View Full Version : Soft water vs. hard water?

December 4th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Hey I was wondering what the different impacts of hard and soft water are for your hair?

My water has been softened majorly due to a new filter, and I was wondering if its good or bad for my hair?

Thanks. =]

December 4th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Well hard water is the water that has alot of minerals in it, and I've heard people on LHC complain about very fast build up on their hair due to the minerals, and their hair feeling 'gunky'...
I've never had hard water, but I definitely do prefer soft water. ;) It really is 'soft'. :p

December 4th, 2010, 01:20 PM
Soft water is far superior to hard water. I live in a very hard water area, and without proper chelating shampoo the minerals build up on my hair like crazy, and make it dry and break off. Products will often be less effective in a hard water area.

I wish I had soft water.

December 4th, 2010, 01:28 PM
Where I live water is very hard and it makes my hair dry, dull, hard to manage and I have to wash it more often. When I am somewhere where water is soft, however, my hair starts to live its own life in full - it gets very poofy, light and curls unpredictably so I have to use more products to tame it, thus soon dullness comes again. You choose :)

December 4th, 2010, 01:30 PM
Now, for soft water, you'll need a filter, right? Where is a convenient place to get a shower filter? Right now I'm pretty sure I have hard water...

December 4th, 2010, 01:41 PM
We have soft water here in Seattle and my hair really likes it. On vacation in areas with hard water my hair responds by being dryer and having much more frizz.

December 4th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Hard water is not good for hair. I can feel immediate difference when I go to see my mom in Tokyo and wash hair at her place. Water is soft there. But as soon as I come back to the US. Meh. My hair does not feel as soft as I felt back in Tokyo.

December 5th, 2010, 09:24 AM
I have very hard water. If I don't clarify once every one or two weeks, then my hair goes dull and tangled. I can hear it snapping when I brush it through.
When I go somewhere with soft water, my hair is suddenly softer and shinier and when I brush it my brush just glides through. I hate coming back from holiday...

I use citric acid and vitamin C powder which helps but I still have to clarify for more often than I would like to. I've bought a shower filter but I only get about a month's worth of soft water effect until it stops working.

December 5th, 2010, 11:42 AM
Here is the water also very hard! I need a handfull of conditioner for my almost bsl length hair because the water is terrible here. When i wash my hair with my BF i notice a lot of difference: my hair is much softer and wavyer to!

December 5th, 2010, 01:39 PM
The water where I am is very hard. I do an ACV rinse at the end of each wash to stop the build-up feeling - the rinse does make my hair oily at the roots a little faster, but I'd rather deal with that (which I'm used to dealing with anyway, since my scalp leans that way) than take on the dry, tangly effects of mineral build-up. I lived in Scotland for a time and my hair did love the soft water there, and I could miss out the ACV rinse, and didn't need sulphates. Sadly, down south I haven't found a way to cleanse properly without sulphates and ACV. It's what I keep coming back to.

Enjoy your soft water!

December 5th, 2010, 01:39 PM
With moderately hard water, I actually had more luck with WO washing than with my softened water. There may have been seasonal and stress effects in there, though.

Now, for soft water, you'll need a filter, right? Where is a convenient place to get a shower filter? Right now I'm pretty sure I have hard water...
Not necessarily. Soft vs. hard water is a function of how much calcium and magnesium are in the water, and that varies regionally. Many places have naturally soft water, while other places have naturally hard water. The water where I'm living now is quite hard. Therefore, we bought a water softener works by replacing the calcium in the water with sodium. (Hence, all the bags of salt for water softeners...) Our water feels more "slippery" now, especially after washing with bar soap (as opposed to a detergent-based bar or shower gel), and we don't get soap scum buildup on our dishes or shower anymore.

For most people, washing just works better with soft water. However, an easy way around the problem is to do final rinses with vinegar-water or citric acid-water. That removes minerals remaining on your hair. Vinegar's also fantastic for removing soap scum.

ETA: I suspect you can get shower filters at places like Home Depot. But if you (or parents) own a home, look into water softeners too. It makes a real difference on the life of appliances like water heaters and dishwashers, and getting one made a decent quality-of-life difference for me and DH. Ideally, you don't want to drink softened water long-term, though, because of the increased salt content. We have an RO system to deal with that, but you can also have an un-softened tap somewhere or get those 5-gallon jugs of water for drinking.

December 5th, 2010, 09:56 PM
Thanks, Anje! I think we have moderately hard water...but thank you so much for your information!!! It helped a ton!

December 6th, 2010, 02:25 AM
the water where I live is so freaking hard. It almost has a SMELL to it it's so hard. i need a filter just to drink the water. I will need a water softener asap, so I feel CLEAN after taking a shower :/

December 12th, 2010, 05:20 AM
Hard water is a nightmare for my hair and skin. I live in a hard water area and it makes my hair dull and gunky and it makes my skin extremely irritated! I use a shower filter and although it doesn't make my water soft (I think you need a actual water softener to do that, as filters can only do so much), it does make it less hard and my hair and skin are both better for it. I won't shower without it. :p

December 12th, 2010, 06:57 AM
A few years ago I moved from the East of England: a very hard water area rich in lime to the West of England: a soft water area and the quality of my hair has improved greatly. Like Anje says, the soft water feels so slippery and soapy by comparison. I especially noticed this when I return to the East to visit my mother, I had to use so much more cleansing products than I usually do back home and my hair and skin became instantly more dry. I think the presence of lime made the water 'heavier' (if that makes sense!) One of the benefits I have found with the soft water is that I definitely need less shampoo...kerching! I can now treat myself to more expensive shampoo! :cheese:

Enjoy the benefits of your soft water :)

December 14th, 2010, 10:46 AM
I am water-only so the quality of water is super important for me. I don't do acidic rinses either. Sometimes I rinse with black tea because of the tannins in it which soften the hair.

Yesterday's discovery, aka reinventing the wheel, I don't know how it didn't come into my mind before, given the fast that I live in the north of Sweden: need of soft water --> balcony --> snow --> let it melt --> rinse. It made my hair so soft.

December 14th, 2010, 10:52 AM
I live in an area with very hard water with the added benefit of having lots of iron in it too. It's awful and I live in a rental so will not invest in a water filter. I just complain a lot! :)

December 14th, 2010, 11:08 AM
I have hard water and my hair hates it! A shower filter and ACV rinses help, but not enough. When I get soft water on vacation my hair feels like silk, it never feels like that at home.

December 14th, 2010, 11:12 AM
I grew up in soft water areas and only recently came to a hard water area. Hard water is awful for hair and skin. Monthly, I do a club soda soak to break down any calciferous deposits on hair and do an ACV rinse after every wash. It really helps since I don't have a filter.

Soft water is lovely for the hair!

I'm going to give the snow water thing a ago. My only concern is pollutants in the snow.

December 14th, 2010, 11:16 AM
I have hard water and my hair hates it! A shower filter and ACV rinses help, but not enough. When I get soft water on vacation my hair feels like silk, it never feels like that at home.

Wow, impressive hair!!

December 14th, 2010, 11:19 AM
I'm going to give the snow water thing a ago. My only concern is pollutants in the snow.

Yes, snow can be polluted just like rainwater can be acidic. If physically "polluted", just filter it before use. I live in a very remote part of Sweden, a little more north from here there are lakes which are OK to drink. (Lapland) But I don't think I would collect snow in a big town.

Becky Safari
December 14th, 2010, 11:25 AM
I agree, the water in my town is absurdly hard. I battle skin problems and hair buildup, but as soon as I am on vacation my skin glows and is clear and my hair is super soft and shiny. I'm struggling to find a haircare routine STILL because of my water

December 15th, 2010, 02:03 AM
Should it helps when you filter your water with a Brita filter and than making your hair wet with this 'cleaned' water and also wash off the shampoo and conditioner? it would be a lot cheaper than buy a big filter for the whole waterinstallation.

March 31st, 2011, 07:14 AM
Oh... :doh: So that's why my hair (and silverware) have had these symptoms since moving... :(
Attempting the club soda thing.