Featured Articles ➔

The Effects of Hard Water on Hair & How to Combat Them


Split ends, dry and frizzy hair – these are just some of the effects of hard water on hair.

Over 85% of the total US population largely depends on hard water. So, what if you are amongst the 85%? Do you have to live with lifeless hair? Or is there anything you can do to reduce or even eliminate the damage caused by minerals in hard water? Yes, there is, but first, let’s dig deeper into the effects of hard water on hair and scalp. 

Table of Contents:

1. The truth about hard water and its adverse effects on hair
2. Can hard water cause hair loss?
3. Does hard water affect all hair types?
4. How can you protect your hair from hard water?
  4.1 Install a water softener
  4.2 Use a filtered showerhead
  4.3 Use a clarifying shampoo
  4.4 Say no to sulfates
  4.5 Do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse
  4.6 Massage your hair with oils
5. Which shampoo is best with hard water?
  5.1 Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
6. Conclusion

The truth about hard water and its adverse effects on hair

According to the World Health Organization, hard water is safe for human consumption. In fact, it can even be healthy, due to the presence of naturally occurring minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Nevertheless, it is harsh for your hair and could be a barrier to healthy-looking locks.

Hard water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium carbonate, and sometimes even heavy metals that can create a buildup of mineral deposits. It is one of the reasons for your clogged pipes, slightly discolored sinks, and fading of your clothes after a wash! Take a minute and think about what it could do to your gorgeous strands. 

When calcium salts and other buildup minerals get stuck on your cuticles, your hair looks lifeless. The mineral content in the water weighs your hair down and makes it look and feel greasy. The greasiness may compel you to wash your hair more often, and that means stripping your hair of its essential oils and moisture. Ultimately, your hair gets dry, frizzy, and unhealthy. 

Can hard water cause hair loss?

The buildup of minerals present in hard water, such as calcium and magnesium, clogs the roots and restricts blood flow to the follicles. That, in turn, intervenes with the growth of new hair, ultimately thinning down your locks and causing temporary hair loss. 

Does hard water affect all hair types? 

The minerals in hard water can harm all types of hair, though there may be variations in degree. 

While it aggravates dry hair leading to flaky patches, “Hard water can irritate even the oiliest of scalps. Even if you think you have very fine hair that has to be washed daily to avoid looking greasy, the hard water can dry your scalp out to the point where it becomes dehydrated and oily”, says trichologist Ricardo Vila Nova.

Dry hair


How can you protect your hair from hard water? 

If all you have around you is hard water, you need to be more attentive to your hair care routine and the products you use. Thankfully, we have included a few tips to attain gorgeous locks, hard water or not!

Install a Water Softener

For a permanent fix, install a water softening system to improve the water quality. Though on the expensive side, having access to soft water will save you time and money in the long run. 

Use a Filtered Showerhead

If you are looking for a more cost-effective solution, go for a filtered showerhead. It will filter the hard water and retain minerals such as zinc, calcium, etc.

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Bring back your damaged hair to its former gorgeous state with a clarifying shampoo.  

Say No to Sulfates

Stay away from hair products that contain sulfates. Not only that they are harsh to your hair by themselves, but they can also react in contact with the mineral buildup in your hair, further aggravating the damage.

Do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

It will help dissolve and remove hard water build-up. All you need is one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lime / lemon juice. Mix it well with 3 cups of bottled water and massage the solution evenly on your wet hair. Rinse thoroughly after letting it sit for five minutes. 

Massage Your Hair With Oils

To help seal in moisture and prevent mineral build-up, oil your hair regularly. The ultra-rich multipurpose Castor Oil from WOW is a great option. Besides helping you deal with the effects of minerals in hard water, it also nourishes your hair, scalp, lashes, brows, lips, and even your nails. Add the 100% cold-pressed castor oil to your beauty routine for an overall boost. 

Castor Oil


I can also recommend you the non-sticky Onion Black Seed Oil from WOW. It helps repair damaged strands and soothes a sensitive scalp, and is packed with natural nourishing ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, castor oil and almond oil. 

Onion Black Seed Oil

Which shampoo is best with hard water?

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

WOW’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is a clarifying shampoo free from sulfates and parabens. It helps remove hard water buildup from your hair, revitalizing your scalp and leaving your strands smooth and shiny.

Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

The apple cider vinegar in the composition of this shampoo, obtained from 100% raw and natural Himalayan apples, balances the pH level of your scalp, while the other ingredients in its composition, such as almond oil, Argan oil, nettle leaf extract and saw palmetto extract helps strengthen the hair from the roots to the tips. 

For best results, pair it with the WOW Coconut Avocado Conditioner. It works best on dry, damaged, and colored-treated hair, although it is suitable for all hair types.


Who cares if you are amongst the 85%? You can still have luscious locks with the right products and a few self-care tips. Stick to the formulas, try out the recommendations, and flaunt your crowning glory to your heart’s content!

Mayengbam Tommy

As a wellness and skincare freak, Mayengbam Tommy loves experimenting with products that are much-talked-about and sought-after in the market. A regular reader and writer of wellness and self-care blogs, she believes that a person can shine through only if he/she glows from within.

Recommended Products

500 ml/bottle
1009 reviews
200 ml
683 reviews
10-In-1 Hair Oil

Related Articles

Is Baby Oil Good For Your Skin?

Is Baby Oil Good For Your Skin?

For decades bathroom cabinets have stocked up on baby oil....
Going Blonde: How To Prep Your Hair

Going Blonde: How To Prep Your Hair

It’s always a good time to go blonde! Even though...
Heat Damage: 5 Recovery Tips

Heat Damage: 5 Recovery Tips

Heat damage can turn beautiful natural curls into dull and...

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Author: Mayengbam Tommy

Latest posts:

As Featured On

You have successfully subscribed!