Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Is Battery Water Safe For Natural Hair?

yes, that says premium car care
and yes, thats a picture of a car battery

I posted on my page a few days ago about running out of my usual distilled water which I buy from the pharmacy and turning to my car's battery water as a substitute from my spritz.

Quite frankly, I was surprised by everyone's surprise at this. I've been driving (legally and not so legally) for 20 odd years and been a car owner for about 15 so I know a thing or two about cars. Like literally just a thing or two; I'm no car whiz. And one of those two things is that the water that goes into your car battery isn't just regular old water. It should be distilled or deionised.

Whats the difference?

Not much.

Distilled water is made by boiling water and condensing the steam.  This removes impurities, heavy metals and even some trace elements. However, on occasion, particles may get trapped in bubbles in the vapour and remain inside the water. 

Deionised water, also known as demineralised water, is water that is passed through a resin to remove it's positive and negative charge mineral ions, or cations and anions. Examples are iron, copper, chlorides and sulphates. The resins, however, don't remove microorganisms and organic compounds as they have no charge so basically viruses, bacteria or anything living in your water. Eew!

Which Is Better?

It's cheaper to produce deionised water than distilled water but both meet international pharmacological standards and both are used in cosmetics. And car batteries. 

Above: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque with deionised water
Below: Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream with distilled water

Although there are now 'no maintenance' car batteries that don't require topping up, those of us using the cheaper lead-acid batteries are recommended to top up the battery cells using deionised or distilled water to prevent deposits building up on the battery terminals. Incidentally, the second of the two things I know about cars is that if you do get said buildup (looks like a white crust), you can remove it by pouring Coke on it. The drinking kind. Yet another use for this teeth dissolving, coin cleaning acid drink. Yum.

Is It Safe For Natural Hair?

The reason some of us use distilled water in our spritzes is to prevent buildup of mineral deposits, which can only be removed using a chelating shampoo. If you live in a soft-water area, this won't be a problem so tap water is fine, but if your tap water is hard, this can help reduce the amount of minerals that are left on your hair, especially if you spritz daily. 

Since deionised water has had it's minerals removed, it stands to reason that it fulfils the purpose of using distilled water mentioned above and therefore should be perfectly safe to use on your hair* as long as it has nothing added to it. Don't get scared off by the picture of a car battery on it. And please for crying out loud don't get battery acid!

*If there is any chemical engineer out there who would like to weigh in, I'd love to have a scientific opinion. 

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