EFFECTS OF COPPER IONS ON COLOURED HAIR, EXPLAINED.

During your last salon visit, your hairstylist may have given you heads up against the 3 colour saboteurs: UV rays, sulfates in the shampoo, and the copper in your shower water. 

That's right: researchers have discovered that traces of copper in tap water can damage tresses. And the water that comes out of your shower pipes contains traces of metals and minerals that deposit onto your hair, causing build-up over time, interacting with hair colour chemicals, and distort your salon coloured tresses. 

Copper Build-up

Dr. Jennifer Marsh, a researcher at Proctor and Gamble, conducted a study and analysed hair tresses from 450 women internationally and found that everyone's samples contained varying levels of copper. 

On average, most women had around 20-200 atoms of copper for every million molecules in their hair. Some, however, had levels higher than 500 parts per million.

The study suggests that as copper gradually builds up in hair, it lends an unwanted hand to speed up sun damage, creating split ends, unwanted flyaways, and dull, discoloured hair.

Bottle blonde hair is more porous than dark hair; going from dark to light causes the cuticle to become thinner and less sustainable to the elements—including styling tools, sun exposure, pollution, and product build-up. 

Copper is catalytically active, and the porous hair shaft, acting like a sponge, tends to pick it up over time. Dr. Marsh further explains: "Colours and dyes create free radicals that damage hair proteins. And copper catalyses that reaction the same way how prolonged UV exposure discolours your hair."

The Signs

Copper can either can from groundwater or your building's pipes. Even in homes with plastic piping, many of the hot water tanks are made from copper.

Here are some signs that you have copper in your shower:

  • The mineral usually leaves a green/blue stain on taps, pipes, hand basins, showers, or toilets.
  • You notice a metallic or bitter taste while drinking tap water. 
  • Copper usually leads to faster fading and alteration of your hair colour. 

The Chelating Shampoo

It's not all doom and gloom for those of us who want drama-free locks. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that treating hair with chelators from time to time could neutralise the mineral's effect. 

The effects of chelating shampoos are actually more substantial than your day to day shampoo and are great for removing minerals that cause damage and colour fading. A chelating shampoo isn't for everyday use. Experts suggest using it twice a month to avoid drying out your hair. 

Filter Your Shower Water

If you ever felt like no matter how devoted you are to your hair masks, scalp scrubs, and other treatments, your hair and scalp keep acting out? Then maybe it's time to get a shower filter

It's more than creating a spa-like experience for your bathroom, a shower filter can help remove copper from the water and prevent those unnecessary visits to the salon. 

Alongside copper, the Hello Klean Shower Filter removes iron, lead, other metals found in hard water. On top of that, it filters away over 90% of chlorine from your shower stream. The best part? No tools or handyman needed! Hassle-free assembly and start your hair care routine with a clean slate. 


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