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Myths and Facts: Soft Water and Hair Loss Versus Hard Water and Hair Loss

Most of us probably don’t think too much about how hard water or soft water impacts our hair. The fact is, however, that whether your water is on the harder end of the spectrum, or the softer, you’ll generally notice some pretty obvious results once you start paying attention.

We’ve also seen our share of myths circulate about soft water hair loss, so it’s time to set the record straight about how your hair reacts to softened water.  One of the most common questions we’ve come across is:

Is Your Water Softener Causing Hair Loss?

The short answer is no. Many people may notice a change in their hair if they move from a location with hard water to a location with soft water, however this change is generally unrelated to the amount of hair you have (or whether it’s falling out)—  rather it has to do with the quality of your hair. In general, other changes in your environment are likely causing any hair loss, specifically changes to your diet and stress levels. If you’ve begun eating more poorly than you’re used to, or recently experienced a stressful event like moving homes or starting a new job, the hair loss culprit is more likely that than your water quality.

Does Hard Water Cause Hair Loss?

In contrast, the high mineral count in hard water can aggravate your hair – leaving it brittle and dry. And while this isn’t always the healthiest thing for hair, it can often give the appearance of having more structure or volume. Hard water also has a tendency to make hair appear dull, and minerals like magnesium and calcium typically build up on hair and hair follicles, drying it out and causing splitting and breaking.

It is speculated that hard water can affect hair health. That is because high mineral counts can cause a reduction in moisture absorption, making your hair brittle. High mineral count can also lead to tangling and weakening of hair strands. Likewise, hard water can reduce the efficacy of shampoos and conditioners, resulting in poor hair hygiene and potential scalp issues.

While actual scientific research and evidence linking hard water to hair loss is limited, studies show that it make existing scalp conditions worse, which leads to hair thinning.

Benefits of Hair Washing with Soft Water

In addition to being gentler on your hair, soft water lathers more quickly and easily so you don’t need to use as much product as you would with hard water. It enhances the performance of hair care products. Washing your hair with soft water often results in a better appearance, which enhances natural hair texture. It reduces frizz, making it more manageable and styling easier.

The reason for this is that soft water allows hair to retain moisture more effectively, leading to better hydration. This results in softer, more manageable hair with fewer tendencies to break. Unlike hard water, it doesn’t leave mineral deposits which can lead to residue build-up on the scalp and hair.

Soft water is also beneficial to your scalp. It helps maintain the natural pH balance of your scalp, reducing the risk of irritation and dandruff. It also facilitates the better absorption of nourishing ingredients from hair care products.

Home Hair Loss Remedies and Soft Water

Dissolved minerals and metals in water can make it more difficult for hair to rinse fully, and can leach nutrients from your hair. So whether you’re trying to stop hair loss with herbal or natural remedies, it’s likely you’ll need more of whatever remedy you’ve chosen because hard water will be working against you when it comes time to later, rinse, repeat.

Looking for a way to help your hair stay healthy and look its best? A whole-home water softener provides high quality, soft water at every faucet and tap in your home so you can experience the benefits no matter where you wash. And the benefits don’t stop with your hair – from added skin benefits to other perks like lower utility bills and longer-lasting appliances, a home water softener can make life a little easier all over the home.