If you’ve recently moved to Dubai and started experiencing inexplicable hair loss, below might be the reason why, especially if your hair was fine before you moved to UAE.
When I moved to Dubai almost 9 years ago, I had an amazing head of hair. Thick, curly and a little below shoulder length. While I did neglect it as I settled down into my new environment, it was still alarming when I started losing huge handfuls weekly especially on washdays. I started handling extra gently and reduced my use of heat appliances but the hair loss continued.
After waking up to a bald spot in the middle of my head one morning (it had probably built up over a few months but I only noticed that morning), I hit the Internet hard to conduct some research. Alas, I discovered the culprit to be water.
The primary source of water in UAE is desalinated water. Desalination is the process of removing salt from water to render it fit for use and consumption. The process itself is safe and fit for hair and consumption. However, it passes through pipes and is stored in tanks on buildings, which could contain contaminants.
The combination of everything above contributes to hair loss issues in Dubai. As soon as I discovered this, I began a series of experiments to replace the tap water with something else:
Bottled Water for Reducing Hair Loss
I started using this instead of tap water. I noticed a change in my hair although there was still random shedding here and there. A six-pack of supermarket brand water isn’t very expensive but with medium length hair, using bottled water can get expensive real quick.
Distilled water for Reducing Hair Loss
This is water that has had its impurities removed via distillation. The water is boiled and then the steam is condensed into a clean container. I bought a 20 kg keg of distilled water at Life Pharmacy for AED 50, which lasted for some time but not long enough to justify buying it again. The improvement in my hair was dramatic and my hair loss was all but eliminated.
How to Make Your Own Distilled Water
This was something I considered at some point but with the kind of work schedule I had, it was out of the question. However, it’s a simple enough process and you can try it if you have the time. Watch the video below on how to make distilled water. You can also read up this article on 3 Ways to Make Distilled Water.
Shower Filter for Reducing Hair Loss
This provides a fine physical barrier, which removes impurities from water. I bought a simple one and attached it to my showerhead. The water filter candle has to be replaced every 6 months if you’re the only one using it. If you have a family, I imagine you will have to replace it in less time. One challenge with this option is the design of your showerhead might not be conducive to the more common shower filters available locally and you might need to customise your shower – a small concession to keep the hair on your head.
Eventually, I got my hair loss issues under control and my hair is thriving now. It’s fine to use the tap water for cooking, laundry, shaving and other household tasks but when it comes to hair, you’re better off with one of the methods above.
Where to Find Shower Filters in Dubai
- Carrefour: The brand I saw there was a bit generic and might not fit most showerheads but have a look anyway.
- H2O Pure Blue: This is where I purchased mine from and you can buy replacement candles at most pharmacies in Dubai. You can find out more information HERE.
I’m sure there are more but these are the ones I’m familiar with. If you know any more, add them to the comments section. Did you try something else apart from above to eliminate your hair loss after you moved to Dubai? Let’s know in the comments section.
Public service announcement for this post – The underground water supply in UAE is very limited and there is speculation it could all be gone within 50 years. Please don’t waste water. Turn off taps if you’re not using water and don’t leave the water running while washing your face, brushing and/or shaving. Thanks! 🙂