What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has a high volume of “hard” minerals, specifically magnesium and calcium. Water hardness is measured using grains per gallon (gpg). For water to be considered hard, it must register above 3.5 gpg. So, why does it matter if the water running throughout your plumbing system is hard or not? For starters, it can cause wear and tear on your household appliances, cause buildup on showerheads and plumbing, and leave laundry to be dingy, discolored and stiff.


Hard Water Effects on Hair and Skin

As a homeowner, you’ll find that the quality of water coming out of your faucets can be a major concern. Do you know if your water is hard? Hard water contains high levels of certain minerals and the hardness of your water will depend on where you live because each region can have different levels of hard water depending on its source and treatment. Although hard water is not harmful to your health overall, it can have a huge effect on your hair and skin. Here’s the scoop on what exactly hard water is, the impact it can have on your body and how to figure out if it’s time to fix it with a water softening solution.


How Does Hard Water Affect My Hair?

The minerals present in hard water can make it difficult to achieve a thorough rinse, causing buildup in your hair, which can leave behind residue. You could wash your hair several times a day thinking it will fix the problem, but each time you leave the shower you will have the same result. The problem is coming from your water, not your rinse, lather, repeat routine. Look out for the following signs that hard water is affecting your hair:

  • Hair that feels filmy, straw-like dull and limp, and ultimately less pliable

  • Color-treated hair that fades quickly, leading to more frequent color treatments and further damage to hair 

  • Residual shampoo in your hair

  • Hair that’s hard to lather with shampoo

  • Thinning hair and breakage caused by hard water

  • Hair loss

How Does Hard Water Affect My Skin?

The most common effect of hard water on your skin is dryness. Much like with your hair, hard water makes it difficult to rinse away soap from the surface of your skin, leaving your skin dry and potentially irritated. Furthermore, if you have sensitive skin, psoriasis, or eczema, hard water can make conditions worse by drying out your skin even more. When hard water comes in contact with your skin, some of those minerals that cause the hard water get left behind, absorbing a lot of the natural moisture and oils from your skin. This lack of moisture in your skin and high levels of hard minerals can also mess with the hydration and pH balance of your skin which could potentially cause breakouts. Outside of the impact on your skin, hard water can impact your actual bathtub or shower, leaving a sticky film from soap and hard water minerals that build up over time.


What Do I Do About My Hard Water Problem?

While you can certainly make adjustments to your daily routine to counter the impact of hard water on your body, a water softening system in your home could go a long way toward keeping your hair bouncy and bright, and your skin soft and supple. Water softeners reduce the mineral content in your water straight from the tap, leaving you with soft water throughout your entire home. Take the following steps to address a hard water problem:

  • Get an in-home water test to check the actual level of hard minerals in your water.

  • Check out the local guides on hard water in your particular region.

  • Call on Culligan to figure out which water softener is the right solution for your household water needs.

Hard water effects on hair and skin should not be taken lightly. With the proper knowledge on the issue at hand, you can take the right steps towards softening your water. Let Culligan help you along the way to achieving better water for your skin, hair and home.