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water sprinkling out of a shower head

How to Treat Hair Affected by Hard Water?

Have you ever experienced a dry feeling on your skin after using tap water? Then you probably live in one of the hard water areas of the UK. Although hard water has benefits for our health, it can also be unpleasant for our hair.

Learn more about the downsides of hard water for your hair and how it can contribute to hair loss in our article.


  1. How to recognize hard water?
  2. Hair loss and hard water: is there a link?
  3. 4 ways to reduce hard water in your hair
  4. Can I wash my hair with tap water after a hair transplant?

How to Recognise Hard Water?

Map showing water hardness in the UK

To determine the hardness of the water in your home, there are several ways to do this. First, check your local council’s website to find out about the water quality where you live.

A quicker and more effective way to check if you have scale in your water is to have a look at your taps and appliances. If you see white streaks or hard deposits, the limescale level is high.

Is Hard Water Bad for Your Health?

Limestone is actually quite beneficial to our bodies, despite its bad reputation. Drinking water rich in calcium and magnesium provides our bodies with essential minerals. What is limestone?

It is a mineral made up of calcium ions, carbonate ions or oxides, which covers the need for magnesium and fights against cardiovascular disease. If limestone brings benefits from the inside, on the other hand, it can damage the outside of the body for the same properties, aggressive to our skin.

Several studies have shown that hard water exacerbates dermatological problems. In fact, a study by the University of Sheffield showed an increase in cases of dermatitis in people living in an area with high water hardness. The scalp can also be affected if a person has too much hard water in their home.

Signs of hard water in your hair

More frequent dandruff or a very sensitive scalp to water (pimples, itching) is a sign of the effect of water on the hair. Lengths become coarse in certain types of hair, such as curly hair or very porous hair. 

Hard water damages the hair fibre, causing dryness and split ends when used regularly. As a result, the hair becomes dull and brittle. This can lead to long-term hair loss. There are alternatives to mitigate the effects of limescale on our hair as it is not possible for everyone to move to Wales or East Scotland.

4 Ways to Reduce Hard Water in Your Hair

  • Spare your shampoos: It’s easy to avoid constant contact with water.
  • Don’t use tap water for your hairstyles. You can replace it with bottled or demineralized water.
  • Use an anti-limestone shower head
  • Invest in a water softener

Can I Wash My Hair With Tap Water After a Hair Transplant?

man is having his hair washed after a hair transplant

Your medical team will give you guidelines on how to care for your hair at home after your hair transplant. For the first two weeks there will be redness. The grafts are still fragile. You are advised not to use your shower head directly.

Instead, if your water is too hard, you can use a spray with mineral water to rinse off. Once the scabs have fallen off, you can use tap water for washing. Complete your new hair care routine with Dr Balwi’s Shampoo to stimulate hair growth.

Need more advice about your hair loss or hair transplant? Contact one of our experts to start your free hair analysis.