Do your water mains affect your hair game?

Have you ever wondered why your hair can look and feel different when you visit another part of the UK? Same products, same routine, different hair outcome? Believe it or not, this could be due to the differing hardness of our water.

Across the country, the wet stuff can range in level from soft to extremely hard. Here at Fragrance Direct, we have worked with the Trichology Team over at Crewe Hair and Skin Clinic to provide recommendations on how to navigate your hair washing routine, based on the water hardness in your area.

Simply input your postcode and hair type into our interactive calculator below, and receive recommendations on how to stay on top of your hair game, despite your water mains.

What is hard water?

Whether water is considered ‘hard’ is dictated by the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium contained in it. In essence, the higher the calcium and magnesium levels, the harder your water is going to be.

You may even be able to feel the effects if you live in a particularly hard water area; whereby after washing your hands, hair and clothing, a film like residue is left where the hard water has reacted to the soap. This is because there are more chemical properties that make it through to the tap in regions where the water goes through chalk and limestone before it gets there. Following? Good! Essentially, the harder our water, the more chemicals that are present.

Water hardness calculator

Enter your postcode and select your hair types to receive suggestions on how to treat your hair accordingly*.

Typical water hardess in

Very Hard

  • Enter postcode:

    To determine water hardness in your area

  • select your hair type

  • Hair texture

  • Hair treatment

Your water type:

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Your hair type:

Recommendations for your hair:

*Please note: The content in this tool is not intended to replace professional advice, treatment or diagnosis. If you have any concerns about the health of your hair and scalp, ensure to seek medical attention and always seek professional advice before introducing any new ingredients into your hair care routine.

Uk water at a glance

The UK may seem like a pretty small place in the grand scheme of things, but what’s in the water differs massively depending on where you are. To find out more, we spoke to the team over at Kinetico UK.

The South and East of England have the hardest water. The chalk and limestone in the ground here surrenders more minerals to the water than in other areas. It’s good news for Northerners, however, who largely have soft water flowing through their pipes.

Ingredients glossary

For explanation on terms and ingredients referenced in the water hardness calculator, please see below:

Glossary of terms

  • Ionized & Deionized – when water is referred to as ionized, this means it contains mineral ions such as sodium, calcium, iron and copper. The higher the concentration, the ‘harder’ the water. Deionized water, is devoid of these minerals
  • Demineralize – the removal of mineral content
  • Chelating Agents – an agent in your shampoo or conditioner that bonds with mineral ions and helps to remove them from your hair in the washing process
  • Purifying & Clarifying Agents – an agent in your shampoo or conditioner that helps to remove the mineral ions and their build up in your hair when washing
  • Tensile Strength – the ability to withstand strain and tearing. When we refer to hair, this often noted as ‘bounce’

Ingredients glossary

  • SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) – found in many toiletries, SLS is commonly used on oily hair, helping to create a better reaction between the product and your hair
  • Betaines – one of the cleansing agents in shampoos, used to help create a thick lather whilst washing
  • Sultaines – a cleansing agent in your shampoo that helps to remove the dirt from your hair by creating a thick lather, reducing static whilst conditioning the hair
  • EDDS – a chelating agent that helps to remove the mineral ion, particularly copper, and the build-up in your hair when washing
  • Histidine – an amino acid, which is one of the building blocks of protein. It’s used in conditioners to help restore the strength of your hair during washing. It reduces copper uptake from tap water and protein loss.

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Source: Water hardness data was compiled in August 2018 using information from Kinetico.
Please note: Areas that are deemed ‘soft – moderately hard’ have been categorised as ‘hard’. Please check with your water supplier for further information on the water hardness in your area.

Does water hardness affect your hair