What is hard water?

Hard water contains dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium. When water travels through the earth, it picks up dissolved rock and sediment, making it hard. Even though you can’t see the hardness minerals, there is a good chance they are there, whether you have city water or well water. Hard water is not harmful to consume, but it causes mineral buildup that can damage your home’s water-using appliances, bathroom fixtures, and even cause hair and skin problems.

Many people are frustrated with hair that is frizzy, dry, dull, tangles easily or breaks. Others suffer from skin issues like dry, itchy skin, acne or other conditions like eczema. Lotions, creams, conditioners and other expensive products often offer little or no improvement. In some cases, the problems can be attributed to a health issue or heredity, but many times, your water’s quality may be to blame for the condition of your hair and skin.

Hard water effects on hair

If your hair feels dry, looks dull or you cannot achieve the results you want, you might have a hard water problem. The excess minerals in hard water interfere with what shampoo is supposed to do. When using hard water, you need a lot of shampoo to work up a lather. But once you have a full head of suds, hard water does not completely rinse away the shampoo, leaving a buildup of shampoo on your hair. Using conditioner adds to the buildup since it too doesn’t rinse away completely. If you use various hair products to style your hair, they may not completely wash out when you shampoo either. Your hair will never be completely clean when washing it in hard water, and it may become dry, damaged and look dull. Essentially, the same soap scum that forms on shower doors or around the bathtub is what’s left in your hair. Using heat to dry your hair, or adding various other hair products can make matters even worse.

Hard water effects on skin

Hard water can cause skin problems, just like it causes problems with hair. When washing, soap reacts with hardness minerals in the water and forms a soap film on your skin. This film is similar to the bathtub ring or soap residue that’s often left behind in a bath or shower. Using hard water to rinse your skin won’t free it from the soap film either, and over time, the soap residue can build up and cause your skin to feel sticky, tacky, itchy and dry. Further damage can be done to skin when the buildup clogs pores and prevents natural oils from reaching the surface of the skin. Hard water can be particularly challenging for people with sensitive skin. If you already suffer from eczema, psoriasis, acne or other skin related problems, hard water can make your condition worse.

How to protect your hair and skin from hard water

The effects of hard water on your skin and hair can be a nuisance. Some try to solve the problems with the use of expensive shampoos, conditioners, lotions and creams. Others install a shower head with a built-in filter. Many simply live with the problems, never realizing their water is the real cause.

Purchasing special skin and hair products will mask the problems without ever truly solving them, and shower head filters will help in the shower only. Why put up with a problem when there’s a viable solution that will not only help your hair and skin, but also eliminate hard water problems through your home? Hard water can cause damage anywhere water is used, like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and water-using appliances. Installing a whole-house water system or a water softener will reduce the effects of hard water on your hair and skin and prevent other problems around your home.

Kinetico offers several water softeners and specialty water filters to treat a variety of water problems. To learn more, schedule a water test with a Kinetico water treatment expert. They will test your water and create a treatment plan specific to your family’s needs.