Hard Water and Hair Loss

Does hard water cause hair loss?

Most of us are all too aware of the problems hard water causes but could it also lead to hair loss? You don’t have to go far to find contradicting views on the matter. We believe it could definitely contribute to hair loss and we’ll explain why in this article.

Hair loss caused by hard water

Do you have hard water?

If you live in the UK or the USA, there is a good chance that you live in a hard water area. Around 60% of the UK and 85% of the USA have hard, or very hard, water. Simply Google ‘hard water map’ to get an idea of the levels in your country. Most people are usually aware whether they have hard water from the skin and hair problems it causes (see our FAQ for more info).

There have been studies where strands of hair, that were lost during combing, have been immersed in hard water, and others in distilled water and the effects were then measured afterward. This procedure was repeated over 30 days and then the strength and elasticity were measured. The study concluded that hard water does not interfere with the tensile strength and elasticity of hair. More information can be found here.

So what’s the problem…? Well, hard water contains dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which leave behind a scummy residue after washing. This can lead to numerous skin conditions, such as acne and eczema. Hard water strips moisture away from your skin and hair by removing the natural oils your body produces. This can leave your skin feeling dry, itchy and irritated. You may find yourself scratching your scalp or using more products to combat this problem.

Do shampoos cause hair loss?

Due to the higher concentration of minerals in hard water, shampoos and soaps don’t create much of a lather. You may find yourself having to use more shampoo, or several rinse and repeats, before feeling like your hair is truly clean. This could be troublesome as many shampoos contain ingredients, such as Sulphates, which are harsh chemicals that dry out the hair. Ideally, you should use a shampoo that is a mild cleanser and use it for the shortest amount of time possible.

Tips for washing hair in hard water

Firstly, hard water causes multiple problems for not only your body but your appliances too. Purchasing a water softener is the most effective option, providing you can afford it. This is because a softener will remove 99% of the minerals within the water in your home. They work by using a process called ion exchange, which removes the Calcium and Magnesium from the water and replaces it with sodium (salt). They are plumbed into your water supply, either underneath your kitchen sink or where your water supply enters your home.

The next best option would be to purchase a shower head that is specifically designed to reduce hard water. This is a more affordable option and most work on a similar principle of filtering out the impurities in the water. See our guide for the Best Shower Filters for Hard Water. Other options include showering with rainwater or using a Reverse Osmosis system.

Shower head for hard water

If you cannot afford a softener or shower filter, then you should keep the temperature mildly warm, use a mild shampoo and spend a minimal amount of time showering. Hopefully, if you follow these tips you’ll find the signs of hard water on your hair will diminish. Your hair will be looking healthier in no time and hair loss can potentially be reduced.

Stone Stream Shower Head Reviews

Stone Stream Shower Head Reviews

Shower filters are an effective option for removing chemicals and impurities, which can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Hard water, which is common in many areas in the UK, can dry out your skin and leave your hair matted because it stops shampoo and soap from dissolving easily. There are many water softening solutions out there, but a shower filter is perfect if you want a low-cost, easy to install option. We’ve collated a list of Stone Stream Shower Head Reviews, all of which are available in the UK, along with some of their defining features.

In the second part of this article, we explain in more depth how hard water affects your hair and skin whilst not being harmful to your overall health. We’ll also list some alternative fixes for dealing with hard water if you don’t want to get a shower filter.

Note: There are two types of filter referenced in this article; firstly, shower head filters which contain the filter within the head, and secondly, in-line filters which connect between your shower hose and water source (these allow you to keep your existing shower head).

ImageShower headDimensionsWeightRating (Out of 5)Price
YISSVIC 15 stage Showerhead Filter6.7 x 6.7 x 11 cm599g4.7 Stars Check Price Now
pH REJUVENATE Vitamin C Shower Filter Head8.3 x 6.6 x 21.6 cm231g4.4 Stars Check Price Now
Rymerce Ionic Shower Head27 x 3 x 8 cm200g4.1 Stars Check Price Now
CasaFlow Shower Filter21.8 x 9.4 x 9.1 cm612g3.7 Stars Check Price Now
Paragon Luxury Hand-Held Shower Filter Head8.9 cm head radiusUnknown4.75 Stars Check Price Now

Stone Stream Shower Head Reviews

YISSVIC 15 stage Showerhead Filter

Best shower filter for hard water

The YISSVIC shower filtration system packs a lot in considering the price. The 15 stage filtration process, which includes activated carbon, reduces most traces of chlorine and heavy metals. It’s easy to install and will not affect your water pressure. The reviews on Amazon are some of the best for shower filters. However, one potential problem is the large radius of the product. We recommend you measure the gap between the shower filter and the wall to ensure you have enough room. It comes with 2 filter cartridges and each one will last approximately 6 months.

Pros: 15 stage filtration system

Cons: The wide radius, when compared to competitors, means it won’t fit all bathrooms.

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pH REJUVENATE Vitamin C Shower Filter Head

pH REJUVENATE Vitamin C Shower Filter

The pH Rejuvenate shower filter is a popular option which not only filters out impurities but also uses a vitamin C block which gives the water a pleasant, slightly citrusy scent. pH makes bold claims about this model, which seem far-fetched, saying this shower head can improve water pressure by 200% and save up to 35% of water. This is done by using 180 laser-cut tiny holes, which are 5 times smaller than other shower heads. The overall head is much smaller than competitors though, meaning it will feel more like a spray rather than a shower. In terms of replacement filters, pH doesn’t specify how many litres of water it will last for, but instead, give a time frame; The Mineral Ball Blend will last 4 months before requiring a replacement, and the Vitamin C Block will last 1 month.

Pros: Is friendlier on the environment, as it uses less water than other models.

Provides a citrus scent to the water

Cons: The tiny holes can easily become blocked (especially if you’re in a hard water area) and the overall head is quite small.

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Rymerce Ionic Shower Head

Rymerce Stone Stream Shower Head


The Rymerce model, which comes in at the cheapest price, is a cheap and cheerful option. It makes similar claims to the pH option above, regarding water pressure and consumption. In reality, it won’t increase water pressure, it just directs the water through smaller holes. The mineral balls will last approximately 6 months before requiring a change.

Pros: This is one of the cheapest options whilst still receiving good feedback

Cons: The tiny holes can easily become blocked (especially if you’re in a hard water area) and the overall head is quite small.

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CasaFlow Shower Filter

CasaFlow Shower Filter


The CasaFlow model allows you to keep your current showerhead, as it connects easily to your shower hose. The sleek black/stainless steel design certainly means it is more aesthetic to look at compared to other filters. The design more slender than other filters (e.g. YISSVIC), but it’s best to check it will still fit between the shower and wall. It will last for rough 6 months (or over 50,000 litres) before the cartridge will need replacing.

Pros: Sleek design which will compliment any modern bathroom.

Cons: Some people have complained that the filters don’t last as long as CasaFlow claim and it is not as effective as others.

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Paragon Luxury Hand-Held Shower Filter Head


Made in a high-quality chrome finish and with multiple spray settings, this shower head is not only effective but also looks stylish. It will filter out 99% of chlorine, reduce limescale and harmful chemicals, leaving you to shower in pure filtered water. The spray settings range from a full-body spray to massage and gentle (bubble) modes. This model comes with a universal shower mount and the filter will last for approximately 37,000 litres of water.

Pros: 5 different shower massage functions to choose from.

Cons: This is one of the more expensive shower heads out there.

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Benefits of getting a shower head for hard water

Hard water is perfectly safe for showering in, but it is not ideal for your skin or hair. Hard water contains a high mineral content which will leave behind a film-like residue as shampoo/soap will have a harder time dissolving. This can cause a range of skin problems (especially if you have sensitive skin) such as irritation, itchiness, and dryness. A shower filter can prevent the following problems:

  • No more dry or frizzy hair – Shampoo has a harder time dissolving in hard water, so we tend to use more of it. This means a layer of soap film will be left behind on your scalp. The scalp is sensitive to anything that saps moisture, and soap residue is likely to leave it feeling dry and flaky. This could potentially cause hair loss. Using a shower filter will stop your hair feeling dull, limp or straw-like.
  • Reduce Acne and breakouts – Similar to the above benefit, the soap residue left behind can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
  • Reduce eczema and psoriasis symptoms – Although hard water does not cause these skin conditions, it can definitely exacerbate them. People with sensitive skin will definitely benefit from showering in soft water.
  • Save money on shampoo/soap – products will be more effective and will lather more easily if used with soft water. Consequently, you will use less product and save money.
  • Reduce chlorine content – The levels of chlorine in water within developed countries are safe and well below the guideline maximum set out by the World Health Organisation (5 mg/l). However, if you are particularly sensitive to the smell of chlorine a filter will be beneficial. You can visit your water company’s website to get a free water quality report which shows the chlorine content in your water.

Alternatives to shower filters

Water Softeners – This is a much more expensive option, however, if your budget can stretch it will be a more effective fix. Water softeners provide many benefits, as they are plumbed directly into your home’s water supply system causing all water entering your home to be filtered. Not only will your hair and skin feel better, but your appliances will function better; Heating systems become more efficient, which reduces your annual bill, and your appliances will last longer. Click here to view some water softener options

Turn down the heat whilst showering – there are numerous benefits to having cold showers, from increasing your immune system to making you feel more alert. Warm showers also cause your pores to open, so there is more chance of them getting clogged.

Shower using rainwater – this water is naturally soft as it has not flowed over rocks, through rivers etc. and picked up the salts and minerals that groundwater or mains supply might. This is a great option if you don’t want to spend any money.


Fits All Brita Jugs?YesYes
View on AmazonView on Amazon


The MAXTRA+ cartridges are Brita’s new upgraded cartridges, which they claim to have added benefits to the older MAXTA cartridges. Brita claims the MAXTRA+ cartridges have enhanced MicroFlow Technology which removes more impurities and leaves the water tasting better. The new mesh, which is 25% finer than the MAXTRA cartridges, and micro carbon pearls reduce even more chlorine and impurities.


Are MAXTRA and MAXTRA Plus cartridges interchangeable?

Yes. All existing Brita jugs can fit either the MAXTRA or MAXTRA Plus cartridges and this has been confirmed by Brita. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about compatibility when choosing. We recommend going for the MAXTRA+ though as they work out slightly cheaper and it is likely that Brita will phase out the older version over time. Our thoughts are re-enforced by reading some user reviews and seeing some people have been sent the newer version when specifically ordering the old one. This is not an issue for most, but the newer version can be slightly harder to remove as it doesn’t have the looped ring at the top to pull on (see image below).


Where to buy Brita filters?

Brita is one of the biggest water filtration suppliers and many big supermarkets stock their products. You can also buy filters directly from Amazon. If you’d like to purchase a Brita jug, but you’re not sure which one you want, you can use our guide for the most popular options here. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions.

brita maxtra vs maxtra plus
Maxtra (on left) and Maxtra+ (on right)