Effects Of Hard Water on Hair and How to Prevent Hair Loss?


Water is an essential substance to wash and cleanse your hair, but hard water on hair makes it difficult. Hard water means there are plenty of minerals such as calcium and magnesium present in it. These minerals do not cooperate with our hairs and cause color-treated hair to fade quickly. There are minute scales which tend to stand due to these minerals and cause the hair to look rough.

Effect of Soap

hard water on hair

Soap reacts with the minerals present in it and forms calcium and magnesium salts and thus is not effective in hard water. This can cause a soap film which is difficult to remove by washing.

Worldwide Problem

About 85% of residents of US wash their hair with hard water which causes rough hair with split dead ends. The hard water on hair reacts differently as compared to soft water. Even after using the best hair products we will not be able to make our hair smooth and shiny.

Scientific Explanation

Hard water contains oxidizers and minerals which are positively charged while our hair has the negative charge. So, when a negatively charged hair comes in contact with the positively charged minerals, they attract like a magnet. This causes the hair to look frizzy and dry and causes hair fall. Minerals such as copper, magnesium, calcium, and iron are present in hard water which are bad for hair.

What Mineral Has What Effect on hair?

There are many minerals present in hard water. Each mineral has its own effect.

hard water on hair


Calcium makes the hair seem heavy.It causes the scalp to look flaky because it is difficult to rinse out. It is not just skin but the calcium which comes out. In such a way perms seem to drop.


It causes discolored hair and also causes pull-down curls.


Split ends appear which causes the hair to look dry


It combines all the problems. Causes the hair to look dry, takes away the shine and even makes curls drop.

These are the effects of the minerals which causes hair damage. Hard water contains these minerals and thus causes different problems.

Consequences of hard water on hair

hard water on hair

  1. Hair fall problems: This is a significant problem which can affect any age group.
  2. Dry, dull and lifeless hair, even if you use a conditioner.
  3. dandruff.
  4. Split-ends: causes roughness of hair
  5. Graying of hair: discoloration of even colored hair
  6. Thinning hair.
  7. Hair gets tangled which may lead to its breakage.

Other Problems

It may seem like wastage of money if you have got your hair colored or curled. Once you get home and wash it in hard water, the color of the hair will be lost, there will be no shine left, and even the curls will open. There are plenty of treatments that can improve the water. A test can be carried out which is not expensive at all. The test should determine the chemicals present in the water so that it can be purified according to the need.

Ways to save your hair from hard water

Vinegar Rinse

Vinegar is acidic in nature and helps in maintaining the pH of our scalp. It also helps in maintaining the shine and smoothness of the hair.

hard water on hair

You can use any vinegar. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 3 cups of water. After doing shampoo, massage your hair with this mixture and left it for a couple of minutes and then rinse it off. Vinegar rinse increases shine and provide strength to the hair. You should use it once in a week instead of using it every day.

Lemon/Lime Rinse to remove hard water on hair

The acidic nature of lemon will help to remove the calcium buildup from your hair.

hard water on hair

Take one tablespoon of lemon juice and add 3 cups of water, and mix well. After shampooing, apply the mix to your hair and left it for a couple of minutes before rinsing off. This lemon juice will add shine and smoothness to your hair. Lemon also has antiseptic actions which help to reduce dandruff.

Water Softner

hard water on hair

A water softener removes calcium and magnesium and certain other metals from the hard water and makes the water soft. It is an expensive method.

Bottled Water

Bottled water can be used to rinse your hair. It is not an expensive method but will result in a pile of plastic bottles which will be difficult to dispose of.

Shower Filter

hard water on hair

The shower filter is a cheaper method as compared to the water softener. It can result in a decrease of minerals such as calcium, chlorine and many other chemicals from hard water.

Rain Water

hard water on hair

Rainwater is soft in nature and can be used to wash your hair. It is free of cost and we can collect it in large bottles for use.

Clarifying Shampoo

All-natural shampoo adds volume and shine and makes your hair feel thicker and smooth as compared to market shampoos. Market-bought shampoos can cause damage to the hair and should not frequently be used. Click here to know more about clarifying shampoo.

Use a leave-in Conditioner for Glossy Finish

A conditioner should be used after shampoo to add a shiny touch to your hair.


hard water on hair

Vitamin C and E will improve the condition and style of your hair. It will help in making your hair look clean and fresh. They will work on the discoloration and slowly bring your hair back to its natural color.

Wash Your Hair Less

hard water on hair

We should not wash our hairs very frequently like every day. And we should allow the scalp to adapt to the changes and produce the natural oils. Washing hair frequently causes damage hairs.

Read out my another article on 15 Best Hair Oils for Faster Hair Growth


Every problem has a solution. Yes, this hard water is a serious problem, but we can solve it in many ways. We just need to be bitwise and be careful with the water we use. If we think it is hard water, we should just adopt any of the methods to prevent hair fall and damage.

hard water on hair

Hair is an integral part of our body and we should take good care of it like any other organ of our body. Goodluck to your hairs:-)

Health All in One