Signs of hard water on hair

Last updated on: June 1, 2024.

If your hair feels dry to the touch and is brittle, it could be a sign that you have hard water. Hard water contains a high concentration of hard minerals that can build up on your hair and scalp, leading to a variety of problems. In this article, we’ll discuss some common signs of hard water damage to hair and what you can do to mitigate it.

Can hard water cause hair loss?

Can hard water cause hair loss?

There is no scientific study proving that hard water causes hair loss. Some people may be more susceptible to hard water-related hair loss due to the presence of certain minerals in hard water. These minerals build up on the scalp and hair, leading to dryness, irritation, and eventually hair loss. If the hard water in your home is causing hair loss, you may want to use a water softener or shower head filters.

What are the visible effects of hard water on your hair?

When it comes to hard water and your hair, there are a few visible effects that you may notice.

  • Rougher and more dry than usual.
  • Not as shiny as it once was.
  • Hair color fades more quickly when you wash it in hard water.
  • Scalp is more dry and itchy than usual.

While these are all visible effects of hard water on your hair, they are not necessarily permanent. With that said, if you notice any of these effects, it is important to take steps to protect your hair from further damage.

Hair Loss

Hair Loss

The high levels of minerals such as magnesium and calcium tend to build up on the scalp and hair and cause the hair to become brittle and break. In addition, hard water can also strip the hair of its natural oils, which can lead to dryness and frizziness.

Frizzy hair

Frizzy Hair

On the one hand, hard water can actually help to tame frizz and make hair more manageable. On the other hand, hard water can also be a major culprit in causing frizzy hair in the first place. When hard minerals come into contact with hair, they can deposit on the strands and lead to dryness and frizz.

​​Dandruff or eczema of the scalp

Dandruff or Eczema of the scalp

Dandruff and eczema of the scalp are both common scalp conditions that can be caused by hard water. Hard water can cause dryness on the scalp, leading to dandruff and eczema. Both of these conditions can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Hair lacks body and shine due to mineral build-up.

If you’re dealing with hard water, you know that it can be a major pain. Your hair may lack body and shine because hard water has made it dry and dull, and it can be difficult to get it to look its best.

How do you wash hair if you have hard water?

How do you wash hair if you have hard water?

Deposits from hard water can make your hair feel heavy and greasy. There are a few things you can do to combat this issue.

Installing a water softener will ensure that all your pipes bring soft water into your home. It would take care of more than your hair breakage or itchy skin in one shot.

You can use bottled water if you can handle the expense. Bottled water is not considered good for the environment either. However, bottled water can be used just to wash your hair and tap water for all other purposes.

There are a few products in the market that have become popular to ensure that your hair doesn’t lose its glory.

One such product is Malibu C: Natural Protective Hard Water Wellness Kit. It is known for its capacity to instantly detoxify the water of its impurities and lock the natural moisture in.

You can also use apple cider vinegar or lime juice to reduce the mineral build-up. You may need some amount of bottled water for this rinse when you add a tablespoon of vinegar or lime juice and use the solution on wet hair. It acts like a hair conditioner. You have to leave in conditioner for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Chelating or clarifying shampoos help reduce, if not remove, mineral deposits, although both these products will need a conditioner to keep the hair soft.

But before looking for a water softening solution to hard water problems, you may need to test the water for hardness levels.

How to check for hard water at home?

How to check for hard water at home?

You can either call in a water testing professional to test your water or do it yourself. Our verdict is that the JNW Direct Water Hardness Test Kit is the best one, and it comes with 150 testing strips. It gives you the most accurate results in determining the quality of water and its hardness levels. Those of us who want to do it ourselves can purchase this kit and test the water at home. It will save the additional cost of calling in a professional and the time taken for them to arrive.

How to repair hair that has been damaged from hard water?

Chelating Shampoo & Hair mask for better hair texture.

Once you’ve decided to give it a try, be sure to follow the directions on the product packaging. Generally, you’ll want to use a chelating shampoo once or twice a week, followed by a hair mask.

Chelating Shampoo & Hair mask for better hair texture.

Apply the hair mask to shampooed hair and leave it on for the amount of time specified on the product packaging. Rinse the hair mask out thoroughly.

You will notice a difference in your hair’s texture and appearance after just a few uses. With regular use, chelating shampoos and hair masks can help to repair damage and restore healthy-looking hair.

Eat healthy food to prevent hair fall (It is not always because of hard water)

​​We all know that eating healthy foods can help improve our overall health, but did you know that certain foods can also help promote healthy hair? Here are five foods that are good for your hair:

Eat healthy food to prevent hair fall (It is not always because of hard water)

Salmon – Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy hair. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep your hair moisturized and prevent brittle, dry hair.

Avocados – Avocados are another great source of healthy fats. They also contain biotin, a vitamin that helps promote healthy hair growth.

Spinach – Spinach is loaded with nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients will keep your hair strong and healthy.

Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A which is important for maintaining healthy hair.

Eggs – Eggs are a good source of protein, which is necessary for healthy hair growth. They also contain biotin and other nutrients that are important for healthy hair.

Eating a diet that includes these five foods can help you achieve and maintain healthy hair.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How to remove hard water from hair naturally?

You can try lemon juice or vinegar. They are both acidic, so they can help break down the minerals in hard water that can build up on your hair. Add a few tablespoons of either to a cup of water and then pour it over your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it out.

You can also use a chelating shampoo. Chelating shampoos can be very effective at removing hard water deposits. Once you’ve removed the hard water from your hair, you’ll want to make sure that you use a good conditioner. This will help to replenish the oils that were stripped from your hair by the hard water.

2. What are the best hair products for hard water?

The best hair products for hard water are the Malibu 100% vegan wellness kit. It includes Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo, Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Conditioner, and four Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Treatments. They help removes mineral build-up, eliminate (remedy) calcium and magnesium that irritate the scalp and discoloration, and protect against potential mineral deposits. It is also safe for daily use.

3. Will a water softener improve my hair?

Installing a water softener to ensure softened water can go a long way to improving your hair. It can help remove harsh minerals in the water and provide soft water for your hair and sensitive skin.

4. Does apple cider vinegar remove hard water build-up on hair?

Using apple cider vinegar is a DIY solution as a vinegar rinse. It is acidic and can remove the scaly build-up of minerals. Distilled white vinegar will also work, but apple cider vinegar may work better.

5. Can hard water permanently damage your hair?

Hard water does not damage your hair permanently because you can do something about it. You can use any natural remedies to prevent mineral build-up. You can also invest in a good water softener or a shower filter to get softened water for your showering needs.

6. How does hard water affect dyed hair?

Hard water can affect colored hair because the minerals can cause hair color to fade more quickly than it would otherwise.

6. How long to leave acv on hair after castile soap in hard water?

If you use apple cider vinegar for washing hair, it would be best if you leave it on for around five minutes before rinsing it off. Castille soap is alkaline, and you need an acidic rinse post-wash to restore the hair’s pH level.


Hard water can be hard on our hair. Fortunately, there are solutions to repair the damage and prevent further problems from hard water. We hope you find the above information helpful in keeping your hair healthy, shiny, and lustrous.

About The Author

Our Web Producer

Judith— a passionate water treatment specialist — is a waste water management enthusiast, clean drinking water advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about various water equipments. Her work was mentioned in countless notable water associations. Previously she was an editor at Water Alliance.