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Is hard water behind your dry hair? 3 ways to bring back the shine and softness

Hard water can create mineral build up in your hair.

Warmer weather can be tough on our hair, but hard water is even tougher. A Studio 5 viewer reached out to Style & Beauty Contributor Megan Moore for help, asking, “How can I restore the health and softness of my hair?” She noticed a significant difference when her water softener was down for about a month, feeling all the minerals from the hard water built up in her hair, almost like glue.

Megan addressed the ways hard water can damage your hair, from brittleness to a perpetual dirty feeling.


Find links to the products Megan mentioned on her website.

Understanding the Impact

Megan explained that hard water contains trace minerals like calcium and magnesium, which are rigid and brittle—qualities you don’t want in your hair. These minerals can lead to breakage, dullness, frizz, and for blondes, a brassy tint.

“When you think about calcium, you think of bones, right? They’re super brittle and really rigid. So if we’re adding that into our hair, we’re going to lose that pliability and softness,” Megan explained.

Most of us are unaware of the issue until we experience a change from soft to hard water. Hard water’s mineral buildup can make hair feel like it’s coated with glue, particularly problematic for curly hair, which is more porous and can absorb these minerals more readily.

Solutions for Softening

While a whole-house water softening system is ideal, it can be costly. Megan suggested affordable alternatives like showerhead filters, which use carbon and ceramic to remove minerals.

“They come in different colors, so it’s going to blend in with your shower fixture. They’ve got a filter and they typically last about a year, so you’ve got a pretty good amount of time in there,” Megan said.

For baths, a bath ball filter can keep the water clean and fresh.

Detoxing Your Hair

If you have significant mineral buildup, Megan recommended a detox product that you mix with water to create a paste for your hair.

“You will actually smell the minerals coming out with this. It’s actually kind of gross, but you’re so happy to get rid of it,” Megan said.

This treatment should be done every one to two months, and Megan said you will feel a night and day difference.

Preventative Measures

To prevent mineral buildup, Megan advised using a mineral-reducing shampoo and conditioner every few washes. This will protect your hair color and save money in the long run.

On top of those products, Megan said adding a hair mask to your regimen will really benefit your hair.

“Using a mask is going to rebuild the hydration and the shine and all of the things that we’re lacking when we have hard water,” Megan explained.

DIY Remedies: Yay or Nay?

While some women swear by homemade remedies like apple cider vinegar, Megan advised us against them since they can be drying and cause other issues.

“You could be doing some benefits, but you could also be doing some other things that aren’t great for your hair,” Megan said.

It’s best to stick with products specifically designed for hair detox.

Hard water can be the silent culprit behind many hair issues. By understanding its effects and using the right products and filters, you can protect your hair and keep it looking its best.

For more tips and product links, visit thebeautysnoop.com and follow @beautysnoop on Instagram. 

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