5 Effects of Hard Water on Hair

You must have heard that washing your hair too frequently can damage the scalp, but do you know that hard water is even worse? Here’s how…

Arushi Bidhuri
Written by: Arushi BidhuriUpdated at: Feb 24, 2020 10:49 IST
5 Effects of Hard Water on Hair

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You must have heard that washing your hair too frequently can damage the scalp, but do you know that hard water is even worse? Water contains various minerals which can be categorised into two types: soft and hard. Hard water contains a high amount of calcium and magnesium which mix with your hair products to form a salt. This salt leaves a type of residue on the scalp, which makes the hair dry and tangled. 

If left unchecked, it can lead to worse problems. Some of the ways hard water affects the hair include: 

Makes Hair Brittle


  • You have been using all kinds of products to get rid of the dryness of the hair but you’re not able to, it’s probably because the problem lies with the water, you’re using to wash your hair. 
  • Chemicals in hard water rip the hair of its natural oil, making it brittle. It also reduces the natural shine of your hair and makes them look dull and lifeless. 

Makes Hair Frizzy 

Washing hair with hard water can make them frizzy. They become easily tangled and can be difficult to brush out. The knots in your hair will make it more difficult to wash the hair properly, leading to greasy and dull hair. Moreover, this build-up exacerbates the problem and make it worse. 


Reduces Hair Volume 

  • The high presence of calcium and magnesium in hard water leads to hair breakage. When hair breakage gets unchecked, it can lead to hair thinning, which may then appear to be a hair loss problem. 
  • This can be prevented by installing water softeners or using home remedies. 

Increases Split-ends 

  • Nobody likes split-ends – they make the hair look like a complete mess and hard water doesn’t help. In fact, it is a major culprit when it comes to split-ends. 
  • Hard water leaves traces of copper on the strands, leading to a build-up and weakening of hair. Once the hair becomes fragile, it fails to stand up to the regular styling and heat, causing the strands to split. 

Leads to Dandruff 

  • Dandruff is a scalp condition, symptoms of which include flaking and mild itchiness. If left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the skin, known as seborrheic dermatitis. 
  • This condition is one of the most common hair problems that occur as a result of exposure to hard water. Chemicals in hard water don’t let the hair products to wash off completely, making the top layer of the scalp to flake off. 

Ways to Save your Hair from Hard Water 

  • Use a water softener to get soft water when you need – it can be easily be attached to the source of water supply. It will exchange ions of the chemicals present in hard water with sodium, which will make the water soft. 
  • Shower filters are another solution, they will help decrease minerals and chlorine present in water. This will help reduce the damage caused by hard water. 
  • You can also use purified bottled water to protect your hair from damage. 
  • Use hair care products to provide your hair with the moisture they have lost.

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