Advice

Hard Water vs Soft Water: How it Effects Your Hair

When washing the hair in the comfort of one’s own home, the outcome is relatively predictable. From the silkiness of the strands to the softness to touch, there is never a huge variance when sticking to a usual regimen in familiar grounds. However, when away on a trip, there may be a notable difference in the hair post-wash, even when using the same products. This is because of the impact that washing with hard water vs soft water can have on the hair. If the hair is left feeling dry and brittle or luxuriously soft, washing with a different water type can often be very obvious. So, which is the preferred type of aqua that our hair benefits from?

Here’s Christophe Robin’s guide to hard water vs soft water hair.

woman looking at hair in mirror

Is hard water bad for hair?

Hard water is water which is full of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The amount of minerals in the water varies from area to area and depends on the amount that is in the soil. This is because the water picks up its minerals from the soil that it travels through.

So, is hard water bad for the hair?

Although some may not notice if the water in the area is hard, hard water can be bad for hair as the minerals can produce a film on the strands, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate them. In turn, the hair is left dehydrated and craving some moisture.

When hard water vs soft water hair is compared, strands washed with hard water may feel dry and heavy, almost as if the entirety of the shampoo lather has not been thoroughly rinsed.

woman washing hair

Is soft water better than hard water for hair?

Considering this, one would presumably be led to believe that soft water is better than hard water for the hair. However, every rose has its thorn. As soft water is far more gentle, it may leave fine hair feeling limp and lifeless. Having said this, soft water is still better than hard water for hair as it causes less damage and one can add a spruce of bounce to fine strands with a volumising regimen that boosts from the root and adds density all to way to the lengths.

Within the Christophe Robin Volumising Regimen is a cleansing paste with pure rassoul clay to immediately lift and give an impression of fullness to the hair. Following that, the delicate conditioner detangles and softens fine hair while infusing it with a soft, light feel. Finally, the instant volumising leave-in mist boosts body, delivers a natural hold and leaves the hair feeling more manageable.

With the right regime for volume and lift, it can be agreed upon that soft water is ultimately better than hard water for hair.

How to remove hard water hair buildup

As mentioned, hard water hair vs soft water hair can be considered dry in texture, but that is not all. Many establish that their water is high in minerals due to a noticeable buildup in sinks, bathtubs, plus mineral deposits on dishes and even on clothes after washing. As you can imagine, these deposits can also be left in the scalp and strands after rinsing, leading to hard water hair buildup.

To remove hard water hair buildup, every haircare should have a scrub step such as the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt. This thoroughly cleansing shampoo can be used once a week to detoxify and refresh the scalp. While the sea salt crystals gently exfoliate, the natural carbohydrate complex helps to rebalance the scalp’s natural defences by reducing the effects of dehydration caused by this hard water buildup in the hair.

woman washing hair

Does hard water fade hair colour?

Finally, hard water can be far from ideal for those with coloured strands. This is because the calcium and magnesium in the hard water bonds to the hair. This can cause an overall dullness or discolouration and can result in green or orange tints in colour-treated hair.

To protect the hair from the struggles that accompany hard water, use a shampoo and conditioner containing pomelo extract. This ingredient which is rich in malic acid helps to protect the colour of the hair.

If the hair has already suffered from mineral discolouration, try one of Christophe Robin’s Shade Variation Masks. From baby blonde to chestnut brown, these masks are formulated to neutralise unwanted brassy tones that can appear in the hair.

As we have established, not everyone lives in area that graces them with water that leaves the hair glossy and sleek. Thankfully modern haircare has provided the solutions to ensure that the difference between hard water vs soft water hair can be diminished. From clearing hard water hair buildup to lifting limp strands; healthy, shiny hair can be achieved in every area.

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Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an Online Beauty Editor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Her passions involve all things skincare and beauty and in her free time she likes to travel, read and get her beauty sleep.