. Hard Water Effects on Hair and Skin

Hard Water Effects on Hair and Skin

Do you struggle with dry, itchy skin or acne? Greasy, dull and frizzy hair? Instead of searching the internet for home remedies and ways to fix these issues – it might be a good idea to get to the root cause. Even with top skin care products and a great diet plan – if your home supply of water is hard, the Hard Water effects on hair and skin … may make it seem like nothing is working. Hard water affects over 60% of the UK – especially southern and north west postal codes, causing a range of skin and hair issues, including dryness, itching, and irritation.

What is it About Hard Water that Can Cause Dry Skin & Hair?

Hard water contains high levels of the minerals, calcium and magnesium. These minerals can interact negatively with soaps and shampoos and leave a residue on your skin - making it difficult to rinse away soap and other products. This can lead to acne, dryness and irritation - especially if you already have sensitive skin.

Hard Water Effects on Hair and Skin

How Does Hard Water Affect My Skin?

Hard water can impact your skin in big ways. If you struggle from conditions such as eczema, dry skin, rosacea, redness and acne – hard water could be playing a big part. A good question to ask is - have you noticed changes in your skin when visiting another part of the country or abroad? Your skin can be affected by your water’s mineral content — and so high levels of magnesium and calcium can cause damage and irritation, especially your hands, because you wash them most frequently.

  • Skin Dryness & Irritation – skin that is sore, red, damaged. The most common effect of hard water on your skin is dryness. When using skin care products such as moisturisers – with hard minerals at play, it may not be enough. Hard water makes it difficult to rinse away soap, and the mineral deposits can lie on the top layer f your skin. This can leave your skin dry, red and irritated. Furthermore, if you have sensitive skin, psoriasis or eczema, hard water can actually cause these conditions or make them much worse by exacerbating existing dryness.
  • A Reduction in Natural Skin Oils - hard water and its minerals can absorb a lot of the natural oils from your skin. This interaction affects the natural skin barrier protection, as well as the pH balance of your skin. This along with added dryness, can cause breakouts and a damaged skin barrier.
  • Blocked Pores & Acne: Soap Residue from washing with hard water can clog pores, leading to acne and other skin issues.
  • Eczema and Dermatitis: Hard water has been shown in several studies to be strongly linked to eczema and severe dry skin conditions like psoriasis. It not only can be a direct cause, but can also result in flare-ups and increased discomfort.
  • Premature Aging: Over time, the constant stripping and lack of natural oils can lead to premature skin aging, making the skin look dull, dry, older and less healthy.
  • Britlle Nails: the water you wash with can also impact your nails, starting from the nail bed. The nail bed becomes vulnerable to drying out, leading to thin, brittle and even discoloured nails that don’t grow long.

How Does Hard Water Affect My Hair?

Hard water damage could impact hair of all lengths, thicknesses and textures. It’s all thanks to the excess calcium and magnesium minerals in hard water, that work against the natural oils from your skin and scalp.

Unfortunately, more frequent showers or baths aren’t the answer and more washes can result in a bigger problem. Here are some of the most common signs that hard water is affecting your hair:

  • Scalp Dryness & Dandruff: oil glands exist on the scalp to keep your hair protected and hydrated. However, when you use hard water, the excess minerals can leave a film on your skin, blocking oil glands and resulting in dry, flaky and an itchy scalp.
  • Hair Follicle Issues: Hard water and the mineral residue it creates, can actually block your hair follicles and pores, leading to inflammation and itchiness.
  • Lack of Hair Growth and Increased Hair Loss: When hair follicles are damaged or blocked, this build-up and scalp irritation can reduce hair growth and contribute to increased hair loss or shedding.
  • Dullness, Frizz and Brittleness: When your scalp is dry, your hair follows suit. When hard water strips the natural oils from your hair, it can lead to brittle hair and hair that always seems to be frizzy and dry.
  • Hair Damage and Split Ends: Dry hair is weak hair, which means it could break, tangle and thin out more easily when stylings and brushing, causing an increase in damage and split ends.
  • Greasy Hair and Product Build-Up: mineral deposits from your water can react with hair products and can build up on the scalp and hair, making it greasy, feel heavy, dull, and difficult to manage.
  • Color Fading: Even after an expensive colour treatment, investing in colour protectors and good quality shampoo - hard water can cause color-treated hair to fade much faster.
  • Cleaning Problems: Hard water makes shampoo and soaps less effective. It reacts negatively with shampoos and it is more difficult to create a later. Not only that, but the hard minerals also impact your rinsing, meaning you need to spend more time and effort washing away conditioner and other products. You may feel like you can never get clean or shiny hair.

What Can I Do About Hard Water? Can The Hard Water Effects on Hair & Skin be Reversed?

The good news is – there is a long term solution to hard water (other than relocating of course). You don’t have to suffer and keep searching for a magic moisturiser or shampoo. Here is what you can do:

  • Purchase a Water Softener: Installing a water softener is a long term solution to the negative effects on hair and skin. It can help reduce the mineral content in your water in the entire home and thus alleviating many of these issues.
  • Why Shower Filters are not the best idea: shower filters to reduce the impact of hard water have become very popular over tiktok – but these products are temporary solutions that don’t last very long. To put it simply, they don’t have the capacity to filter out the hard mineral on a large and every day scale and become saturated after a few uses.
  • Gentle Products: Use gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and soap-free cleansers can also work well to help minimise hard water irritation.

Why is a Water Softener Good for Dry Skin and Hair?

A water softener is a whole house product that removes excess hard minerals from your incoming water supply. To do this, softener systems use negatively charged resin beads like magnets to “attract” positive calcium and magnesium ions. Soft water then flows out to every tap in your home leaving hard minerals behind to be drained and flushed away. These household products are the number 1 and only permanent way to remove the damaging minerals from your water.

Water Softener Benefits for Skin:

  1. Retains Natural Oils for Moisture: Soft water doesn’t contain excess calcium and magnesium and so it does not strip away the natural oils from your skin. Being gentle, it helps to maintain moisture and prevent dryness.
  2. Reduces Irritation: Soft water reacts very well with soaps and shampoos – it creates a great lather and bubbles. Because of the difference in minerals, it doesn’t leave a soap residue on the skin, meaning it can keep your skin barrier healthy.
  3. Can Be a Natural Treatment for Eczema: water produced by a water softener can prevent flare ups and treat skin conditions such as eczema, meaning you can purchase less skin care products and use less chemical based treatments.
  4. Prevents Clogging of Pores & Acne: Soft water does not form a pore-clogging residue, helping to prevent acne and other skin inflammation issues.

Water Softener Benefits for Hair:

  1. Maintains Moisture: Soft water helps retain the natural oils in your hair, reducing dryness and leaving hair soft to touch.
  2. Prevents Soap Build-Up & Dandruff: Soft minerals can stop and prevent the build-up of residue that can make your scalp flakey and cause dandruff.
  3. Cleaner Hair: Forget dull and heavy hair, soft water does not cause a build up of product and minerals – meaning your hair will look cleaner and stay cleaner for longer.
  4. Colour retention: A water softener can help protect your hair colour, causing it to last longer.
  5. Improves Manageability & Styling: Hair is softer, shinier, and easier to manage with fewer tangles for better styling and less damage.

Conclusion – You Next Steps.

Using a water softener can significantly improve the condition of your skin and hair by removing damaging calcium and magnesium. Soft water preserves natural oils, reducing irritation, and prevents mineral or soap build-up. It can also improve the overall health and appearance of your skin to be more hydrated and bright.

To get soft water or to start considering it as a solution, we recommend the following:

#1: Get Your Water Tested

You can use our water hardness checker to check you postcode and get an idea about your water hardness. You can also consider a water test, which can tell you:

  • Hardness levels
  • Chlorine
  • Total dissolved solids (TDS)
  • Iron

#3: Choose the Right Water Softener

You can read a guide to choosing a water softener here. The best model for your home should be based on factors such as:

  • Your water hardness levels
  • The size of your home & amount of water you use
  • The need for smart functions, high-efficiency settings and other features

You can speak to us over the phone or email if you need more information or have any questions.


Need More Information?  

Get free expert advice from our team or download our free water softeners buyers guide. Click here to download the guide.

Click to Call us 0203 1486773
Click to Email us sales@newatersofteners.co.uk

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