Does Hard Water Make Your Hair Greasy?

Does Hard Water Make Your Hair Greasy?

Are you dealing with greasy locks no matter how often you wash? Do your strands seem to get oilier even faster than usual? If so, hard water may be the culprit.

Hard water can cause hair to become greasy as it contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium that can build up on the scalp and hair, leading to an oily appearance. These minerals can block the pores of the scalp, causing it to produce more oil. Hard water inhibits the lathering of shampoo, which reduces its ability to clean your hair. Hard water also makes rinsing shampoo suds from your hair less effective, so your hair has a dull, matted appearance. To address this issue, solutions such as water softeners, hair care products specifically designed for hard water, and DIY solutions can help combat the effects of hard water on hair.

In this blog post, we’ll explain why it causes excess grease and share tips on preventing – or eliminating- that unwelcome shine. Read up for some great advice about making sure your hair looks its gorgeous best!

Related articles:
7 Signs of Hard Water on Hair and What to Do About It
Does Hard Water Cause Hair Loss: A Comprehensive Guide
Can Hard Water Cause Dandruff?

Definition of Hard Water

Commonly found in many homes across America, hard water is caused by increased levels of calcium and magnesium. These minerals find their way into our drinking water as the water flows through subterranean minerals made up of limestone and magnesium.

Unfortunately, many households in the United States have hard water, which can lead to all sorts of problems for your hair and clothing. Hard water can lead to a buildup on your scalp or clothing – especially if it’s already chemically treated – making it difficult for products such as shampoo to wash out properly.

Read my comprehensive article about what hard water is.

The Problem with Hard Water and Hair

Hard water has a hidden problem that can cause damage to your hair – the minerals in it might build up on your follicles and leave you with greasy, weighed down locks. The good news is there are products out there designed specifically to counteract these effects!

Hard water contains minerals that can create buildup on the scalp and leave your locks dry and unmanageable! Not only this but these mineral deposits also strip away natural oils from the scalp leading to increased oil production as well as potential for hair loss.

Don’t despair though- there are ways of remedying this situation with shampoos specifically made for use in areas with harder oxidants in their H2O.

How Hard Water Causes Greasy Hair

Is your hair constantly greasy? If you’ve tried all the tips and tricks but still can’t get a handle on it, then hard water might be to blame. Containing higher levels of calcium and magnesium than soft water, these minerals are left behind after washing – blocking shampoos from doing their job properly. Don’t worry though; there are ways to counteract this common culprit!

1. Prevents your shampoo from producing lather

Is your shampoo not giving you that luscious foam and clean feeling? Hard water could be the culprit! It prevents shampoos from creating a good lather, making it difficult to get rid of dirt, oil and product build-up – say goodbye to bad hair days with softening solutions for hard water.

If you’re struggling to get your hair feeling and looking its absolute cleanest, the lack of lather during washing could be causing a problem. Without enough bubbles working together with your shampoo, oil and dirt can remain stuck in strands – resulting in an unwanted greasy look.

2. Shampoo and conditioner don’t fully rinse off your hair

Hard water can cause serious issues for your hair! Unrinsed product, lack of lather and an unpleasant film coating are all signs that you’re using hard water to wash it – not ideal. Switching over to soft water is the best way keep locks healthy and shiny.

Keeping hair looking clean and healthy starts with the right rinse. Leaving any shampoo or conditioner residue on your scalp can cause it to become greasy, weighed down, and dirty – not a great look!

3. Leaves a deposit on your hair

Hard water is a major problem for people with dry or chemically-treated hair, as the minerals in hard water such as calcium and magnesium deposits can build up on the skin and hair, leading to dull and dingy hair. This build-up of scale on your hair, makes it look greasy and weighed-down.

4. Hard water deposits make your scalp produce more oil

Have you noticed your hair feeling dry and unmanageable lately? It may be due to the mineral buildup caused by hard water. This can leave your scalp producing extra oil which leads to dull, brittle locks and possibly dandruff or other irritation.

Hard water can wreak havoc on your hair! Stripping it of its natural oils, leading to an overproduction of oil and resulting in greasy locks. Plus, with hard water shampooing becomes a challenge – you won’t be able to easily rinse away suds nor will the products work as effectively.

What Can You Do to Get Rid of Greasy Hair?

Here are some easy solutions that can help tackle any grease and build-up. Don’t let hard water be the enemy of beautiful locks – fight back with these tips for clean, healthy and vibrant strands today.

1. Apple cider vinegar

Give your tresses luster and healthier color while maintaining its vibrancy with one of our top tips: an apple cider vinegar rinse! Apple cider vinegar is a natural clarifying agent that can strip away any hard water build-up buildup, leaving you with hair shining like stars.

Plus, it’s super easy to do – just shampoo as usual then finish off by doing a final rinse with the vinegar for fabulous results!

2. Chelating or clarifying shampoo

Keep your hair looking and feeling fresh by using a clarifying or chelating shampoo once per week to remove heavy build-up, then use a deep conditioner every few days for moisturized locks. Your hair will thank you!

3. Lemon or lime rinse

Step away from the products and try a tangy lemon or lime rinse to naturally remove buildup. Not only will it give your hair some extra zing, but this trusty remedy also helps reduce dullness caused by hard water and can help minimize dandruff.

All you need is two tablespoons of juice mixed with one cup of water. Just pour on after shampooing – let sit for at least 60 seconds then wash off!

4. Water softener

Are you looking to give your locks the TLC they deserve? Then it’s time to consider a water softener – an appliance that will be with you for life!

Not only can this provide a permanent fix so no more dealing with build-up on hair, but also save money as less shampoo, conditioner and styling products are needed. Plus its healthy benefits mean bright and vibrant locks for years of gorgeousness!

Installing a softener eliminates the hardness minerals from your water before they ever get to your showerhead, so you can finally enjoy bouncy, luxurious locks.

Achieving gorgeous, healthy hair can be achieved easily if you follow the correct regimen! Leaving your hair looking vibrant and voluminous is as easy as using a vinegar rinse, buying a water softener or giving it a citrusy twist with lemon/lime. Take your pick! Rejuvenate your locks, and let them shine like they were meant to! Show your hair some TLC today, so you can keep it looking stunning.

Read my ultimate guide to water softeners.


Is your hair greasy and unmanageable? Hard water may be the culprit! It’s packed with calcium, magnesium and other minerals that can attach to hair strands, weighing them down.

Luckily, you’re not powerless against it – use a shower filter or switch up what shampoo you’re using to help keep hard-water induced grease at bay. With just these two steps (and maybe more frequent washing) your tresses will soon look as beautiful as ever.

The Filter Guy

Scott Birch is a water filtration installer and designer. He has worked in the industry for many years and is very familiar with and knowledgeable about residential water treatment equipment. Scott enjoys helping people get the most out of their water filtration systems and ensuring that their homes are getting the best possible quality of water.

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