Does water quality impact the hair?


So you’ve switched your shampoo, you’ve been eating healthy, and you’re practicing the best hair care you possibly can- but your hair seems just as dull and damaged as before.

Sounds familiar? It may be time to examine your water quality.

Water quality is something that is not paid much attention to for hair health. Water is, after all, only water- it only rinses your hair, right?


There are two distinct water types that are available to us- hard water and soft water, and they both play a major role in determining our hair quality.

As the name suggests, hard water is water that has a high volume of minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Water that contains minerals higher than the Indian standard of 300 mg/litre CaCO3 is considered to be hard water. The mineral content of water differs from place to place as it picks up these minerals while travelling
through the soil. You can tell if your water is hard by paying close attention to some telltale signs like white crusts around drains and faucets, difficulty in lathering soap, or feeling a film on your hands after washing them. Soft water, on the other hand, is water that contains lower levels of calcium and magnesium.

Let us talk in detail about the effects of water on the hair:

Effects of Hard Water on Hair

The minerals present in hard water can create a film on the hair, making it nearly impossible for moisture to penetrate it. Hence, the hair becomes dry and brittle. What’s more, it also hinders the rinsing process, which leads to buildup and residue of shampoo and conditioner in the hair. This may prompt you to wash your hair more often, but the problem only worsens with the use of hard water. The residue weighs down on the hair, making it seem flat and lifeless, and also causes damage to the hair in the form of breakage, tangles, dryness, itchiness, dandruff and frizziness. Over time, this can cause major hair loss.

Hard water also has a negative impact on colour-treated hair, causing it to become dull, faded, or even discoloured.

Effect Of Soft Water on Hair

Soft water can actually help you change the texture of your hair and leave it healthier! Since it contains way lower levels of hard minerals, it doesn’t react with shampoos or cause any buildup on the scalp. What’s more, soft water can help shampoos lather better, which means that you can get the maximum benefit by using minimal amounts of hair product.

Sometimes it may feel as if soft water is making your hair ‘slippery’- this only means that your hair is being moisturised by your scalp’s natural oils.

How to Prevent Hair Damage due to Water Quality?

1. Use a water softener or shower head filter

A water softener is a filtration system that can help remove the calcium and magnesium from your house’s water supply, turning the hard water into soft water.

A cheaper alternative to this is a shower head filter that you can attach directly to your shower head. These filters reduce the calcium and magnesium concentration of your water, helping improve the quality of water. Changing your water type can help you prevent further damage and hair loss.

2. Acidic Rinse 

Rinsing your hair mild diluted acids like lemon and vinegar can help balance out the pH level of your scalp, and reduce the amount of buildup in your hair.

Lemon has antiseptic properties that can also help prevent dandruff formation in your hair, while vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can be beneficial to the scalp.

3. Filtered water for the final rinse

Using filtered or bottled water for your intial hair rinse while washing off shampoo can also help you neutralise the damage caused by hard water to an extent.

4. Leave-in conditioner and hair masks

Using products that deeply moisturise your hair can help counter the drying effects of hard water and reduce some of the damage. Leave-in conditioner or natural oils such as coconut or almond oil can also help you seal in moisture in your hair strands!

Using deeply nourishing hair masks can help you restore some of the moisture to your hair. Try using all-natural products to prevent chemical reactions with the buildup. But this will only work if there is no residue of shampoo or previous conditioner, so soft water rinsing is essential for this to work. We recommend using Zemé’s Hair Mask which is made up of 100 percent pure and natural ingredients such as flax seeds, aloe vera and neem leaves that go the extra mile in helping you heal your hair!


We hope that this helped you get a better idea of the effect of water on your hair and what you can do to make them healthier.

Try using all-natural products as far as you can to prevent any sort of chemical reactions in your hair. Zemé Fresh offers you a wide range of hair products- from hair cleansers to hair serums- that you can use to make your hair journey a whole lot easier. Made with 100 percent pure and natural ingredients, our products have the solution to all your hair problems.


• Does hot water damage hair?

Using very hot water can indeed be detrimental to your hair. It strips your hair of natural oils, leaving your scalp dry and hair brittle. Not only this, but it can also weaken your roots and make hair porous, leading to breakage and frizz.

Therefore, it is recommended to use lukewarm water for washing your hair- warm water not only cleanses your scalp of dirt and grime, but it also unclogs your pores and stimulates blood flow to the hair, helping hair growth.

• Will water softener help my hair?

Absolutely! A water softener can filter out the hard minerals from your water supply, turning the hard water into soft water, which will definitely help your hair!

• What are the effects of chlorine water on hair?

Chlorine is a chemical commonly found in swimming pools. If it comes in contact with hair, it strips it of its natural oils, causing itchiness and dryness. It can even cause chemical reactions with your hair that weaken strands and cause split ends, or dry and dull hair. Thus, it is very important to protect your hair when you’re going for a swim. You can read more about chlorine hair damage here.

• Does changing water cause hair loss?

Switching from hard water to soft water is definitely beneficial for you. However, if you’re travelling or moving to a new place, a shift from soft to hard water can cause damage to your hair and eventually lead to hair loss. Thus, it is important to know what type of water you’re dealing with and then take appropriate measures for your hair!

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Most haircare problems can be solved by following a haircare regime that is free from synthetic chemicals.