Hair Loss in the Desert

Desalinated Water and the Damage it Causes

Hair Loss in the GCC

In the Middle East, hair fall is a hot topic of conversation. Many women who come to the Gulf countries find themselves in the dreaded situation of pulling clumps of hair out whilst in the shower, or whilst styling their hair. Many of these women arrived in the Gulf with a perfectly healthy thick head of hair and after only weeks in some cases are desperate for a way to prevent further hair loss and in some extreme cases, grow back their existing hair.

In the Middle East, due to the massive requirements for water, desalination plants work round the clock to provide water for the population. The main source of tap water in the Gulf is desalinated. In Dubai for example there is a huge desalination plant just up the coast from the ‘New Marina’ development. This plant operates 24 hours a day, extracting the salt from the seawater (which is in abundance) to produce drinking water. However, as the human population increasingly pollutes the seawater with various chemicals the desalination process doesn’t remove these and so you end up with new bacteria in the water that have to be killed. In order to kill this new bacteria, more chlorine has to be added to the water and additional lime to counteract the levels of chlorine. The end result is perfectly safe drinking water, but a disaster for your hair.

Chlorine

As mentioned, chlorine is essential in the production of safe drinking (desalinated) water for the populous of the GCC countries, but as a chemical, chlorine is a strong oxidiser which gives it it’s ability to kill bacteria. The down side for your hair is that it initially can cause it to break and to pour salt in the wound, the other required ingredient (Lime) then coats the scalp over the follicle that broke and prevents new hair growth.

Lime (Calcium Compound)

Lime is added into the desalination process to manage the increased levels of chlorine required to kill off bacteria. However, the effects Calcium have are again negative for your hair;

– leaves hair feeling dry and weighted down
– can build up on the scalp causing flaking of the scalp, giving the appearance of dandruff, subsequent Dandruff Cure can contribute to the damage of the hair cuticle causing the hair to break off
– coats the scalp and prevents new hair growth.

There are some Shampoos that will help remove the calcium as well as strengthen your hair – Anti Hairloss Shampoo for women

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