By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Apr 19, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
Getty Images

If your hair has been looking dull or you've noticed your color fading faster than usual, then it might have something to do with your shower — more specifically, the hard water that's running out of your showerhead. 

"Hard water can affect your hair color by causing your color to fade, and even in some cases with blondes, cause an orange or green tint in your color," says Danielle Lint, an expert colorist at Warren Tricomi Salons. "It also can make your hair appear damaged or very dry."

So, yeah, hard water is way harsh for your hair color, but what exactly can you do to thwart its effects and what exactly is hard water anyway? 

VIDEO: The Top 10 Sexiest Haircuts for Spring

What Is Hard Water? 

Water is dubbed "hard" when the water contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium, and even sometimes metallic elements, according to the Water Quality Association. Hard water can make clothes stiff and faded, leave mineral deposits on dishes and glassware, and cause build up in sinks, bathtubs, and faucets.

RELATED: 6 Shampoos That Will Completely Remove Chlorine From Your Hair

What Can Hard Water Do to Your Hair?

If you're worried that hard water could be the culprit behind some of your hair issues, then Lint says there are a few specific signs you'll notice. Namely, that your hair looks dry after showering or that your hair color is fading quickly. Don't be surprised if you also notice hair breakage or that your hair is difficult to lather with shampoo.

What Can I Do to Stop It? 

Lint says you can prevent further damage to hair by installing a filter system in your shower that will help filter out hard water minerals. A trip to the salon also never hurts — Lint says you can ask about clarifying treatments that help remove the orange and green tints that may be caused by hard water. 

A solid pre-shampoo also doesn't hurt. Working as a sealant to ward off damaging hard water (as well as toxins and other icky buildup), pre-shampoo is great to add to any hair routine let alone one that includes rinsing in hard water. Try Leonor Greyl’s Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment or Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment.