What Does Hard Water Do To Your Hair?

Do you notice a layer of film on your hands after you wash them? Does your hair feel dry or dull? These issues may be due to hard water rather than the soap or shampoo you use.  

The minerals in hard water affect the moisture content in your hair, which can make your hair less manageable. In this article, we will discuss what hard water does to your hair, and how you can combat the effects.

What Does Hard Water Do To Your Hair

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals. These minerals include magnesium and calcium.

Compared to soft water like filtered bottled water or rainwater, hard water can build up in faucets, bathtubs, and sinks. It can even leave mineral deposits on your glasses or dishware. 

Hard water prevents soaps, including shampoo, from lathering up. This means hard water makes cleaning anything, including your hair, more difficult.

Effects Of Hard Water On Your Hair

Hard water leaves a build-up on your scalp, making it difficult to moisturize when you shampoo and condition. This can leave your scalp dry and flaky.

Hard water can also make your hair feel weighed down and flat. It can also make hair strands dry and brittle. Ultimately, this results in hair damage. 

Color-treated hair may become faded, discolored, or just dull after washing with hard water.

Short-term exposure to hard water may not affect your hair, apart from feeling dry, however, over time you will notice your hair beginning to thin, break, and become difficult to manage.

Repairing Hair That Has Been Damaged Due To Hard Water

What Does Hard Water Do To Your Hair

If your hair has been damaged by hard water, there are ways to combat this and get your hair back to its thick and healthy state. Here are  just a few ways that you can treat your damaged hair:

Install A Water Softener Shower Head

Soft water has far fewer minerals than hard water. A soft water shower head removes the minerals from your home’s hard water in one specific location…the shower. The softer water is healthier for your hair and scalp.

A whole-house water softener is the best option for soft water all over your home, however, they can be expensive.

A soft water shower head is a perfect solution for improving your hair routine while keeping your costs low.

Using Clarifying Shampoos

Clarifying shampoos help remove the mineral build-up from your scalp caused by hard water. Your shampoo and conditioner can better cleanse and moisturize your scalp without build-up in the way.

Use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week, and you will find that your hair and scalp are shinier and healthier.

Hair Masks

Use a hair mask at least twice a week to re-moisturize your dull hair and bring back the shine and bounce. A leave-in conditioner is another option if you want softer hair. 

Whether you use a hair mask or a leave-in conditioner, really massage the product into your hair.

Massage your scalp and work the product through all your hair, right to the tips. It will help with brittle hair by pushing out minerals and locking in moisture. 

Vinegar And Citrus Rinse

To combat hard water damage on your hair, you need to focus on your scalp. A combination of vinegar, citrus juice, and water is a great natural treatment for this damage.

Some people prefer apple cider vinegar over distilled vinegar as it may lower the pH of your hair while also providing essential vitamins such as B and C.

You can make this rinse using your hard water to help treat your hair, however, don’t use it more than once a week to avoid drying out your scalp and hair. 

Make this rinse with 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups of water, then add a tablespoon of lemon juice.

After shampooing and rinsing your hair, pour this solution through your hair and massage in to your scalp. Leave in the solution for around five minutes, then rinse it thoroughly and style as usual.

Final Thoughts

Hard water can harm your hair. It can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, dull, and unmanageable. You spend the time and effort to make your hair look shiny and full, so don’t let hard water ruin it for you. 

If you know you have hard water, and it is affecting your hair, there are ways to combat the damage. Try using a water softener shower head, a hair mask, or a rinse.

When you wash your hair with hard water, pay extra attention to your scalp. Moisturize well, so the mineral build-up has less effect on your hair. 

We hope you have found this article useful for protecting your hair from the harm of hard water. 


Mandy Anderson
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