Is Hard Water Causing Skin & Hair Problems?

Friday, May 6th, 2022


Woman looking at her dry, frizzy hair

Frizzy hair? Itchy skin? Take a look at your water. That could be the culprit.

Dissolved minerals in hard water can affect the way you look. Those minerals can dry out skin and lead to an irritating buildup of soapy film. All in all, it can contribute to dull looking hair, itchy scalp, irritated skin – and possibly even wrinkles!

Is hard water causing skin problems for you? Here’s the low down on what hard water could be doing to YOUR skin and hair:

Too much product: Hard water has minerals like calcium and magnesium that interfere with the fatty acids in soap. These minerals prevent you from getting a nice lather from your soap or shampoo. That means you might use too much product trying to suds up. That alone can lead to skin irritation. 

Scummy layer: The calcium and magnesium ions in hard water bond with certain particles in soaps to form a very sticky paste-like substance, oftentimes called soap scum. That makes soap harder to rinse away, leading to a buildup of residue or scum on your skin. 
Overtime, that buildup can make your hair feel dirty and coarse. It can even damage the skin barrier, leading to long-term inflammation and irritation. 

Moisture loss: That residue buildup doesn’t just weigh down your hair. It can actually block moisture from reaching your hair follicles. Ultimately, this leads to a dry, frizzy mane that’s prone to breakage. It can also make your scalp feel tight and itchy and trigger an unsightly case of dandruff.  

Color loss: If you have color-treated hair, you may find your hair has a hard time holding onto color. That’s because the residue from hard water buildup leads to early color fade and brassiness. 

Clogged pores: While hard water can dry out skin, it can also trigger breakouts. The soap scum that builds up on your body can clog your pores, leading to skin problems like acne and breakouts.

Irritation: Hard water can be especially problematic to people with skin conditions like dermatitis or eczema. They may experience more frequent or severe flare-ups when washing in hard water. It essentially dries out your skin, which can lead to cracking, flaking, or itchy patches. 

A Water Softener Can Help Protect Your Skin & Hair

If you find your hair and skin feel better when you shower in a hotel or at the gym, it could be a sign you have hard water at home. Generally, the damaging effects of hard water will go away when you switch to soft water. It may take a little bit of time, but eventually the soft water can help reverse and protect against future damage. 

Is hard water causing skin problems for your family? Are family members complaining of dry, dull hair? Bothered by itchy skin? Find out if hard water could be to blame. Call our water treatment specialists and schedule your free water test today. 

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