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How to Wash Hair When You Have Hard Tap Water

When it comes to caring for your hair, most people just think about the shampoo and the conditioner that they use to wash hair.

However, what you may not know is that the type of water you are using can also have a huge impact on the health of your hair.

If you have hard tap water, then it is important to take some extra steps when washing your hair to protect it from minerals in the water.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to wash your hair when you have hard tap water and other steps that can help.

How to shampoo with hard water

What is hard water?

Before we discuss how to wash your hair when you have hard tap water, it is important to first understand what hard water actually is.

Hard water has high mineral content. This is caused by the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water.

These minerals come from the natural environment, like rocks and soil, and can also be introduced into the water supply by industrial and commercial sources, such as factories and power plants.

You can quickly tell you have hard water if you see a white residue or scale on your faucets, dishes, and other appliances. You may find that your water has a higher than normal pH level.

A hard water test will be able to determine the specific levels of minerals in your water. A simple test for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will also indicate hard water, but will not differentiate minerals from other dissolved solids.

The ranges of hard water are:

  • Very soft water has less than 0.05 grams of calcium carbonate per liter (g/L)
  • Moderately soft water has between 0.05 and 0.30 g/L
  • Slightly hard water has between 0.31 and 0.60 g/L
  • Hard water has greater than 0.60 g/L
  • Very hard water has greater than 0.90 g/L

These minerals can be beneficial in some ways, but they can also cause problems for your hair and skin.

What are the effects of hard water on your hair?

If you have hard water, it is likely that your shampoo isn’t working as well as it should be.

This is because the high mineral content in hard water can interfere with the lathering action of shampoo. It can also make it harder to rinse all of the shampoo out of your hair.

These minerals can not only affect the pH level of your scalp, but they can also make it difficult for your shampoo and conditioner to cleanse your hair properly.

This can lead to a build-up of dirt, oil, and other products in your hair, which can cause it to look greasy or unclean.

These minerals can build up on your hair over time and cause many issues, including:

  • Dullness
  • Color change
  • Frizziness
  • Tangles
  • Breakage
  • Itchy scalp

According to, this can even lead to hair loss!

How to wash hair in hard tap water?

How to wash your hair in hard water

There are a few things that you can do to help get the most out of your shampoo when you have hard water:

  • Use less shampoo than you normally would. A small amount of shampoo will still be effective in cleaning your hair.
  • Shampoo your hair twice. The first wash will remove the dirt and grime, and the second wash will rinse all of the shampoo out of your hair.
  • Use a good quality conditioner after you shampoo your hair. This will help to replace the moisture that was lost due to the hard water.
  • Avoid using hot water when you shampoo your hair. Hot water can further dry out your hair. Instead, use warm or cool water.

If you are still having problems with your hair after trying these tips, you may want to consider using a shampoo that is specifically designed for people who have hard water.

These products will contain chelating ingredients that can counteract the effects of the minerals in the water and will help to keep your hair healthy and shiny.

Clarifying shampoos will help to remove built-up residue from hair but don’t affect minerals in the water.

Conditioning with hard tap water

What about conditioning your hair?

The best way to condition your hair when you have hard water is to use a conditioner that contains chelating agents.

Chelating agents are ingredients that are able to bind to the minerals in the water so they don’t interact with your hair or other ingredients.

There are many different types of chelating agents available, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for hard water.

Conditioners with chelating agents can be a bit more expensive than regular conditioners, but they are worth the investment if you have hard water.

If you don’t want to purchase a separate conditioner, you can also try using a shampoo that contains chelating agents.

Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using too much of the product, as this can cause your hair to become greasy.

Tips to protect your hair from minerals in hard tap water

Hard water in the shower

Hard water doesn’t just affect your hair.

Hardness minerals have other negative effects, including:

  • It’s more difficult to create a lather with soap in hard water, meaning that it’s not as effective at cleaning your body and can dry out your skin
  • Hard water leaves a white film on dishes and fixtures
  • It can cause scaling, which is the build-up of minerals on surfaces like kettles, irons, and coffee makers
  • Hard water can reduce the life of appliances
  • Laundry comes out dull and stiff, requiring more soap and softeners
  • Hard water doesn’t taste good, making it difficult to drink and unpleasant to cook with

The best solution to hard water is to remove these minerals before they cause a problem.

Shower Head Filter

You can get a simple filter that attaches to or replaces your shower head.

These are effective at removing some of the mineral content from shower water as it flows through the filter.

Water Softener

Water softeners are devices that are designed to remove the minerals from hard water for your whole house. They work by exchanging the hard minerals for softer minerals or binding the minerals so that they can’t create scale.

There are different types of water softeners available, so be sure to do your research before purchasing one.

They are not cheap to install and maintain, but they are worth the investment if you have hard water and want to reverse all of the negative effects on your health, plumbing, and appliances.


Hard water can harm your hair, but with a few simple adjustments, you can still get it clean and healthy.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to keep your locks looking their best!