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    September 02, 2020 4 min read

    How Do You Soften Hard Water For Washing Hair?

    healthy hair

    What is hard water? When rainwater runs through rocks, soils, and sand, it naturally collects minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which is what makes water hard. While these minerals aren’t harmful to your health, they sure are tough on your hair. As hard water enters your home and pours out of your showerhead untreated, they react with shampoos, conditioners, and soaps to reduce effectiveness and cause irritation.

    If you've experienced dry, oily, dull hair; keep reading because there is a solution to all your hair problems!

    How does hard water affect hair?

    hard water affects hair

    You may also notice that hard water leaves your hair feeling filmy and straw-like. Your initial reaction may be to wash your hair more frequently to remove the soapy residue from your hair. However, for the same reason above, the more often you shampoo your hair in hard water, the less moisture retained in the hair strands. This results in dry, coarse, and frizzy hair, and also dries out your scalp, causing dandruff. 

    As mentioned before, the high levels of minerals that are present in hard water will mix up with the shampoo to form limescale or salts. These salts would then form a scum that settles in your scalp and hair follicles. This limescale will then prevent your hair from absorbing any moistures from the conditioner, causing dryness and itchiness.

    With dry and straw-like hair that causes unmanageable tangles, this can make your hair susceptible to breakage. In turn, breakage can lead to thinning hair if you don’t do anything about it. Hard water can also cause you dyed hair to change colours, especially if there are high levels of other minerals like iron in the water.

    How do you soften hard water at home?

    Install a Shower Head Filter

    Many home hardware stores sell shower head filters that claim to reduce the minerals in hard water, preventing the limescale from building up. Once purchased, you can simply attach them to your showerhead and run water normally. Although this does soften your shower water temporarily, it doesn't solve the problems of hard water throughout your home. Nor does it address the water running from the bath tap.

    Use Deep Moisturizers and Conditioners

    Another option is to use deep moisturizers or leave-in conditioners to bring softness back into your hair. Preferably, try to use natural oils, and leave the solutions in when your hair is damp after the shower. Natural oils such as, argan oil, almond oil, coconut oil and others would do the trick and make your hair glossy again. Although this won't get rid of the limescale problems in your home, at least your hair will return to it's soft, glossy look.

    Try Clarifying Shampoos

    Another way to adverse and prevent the effects of hard water on your hair is to use of a clarifying shampoo. You can also buy shampoos from any grocery chain, but the industrialized ones are a bit harsh on hair and can worsen the effects of the hard water, so it’s best to use them very little at a time. Like always, it is recommended to use shampoos that are made of completely natural ingredients, free of perfumes and other chemicals. Clarifying shampoos not only clean your hair better but also make it fuller, thicker, and appear shinier, apart from cleaning your hair.

    Make A Natural Acidic Rinse

    Try a homemade solution of lemon, lime or vinegar to rinse your hair out, as the acidity will naturally educe any buildup of limescale or minerals in your hair. You can do this by mixing a tablespoon of any of the options with cups of purified bottled water. Then,  leave the solution in your wet hair for a few minutes, finishing with a final rinse with the same purified water. Although this is a quick fix method, it can lead to becoming more expensive if you continuously need to purchase lemons, vinegar and purified water. 

    Install a Whole-House Water Softener

    There are solutions to temporarily alleviate flat or oily hair caused by hard water, but for long-lasting, continual results, installing a water softener is the way to go.

    Water softeners work to remove calcium and magnesium in your home’s water supply, leaving you with soft water and smooth, manageable hair. Soft water also balances your hair’s pH level, so you’re left with silky smooth hair after every wash. Soft water also requires less shampoo to achieve optimal results, meaning your hair will maintain its color for much longer. And, as an added bonus, soft water can help to reduce chronic skin conditions such as eczema and dry skin. 

    Once you start washing your hair after the water softener is installed, you'll notice your hair and skin feel softer and healthier. Also, if you have a problem with dandruff or itchiness, washing your hair with soft water will relieve and soothe any irritations.

    There are many water softening systems on the market, f you’re looking for a salt-based water softener as a permanent solution to protect your hair, you should check out the Fleck 5600SXT system. There are a lot of top quality water softeners you can buy, and the best part is that most of them are also affordable and easy to install.


    Are you tired of dry, dull, lifeless hair? Don't wait any longer and install a water softener today! Contact a water treatment expert near you for more information on picking the water softener that’s right for you!