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Why Is Hard Water Not Good for Your Hair?

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

An Asian woman looks at her hair damaged by hard water
Hard water can damage your hair in many ways

Water that contains a high level of minerals and metals is not necessarily bad for your health — you can drink it if it is safe for consumption — but it certainly can be damaging to skin and hair.

It’s thus no surprise that many homeowners get expensive water softeners installed in order to combat hard water on a day-to-day basis. Indeed, even industries prefer soft water since hard water leaves behind buildups, damages plumbing, and interferes with chemical processes. (By the way, are you aware of the differences between hard water and soft water?)

For most of us, a new day begins with a relaxing and gentle shower that leaves us feeling clean and refreshed.

But if it is hard water coming out from your shower, chances are that you aren’t going to experience that sweet, sweet post-shower bliss. Instead, you’ll be lamenting the sorry state of your hair and dreaming of the smooth and gentle feel of soft water.

So, how does hard water damage hair? Let's find out.

5 Reasons Why Hard Water is Bad for Your Hair

Yes, that’s right. Hard water wreaks havoc on hair. But why? And how? Let’s find out.

1. Hard Water Can Cause Itchiness and Dandruff

Hard water is full of salts of calcium and magnesium, and these tend to accumulate on the surface of the scalp. The minerals in hard water also react with the ingredients in your shampoo, leaving deposits on your hair and making the shampoo less effective. Thus, with the pores of the scalp clogged, it becomes difficult for your hair to get moisture.

A young woman looks sadly at her itchy scalp in the mirror
If you shower with hard water, you might get an itchy and flaky scalp

But does hard water cause dandruff? It seems that it can. Over time, hard water makes the scalp dry, cracked, and rough, causing itchiness and flaky dandruff.

2. Hard Water Can Make Hair Weak and Prone to Breakage

As explained in the previous point, the minerals in hard water often react with hair products and leave a film of unwanted deposits on your hair and scalp.

A sitting woman suffering from hair fall pulls hair from her hair brush
Hard water might cause your hair to become weak and prone to breakage

Unfortunately, your hair will get weighed down by these residues and become weaker as a result. Often, you will find yourself using more shampoo to get rid of the buildup on your head; however, doing so will only strip away your scalp’s natural oils, making the hair frail and listless.

Clearly, regularly using hard water for showering makes hair prone to breakage. So, does hard water cause hair fall? It seems as though, over time, hard water can indirectly lead to hair fall.

3. Hard Water Can Make Dyed Hair Fade Quicker

Usually, hard water contains iron, chlorine, and copper, along with salts of calcium and magnesium. These metallic elements can greatly damage coloured hair; iron, in particular, oxidises and can lead to brassy tones in blonde hair and coppery tones in brown or black hair.

A woman with pink hair looks sadly at her hair damage and faded hair dye due to hard water. The background of the image is plain and pink.
Love your dyed hair? Stay away from hard water!

The ion deposits from the salts in hard water can also change the colour and accelerate the fading of dyed hair. Plus, people have a tendency to use more shampoo to combat the effects of hard water, which in turn can cause hair colour to fade more quickly.

So, if you are in love with the gorgeous colour your hairstylist has bestowed upon your hair, stay away from hard water!

4. Hard Water Can Cause Frizziness

The minerals in hard water are not gentle on your hair. Thus, it’s not surprising that most people find themselves trying to tame frizzy hair after taking a shower with hard water. Now, dealing with frizzy hair just once counts as a bad hair day. But dealing with frizziness every single day? That’s a serious matter that needs immediate attention.

A woman with brown hair looks at her frizzy hair caused by hard water in the bathroom
Nobody likes a bad hair day, but hard water can give you many of those

Over time, the frizziness caused by hard water can lead to dry, brittle hair and split ends.

5. Hard Water May Cause Hair Thinning

Although hard water does not directly cause hair thinning and hair loss, it certainly creates an environment that can foster such issues in the long run.

A young man looks at his thinning hair in the bathroom mirror
Regular usage of hard water can lead to reduced hair volume

Mineral buildup can prevent your scalp from absorbing necessary moisture, which can lead to weakened and thinning hair over time. Frequent hair washing — as a means to get rid of the buildup — can further cause hair to become dry and limp, giving the impression of reduced volume.

Plus, hard water residues may also interfere with hair growth as they can prevent blood from properly reaching the hair follicles.

Moreover, limescale buildup caused by hard water, especially on surfaces like shower heads, often becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and mould, which in turn can affect your hair and skin when they mix with water and come in contact with your body.

Say Goodbye to Hard Water and Hello to Soft Hair!

Clearly, taking showers or baths using hard water is not a good idea, and your hair will certainly not thank you for it. As explained above, the high mineral content in hard water can make hair dry, brittle, and difficult to manage. It can also cause buildup on the scalp, which can lead to dandruff and other itchy scalp conditions.

So, what can you do to prevent hard water from damaging your hair?

A woman showers using the StoneStream shower head that softens hard water and makes it safe for hair
Say hello to healthy StoneStream showers, say goodbye to hard water and hair damage

A filtered shower head for hard water is the way to go — it is an easy and effective way to protect your hair. But where will you find a reputed and reliable brand that makes high-quality shower heads that soften hard water?

Don’t worry, StoneStream has got you covered!

StoneStream has shower heads that filter water and contain three types of germanium (anion, ceramic, and tourmaline) stones which effectively turn hard water into soft, spring-like water that is good for your hair.

These mineral stones — which can be replaced every six months — filter water and get rid of chlorine, dirt, sand, bacteria, heavy metals, and limescale. Yes, we did actually make a stylish mineral shower head with beads that soften and purify water!

A person holds a running StoneStream shower head that contains mineral stones and softens hard water
With a StoneStream shower head, your hair will be healthy, shiny, and soft

Plus, StoneStream’s Universal Shower Hard Water Filter is the ideal shower water softener as it makes use of a 15-stage filtration process to make sure that the water coming out of your shower is good for you. It can filter up to 10,000 gallons of water and has a cartridge that only needs to be replaced once every six months.

Thus, with StoneStream, you don’t ever have to worry about hard water damaging your hair. In fact, our water softener shower heads make sure that the water that touches your scalp is purified, healthy, and soothing at all times.

All the damage caused by hard water is reversible (thankfully!), so buy a StoneStream hard water shower head today and give your hair the love and nourishment it deserves. To shop for shower heads and shower accessories that are durable, eco-friendly, and multi-function, head over to our website!

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