How Tap Water (Hard Water) Is Damaging Your Hair, Skin And Nails?

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In today’s time, we all are surrounded by high levels of pollution and dirt particles present in the air. This is the reason we have become extra cautious to prevent our skin and hair from damage.

But, are you aware of the fact that the tap water you use daily for your hair and body works as bad as the pollution?

Dry or itchy skin, redness, clogged pores, frizzy hair, etc., can be the harmful effects of using tap water, also known as Hard Water. Water has to travel a long way before it reaches your home. It passes through various mountain ranges that can deteriorate its quality. It contains ‘hard’ minerals such as calcium and manganese. If you use this water directly on your skin, hair or nails, it can be harmful to you.

To know its impact, first, let’s understand the difference between ‘Hard Water’ and ‘Soft Water’.

These two types of waters are differentiated on the basis of mineral content they have.

  • Hard Water contains high levels of minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, etc.
  • On the other hand, Soft Water has a high content of sodium.


Effects Of Hard Water On Skin

Tap or hard water may not affect your overall health but, its straight impact goes to the skin. Want to know how? Check below.

1. Skin Become Dry!

Makes skin Dry

Although minerals are essential for your body, when tap water comes in contact with your skin, it leaves its minerals behind. These minerals are responsible for absorbing moisture from the skin.

Lack of moisture content causes dehydration, which further becomes the reason for dry skin. This can also lead to breakouts and pimples.

The alkaline content present in hard water makes the skin look dull when it mixes with the acidic nature of the skin.


2. Makes The Skin Itchy!

Itchy Skin

We apply different skincare products in our day to day lives. Tap water makes it difficult to get rid of these products fully when you wash your face. Due to this, the products remain deposited on the layer of our skin.

When your face is not cleansed properly, it starts itching which can further lead to high levels of inflammation i.e. redness on the face.


3. Act As Fuel To Acne

Acne And Pimples

The minerals present in hard water takes away the essential oils of the skin with them. This results in the development of acne, breakouts and rashes.

If you have sensitive skin, using hard water can make your skin condition even worse.


4. Damages Skin Cells

Using hard water on the skin regularly can damage the skin cells. You must be wondering how?

Calcium and Manganese present in hard water are capable of damaging the protein present in the skin called Collagen.

Collagen is a protein that makes about 75% of the dry weight of skin. It is responsible for the formation of building blocks of the skin.

When it gets damaged due to hard water, skin becomes more vulnerable to other problems like breakouts and irritation.


How To Repair Skin From Damage Caused By Hard Water?

You can use the following techniques to prevent any damage caused by using hard water on your skin:-

1. Drink Plenty Of Water

Drinking Water

Doctors prescribe that; one should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to keep the skin healthy. Water helps to maintain the skin’s elasticity and makes it feel refreshed.

You should keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water the entire day.


2. Keep Track Of Your Shower Time

Shower Time

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average shower should last for not more than 8-10 minutes.

If you exceed this time limit it may lead to the removal of natural oils and moisture from the skin and the skin can become dehydrated.


3. Moisturize

Moisturize Your Dry Skin

You should moisturize your skin immediately after coming out of the shower. This will help you to prevent any damage caused by using hard water on your skin.


Effects Of Hard Water On Hair

Hard water affects the health of your hair in the following ways:-

1. Creates Problem While Rinsing

The mineral content of hard water restricts the thorough rinsing of hair while you shower. Even if you wash your hair multiple times, you will face the same situation.

The residual shampoo will remain in your hair and it will leave irritation and also hair loss in some situations.


2. Breakage And Hair Loss

Hair loss

Some of the symptoms of using hard water to your hair include breakage, thinning of hair, dry scalp and major hair loss.

According to Dr. Patrick Angelos (Author of “The Science and Art Hair Restoration”), hard water that affects the scalp is the major reason for hair loss.


How To Repair The Hair Damaged From Hard Water?

Bring your damaged hair back to life using these techniques –

1. Hair Mask

Hair Mask 

You can use a nourishing hair mask to bring back the shine and moisture that the minerals in hard water took away from you.

What Is Required?

  • 1 cup yogurt/curd
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Apply the mask to your hair and massage it well into the scalp for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Keep the mask for at least 40 minutes and then wash it with a mild shampoo.
  • Repeat the same process 2 times a week for effective results.


2. Try The Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple Cider Vinegar

The acetic properties of vinegar provide a natural solution to the hair damage caused by hard water. For this, you should start with the scalp!

What Is Required?

  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Any Citrus Juice (Orange or lemon juice)
  • Water


  • Apply the mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar, Citrus Juice and water into your scalp and massage it well.
  • Keep it for 15 minutes to get rid of the dry, frizzy hair as a result of using hard water.
  • Wash and rinse your hair using a mild shampoo.

{Note- Apple Cider Vinegar contains vitamins such as Vitamin B and C. These help to make the hair and scalp healthy.}


3. Oiling Is The Key

Oiling Hair

Oiling your hair regularly helps to keep the scalp hydrated and strengthens it. It prevents one of the main reasons caused by using hard water i.e. hair loss. It offers shine to the hair and also helps to get relief from stress.

What oils you can use for your hair health?

  • Coconut Oil- The lauric acid present in coconut oil helps to prevent protein loss from hair. It is one of the basic oil used for hair protection.
  • Argan Oil- It is one such oil that can provide wonders to the hair. The antioxidants present in argan oil promote hair growth and prevent it from becoming dry hand frizzy.
  • Olive oil- Olive oil acts as a great moisturizer that soothes the scalp and reduces hair breakage. You can use it as a leave-in conditioner and enjoy its benefits!


Effects Of Hard Water On Nails

Nails are made up of a substance called KERATIN, which is also used in the formation of hair and the topmost layer of the skin.

Using hard water while washing hands can break these layers of keratin and make your nails brittle, thin and soft.

The minerals in hard water can also hamper your nail’s growth. And Girls! I know you surely would not want it.


How To Repair Nails From Damage Caused By Hard Water?

1. Moisturize

Moisturize Nail

Like hair and skin, your nails also need to be moisturized from time to time.

You can use a hand moisturizer around your nails to prevent any form of dryness.


2. Supplements

Supplements containing Vitamin B and iron can be helpful to protect your nails from the damage caused by hard water.

These supplements can be useful in making your nails healthy and strong.



1. Can hard water be a cause of face rash?

Hard water is not a direct cause of face rash. However, its minerals can remove the natural oil present in the skin. Because of this, the skin becomes itchy and dry which can further lead to rashes.


2. Does hard water causes skin burn? 

No, hard water can affect your skin by breaking its collagen and making it vulnerable. However, it cannot cause the skin to burn directly.


You May Also Like To Read:

Best Organic Shampoos In India

Amazing Benefits Of Vitamin E Oil For Hair And Skin

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The effects of hard water should not be taken lightly. As described above, hard water can have a negative impact on your skin, hair and nails. Even if it is not that bad at the start, you’ll have to face its adverse effects with time.

You can install a water softener at your home and prevent using hard water if you want to take good care of your skin and hair for a long time. Water softeners help to remove the minerals from the tap water and make it pure to be used for daily washing and cleaning.

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