You name the problems, we've got them: icky residue on our dishes, water stains in the toilets that won't scrub away, milky-white residue all over our shower (it's especially noticeable on the door, of course), hair that I can't brush through... In all honesty, I can deal with a lot of it.
Residue on the dishes? I wipe them really well with a soft towel if I'm able to notice it. Stains in the toilets? Well, they're toilets... Everything about them is icky anyways, but I've been told Bar Keeper's Friend should fix the problem- I've yet to try it though. Residue in the shower? Again, I think the Bar Keeper's Friend will fix it when I finally am able to hunt some down.
The biggest problem is what the water does to our skin and hair- particularly my hair, since it's so long. It's really sort of disgusting. My hair feels dirtier after washing it in the shower than it does before I get in! Talk about frustrating! So what solution was there? Some people say a water softener should help. Personally, I didn't want to spend that kind of money. Plus, they look a little complicated, and I'm sure I would have messed something up. So then I read that a clarifying shampoo would give me good results. Wanting to test this out immediately, I went to Sephora and picked up Carol's Daughter clarifying shampoo and conditioner.
The results were amazing!- at first... The first time I used them, I shampooed and conditioned twice because of the build-up. I got out of the shower and rejoiced when I was able to run a comb through my hair! The next shower, I did only one application. When my hair was dry, I reveled in the fact I could easily run my fingers from root to tip without my fingers feeling coated with gunk afterwards. And so I was happy... for about two weeks or so...
After that point, I started noticing that the underneath side of my hair began to feel ropy. Never fully clean, and looked terrible if I tried doing anything nicer than a messy bun on top of my head. I just couldn't figure out why my miracle hair care regimen had begun to fail me. So, I began to look for more permanent solutions that still did not include a water softener.
I knew that a lot of hardware stores carried water purifiers you could supposedly hook up to a shower head. While looking for one with good reviews, I came across one on Sephora (notice a trend here?).
Couture Colour Resc-Hue Water Purifier:
Now, when I saw this, I was immediately turned off by the price. The unit is $120, and every 6 months the filter part must be replaced. The filters are $55 each, and are also available from Sephora. To me, that's awfully pricey. But then I started reading the reviews. Every symptom I had I could find in the fairly large amount of reviews on the product. And it seemed this water purifier had solved each one of those problems for someone else. Since the item had such rave reviews and identified every issue I was struggling with, I asked the hubby's opinion. Come to find out, even with his military-short haircut, he was experiencing the same gross ickiness with his hair that I was. He agreed to give the product a try. So, I ordered the item online, and anxiously waited to find it at my front door. Unlike some people who had purchased this item, I was prepared. I picked up two really good tips from reading through all of the reviews. And these two tips would have solved most of the problems for people who rated the item down:
1.) Connect the filter to the water pipe with Teflon plumber's tape.
2.) Expect that your water will run black for a few moments right after installation. This residue CAN stain your shower or bath tub, so you can either catch the water in a bucket, or make sure to rinse it all out with the hand-held wand.
Simple enough. We attached the unit, rinsed out the black water, and everything seemed peachy.
We've had the unit for about a week and a half now. At first, the only difference I noticed after the first wash was the difference in my skin. For once, it didn't feel like I was covered in scales. I took this as a good sign. But the under side of my hair was still really gross feeling. The hubby claimed he didn't notice a difference after his first shower. On my second use, I shampooed my hair twice, once flipping my hair completely over and ONLY shampooing the under side specifically. Since then, my hair has not felt weirdly ropy, goopy, or in any other way nasty. It finally feels like hair again!!! Let the celebration begin!!!
There are a couple of downsides I've noticed so far though.
1.) It is rather spendy. $120 for the unit, then $55 every six months? All I have to say to this is that it better continue working amazingly.
2.) It's ugly. Plain and simple, I hate how it looks. I know that's just my personal preference (my husband couldn't care less about what the shower head looks like as long as it gets him clean), but it really is an eye-sore to me.
So, in conclusion, I think I would recommend this to someone with mineral problems in their water. It seems to have solved a very big problem for my family. At least, for now. I will keep posting updates on this product as time wears on though, and we'll see how well it holds up!