Side Effects of Water Softener on Hair

Written by cindi pearce
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If you are accustomed to hard water, then switch over to soft water, you are going to experience some changes to your hair. Some of the changes you may like; others you may not be so thrilled with.

What is Soft Water?

Softened water has been put through a sodium-ion exchange process that removes hard water minerals, exchanging hard minerals for potassium and sodium ions. As a result, your hair may lose some shine. It could also become flaky, while your scalp may feel dry and irritated because the resins that result from the swapping process consist of sodium.

What It Doesn't Contain

Soft water does not contain magnesium and calcium, which are the precise minerals that define hard water.


For some people, shampooing in soft water can result in lifeless, limp hair.

Hard Water

Most U.S. shampoos are designed to generate lather and consist of aggressive and strong cleansing agents. When you use these shampoos in soft water your hair and scalp can become dry and itchy. You may also experience loss of essential oils that help keep your hair shiny.


Soft water can contain chlorine, which is problematic for hair. Excessive chlorine can result in greenish hair, or hair and scalp issues, because it is a potent oxidiser. Chlorine can also interfere with your bleach or dye job and change the hue of your coloured locks.


When shampooing with soft water, consider changing to a soft water shampoo. Experiment with different brands and see what works best for you.

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