Since moving to Abu Dhabi, my hair has become noticeably thinner. Maybe not to those around me, but definitely to me. Others do not see the clumps of hair that are left in my hand when I take a shower. I had become so used to rolling the clumps of hair into a little ball and throwing in the bin. I just chucked it down to age, hormones, water, and the heat. I have become so used to it, that I didn’t even give it much thought anymore. It was just normal, my normal. When my hair got too thin, I would just get my hair cut short. If the natural part of my hair looked a bit wider, I would find a way to make it look fuller.
This past September I met a housewife who had moved to Abu Dhabi and was having a hard time with her hair. Her thick hair was becoming thin and brittle. It was becoming so bad that she could not even blow dry her hair anymore. Was it the water, the heat, the air con? It got me thinking about my hair. I had just adjusted to this sort of condition. I had reduced blow drying my hair ages ago because of this. Now I hardly do anything with my hair unless I am going out for a special occasion. I haven’t had a fringe/bangs for a very long time because the hair around my forehead is too thin. Maybe it was time I took action.
I stopped by a Yas Mall pharmacy for a hair analysis. I was hoping for some sort of miracle cure or a more scientific explanation. Instead I was just shown the roots of my head under a microscope (gross but kinda cool) and some expensive products to use. I was also told to rinse hair with bottled water when I shower. Yep, seen that suggestion in a Facebook post but seriously, I don’t have time for that. I can see it now. At the end of the shower I would be scrambling down two flights of stairs to get the bottled water that I forgot to bring up with me. Not a realistic suggestion for me.
One bit of information that I did find useful was the suggestion to take vitamins. Vitamins are good, right? My hairdresser also has advised to take vitamins because what I put in my body will affect my hair. I didn’t leave that day with vitamins, because I think deep down I was telling myself to eat healthier so I wouldn’t need any supplements. Yeah, I will be heading back to get those vitamins soon.
I started asking other housewives what they were doing. Oil, hair masks, conditioning treatments…rinsing with bottled water (there it is again, the bottled water – do people really do that?) One suggestion that I hadn’t tried was a water filter. I was told to get a shower head filter in Dubai (but I don’t even go up there that much) or I could order online. I don’t even know what I would be looking for. My previous neighbours had a special company come in and put filters everywhere in the house. Seemed like a good idea but as an expat I didn’t want to spend a mini fortune on a filter system in a house that we may move from after yearly contract is up.
Recently I was making a mess of changing the water filter for the washing machine, then it hit me. First I did have to ask myself how did I end up with the task of changing the water filters? Then it got me thinking, why was there a water filter for my dishwasher and my washing machine but not one for the showers? Isn’t my family’s skin and hair more important? YES!!! If I can install a water filter for these appliances, then surely I can install one for my shower!
I headed up to ACE Hardware on Yas Island. The filters on my appliances are quite big and I didn’t want to install these for my showers. It would require finding the water tank somewhere up in the ceiling (I know my capabilities and this was not happening). What I needed was a filter designed for shower use.
What I found was an MKATS Shower Filter. It looked pretty generic – but not knowing anything about shower filters, I really had no idea was I was looking at. Luckily for me, there was an assistant at Ace to answer some of my questions regarding the filters:
How do I install?
How long does it last?
Do I need to purchase replacement filter cartridge?
Would they be restocking this brand?
That is all I had for him. I hadn’t really done any research as to what it filters out, what is used in filter. It didn’t matter. I got all the answers I needed. Since it was the only small filters they had at the time, I picked up 2 and headed home. It took me about 15 minutes to install each filter. No need to wait for hubby or to hire any help to do this. Was able to do this myself – that’s how easy it is.
I had no idea what to expect. I think I half heartedly expected nothing to happen. Then around the 3 month mark, I realised it had been a while since I had thrown any little clumps of hair away. Aha, the filters were working. I haven’t had much hair fall since January when I first installed the filters. So if your hair has become thin and brittle since moving to Abu Dhabi and you don’t have a water filter on your shower – having one would be a great place to start. This worked for me.
Water filters cost about 145 AED per filter with the placement cartridge costing about 75 AED at Ace Hardware. I am sure you can buy elsewhere but this was the only place I looked. Perhaps in the future, I will look around at different filters but right now I am happy with the results from these.
Using a shower filter worked for me but if you have any other great suggestions, please let us know.