Woman in shower with green tiles

How does hard water affect your hair?

If you’ve ever heard someone talk about hard water and wondered what exactly they’re talking about, you’re not alone. Hard water is a term used to describe water’s quality and composition. While hard water is safe to drink, people have discovered it comes with a myriad of effects on hair and skin. 

If you are tired of dealing with hair problems like buildup, dryness, irritation, but feel like you’ve tried everything -  the culprit might actually be the hardness of your water. But fear not, because we’ve got an extensive guide to help you combat the effects of hard water and restore your hair to its former glory! 

First things first, what is hard water?

Hard water is a natural occurrence caused by high levels of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, in the water. These minerals find their way into the water supply as it trickles through rock formations, picking up mineral deposits along the way. While these minerals are not harmful to your health, these minerals often leave residues on the skin and hair after washing, causing dryness, irritation, and dullness.

So, how can you tell if you’re in a hard water area? 

Well, if you live in the UK, there’s a good chance that you’re in a hard water area - around 60% of the UK is classified as having hard to very hard water! London water is sourced from local rivers and natural reservoirs under the ground. This means it passes through soft chalky limestone multiple times and is why the majority of the water in South East England is considered hard. You can check here to see if your area has hard water. 

But if you’re still unsure, here are some signs that might indicate you’re dealing with problems related to hard water:

  1. Residue Buildup: Does your hair feel greasy and heavy even after you’ve washed it? That’s a classic sign of mineral buildup or could also be from silicones. Minerals love to bond with the natural oils on your scalp, creating a stubborn residue that weighs your hair down. It can also contribute to product buildup, making it harder for any hair treatments or styling products to work effectively. 
  2. Dryness and Frizz: Hard water can strip your hair of its natural moisture. Your hair becomes brittle, dull, and prone to frizz. The minerals in hard water can create a barrier that prevents moisture from being absorbed by your hair strands. This can lead to split ends and a general lack of shine or lustre. 
  3. Colour Fading: If you've invested time and money into colouring your hair, hard water can be your colour's worst enemy. The mineral buildup can cause your colour to fade faster than you’d like.
  4. Difficult Lathering: The minerals in hard water love to mess with soaps and shampoos, making it difficult to get a good lather going. 
  5. Scalp Irritation: Is your scalp itchy, dry, or flaky? Blame it on the minerals in hard water. They sure know how to irritate your scalp, leading to conditions like dandruff or eczema.
  6. Tangled and Brittle Hair: Hard water can make your hair more prone to tangling and breakage. The mineral deposits can roughen the hair cuticle, making it more difficult for hair strands to glide smoothly against each other. 
  7. Reduced Volume: And if all that’s not enough, hard water can also make your hair appear flat and lifeless, with no volume or bounce. 

    Brush untangling blonde hair


    Don’t Let Hard Water Win!

    Now that you know the many different impacts that hard water can have on your hair, here are a few solutions that can help you mitigate and repair the damage caused by hard water. 

    1. Clarifying Shampoos: Incorporating clarifying shampoos into your hair care routine can effectively remove mineral buildup caused by hard water. These specialised shampoos contain chelating agents that bind to the minerals, allowing them to be rinsed away, restoring hair's natural lustre and manageability. KIND2’s The Rebalancing One is perfect to help restore hair that has been affected by hard water! 
    2. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: Let’s keep it natural! Periodic rinsing with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH of the scalp and remove mineral deposits. This simple, natural remedy can enhance hair texture and shine.
    3. Water Softeners: Installing a water softening system at home can significantly reduce the mineral content in tap water, making it gentler on hair and preventing those pesky minerals from sticking around. 
    4. Leave-In Conditioners and Hair Masks: Show your hair some love with regular application of leave-in conditioners and deep conditioning masks that can help nourish and protect hair from the drying effects of hard water. These products provide an additional barrier against mineral deposits. For recipes and step-by-step instructions on how to make hair masks at home, check out our blog post, 5 Easy DIY Vegan Hair Masks.

    Navigating the Waters of Hair Care

    Hard water might be a common issue but armed with the knowledge of its effects and practical solutions, you can confidently navigate its challenges. KIND2 offers a range of sustainable solid hair care options that are formulated with natural ingredients to promote strong, healthy hair! Specifically, The Rebalancing One solid shampoo bar is specifically made to perform well in hard water, and any of the conditioner bars can provide your hair with hydration and nourishment.


    Rebalancing Shampoo Bar


    Why not discover all the benefits of plant based and sustainable hair care!

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