Can Water Softeners Cause Hair Loss (What You Need To Know)

It’s a known fact that hard water can be troublesome for your hair. Many households therefore choose to use water softeners. A general concern is that water softeners can cause hair loss or hair thinning. If you have concerns about the effects of using hard water on your hair, keep reading to find the answer.

woman hair loss

Considering 85 percent of the USA has hard water, your chances of living in one of these areas and experiencing problems with your hair are quite high. 

To put it simply, water softeners can not cause hair loss or cause your hair to fall out. If you are experiencing hair loss, it could be due to several other factors, such as stress or changes to your diet.  

We will talk about the different ways you can try to prevent hair loss, but first, we’re going to look at what water softeners are and the benefits of using one.

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What Are Water Softeners?

Adding water softeners to your water helps remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals cause water to become hard which has an impact on its quality. 

Water softeners come in different shapes and sizes. it could be a filter that is installed in your water system, salt tablets that help to soften the water, or even install a shower filter to help with hard water.

When the calcium and magnesium are removed via a water softener, the quality of the water improves significantly. 

The water won’t look or feel any different than before, but you will notice the difference in your skin and hair straight away. 

Why Use Water Softeners?

Without water softeners, hard water can cause many problems not only for your hair and skin but around the home too. 

Hard water leads to scale, which can clog pipes, shorten the lifespan of household appliances such as your dishwasher and coffee maker, and it can build up on your shower curtain. 

When using soap or shampoo together with hard water, you may notice that it won’t lather as much. If you bathe in hard water, you may find it leaves your skin itchy and dry. 

No matter how much you try to replace hair and body products or home appliances, if you live in an area that has hard water, the problem won’t go away. This is why it’s important to use a water softener. 

Also Read: How Does Alcohol Get Into Your Hair? (Interesting Facts)

What Are The Benefits Of Water Softener?

water softeners for hair

Since you’re no longer wondering if water softeners can cause hair loss, you may be wondering what the benefits of using water softeners are. 

Water softeners can be super beneficial for your hair. Many hair professionals and beauty experts favor soft water as it has incredible, noticeable results. 

Here are some of the benefits of using water softeners:

Water Softener Means Less Damage To Hair

Soft water doesn’t contain heavy minerals like calcium and magnesium that can block the pores on your scalp, causing it to become dry and lead to dandruff. These minerals can also damage your hair, leaving it feeling dry, brittle, frizzy, and lacking volume. 

Hair Looks Shinier

Soft water can help your hair look shinier and feel much softer. This is because soft water can penetrate the hair follicles much easier than hard water. Using soft water will make your hair look and feel healthier.

You Can Use Less Hair Product

Shampoo doesn’t lather up as much when used with hard water. Soft water helps the shampoo lather up quickly, which means you won’t need to use as much product, saving you money in the long run. 

Also Read: Blue Or Purple Shampoo For Gray Hair? Which Is Best?

Why Is Hard Water Bad For Hair?

There are many reasons why hard water is bad for your hair. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

  • The minerals found in hard water stop the shampoo from lathering and working correctly.
  • Calcium builds up and prevents the scalp from absorbing moisturizer from a conditioner. 
  • When mineral build-up occurs, it can lead to bacterial growth and cause an infection.
  • Hard water can leave hair looking frizzy and flat with no volume.
  • The minerals can block pores on your scalp, making it dry and causing dandruff.

Does Hard Water Cause Hair Loss?

We’ve already discussed can water softeners cause hair loss, but we haven’t talked about if hard water can. 

Hard water can be bad for your hair for numerous reasons, as we have already mentioned, but there’s not enough evidence to show that hard water can cause hair loss. 

However, it is worth pointing out that it can prompt the start of the hair thinning process. 

Calcium and magnesium found in hard water create a salt when mixed with your hair products. Residue from the salt is left on your scalp and in your hair. 

This prevents any moisturizer from a conditioner from absorbing into your scalp. Your hair then becomes dry and tangled, causing breakage, and this can lead to your hair thinning if it goes untreated.

If you have noticed you are starting to lose some hair or that it’s thinning, it can be quite upsetting. 

Although you may be thinking that water softeners can cause hair loss or the quality of your water surely has something to do with it, it may not have anything to do with your water quality whatsoever. 

It’s worth looking at the issue from all possible angles. For example, if you have recently gone through a stressful situation, it can lead to Telogen Effluvium. Or it could be due to a hereditary condition such as Male Pattern Baldness.

Also Read: What Happens If You Don’t Wash Out Keratin After A Treatment

Ways To Prevent Hair Loss Caused By Hard Water

woman looking confused about hair loss

If you are looking for ways to prevent hair loss caused by hard water, then the good news is that you can try some of the following natural methods:


A rich source of vitamin C with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Amla is an excellent natural method that can reduce hair thinning and encourage hair growth. Simply mix Amla Powder with water and lime juice and apply to the scalp for approximately one hour. 

Onion juice

The high sulfur found in onion reduces inflammation while improving the blood circulation to the hair follicles. Onions also contain antibacterial properties, which are an excellent solution for dandruff.

Extract the juice by grating the onion and apply it directly to your scalp, leaving for approximately 30 minutes. 


Fenugreek is effective in treating hair loss, and the seeds have hormone antecedents that encourage hair growth by giving hair follicles proper nourishment.

Overnight, soak one cup of Fenugreek Seeds in water. The next day, grind the seeds into a paste and apply this to your hair for 40 minutes. 


For a simple natural method to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth, add some flaxseeds to your diet in salads, soups, or smoothies.

They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you with hair loss. 


Hibiscus can help combat hair loss, prevent dandruff, and protect hair from premature graying. Simply blend two hibiscus flowers with either coconut or sesame oil.

Apply the mixture to your scalp and leave for up to three hours before washing off. 


We hope that this article has been able to clear up some of your questions regarding water softeners and if they cause hair loss.

Remember, if you are experiencing any problems with your hair, it may be caused by your water quality, but it can also be related to changes in your diet or lifestyle.

can water softeners cause hair loss

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Dee Poulsen

Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she's always happy to recommend you her favorites.