5 Effects of Hard Water on Hair

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 20, 2015
Quick Bites

  • Hard water makes the hair difficult to manage.
  • It allows debris from shampoos to cling on to hair.
  • It can make hair prone to breakage.
  • It makes hair appear dull and dry.

Funny how an untamed liquid can be categorised as “soft” and “hard”. Well, scientifically, water holds a lot of minerals, which can be calculated to be categorised into either of these types. So, hard water is a type of water that has high level of minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. How hard or soft the water is depends and varies from one area of ecology to another.

Rough hair because of hard water

Popularly, in households, soft water is preferred over hard water because effects of hard water on hair as well as skin can take the form of the following:

The Hair becomes Difficult to Manage

When hair is washed with hard water, it becomes easily tangled and can be difficult to be combed or brushed out. The tangles and knots make it even more difficult to wash the hair because while shampooing, the debris is likely to remain in the strands, causing grease and dullness. Moreover, this build-up keeps increasing and exacerbates the problem.


Dry and Dull Hair

If you have dry hair even after application of essential oils and use of leave-on conditioners, the texture is still so because the problem lies in hard water. Chemicals that are present in hard water rip the hair of its natural oils, making it dry. This also reduces their shine and makes them appear lifeless and dull.



Dandruff is one of the most common problems that occur as a result of exposure to hard water. The problem gets so severe that it becomes difficult to get rid of despite treatments. Chemicals in hard water make the shampoos and conditioners to never get washed away completely, making the top layer of the skin to flake off.



Washing hair with hard water can leave traces of copper on the strands. Even if the amount of copper is very small, it can build-up and weaken the hair. Once the hair becomes fragile, it fails to stand up to regular styling, causing the strands to split.


Hair Fall

Washing hair with hard water causes the hair to become thinner, which may then appear to be a hair loss problem. The thinning of hair is as a result of high mineral content in water, which can be treated by installing water softeners or using home remedies.


Read more articles on Hair Care.

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