hair will be in the same direction and with true Remy all the cuticles are going in the same direction. When the hair is injected there are no returns and all the hair is root to tip with 100% of the cuticles going in the same direction.

    He specifically says they will no longer offer Remy hair unless it's in a true Remy base which I do not have nor was it ever suggested to me by HD to guarantee the Remy hair. Many women in the forum question whether or not they have Remy hair and in conjunction with Bill's Blog I assume it's an issue for HD. In addition, I have no idea if I have Remy hair or not. It does matte when I wash it and it does tangle when it's dry but it doesn't matte when it's dry. I did not return it because I have no other system to wear and I really don't know if it's Remy or not, so how can I send it back? I've been involved in other discussions in the forum trying to determine that with no real clear answer. I'm going to post something about this in HD Feedback so that they can respond.

    I can tell you that my unit is not dried out. It was but I corrected that with the water softener and a smattering of Nearly Natural products. 

    I also comb through when I shampoo and condition. This is when I lose tons of hair. The hair mattes when it gets wet and unfortunately no matter how careful I am (and I'm very careful) I lose a lot of hair. I lose a lot of hair anytime I comb it, wet or dry, and I use a very wide tooth comb that doesn't rip the hair like a vent brush.

    I'm retiring this unit tomorrow because my new one is in. I'm going to send it back to have hair added (how to guarantee Remy with hair adding??) I think. Or maybe I'll finally try the bleach/ammonia bath. I have no place to do that but my kitchen sink and I'm a bit worried about the fumes. I'm in a small second story apartment with very little ventilation.

    Thanks for the feedback, Joe! 

    Susan • Sr. Content Developer and hair wearer, formerly known as CurlySue.

  • joebell

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Sue,

    You really know your stuff and you did some great research.  The issue of the cuticle layer has always been a topic of conversation.  I used to have a poly base and I assumed it was remy, but at this point I guess I don't know what I have on my lace base.  I generally don't have much trouble, but I'm sure shorter hair is easier to care for.  However, when I do have problems with matting, the bleach/ammonia bath really works.  As for the odor, I do mine in a small 2nd bathroom.  As long as you don't combine the bleach and ammonia in any manner, the only scent you get is diluted bleach and ammonia.  It's really not that bad at all.  You use less bleach than you'd use in your laundry and less ammonia that used in general household cleaning.  2 ounces doesn't smell that bad, but once again .. do not mix them.  Thats when the problem can occur.  After the "bath", the hair feels a bit funny, but after I condition it, it looks and feels great.  Let us know how your new replacement is and what remedy you have for the old piece.

    Joe

  • Babe with a Mane

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Sue,

    No worries...Bill has since decided not to "ban the remy"...lol!!! There is a new process being used now and it appears to be working like a charm. Since my first order was not remy, every order since then has been remy. I won't order anything else.

    As long as you are ordering the double knots for your next order, that will help immensely, but for now, here are some suggestions:

    Definitely use the TDI knot sealer, but instead of using it lightly, I recommend 3-4 coats and let it dry in between coats. I do this with every de/re.

    Continue your safe practice of not getting the shampoo or conditioner on the knots, that is very helpful. After all, we don't need to scrub since there aren't any "roots" to clean or condition.

    Try the pureology nanoworks that I recommended. I promise, it's the best EVER!!! Yes, it's rather expensive, I buy on ebay...but the huge bottles last 6-8 months. For $120.00 it's well worth it. It would last a lot longer if my family didn't use it too!!! Maybe I should hide it?

     

    JOEBELL!

    Hiya, long time no see! You are ON THE MONEY about the bleach / ammonia bath! This is something I do whenever my unit loses that silky, shiny, look. It isn't necessary often, but MAN what a difference it makes. I will offer one additional tip regarding this process. I try not to soak the base/knots in the solution, instead, I hold the base slightly above the solution and brush thru it gently from ends to base. After the bleach, i rinse it REALLY WELL, and then repeat the process with the ammonia. I measure the exact amount of bleach and ammonia and you are right, it's much less than I use in laundry.

    The bleach /ammonia bath is my favorite of all. It really is a unit-saver and I rely on it to keep my hair looking gorgeous!

    Curly, give these a try and keep track of what you believe works for you. I believe that you will find I have a lot of t-shirts that say, "been there- done that!" Hope we can save you from going thru the same things we had to do!

    Let us know if it works!

    Babe

    p.s. still haven't found the time to get to philly...it's soccer and cross country season and each week we've been consumed with games and meets! Soon, I promise!

    Not born with hair, but I've got
    the intelligence to find it,
    the money to pay for it,
    the patience to "stick" it on just right,
    the will to make it work,
    the confidence to wear it boldly
    and the smile to wear under it!

  • joebell

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Hi Babe and Sue,

    Good suggestion on not soaking the hair unit deep enough to get the bleach/ammonia on the knots. "Not on the Knots", should be the slogan!  I recently "bathed" an old, totally dry, very matted piece just last week and I honestly feel as if I am wearing a new piece.  The hair is silky and shiny and feels great to the touch.  Sue, I'd really love to hear what results you have if you give your piece the bath.  Is it really true that this "bath" removes the cuticle layer?  If that is what it does, I can see why it works so well.  Just a couple more pieces of advice that I want to stress again ... no more than 2 ounces per gallon of each chemical and no more than 2 minutes soaking in each.  And, as was said, rinse, rinse and rinse again to remove all of the bleach/ammonia. 

    Babe, it seems as if you are really an avid user of the knot sealer.  Have you ever noticed that it tends to build up on the lace and that it won't come out?  There was a post once about that and I seemed to experience that same problem.  Personally, I go very light with the sealer.  Any thoughts on the possibility of excessive build up?

    Joe

  • HD-Susan

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Hi kids!

    You guys ROCK. If nobody else tells you that today, just be well aware of your Rock Star status. Many thanks for your concern and feedback. It's nice to have others in the boat with me! Wink

    Babe--I do use tons o' TDI--three heavy applications every two weeks like yourself...it's not working. I recently was recommended an acrylic knot sealer that I've tried the last two detaches, no luck there either. It's really odd. I'll keep experimenting...though I'm not one to use garage products on my units like some others...S-C-A-R-Y. But I do have some Spray Mount in the basement, maybe I'll just attach my unit with that.Stick out tongue I'll figure it out. BTW, do new units come with knot sealer on them? 

    Regarding the double knots, I am getting them in my next order but that won't be until Spring Sad Just got in a new unit that goes on my head tomorrow and the second one comes in a month. Then I will finally have two and the de/re should go faster than, uh, FOUR hours. Remember those days?? I had to be comfortable with my unit specs (for now) until I could justify ordering two. It didn't make sense otherwise. 

    Question, what is that you love about the Nanoworks? 

    As for meeting--no worries and no rush, but I'm really looking forward to it. I'm actually in Central Bucks so any meeting place of your choice from Easton to Jersey to Delaware is really fine--I'll buy ya lunch!

    Joe--I don't really need the b/a bath because my hair is soft with minimal tangling. Actually, the hair itself looks great, if it would just stay in the base. It doesn't look so hot in my shower, floor or carpet, know what I mean?? Maybe I'll try it once my new unit is on, cut in and gets the seal of approval. I will keep you posted in this thread. Maybe my "minimal tangline" IS the problem because most of the shedding happens when I brush or comb...

    As for knot sealer buildup, I remember chatting with you in a thread about knot sealer. Here's the original scary post http://www.hairdirect.com/community/forums/thread/3370.aspx. I commented in the other thread that I was going to back off the knot sealer but I used only one pass during two de/re's and the shedding started, so I went back to the triple application. My base looks as clean as a brand new unit. Could it be that you're not rinsing well enough? Could it be product buildup? Could it be hard water buildup? What could it be??? I have NY lace but Babe has Hollywood and she never mentioned buildup. BTW, I'm hoping you join the ranks of you all in the Spring--Hollywood lace with bleached double knots. Who knows Babe, maybe even highlights! That will require a trip to HD for sure.

     

    Susan • Sr. Content Developer and hair wearer, formerly known as CurlySue.

  • joebell

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Sue, Yes ... now I remember.  It was you that discussed the knot sealer build up with me.  I swear that one of my units had a build up of knot sealer.  Now, I have no clue as to what it was.  I'm getting two new pieces in a couple of weeks and I'll certainly be a little more liberal with the sealer.  I'm pretty fortunate because I don't lose much hair.  I even shampoo almost every day.  I'm on the 6 a year program and thinking of going to 8 per year.  Not that's it's really necessary, but I feel so much better when I have a couple extra laying around.  I imagine you gals have it a bit more difficult because it takes a little more to care for your longer hair and I'd have to guess that it is quite a bit more expensive than the guys pieces.  That's why we men appreciate you ladies so much.  You always put in far more effort to look good than the guys.  Some guys think that using deodorant and spraying a little cologne on every day is a bit too much work. LOL 

    Babe and Sue ...Thanks again for your interest in sharing your knowledge with everyone else.  I know you have literally changed the lives of many of those who wear hair.

    Joe

  • HD-Susan

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Joe--You get a HUG! Thanks for such kind words. Thanks for understanding the female side of this issue as well.

    Incidentally, I went to art school and have known men who mistake patchouli oil for deodorant. Need I say more? 

    Susan • Sr. Content Developer and hair wearer, formerly known as CurlySue.

  • joebell

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Does that real minty scent of patchouli do something for you ladies? Wink   
  • Babe with a Mane

    Re: Can a water softener cause shedding?

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    Hmmm...not sure Joe, could you lean a little closer so we can smell your neck???  tee hee!!!

    bedtime for me, but I'll write more to answer sue in the morning....nitey nite!

    Babe

    Not born with hair, but I've got
    the intelligence to find it,
    the money to pay for it,
    the patience to "stick" it on just right,
    the will to make it work,
    the confidence to wear it boldly
    and the smile to wear under it!

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