Coping with Hard Water

HotelSpa Hard Water Filter

Have you ever moved to a new home and found that you skin or hair started behaving totally differently from how you understood them to before? I had that happen when I moved from my home state to my current one and for the longest time I couldn’t fathom why.

I ended up completely changing products for my skin and hair since what I was using before just wasn’t cutting it. Eventually, I figured it out what changed:

The Damn Water

Different water, different provider. For that matter, different pipes and whatnot. The water content and pH can make a huge difference in how your skin and hair respond to cleanser or shampoo and conditioner.

My mind was blown. I moved around a bit growing up but never experienced such a drastic difference. Even now, when I travel, I can tell a difference in my skin and hair based on the water at the destination!

Hard Water

Hard water describes water with a high mineral content. Higher mineral content in water can cause skin, hair, and their respective products behave differently due to chemical reactions. My experience was so drastic because I moved from a slightly hard water area with 8.5-60 parts-per-million to an extremely hard water area with 180+ parts-per-million.

As far as your skin and hair goes? Among other things, here’s what that can contribute to:

  • Disruption of the acid mantle
  • Dry, uneven skin
  • Brittle hair
  • Rapid build-up/weighed down, but not oily, roots
  • Dry, frizzy ends
  • Brassiness in lighter tones (here’s how to fix that)


The Bottom Line

If your hard water bothers you, you have two major options:

  1. If you move to a hard or extremely hard water area, you have options. You can install a water softener, which lies between where water enters your home and where it flows out in the home. This is a more-costly (to the tune of a $1000 national average) and permanent option, that is generally maintained with salts. Beyond treating your hair and skin kindly, your water-based appliances (washer, dishwasher) and fixtures will benefit, too.
  2. Alternatively, and this is what I did as a renter, was install an in-line filter for the shower. This is inexpensive ($20 with $15 refills) in the short term, but frequent filter replacements would cause it to add up and probably surpass the cost of a softener. Not to mention the fact that it only helps your shower, not anything else in your home. This made a difference for us, but this jury of two is still out on whether or not we would continue with that option.