People with light or blond hair sometimes experience staining due to excessive mineral deposits adhering to the hair. These iron deposits can come from hard water, well water or chlorinated pools. When the iron deposits interact with the water it causes rust, which is what those reddish stains in your hair are. No matter what the cause of your iron-stained hair is, a few preventative measures and home remedies for iron removal from hair can help. Most home remedies are naturally safe and you can try each one to see what’s most effective for you.

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Preventing The Problem

Use a water softener. Installing a hard-water softener to your faucets and plumbing is a good place to start–at the source. Simple water purification devices–found in department and home-improvement stores–help you filter out a considerable amount of mineral deposits from your water. Softening your water can lead to less iron content, hence fewer stains in your hair.

Keep your hair dry. Water with a high iron content produces rust, which is essentially what stains your hair. If you wash your hair frequently in hard water, dry your hair thoroughly and as soon as possible after shampooing. If the iron and water have less time to react to each other in your wet hair, the less likely staining is to occur.

Use an ion treatment frequently. Certain hair care manufacturers produce treatments designed for hair that is frequently exposed to hard water minerals, chlorine and excessive build-up of styling products. Use once a week a treatment that is made to remove stubborn metal ions to reduce iron build-up and stains.

Removing Iron Stains

Try baking soda. Baking soda is a known natural cleaning agent that is effective in removing tough stains and safe for human contact. If your hair is only lightly stained, a simple baking soda treatment can help. Add a tablespoon or two of baking soda–more for excessively long hair–to your usual amount of regular shampoo. Rub it in your palms to create a thin paste and wash as usual.

Soak your hair in lemon juice. The naturally acidic nature of lemon juice is sometimes effective in removing stains and bleaching certain substances including hair. Take a generous amount of lemon juice and apply it to the your hair thoroughly, soaking the stained areas. Allow the lemon juice to sit in your hair for at least 15 minutes to breakdown the mineral deposits and remove the stains. Rinse thoroughly and shampoo as usual.

Apply a vinegar and tartar solution. Regular white vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent safe to human hair and adding cream of tartar gives it a boost. Rinse your hair thoroughly with white vinegar to moisten the stained areas. Pour about five tablespoons of cream of tartar to a half cup of vinegar and work it into your hair. Leave it in for 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly and shampoo as usual.

Use a shampoo containing chelator, a chemical-cleaning agent . If you frequently experience iron or rust-stained hair, you can use specialty shampoos that will combat the problem on a daily basis between treatments. Chelator–when used in shampoo–ties up metal ions that are harmful to your hair making them easier to remove.