Search by product name or hair type/concerns
by: Better Not Younger
September 29, 2021
Hard water may look like regular water, yet it impacts your hair and scalp differently from soft water. It’s not considered dangerous to your health, yet it can cause problems for your scalp and hair.
After many showers or baths, hard water minerals in your hard water form a film on your hair, preventing moisture from entering. It can also cause scalp buildup and create challenges for your follicles, leading to dullness, dryness and if left unchecked, hair loss.
Compared to soft water, hard water has higher levels of dissolved minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. Water hardness happens when your groundwater percolates through chalk, gypsum or limestone deposits.
The concentration of these and other minerals in your water determine its level of hardness. People often utilize water softening systems to reduce mineral concentrations.
Over time, hard water buildup can slow hair growth and may cause your hair to fall out because of blocked hair follicles. In addition, too much calcium in the system can cause blood vessels to constrict, lowering blood flow and depriving follicles of essential nutrients.
The issue can get worse as styling products and leave-in conditioners are added to the mix. When these solutions mix with hard water, they can create a gummy layer on your hair and scalp. As hard water minerals and product buildup attach to your hair, moisture can't get in, and eventually, you may experience breakage.
Breakage is a condition where your hair strands look shorter than the rest of your hair and can make your tresses look patchy and thinner.
It’s hard to create a lather with hard water so it often causes you to wash your hair for longer as you try and wash away calcium buildup, which can cause a dry scalp and skin.
It can also prevent moisture from penetrating cuticles on your hair fibers. This can lead to strands feeling and looking brittle and dry—a precursor to hair loss.
In a 2016 study, researchers took hair strands from 15 healthy females, cut them in half, and washed one half in distilled water and the other in hard water. They did this for 30 days and then examined the hair under a scanning electron microscope.
They found that the surface of hair treated with hard water appeared ruffled and had mineral deposits on them. Additionally, the thickness of the hair was decreased when compared to the hair treated with distilled water.
Other hair issues you may encounter with hard water include:
Many of us struggle with hard water buildup on our plumbing fixtures, laundry and our skin. Hard water reacting with dissolved calcium causes a soap scum which can take longer to rinse off.
Other ways you can tell if you have hard water include:
If you have hard water, you may want to consider a water softening system or shower filter. A shower filter can offer a fast fix that can change your water condition by reducing minerals and chlorine. This can make it a lot easier on your scalp and hair.
Additional steps you can take to protect your hair from hard water and prevent hair loss include:
Soft water is typically considered gentler on your hair and scalp than hard water. However, if you have hard water, Better Not Younger has a full lineup of age-related skin and hair products that can help. Our lineup lets you maintain the health of your tresses and impede hair loss, no matter if your water is hard or soft.
Stop by our Online Shop and check out our products. Also, read more from The Better Blog for more tips on how to care for your aging hair.