Hard water can have negative impacts on your hair, making it a little flatter and less silky. It may even cause you to experience an itchy or flaky scalp. In this article, we outline the benefits of washing hair with distilled water.
Benefits of washing hair with distilled water include:
- Overall Texture, Health And Appearance
- Hydrating And Conditioning
- Helps With Curl Pattern And Definition
- Maintains Natural Oils
- Can Reduce Mineral Build Up
- Retains Hair Color For Longer
This article will break down what distilled water is, why it’s beneficial to wash your hair with distilled water, and how to create it at home.
We’ve also got a recipe below for a natural shampoo. Combine that with distilled water, and no doubt your tresses will look more healthy than you’ve ever seen them.
What Is Distilled Water?
Distilled water, purified water, aqua – what’s the difference?
Well, distilled water is a kind of purified water.
It’s derived from the process of distillation. Essentially, the water is boiled and the steam is collected.
When the steam condenses, that’s distilled water. It’s therefore entirely free from any minerals or contaminants that the non-distilled water may have contained.
Distilled water has many uses beyond skin and haircare. You can use it to water your plants or for your fish aquariums, and it’s also used in car cooling systems.
If you suffer from sleep apnea or similar conditions, it may also be used in devices to help counteract the effects.
Furthermore, distilled water has had any minerals, salts, or contaminants removed. As such, it’s the purest form of water available.
That’s why it’s so often used in cosmetic products.
6 Benefits Of Washing Hair With Distilled Water
If you’ve just moved to a new area and have noticed that your skin or hair is looking a bit duller and flatter, it may be because you’re bathing and washing in hard water.
Hard water can cause build-up on the hair, which causes dryness and frizz for your strands.
That’s why some people prefer to wash their hair with distilled water.
These are the benefits:
Improves Overall Texture, Health And Appearance
Distilled water will improve your hair’s overall softness, sleekness, and smoothness. Say goodbye to frizz and split ends, and hello to glossy, bouncy, voluminous locks.
Hydrating And Conditioning
Distilled water is hydrating and has conditioning effects on the hair.
In fact, if you put it in a spray bottle and spritz it on your locks between washes, it can help to maintain moisture levels. This will also minimize any frizz you may be experiencing.
Helps With Curl Pattern And Definition
If you’re a curly girl, you’re going to want to follow the above step. Spritzing distilled water onto your curls can help with their definition and texture.
Maintains Natural Oils
Distilled water can help your strands to retain their natural oils, as you’re not putting them through any mineral build-up.
Can Reduce Mineral Build Up
In fact, regularly using distilled water can help to remove traces of mineral build-up in your strands and on your scalp. So if you suffer from sensitivities or itchiness, it’s worth adding distilled water into your haircare routine.
Retains Hair Color For Longer
If you color your hair frequently, using distilled water to wash it can help to retain your color for longer.
This is because there are no minerals that build up and therefore strip the hair of its dye.
Why Is Distilled Water Used In Cosmetic, Skincare And Haircare Products?
As described above, distilled water is the purest form of water available.
Most cosmetic products, for both the skin and hair, are made up of around 65 – 70% water.
When you see this ingredient listed, it will be termed ‘aqua’, but it’s actually distilled water.
Distilled water – or, aqua – is useful for the cosmetics industry in various ways.
This is because water is a humectant.
Humectants grab onto water molecules in the surrounding air, drawing them to either your skin or hair.
In this way, it’s essential for hydrating and moisturizing.
Distilled water is also a solvent, meaning it is an ideal substance for preparing solutions, and also creates emulsions, which enhances the overall texture, performance, and appearance of your skin and hair care products.
Another reason why distilled water is so widely used in the cosmetics industry is its pH level.
Distilled water has a pH level of 4.5-5, which is the closest available pH to your skin’s level, especially when compared with other water. It’s, therefore, less likely to cause irritation or sensitivities.
How Much Distilled Water Do I Need To Wash My Hair?
It’s difficult to give the exact amount of distilled water that any one person will need to wash their hair because this will vary based on a number of factors.
- How long is your hair?
- How often do you wash it?
- How much shampoo and conditioner do you use?
If your hair is long – beyond shoulder length – then you can expect to use around a gallon of distilled water to wash it.
If you use a lot of product, or double-rinse with either shampoo or conditioner, then you’ll need even more distilled water.
How To Use Distilled Water For Hair
Don’t panic, we’re here to tell you exactly how you should use distilled water to wash your hair.
Inevitably, it’s a little more tricky than if you were to use the water that comes from your shower head, but the benefits for your hair and skin will make the extra effort worth it.
- Brush your hair so as to remove any tangles or knots. Remember to never tug or be overly rough, and a wide-toothed comb is your friend.
- Grab your distilled water. You can purchase this widely from a variety of sellers. Typically, distilled water will come in large, heavy volumes – if you pour it into a jug, this will make the process of washing your hair with it much easier.
- Warm it to a temperature level that you’re content with. Do this on your stovetop, and be sure not to allow it to get to boiling temperatures.
- It’s time to head to your bathtub or shower.
- Shampoo as normal, and then pour the jug of distilled water over your strands, taking care to rinse out all of the shampoo.
- Use a conditioner as normal, and then follow the rinsing process.
Remember that you can also use distilled water in a spritzing bottle. This can be misted onto your hair between washes in order to boost your hair’s hydration.
It can also help curly girls to restore their curl definitions.
If you want your hair to really look its best, you can do so by using an all-natural shampoo. Many popular haircare brands use chemicals in their formulas in order to maximize their shelf life.
Some of these can include nasties like sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, and parabens.
But by making a shampoo yourself, you know that you’re keeping your hair free from these additives.
The below is a natural shampoo recipe that’s easy to make and includes distilled water, so that you’re experiencing its benefits.
- Half a cup of distilled water (see below for how to distill water at home)
- Half a cup of castile soap. This is an all-natural, vegetable-based soap usually made from oils including coconut, hemp, sunflower, or castor.
- One teaspoon of jojoba oil, which acts here as a carrier.
- Half a teaspoon of an essential oil of your choice. The addition of an essential oil is to add a delicious scent to your natural shampoo. Choose from oils including grapefruit, neroli, rose, peppermint, orange, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, coconut – the choice is yours.
If this shampoo doesn’t feel moisturizing enough for your strands, you can always add in a half cup of aloe vera gel.
Be sure to thoroughly shake up these ingredients before use. Remember to never get essential oils in your eyes, and it’s always sensible to patch test before use.
How To Distil Water
As mentioned above, it’s easy to purchase distilled water from many major retailers. However, you can also make it yourself, in which case, you can follow the below steps:
- Partially fill a large pot with water – around eight cups is good.
- Next, grab a smaller pot that will fit within this larger pot. It should not be too snug – you want airflow between the large and the small pot. Ideally, the smaller pot should be floating on the water in the large pot.
- Using a medium-high heat, warm the water. You don’t want it to be boiling.
- Pop a lid on top of the large pot – you want it to be upside down. This helps with the condensation.
- Next, grab your ice and load it into the upside-down lid. It’s the difference in temperature that will also improve the condensation. The ice will melt, so you’ll probably need to replace it maybe twice every hour.
- Throw any melted ice away from the lid. Remember that this will be hot, so you need to use oven mitts.
- The distilled water is what’s collected in the smaller pot. Remember to allow it to cool before you start using it.
What Is The Difference Between Distilled Water And Purified Water?
Distilled water is a kind of purified water. Having been through the process of distillation, it has neither minerals, salts, nor contaminants in it.
By contrast, purified water will still retain its mineral content.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg.
Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.