The Reason Your Shower Water Might Be Damaging Your Hair

It seems counterintuitive to think that something that we do every day, and which is supposed to be beneficial, could actually be ruining a part of our bodies. We're talking about showers, and how they may be affecting our hair in ways we haven't even thought about.

The damage our shower wreaks on our hair depends on whether or not we live in an area where the mineral content in the water is high. These levels, in turn, determine whether water is "hard" (has high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium), or "soft" (has lower mineral levels).

According to HomeWater 101, a staggering 85 percent of people in the United States have hard water, and according to celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena, that's not a good thing for your tresses. "Hard water and well water can negatively affect both the color and texture of your hair. It causes color fading and dryness, which leads to frizz because of the excess mineral buildup in hair," he explained (via Insider). That's not all. Colorist Jamie Garland agrees, saying, "Hard water is a colorist's worst nightmare. Not only is hard water harsh on your skin and hair, but it can actually change your hair color" (via Stylecaster).

Soft water can also negatively affect your hair

While soft water may not inflict the same kind of damage that hard water can, it still manages to challenge hair care in a different way. Hairstylist Oscar Blandi explains (via Glamour) that washing hair with soft water can be difficult. "It takes longer to thoroughly cleanse hair of hairspray and other styling products, which results in product buildup on the scalp. This is especially an issue if you have naturally oily or fine hair — leftover products remaining on the scalp weigh hair down and make it feel greasier," he says.

That said, hair stylists seem to consider soft water a better option than hard water, and colorists and hairstylists tell Stylecaster that the best way around hard water damage is to install a shower water filter (being sure to change it every few months). If that's not an option, make use of haircare products which either protect your hair from hard water damage, or help your locks heal if the damage has already set in. And once you've taken steps to guard against hard water, make sure you don't make these big mistakes when drying your hair.