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5 Insane Ways Hard Water Affects Your Hair

Written by: Donavan Jones on November 12, 2019

Hard Water Affects Your Hair

Whenever you shower at a hotel or at a friend’s home, you may have noticed a difference in your hair. The characteristics of shower water may determine how well your hair care products work. Soaps and detergents behave differently in hard water. Unexplained hair damage, color fade, dullness, or dehydration may be caused by your water supply. Did you know that Hard Water Affects Your Hair?


The minerals that are present in your hard water can make it difficult to achieve a thorough rinse, causing a buildup in your hair. You could wash your hair several times a day thinking it will fix your problem, but each time you leave the shower you will have the same result. This problem is coming from your water. The following are signs that hard water is affecting your hair.

  • Hair feels filmy, straw-like, dull and/or limp
  • Color-treated hair that fades quickly, leading to more frequent color treatments.
  • Residue from your shampoo is in your hair
  • Hair that is hard to leather with your shampoo
  • Thinning hair and breakage
  • Hair loss

Using hard water when taking a shower or bath can cause a lot of damage to your hair. Below you will find problems that your hair goes through when you bathe in hard water.

Table Of Contents:

What Is Hard Water

Hard water is water that has high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Water picks up these minerals as it trickles through limestone, sand, and soil and picks up these minerals as it seeps into the underground water supply. The “hardness” of the water is determined by a grains per gallon measurement and ranges on a scale from 1 to 10.


What Is Soft Water

ion exchange

Soft water contains low levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Water is softened through a water softening process in which minerals like calcium and magnesium are removed and replaced with sodium. Relax, your water is not going to taste salty.


1. Hair fall

One of the ways that hard water affects your hair is caused by the high concentrations of minerals and oxidizers in the water. This can lead to scalp related problems such as dandruff, itchy scalp and hair fall.

There is a scientific explanation for this as well. Minerals and oxidizers that are in your water are positively charged while your hair has a negative charge. When a positive charged oxidizer or mineral comes in contact with your hair, they get attracted to each other like a magnet. This results in making the hair weak, frizzy and dry causing hair fall. Metals and minerals such as copper, magnesium, calcium, and iron are present in hard water and are not good for your hair.

2. Dandruff

Hard water makes washing your hair a chore. The shampoo you are using will not lather very well because of the minerals in the water are reacting with the ingredients in your hair products. This leads to using more shampoo. Since you are using way more shampoo than you need to, you are adding more soap scum to your scalp. Additionally, these minerals combine with your natural oils can leave a greasy feeling at the scalp. This soap scum is rather hard to rinse off and can lead to dandruff.


3. Extreme Scalp Dryness And Itching

Another way hard water affects your hair is that hard water makes washing inefficient. Most people tend to use more shampoo to get a good lather. The problem begins when you try to rinse the shampoo away. The soap scum ends up sticking to your scalp. This can lead to extreme dryness and itchiness of the scalp.

4. Dry, Rough Hair

Hard water has a high amount of minerals in it. When washing and rinsing your hair, these minerals end up damaging the hair in the process. When you wash your hair with hard water, your hair may feel rough and tangled. This feeling is due to the way hard water makes the “scales” of your hair stand up. This makes it difficult to rinse out all of the shampoo or conditioner in your hair. This can leave your hair feeling dry and rough.

hard water causes damaged hair surface

5. Dull And Straw-Like Hair

If your hair and scalp are dry and itchy, your hair will also look dull and lifeless. The hard water minerals are still in your hair. Hard water minerals end up getting trapped in the pores of your scalp and hair and it takes a lot more water to wash them out.


Before you go off and change your routine, you need to determine if you have hard water or not. A simple water test will reveal the total dissolved solids in your water supply. If you have hard water and are sick tired of hard water affecting your hair then you need to consider buying a water softening system for your home. These systems remove calcium, magnesium and other sediments from your water thus eliminating them from getting trapped in your hair. Contact us today to win the battle against your hard water problems.

7 responses to “5 Insane Ways Hard Water Affects Your Hair”

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Donavan Jones

About Donavan Jones

Donavan Jones is the web master at Florida Water Analysis. He’s an expert in inbound marketing, lead generation, graphic design, and coding. In his spare time, Donavan is developing a video game with his friends and family.