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Benefits Of Washing Hair With Filtered Soft Water

Washing our hair is an essential part of our routine, but the type of water we use can significantly impact our hair's health and appearance. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, can cause damage to our hair and make it difficult to style. On the other hand, filtered water can benefit our hair, including improved manageability and shine. Let's explore the benefits of washing our hair with filtered soft water and why investing in a water filter for our home is essential.

The downside of washing the hair with nonfiltered water

Washing hair with non-filtered water, often containing high levels of minerals and impurities, can lead to several downsides. These include making the hair feel rough and tangled, reducing shine, causing buildup that makes hair look dull, and potentially worsening scalp conditions like dandruff. Hard water, in particular, can lead to mineral deposits on the hair and scalp, making hair harder to manage and style and even affecting hair color. To minimize these effects, using filtered or softened water for hair washing is recommended.

One study looked at how hard water negatively impacts hair, showing that hard water, with its high calcium and magnesium content, causes more damage to hair strands than soft water. It uses a scanning electron microscope to show that hard water leads to a rougher hair surface and thinner hair strands due to mineral buildup. This accumulation not only affects the hair's appearance by making it look dull and feel rough but also harms its health by leading to moisture loss and potential breakage. Essentially, the study highlights the importance of water quality in hair care, suggesting that using soft water could help maintain healthier hair by preventing these adverse effects.

Hard and unfiltered water can cause yellow hair.

Hair yellowing can occur due to oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, metals like iron and copper in hard water, and harsh sulfates and polyquaternium in shampoos that strip oils from the hair. Using a shower filter to minimize exposure to hard water minerals and sulfate-free shampoo can help minimize the problem.

Benefits of washing hair with filtered soft water

Dermatologists recommend washing the hair and body with soft water because it lacks the heavy minerals that can damage hair and make it more fragile. It creates a healthy lather, resulting in cleaner clothes with no mineral stains and less wear-and-tear damage.

Filtered shower water makes it easier to cleanse hair follicles while washing, resulting in less product use. Hard water can struggle to wash out the dirt in your hair, resulting in sticky hair after a shower. [1]. It can also cause a buildup of calcium and magnesium on the face and hair, leading to skin flaking and making hair brittle, dry, and frizzy. [4].

Improved manageability

One of the most significant benefits of washing our hair with filtered soft water is that it can improve the manageability of our hair. Hard water can cause our hair to become frizzy and difficult to style. Using filtered soft water, we can remove the minerals that cause this problem and enjoy smoother, more manageable hair.

Enhanced shine

Another benefit of washing our hair with filtered soft water is that it can enhance its shine. Hard water can cause our hair to become dull and lifeless, but filtered soft water can help restore our hair's natural shine.

Reduced damage and breakage

Filtered soft water can also help to reduce damage and breakage to our hair. Hard water can cause dryness and brittleness, which can lead to breakage. We can avoid these adverse effects by using filtered, soft water and enjoying healthier, stronger hair.

Reduced dandruff and scalp irritation

Using filtered soft water to wash our hair can also reduce dandruff and irritation of the scalp. Hard water can cause irritation and itching on our scalp, leading to dandruff. Filtered soft water, on the other hand, can help to reduce these symptoms and provide a more comfortable scalp.

Should I buy a water filter for my home or the shower?

Investing in a water filter for our home can benefit our hair, skin, and overall health. Filtered water is free of contaminants found in tap water, such as heavy metals and pesticides. Drinking filtered water can reduce exposure to these toxins and improve our overall health.

Types of water filters

It is essential to choose the best water filter for our needs from the many types available on the market. Some popular options include reverse osmosis, activated carbon, and ceramic filters. Each type of filter offers different benefits and can remove various impurities, so it's essential to research the various options before making a purchase.

A good shower filter is like a superhero for your hair. It cuts down on all the bad stuff like chlorine and heavy metals, helping your hair stay healthy and grow better.

  • Carbon Filters: These are great for removing the chlorine smell and other yucky stuff from your water. Just remember, they might not work as well with hot water.
  • KDF Filters: These filters are fantastic for shower use because they work even in hot water. They help keep your hair color from fading and fight off the effects of hard water.
  • Sediment Filters: Consider these as a pre-clean, removing visible bits like dust and sand from your water.

Cotton water filters vs. 15 and 20-stage filters

When considering water filtration options for shower use, mainly to protect hair and skin, you might come across two common types: cotton water filters and more complex multi-stage filters, such as a 20-stage water filter. Each has its own set of features, benefits, and limitations. Let's compare to help you decide which might be the best fit for your needs.

Cotton Water Filters

Cotton water filters typically use a layer of cotton or a similar fabric to trap sediments and larger particles from the water physically.
They are often used as pre-filters to remove visible debris, such as sand, silt, and rust particles.

Simple and Effective for Large Particles: These filters are straightforward in their function, effectively catching larger particles that might be present in the water.
Low Maintenance: Cotton filters are generally easy to clean or replace, requiring minimal maintenance.
Cost-Efficient: They are among the more affordable water filtration options, making them accessible for most budgets.

Limited Filtration Capabilities: Cotton filters do not remove chemicals, heavy metals, chlorine, or other dissolved contaminants in the water. Their effectiveness is primarily against physical impurities.
Frequent Replacement: Depending on water quality and usage, these filters may need to be replaced often to maintain effectiveness.

20-Stage Water Filters

Multi-stage filters, such as the 20-stage filter, incorporate various media types to address contaminants.
These stages can include activated carbon, KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion), calcium sulfite, ceramic balls, and more, each targeting contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, and certain chemicals.

Broad Spectrum Filtration: Offers comprehensive water purification, significantly improving water quality for showering by removing or reducing various contaminants.
Enhanced Protection for Hair and Skin: By eliminating chlorine, heavy metals, and other harsh chemicals, these filters can help reduce hair damage skin irritation, and maintain natural oil balance.
Longer Lifespan: Multi-stage filters often have a longer lifespan than simple cotton filters, with some stages only needing replacement after extensive use.

Higher Initial Cost: The upfront cost for a 20-stage filter is typically higher due to its complex design and the variety of materials used.
Maintenance Requirements: While not overly burdensome, these systems require monitoring and occasional replacement of specific stages to ensure optimal performance.
Installation Complexity: Depending on the model, installation might involve more than a simple cotton filter.

Making the Choice

The decision between a cotton water filter and a 20-stage filter depends on your area's specific needs, budget, and water quality. A cotton filter might suffice if your primary concern is visible sediments and larger particles. However, for those dealing with a wide range of contaminants and seeking comprehensive protection for hair and skin, a 20-stage water filter offers a more thorough solution.

Washing our hair with filtered soft water can provide many benefits, including improved manageability, enhanced shine, reduced damage and breakage, and reduced dandruff and scalp irritation. Investing in a water filter for our home can also benefit our overall health and skin. It's an easy way to improve the health and appearance of our hair, and it's an investment that's well worth it. A cotton filter could be a good starting point if you're looking for essential filtration and have a limited budget. But if you aim for the highest quality water in your shower, primarily to protect and improve hair and skin health, investing in a multi-stage filter like the 20-stage option might be the best route.


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Q: What are the main benefits of using filtered soft water for hair washing?
A: Washing your hair with filtered soft water leads to improved manageability, enhanced shine, and reduced damage and breakage. Soft water lacks the heavy minerals found in hard water, helping to keep hair smoother and more resilient against dryness and brittleness.

Q: How does hard water affect the hair and scalp?
A: Hard water, rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium, can make hair feel rough, tangled, and dull. It may also contribute to scalp conditions such as dandruff by causing buildup and irritation, leading to a less healthy appearance and feel of both hair and scalp.

Q: Why do dermatologists recommend washing hair with soft water?
A: Dermatologists suggest using soft water for hair and body washing because it is free from heavy minerals that damage hair and make it fragile. Soft water promotes a healthier lather, helping to cleanse more effectively and reducing the risk of mineral deposits that cause hair and skin issues.

Q: Can filtered soft water reduce the use of hair care products?
A: Yes, filtered soft water can help reduce the amount of hair care products needed. Since it allows for a better lather and more efficient cleansing, you can achieve the desired cleanliness and conditioning with less product, saving money and reducing product buildup on your hair.

Q: What is the impact of filtered soft water on dandruff and scalp irritation?
A: Filtered soft water can significantly reduce dandruff and scalp irritation. By removing harsh minerals that can cause scalp dryness and irritation, soft water helps maintain a healthier scalp environment, potentially decreasing the occurrence of dandruff.

Q: Should I invest in a home or shower water filter for healthier hair?
A: Investing in a water filter, either for your entire home or specifically for your shower, is beneficial for your hair's health. It removes contaminants like heavy metals and chlorine, which can harm hair and scalp health, promoting stronger, shinier, and healthier hair.

Q: What are the differences between carbon, KDF, and sediment water filters?
A: Carbon filters excel at removing chlorine and odors, making water smell and taste better, but may be less effective with hot water. KDF filters work well in hot water, removing heavy metals and protecting hair color. Sediment filters primarily remove visible particles like dust and sand, acting as a pre-filter to improve overall filtration.

Q: How do cotton water filters compare to multi-stage filters for shower use?
A: Cotton water filters are effective at trapping large particles but don't remove chemicals or heavy metals. Multi-stage filters, like the 20-stage option, offer comprehensive water purification, removing a wide range of contaminants, and are better for those seeking to protect and improve hair and skin health.

Q: Can using filtered soft water help with hair color retention?
A: Yes, using filtered soft water can help with hair color retention by preventing the buildup of minerals that can alter and fade hair color. Soft water helps maintain the vibrancy and longevity of dyed hair, keeping it looking fresher for longer.

Q: Are there specific hair care products that complement the benefits of soft water?
A: For optimal hair health when using soft water, consider products that are designed to work in synergy with softer water conditions. MDhair's range, available on, offers specialized formulations that enhance the benefits of soft water, promoting stronger, shinier, and healthier hair.

More info:

Bad Water, Bad Hair: High-Risk States


  1. Srinivasan, G. et al. "Scanning electron microscopy of hair treated in hard water." Int J Dermatol. 2016 Jun;55(6):e344-6. PubMed
  2. Evans, A.O. et al. "The structural implications of water hardness metal uptake by human hair." Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Oct;33(5):477-82. PubMed
  3. Evans, A.O. et al. "The uptake of water hardness metals by human hair." J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Jul-Aug;62(4):383-91. PubMed
  4. Srinivasan, G. et al. "Effects of hard water on hair." Int J Trichology. 2013 Jul;5(3):137-9. PubMed

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