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Well water often contains high levels of iron and other minerals. Hair absorbs these contaminants like a sponge, resulting in discoloration, dry and brittle hair and a metallic odor. The best way to protect hair from such contaminants is to avoid using tap water while shampooing. Gallons of distilled, spring or treated drinking water can be brought into the home for this purpose. You may also want to consider installing a water-conditioning system. In the meantime, a simple vinegar solution can remove the orange-colored iron that has already been absorbed by your hair.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

Pour one part white vinegar and two parts distilled water into a spray bottle. Screw the lid onto the bottle and shake the bottle to mix thoroughly.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

Spray a liberal amount of the solution onto your dry hair, separating the hair with your fingers as needed to fully saturate the hair underneath. Comb through your hair to remove tangles and distribute the vinegar solution.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

Wait 15 minutes and then rinse your hair completely with distilled water. Shampoo and condition your hair using distilled water only. Towel dry your hair and style as desired.

Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

Repeat this treatment once or twice a week to gradually remove buildup. Discontinue the use of well water.


It may take several treatments to completely remove the iron from your hair. Continue treatments until you can no longer detect the orange tinge associated with well-water buildup.


Do not continue using well water after treating your hair. The contaminants will continue building up on your hair until you stop using the water. Treating your hair while continuing to use well water defeats the purpose.

About the Author

Kathy Mayse

Kathy Mayse began her writing career as a reporter for "The Jackson-County Times Journal" in 2001. She was promoted to assistant editor shortly after. Since 2005, she has been busy as a successful freelancer specializing in Web content. Mayse is a licensed cosmetologist with more than 17 years of salon experience; most of her writing projects reflect this experience.