Like a Brita for Your Bath: The Rise of the Shower Filter

I've been rockin' a Brita for years, but in 2012 I've resolved to finally start filtering my shower water. While away for the holidays, I was amazed by the way my "problem" hair was soft and glossy and my post-shower skin was no longer itchy and red. Unless my mom's Costco shampoo is a serious miracle worker, I'm pretty sure the pure, clean well water at my parent's house was the catalyst.

There are amazing options available for whole-house filtration systems, but if you're an apartment dweller like me, your best bet is a shower-specific filter that attaches to the showerhead you already use. These filters have replaceable cartridges that generally need changing about every 6 months, but some can last up to a year. Most filters are fairly easy to install and even the most expensive options are still well under $100.

There are several types of filters available:

KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) filters use copper and zinc to electrochemically change the structure of particles like lead, chlorine, iron, mercury and hydrogen sulfide so that they're less harmful. If you want to know more, here's some rad science. However, there are some question as to the effectiveness of KDFs with low-flow showerheads, and they don't remove chloramines (chlorine plus ammonia) nearly as well as vitamin C filters.

Carbon filters are what you find in a Brita pitcher. Activated carbon is cheap, but it needs to be replaced often and tends to work better in cold water (not shower ideal). Because it does filter chloromine, carbon is usually used in conjunction with KDF like in this one.

Vitamin C filters use a tube of pure ascorbic acid to neutralize chlorine and chloramines. They do it very well (remove 99%), but keep in mind that they only filter those two chemicals, nothing else. Still, many claim this is the best option as it performs well in hot water. Vitamin C filters are popular in Asia and have only recently gained momentum in the US. For now, it's easiest to find them online.

After hours of research and stumbling on this review from Reactual, I've ordered a vitamin C filter. Your needs may be different depending on the contaminants in your water. Want to know what they are? The EWG will tell you! Other questions? Mr Water Filter has you covered!

(Image: Shutterstock)

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