Hard water hair loss is not a connection most people make quickly when they start having unexplained hair loss.
Hard water is water that contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
The water may also contain bicarbonates and sulfates depending on the region.
On the other hand, soft water is natural or treated and doesn’t contain high amounts of minerals.
Soft water is the best type of water for hair; unfortunately, it isn’t always accessible.
Does Hard Water Cause Permanent Hair Loss?
There isn’t a direct link between hard water and hair loss. However, the use of hard water over time causes hair to become dull and lifeless.
This in turn leads to weaker hair strands, which is followed shortly thereafter by breakage and thinning.
The good news is this isn’t a permanent type of hair issue and can be rectified via a few tips and tricks, which I’ve outlined below.
7 Ways to Tell if You Have Hard Water
1. Hard Water Makes Lathering Up is a Challenge
Usually, hard water requires a significant amount of soap, shampoo, or detergent to lather up.
You shouldn’t need more than a dollop or two of shampoo to work up a lather.
2. Hard Water Leads to Skin Aggravations
Because you’re using excessive amounts of shampoo or soap to work up a lather, it can trigger or aggravate skin conditions like eczema.
Hard water can clog your pores, irritate your skin in general and cause breakouts. It can also cause dry skin and make your skin itchy over time.
3. Hard Water Causes Rougher Hair Texture
Your hair feels dull and has a rough texture because you have to work so hard to lather up your cleansing products.
Depending on the overall health of your hair, you might also experience more shedding than usual.
Over time, hard water can weaken hair, which leads to hair breakage.
If you’re still unsure, you can always call the relevant authorities and ask if your water has been tested and the results thereof.
4. Scaling on Water Faucets
There is a hard and white scaling on the tips of your water faucets similar to the featured image in this post.
This scaling will be hard to get off with just water and soap.
5. Soap Scum on Your Laundy
The mineral residue from hard water usually clings to laundry and makes your clothes dinghy, stiff and rough.
6. Film on Skin After Shower
Hard water leaves a filmy residue on the skin that makes your skin feel like you didn’t shower properly.
7. Test Your Water
Professional companies can do this for you or you can buy a water hardness titration kit and test it yourself.
A simple kit like Hach 145300 Total Hardness Test Kit can help you with this. It’s simple to use and you get the results quickly.
How to Protect Your Hair from the Effects of Hard Water
If you have hard water, there are several things you can do to protect your hair from the effects of the water with the best being:
1. Install a Filter
A filter like this is attached to your shower head and can catch out the worst of the minerals before it gets to your hair and skin.
You can find one at a reasonable price at any hardware store or some good recommendations below:-
- BathBeyond Shower Filter Head
- FEELSO High-Pressure Shower Head
- AquaHomeGroup Luxury Filtered Shower Head
- Wassa High-Pressure Shower Head
A standard filter should fit most showerheads but read through the description before you order anyway to be on the safe side.
Depending on how many people are living in a household, you will need to replace the filter candle every 3 – 6 months.
2. Rinse Hair With Distilled Water
Rinse your hair with distilled water as the final step in your regimen.
You can also finish off with a mild ACV rinse – 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with distilled water.
- Deer Park Distilled Water
- CCPAP H2O Premium Distilled Water
- Resway Distilled Water
- Fairchild’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
3. Use a Chelating Shampoo
You can use a chelating shampoo once a week. Chelating shampoos strip minerals from your hair.
However, this is only a temporary fix and repeated use of shampoos like this can also dry out curly hair.
The ingredient to look out for in this kind of shampoo is EDTA. Examples of good chelating shampoos include:-
4. Treat Hard Water with a Softener
You can treat the hard water with a water softener.
This is a device that’s professionally installed into your home’s water supply system, which eliminates the minerals.
Over time, expect to see a reversal in the look and feel of your hair if the primary reason for your hair issues was the water in the first place.
For more on reasons for hair loss and the best and most effective ways to rectify them, I recommend The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide: Stop Hair Loss. Regrow Bald Spots. Fill in Thin Areas.
It’s one of the best resources online for stopping hair loss, regrowing bald spots, and filling in thin areas of your scalp.
It features over 20 actionable solutions for hair loss issues. Learn more HERE.
Abi is a curly hair expert, researcher, product tester, and author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the founder of Ade Ori Hair Care, Healthy Natural Hair Products, and Natural Oils for Hair & Beauty. HNHP has strict editorial standards and ensures all the information on Healthy Natural Hair Products is the best for natural hair care. Learn more about our Editorial Policies
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