6 Negative Effects of Hard Water on Skin/hair with Solutions

You may have come across the terminology ‘hard water’ sometime in your life. If you have read our post on “What is Hard Water and Why it’s Harmful,” you will have some knowledge about it. We will give a quick review for people who may not be aware of it. When the concentration of dissolved chemicals in water, specifically calcium and magnesium, becomes too high, it is called hard water. These substances are dissolved in water when it flows through the soil and takes up these minerals.

Effects of Hard Water on Skin and Hair

itchy skin due to hard water

Hard water can make your kitchen appliances, bathtub, washing machine, marble tiles look clouded due to a whitish layer covering it. Or your clothes may seem as if they have lost their fresh touch. Apart from these nuisances, hard water is not life-threatening or dangerous to health. However, it can become a health concern when it comes to your body and skin:

  1. Bathing in hard water regularly may damage your skin. It is difficult to rinse off the soapy residue with hard water, leaving the skin feeling dry and itchy. If you think washing thoroughly and rigorously can rid the skin of soap deposits, think again because doing so can further irritate it.
  2. As your scalp is also your skin, it may feel as if something was sucked right out of it after taking a shower. This is because the hard water takes away the moisture leaving the skin dry and rough.
  3. Hard water can make your hair lose its bounce. They may look flat, rough to the touch, and break easily. If you have a color treatment done to your hair, it may wear off quicker than normal.
  4. Hard water can become particularly unfriendly to people with sensitive skin, dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis. Their skin can quickly become irritated. If you have naturally dry skin, washing in hard water can result in dehydration and flaking of skin.
  5. The soapy remains left behind by hard water can lead to clogged pores, thus disrupting the channel of natural oils in the body. If these lubricating oils get blocked from excretion, pimples, acne, and zits can develop on your skin.
  6. Hard water can dissolve all kinds of impurities which may not be compatible with the skin. Free radicals, like iron and magnesium, can harm the skin causing it to develop age marks and wrinkles, says Dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross. You may look older than your actual age just because you take frequent showers in hard water.

Also know: Indicators and Testing Methods to identify Hard water at Home


Hard water may seem quite an obstacle to overcome. However, there are various methods which you can use to tackle the issues of hard water:

solution for hard water stains

Use a Water Softener: An ion-exchange water softener helps to treat hard water and lowers the effect of water impurities on the skin.

If installing a water softener is not plausible, you can opt for a water softening shower head. The hard minerals in the water will be shielded out, and you can take a bath without worries of dry skin.

Shorten the Exposure to Hard Water: You can also prevent skin conditions caused by harm water by shortening the exposure to hard water.

Moisturizing your Skin: You can apply skin moisturizers and lotion to lessen the impacts of hard water.it is an excellent short term remedy until you arrange a water softener or a shower filter to remove calcium and magnesium from the water.


Hard water can become a challenge if not properly dealt with. If only hard water is supplied to your area, take steps to minimize its effect, particularly on your skin. Hard water is not life-threatening. However, it is advisable to take better care of your skin to prevent its harmful effects.

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