Splish, Splash, What’s In Your Bath?

Last summer after a particularly long day in the pool, I let my son take his nightly bath in the pool.  Lather, dunk, repeat…in the pool.  That’s the equivalent of brushing your teeth with oreos.  Yes he was clean, but his hair was like hay. His skin was tight and ashy.  The chlorine sucked out every bit of natural moisture in his hair and skin, in addition to the bar of Irish Spring he lathered up with.  My skin tightens up a little just thinking about it.

I’m on this Curly Girl Method journey in hopes of truly embracing my hair’s natural texture rather than coating it in silicones to tame the frizz or singe it with a 450 degree flat-iron until it looks more like the ends of a broom than soft bouncy hair.

Among the overwhelming amount of info about hair types and ingredients, one thing really changed my life:  a water filter for the shower.  Chlorine is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing pathogens that commonly grow in water supply reservoirs.  Chlorine is derived from salt.  Salt is no bueno for hair and skin, unless it’s salt from the ocean which is different from chlorine salt.  A simple shower head filter will eliminate the chlorine, resulting in softer skin and hair.  There are many types of filters available, including replacing your shower head unit or just adding a filter to the existing one.  Sephora sells a model by the brand T3, which is known for its lightweight hairdryers.  At $130, it’s a sleek, chrome shower head with 8 different spray settings and an indicator that goes from green to black when the filter needs to be replaced (about every 6 months).  The replacement filter sells for $25.  Both are available at Sephora.

T3 Showerhead Filter

Another option is the Culligan RainDisc Showerhead with Filter.  It also has a chrome look but is actually plastic.  It doesn’t have the bells and whistles like the T3 but also doesn’t have the price tag.  It is available for $29.99 from Amazon.

Culligan RainDisc Showerhead filter

If you want to keep your existing shower head and just add a filter system on, Sprite makes a wide range of products to choose from.  Their filters may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but they are affordable and great quality.  This model is an example of a filter system that attaches to your existing shower head.  It’s available at Lowes for $19.98.

Sprite Chrome shower head flyer

All filter systems (whether built in to the shower head or screwed on the existing one), have a disposable filter housed inside that needs to be replaced around every 6 months, depending on the manufacturers specifications.  Replacing the disposable filters is as easy as unscrewing the unit, replacing the old one with the new one and screwing the unit back into place.  Replacement filters are relatively inexpensive, around $10-$25, depending on the brand.

I just bought a filter by GE because it was the only one available at Home Depot where I was and I’m not crazy about the quality of it.  It’s pretty cheaply made and I think it’s going to break before too long but it gets the job done.  When it breaks or reaches the end of it’s filtration life, I am going to replace it with the T3.  I’ll just put a couple bucks aside each week for it and call it my shower head savings plan.  It’s worth the tangles and frizz I’ve been dealing with.  Next time your husband wants to go to Lowes, tell him you’d love to tag along….and pick up some of these while you’re there.