Hair vs Volcanoes

Written By. Melissa Wood

Admiring the majestic beauty of the volcanoes surrounding La Antigua Guatemala is one activity that is enjoyed by everyone. Never did I think that it would be raging such havoc on hair!

After a few months of living here I began to notice a change in my hair; at first I thought it was just that my shampoo wasn’t working as well. I decided to switch and for a while it seemed better, but soon after that sticky feeling returned. Also, it never seemed to feel clean; it looked dull and felt dry and brittle. I then began noticing that my clients, who have been living here long term, also had this weird feeling in their hair. Everyone was asking the same question: Why does my hair feel and look so bad?

by Melissa Wood

by Melissa Wood

Well the answer was staring right at me, the volcanoes.

There are many minerals found in water, but in volcanic areas the sand-like mineral silica is widely distributed. Silica in combination with calcium and magnesium, which are both abundant in the soil, creates virtually insoluble deposits on the hair. You can think of your hair like a magnet — your hair has an electrical charge that is negative and when it comes in contact with minerals that are positively charged, they attach. To make matters worse, once these minerals attach to your hair, oil, grease and dirt then adhere, making your hair even more unmanageable.

These minerals build up over time during normal hair washing, creating what is typically referred to as mineral scale, hich is pretty much like how it sounds. Imagine a layer of hard fish scales covering your hair and making it difficult for even conditioners to penetrate. Your hair is left dry, brittle, dull and lifeless. This buildup can even block the hair follicle and cause hair loss. If you notice these symptoms with your hair, the most important thing to do is remove the minerals.

As specialized hair care products can be difficult to find, the option for mineral removal that I most often recommend is a vinegar rinse. You can easily add this into your hair-care regimen by following these simple steps:

Fill a small squeezable bottle with 1/3 apple-cider vinegar. (You can use regular vinegar as well.) Then add 2/3 filtered water. After you shampoo, rinse your hair and then squeeze the vinegar solution onto your hair and scalp, working it through. Leave it on for about five minutes and rinse well. There is no need to condition, as the vinegar will close the cuticle, leaving your hair shiny. As your hair dries the vinegar smell will disappear. You can begin with a once-a-week treatment and see how your hair is feeling, add up to twice a week to remove a heavy buildup. For maintaining mineral-free hair, twice a month should do the trick.

Next time you’re enjoying the magnificent view, remember that you can have beautiful hair, too!

If you would like more information or have a hair question please write me at

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