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When we think of water filtration, drinking water treatment is the first thing that comes to mind. However, while we do use water softeners and water filters to make sure our potable water is safe for consumption, we often tend to take the water we use on our skin and hair for granted.
What we don’t realize is that warm water and steam open the pores on our skin, and as a result, we absorb a lot of chemicals, salts, and minerals into our bodies. Unfortunately, not all of these are good for our skin and hair. Because of the presence of some chemicals like chlorine in tap water, our skin feels dry and itchy, while hair tends to become brittle.
This is why a lot of people choose to use shower head filters to improve the water quality of their shower water. Continue reading if you want to learn more about what a shower head filter does and if it is really necessary.
What is a shower head filter?
Shower head filters, as the name suggests, are shower water filters that attach to shower heads. They help remove chlorine and chloramines from the water, especially in areas where the water supply is primarily hard water.
While we use drinking water purifiers to keep these chemicals out of our drinking water, we forget that they can do a lot of damage to our skin and hair.
How do shower head filters work?
A lot of shower filters use a filtration system called KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) to reduce chlorine and chloramines from the bath water. These chemicals can cause severe skin irritation and cause hair to become dry and unhealthy.
Not only does this filtration system make the water milder for use on our hair and skin, but you will also no longer have that chemical smell of chlorine every time you take a hot shower.
KDF is a filtration media that uses brass granules with copper and zinc alloys in it. When water with chlorine and chloramines flows through the KDF filter, an electrochemical reaction causes electrons to transfer between molecules, as a result of which the contaminants transform into harmless elements.
The main one of these harmless elements is chloride ion, which is water-soluble, safe for our skin and hair as well as harmless to the environment. In addition, KDF is also effective in removing heavy metals such as lead and zinc from our bath water.
In addition, KDF prevents the growth of internal bacteria and stops algae from growing inside the shower head.
Active carbon vs. KDF: Which is better?
A common argument is that if active carbon is indeed effective in removing chlorine from water, then why don’t shower filters use it instead of a media like KDF.
Well, there is a very good reason why active carbon is best used for drinking water instead of showers. And that is because active carbon is effective in removing chlorine from cold water, which is what most of us drink.
However, active carbon reduces in efficiency when it comes into contact with warm water, and most of us are used to hot showers. When the carbon comes into contact with hot water, it releases all the chemicals and impurities captured in the filter into the water.
On the other hand, a media like KDF is not affected by the temperature of water at all, making it ideal for all water systems.
Are shower filters effective against hard water?
Let’s first begin by establishing why hard water is bad for our hair and skin. When we bathe with hard water, soap mixes with the minerals in the water to form a layer (soap curd). This layer not only makes hair dry and unmanageable, but it also makes it difficult for dirt and grime to wash off our skins and hair effectively.
Simply put, there is no substitute for soft water, whether it comes to maintaining our hair, our skin, or even our bathroom appliances and fixtures. Now, let’s see how effective shower filters are against hard water.
Simply put, shower filters are effective to a certain extent in reducing the hardness of water to a certain extent, but such a small device cannot logically be an effective solution against hard water on the whole. It cannot effectively remove all traces of sediments and dissolved metals.
In order to do that, you ought to consider investing in a water softener system for the whole house. There are plenty of options you could choose from, such as reverse osmosis softeners.
How long does a shower filter last?
Like all things, shower head filters also last only for a certain period of time, after which you will need to change them. On average, it is advisable to change your shower head filter once every six months of normal use, or after the filtration of around 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of water.
That is approximately how much water would be consumed if a family of three showered once a day. It is important to maintain a strict schedule when it comes to changing filters. Not changing filters on time simply means the filters will stop being effective.
What are the best filters to choose from?
A lot of brands manufacture quality shower head filters. For example, the Aquabliss 3-stage features a three-stage filtration system, including an active carbon filter, calcium sulfite, and KDF. If you can stretch your budget a little more, consider the Vitamin C Inline Shower Assembly.
Or if you want the best-filtered shower experience and money is no constraint, splurge on the Aquabliss-12 stage shower filter, which many claim has set standards for shower filters in the market.