Hard Water Blues

I remember talking about our well water in earth science class in 8th grade, and one of my friends told the class she thought that meant we had to go pump our water every day….good times. Anyway, I’d had well water my entire life until I left for college, and now that we’ve moved into a house with well water, while we were happy to not have a water bill, this water is doing all sorts of nasty things to my hair and skin. (Looking back, maybe that’s why I had so many breakouts and such horrible hair growing up.)

At first I thought it was just the stress of moving. All the packing, running around, and general stress can throw anyone out of whack, but now that we’ve been here for over a month, and since I’ve been doing more research, I’m fairly certain it’s our hard well water.

I’ve been having horrible breakouts, and in the beginning I tried washing my face more, only to find that made the breakouts worse. My scalp has also been really itchy and my hair slightly more brittle.

Before we bought our house the water was tested by previous interested buyers and it was found that there was a slightly higher than normal level of nitrates in the water. From what I can tell, excess nitrates aren’t good to ingest, but they’re okay to wash with and brush your teeth with, etc. The sellers ended up installing a water filtration system at the sink for drinking water, and apparently they got a great system because it was around $1,200 just for the kitchen sink.

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We’d planned on upgrading the HVAC and getting a whole house water filtration system as soon as we moved in, but kind of as we figured things are moving slower than planned. We hired an exterminator, purchased a riding lawn mower, bought supplies for painting and upgrading the bathroom, and we *may* need to buy a new washer and dryer (from what we can tell the w/d are from ’85…which means they are older than me…but the water might be the cause of the smelly laundry problems). We also planned to do 90% of the HVAC upgrade ourselves, saving us a lot of money, but now we’re looking into hiring a contractor. We’re waiting on a quote, and we hope to have that done in the next month or two before we really need to use a lot of heat.

Since the water is isn’t harmful, and we have filtered water to drink out of, the whole house filtration system kind of got pushed to the bottom of our priorities list. Except for the fact my skin is driving me crazy.

I thought about making the huge purchase of getting the filtration system as a surprise for the mr…but I decided against it because I don’t know what he would want. I thought I could figure it out, but there are so many different systems out there. I’d love to get a Tensui system, but unfortunately I don’t have a spare 16k laying around.

Temporary Solutions

I’d rather fix the problem, rather than spending money on products, but it looks like it’s going to be put on hold for a little longer.

Getting a shower filter isn’t really in the question since we will be getting a whole house system eventually, and I’ve read that they aren’t that great.

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I’ve been being really careful to not get my face wet in the shower and I’ve been using Yes To Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes twice a day. They seem to be helping, but since there’s only 25 in a package it’s going to be pricey in the long run.

I’ve read about chelating shampoos and I’m going to try this one. (It should be here in a few hours.) My question is, that even if the shampoo is supposed to strip minerals from your hair and scalp…if you rinse the shampoo off with hard water, doesn’t it defeat the purpose? I’ve thought about washing my hair with filtered water, but it seems like it would be a huge hassle.

Fluoride

The pediatrician recommended getting the water tested and supplementing with fluoride drops. I questioned if it was really necessary, and she said since they’ve been adding fluoride to the water, the number of cavities have decreased. I guess I’m leaning against it, since I’ve hard well water my whole life, and I currently use a fluoride free toothpaste and I’ve never had a cavity (or any dental issues). I know one person’s experience isn’t conclusive evidence, but I’ve also read mixed things about supplementing with fluoride. I plan on asking the dentist at the next visit.

So please help, I need advice!

Has anyone gotten a whole house water filtration system?

Do you have hard water, and does it affect your hair/skin?

Are there any good chelating or other hard water shampoos?

If you have well water and children, did you supplement fluoride?

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