Soft Water vs. Hard Water for Hair

by Michelle Miley ; Updated July 18, 2017

Hard and soft water are both safe for your hair.

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There has been much debate as to whether it is better to wash your hair in hard water or soft. Though many people may prefer one type over another, both are perfectly acceptable for hair washing. There are sound reasons why some people believe one type of water is better than another, but neither type is harmful and, at the end of the debate, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Don't Be Too Hard on Your Water

It did, at one time, seem difficult to wash your hair in hard water because of the minerals it contains. These minerals made it difficult for soaps and detergents to create lather, making cleansers feel ineffective and causing shampooers to use more of the product than necessary. The development of synthetic cleansers and additives has eliminated this problem, however, and soaps and shampoos now lather well in hard water. Soft water can also be a problem because it can leave hair feeling slimy even after a product has been completely rinsed from the hair. This slimy feeling sometimes causes people to rinse their hair for much longer than necessary. Ironically, too much rinsing dries the hair and skin as it strips away natural oils, which may make extra moisturizing necessary. In reality, however, neither type of water is better or worse for your hair.

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About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.