Does RO Water Cause Hair Loss? Let’s Find Out!

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Reverse osmosis is a great solution to provide you with pure and clean drinking water of very high quality.

You may be wondering if it is good to use on your hair and skin as well, or does the lack of minerals mean that it might actually be bad? Could it potentially even cause your hair to fall out?

Time to find out!

Key Takeaways

  • Reverse osmosis water does not cause hair loss. In fact, it may actually prevent hair loss due to the lack of chemicals or hard water minerals in it.

Does Washing with RO Water Cause Hair Loss?

So, does washing with RO water cause hair loss?

Washing your hair with reverse osmosis water does not cause hair loss. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true, and it may actually prevent it! RO water is classified as soft water, usually containing a total dissolved solids (TDS) content ranging between 10 and 50 ppm.

Low TDS water, like RO water, is advantageous for hair washing since it lacks detrimental chemicals (e.g., chlorine) or minerals such as calcium and magnesium that may cause dryness. When combined with soap or shampoo during the washing process, these minerals can stick to our hair and scalp, potentially leading to damage and blocked pores.

Does Drinking RO Water Cause Hair Loss?

Drinking reverse osmosis water is unlikely to cause hair loss either. Although RO water has minerals removed, which are essential for healthy hair growth, only about 5% of your mineral intake comes from water. The majority of your mineral consumption comes from the foods you eat. As long as you maintain a balanced diet, no cause for concern should exist.

However, if you’re still worried, you can add a remineralization filter to your RO system, which reintroduces the minerals before consuming the water.

young woman drinking water

What Is Reverse Osmosis Water?

Reverse osmosis water refers to water that has undergone purification through a reverse osmosis membrane. This process strips the water of impurities, leaving you with almost 100% pure H20. Overall, reverse osmosis water is often considered healthier than regular water due to its significantly reduced contaminant content.

Difference Between RO and Hard Water

Reverse osmosis eliminates minerals from water, which results in softened water. The water produced by reverse osmosis is always softer than the original input water, as it has been stripped of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which contribute to hardness.

Hard water and reverse osmosis water are different entirely. Hard water is defined as having higher concentrations of minerals that cause hardness, and RO water is water that has been filtered of any contaminants and ends up as soft water by default.

The Effects of Hard Water on Hair

Hard water is generally safe for consumption, cooking, and cleaning. However, it can negatively impact your hair and skin in various ways:

  1. The calcium and magnesium in hard water can bind to the water in your hair, potentially causing dullness and discoloration. Washing your hair with hard water may lead to frizziness, a film buildup, and tangles, which could result in breakage and hair thinning.
  2. Hard water often has a higher pH, which can create negative charges on your hair, causing friction and breakage.
  3. The minerals in hard water can clog your hair follicles, promoting bacterial and fungal growth as well as dandruff. Hair washed with hard water may lose its volume and appear thinner.

Benefits of Using RO Water When Washing Your Hair

RO water helps to hydrate the scalp and leaves hair feeling softer and shinier. RO water also helps preserve the natural oils in the hair, contributing to its softness and shine.

Using RO water further allows shampoo to lather more effectively, meaning you don’t need to apply as much shampoo to your scalp, saving you money!

Removes Chemicals and Minerals

RO water is devoid of mineral salts and chemicals typically found in residential water supplies. Since these elements can often damage your hair, using RO water can help minimize hair damage and prevent future issues.

Improves Lathering of Soaps and Shampoos

Calcium in hard water reacts with soap, creating scum. Plus, shampoos struggle to produce lather when used with hard water. Using RO water eliminates calcium, helping to enhance the lather of your bathroom products while preventing the buildup of soap scum.

Promotes Shiny and Glossy Hair

Using water free of chemicals, minerals, and other impurities on your hair can contribute to a shiny and glossy appearance. Pro tip: Keep the water at a cool temperature to constrict the cuticle layer of your hair, promoting smoothness and shine after washing.

Reduces Frizz

Utilizing pure water for showers and baths can lead to more manageable, frizz-free hair that is less likely to tangle. As a result, there’s no need to rely on costly smoothing products after showering.

Helps Retain Hair Color

Hair discoloration may be due to the harmful effects of chlorine and the presence of copper in public water sources. Copper often gets released from underground pipes under acidic conditions. It can cause light hair to develop a greenish tint and dark hair to appear even darker.

When water undergoes reverse osmosis, it is purified from chlorine and any remaining traces of copper. Consequently, RO water not only helps prevent hair discoloration but also aids in maintaining hair color.

May Prevent Hair Loss

Reverse osmosis water may help prevent hair loss by removing various chemicals and contaminants that lead to clogged follicles buildup on the scalp. This buildup can cause premature breakage of the hair strand, resulting in hair loss.

Keeps Hair Moisturized

RO effectively removes chemicals like chlorine, aluminum, and mercury from water. These chemicals are notorious for depriving our hair and skin of moisture and breaking down collagen.

Other Ways to Protect Your Hair from Hard Water

Using reverse osmosis water for washing your hair may not be feasible, especially if you own a countertop or a smaller RO unit. In such instances, there are alternative methods available to soften the water for your hair care routine.

Install a Water Softener

A water softener works by removing minerals like calcium and magnesium, which cause water hardness, through a process called ion exchange. Typically installed at the point where water enters your home, this system is mainly used in cases of significantly hard water to safeguard the plumbing. While it is an efficient solution, the installation costs can be prohibitive for many households.

salt-based water softener

Use Bottled Water

An alternative approach for washing your hair would be to use bottled water. While this method might work well, it may not be the most budget-friendly or eco-conscious option.

Use Rainwater

Rainwater is naturally soft water and is beneficial for maintaining healthy hair. However, gathering rainwater regularly can be difficult for many reasons. If your residence has an existing rainwater collection system, using the harvested rainwater for hair washing is a great idea. This method not only promotes hair health but also supports eco-friendly water consumption habits.

If you have any questions about RO water and hair loss please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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