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How Does Hard Water Affect Your Hair?

Damaged Hair

How Does Hard Water Affect Your Hair? How Does Hard Water Affect Your Hair? How Does Hard Water Affect Your Hair?

It’s no secret that your shower plays a role in your hair’s appearance. By now, you likely know that hot water is a no-no for your strands and that lukewarm water is the way to go to help your mane appear healthy. That being said, you may find yourself wondering if there are other elements of your shower, such as having hard water, that can play a part in the look of your strands. If the relationship between hard water and hair has piqued your interest, you’ve come to the right place. Exit out of your Google search and instead keep reading to learn how hard water could affect your hair and if it’s something you should be avoiding in your hair care routine.


Before we dive into the answer, let’s discuss what exactly hard water is. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), hardness represents salts of calcium carbonate and magnesium sulfate in water. Which brings us to the reason you’re here: Do these salts—AKA hard water—have any effect on your strands? The short answer is yes. In fact, the same study found a significant decrease in the strength of hair when comparing hair treated with hard water and hair treated with deionized water. As a result of the study, it can likely be concluded that hard water can increase hair breakage, per the NCBI study.

Hard water can also have different impacts on certain hair types and even colors. A study from the NCBI found virgin hair and bleached hair to have different outcomes when treated with hard water. Hair stiffness was noticeable in both virgin and bleached hair treated with hard water, while virgin hair showed to have greater style retention as opposed to bleached hair, which had slightly reduced style retention.


To help combat the effects of hard water, try implementing these three tips:  

Hair Tip #1: Use the right hair care system. Per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it’s important to use a shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for your hair type. That being said, if you’re trying to strengthen your locks, give the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Conditioner, which work together to strengthen and fortify fragile, thin hair, a try. Additionally, you can take your hair strengthening system up a notch by using the corresponding hair treatment, i.e., the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion. Formulated with goji, the lightweight lotion moisturizes, revives shine and fortifies hair sensitized by UV rays, water, and heat styling.  

Hair Tip #2: Replenish moisture. The AAD states that chemically damaged hair—including color-treated hair—tends to lose some natural moisture. Knock out two hair problems in one by using the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner. Formulated with a conditioning serum, it helps to fortify each strand, reinforcing the hair fiber and leading to less breakage.

Hair Tip #3: Limit the heat. Aside from chemically damaged hair, the AAD notes that heat can also lead to hair damage and breakage. So, keep your strands strong by taking a break from hot tools and opting for heat-free styling.


What about soft water? Well, it turns out even soft water can have an effect on your strands. The NCBI study found that depending on the amount of chemical damage your hair has, notable amounts of water hardness metals can be extracted even from soft water—AKA, reduction in strength and increased stiffness can still be caused by soft water.

 Next up: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?