Water pollution! Do I need a shower filter ?
Is the water damaging our hair and skin?
You may be thinking that installing a shower filter is a little excessive, I mean how bad can our tap water be? Coming from a country where we can drink water directly from the tap, the need to install a shower filter was never on my radar. However for many of us living in regions where the tap water is known to contain harmful substances and experiencing first hand some of the damaging effects to our hair and skin resulting in anything from skin breakouts, dryness, hair colour fading or even hair loss. Could a shower filter be the missing component to our general wellbeing and health?
Why do we need filtered water?
Chlorine and chloramines are generally added to the water supply in many regions to kill bacteria, viruses, and other things which may be harmful to the human body. Chlorine is said to be unstable as a water disinfectant so chloramines ( ammonia and chlorine ) are used as a more stable compound proven to be more effective over time. That means that not all filters removing chlorine will remove chloramine, which is highly suspected as a human carcinogenic. There are other substances that can also be present in the water which are arsenic, heavy metals, rust and sediment, all of which could be inorganic or naturally occurring. Heavy metals are associated with hair loss.
How do I know which filter works best?
Recently I have gone down a rabbit hole of research into the world of shower filters, looking for answers as to which type of filter will work the best here in Vietnam and solutions available to purchase. There is not much information available about the water quality here so that makes choosing the right filter even more difficult. Add to the equation many of the filters could be ineffective or designed and manufactured in countries that do not have the same water pollution types as the country you are purchasing in.
How does chlorine impact skin and hair?
Sensitive skin people may experience an itchy feeling when coming out of a pool or after a hot shower where you have been bathing in chlorinated water. In addition you may be familiar with research on the role that good bacteria play in supporting optimal human health. These bacteria live in the gut (often referred to as the microbiome), they live on the skin and various other places on or in the body. These bacteria play a major role in supporting optimal digestive health, hormonal balance, and immune system activation—to name a few. So what happens when we are repeatedly exposed to chlorine? We can disrupt our bacterial environment and this can manifest as a variety of external and internal conditions. Our hair will suffer damage as a result of being regularly washed with chlorinated water causing colour changes and weakened dry brittle strands.
What’s the best shower filter?
From my research I have found the most likely way to effectively remove chlorine ( not necessarily chloramines ) is a filter using the media Kinetic Degradation Fluxion or KDF. There is a current trend with the Vitamin C shower head, which in a controlled environment is proven to neutralise chlorine, however the conditions that the Vitamin C are added into a shower head filter are not proven to be effective over time.
How easy is the installation?
I was able to install my filter in a matter of minutes. There are two main options available on the market, one being the shower head with a built in filter which is easily replaceable for your current shower head. The other is a separate attachment that can easily be screwed on to your current tap and inlet pipe. It’s an easy beauty hack that will make your daily shower play a bigger role in your overall health and wellness routine.