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All things London & Natural Hairdressing

A Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining Vibrant Hair Dye in London's Hard Water

Maintaining the vibrancy of your hair dye can become a daunting task, especially if you're living in a city like London, known for its hard water. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through this particular haircare challenge. We'll explore the impact of hard water on your hair, delve into the science behind it, and most importantly, equip you with practical tips and strategies to keep your hair dye looking vibrant and fresh.

Table of contents

Long vibrant ginger hair

Understanding Hard Water

Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. It's the result of rainwater filtering through underground rocks and soil, gathering mineral salts along the way.

London is renowned for its hard water, with approximately 200mg of calcium carbonate per litre. In fact, about 60% of the UK is classified as having hard water, making it the default water supply for most households across the country.

The Impact of Hard Water on Your Hair

Hard water isn't harmful to drink, but it can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. Here's how:

1. Mineral Build-up

The minerals in hard water can stick to your hair, leaving behind a film that makes your hair feel heavy and greasy. This mineral build-up can also make your hair drier and brittle, leading to dullness, breakage, and split ends.

2. Reduced Lathering

Hard water can disrupt the pH balance of your hair, hindering its ability to absorb the nutrients in your shampoo and conditioner. As a result, your hair might not be as clean and healthy as it should be.

3. Altered Hair Dye

If you dye your hair, hard water can cause your hair colour to fade faster or even change its hue. The minerals in hard water can cause your dye to turn brassy or orange, leaving your hair looking dull and uneven.

4. Scalp Irritation

The minerals in hard water can also create an imbalance in your scalp's pH, leading to dryness, flaking, and itching. Those with sensitive scalps can find hard water particularly irritating.

brunette curly hair with balayage

Solutions to Combat the Effects of Hard Water

If you're battling with the effects of hard water on your hair dye, don't fret! Here are some tried and tested solutions:

1. Invest in a Good Clarifying Shampoo

A deep cleansing or clarifying shampoo will help remove the mineral build-up from your hair and scalp. Using a clarifying shampoo once a week can restore shine to your hair and keep it looking vibrant. Remember to choose a product with all-natural ingredients to avoid damaging your hair further.

2. Use a Shower Filter or Water Softener

Installing a shower filter or water softener can significantly reduce the concentration of minerals in your water supply. While this might seem like a significant investment, it's a game-changer in terms of protecting your hair from hard water.

3. Apply a Vinegar Rinse

Rinsing your hair with distilled white vinegar can help remove mineral build-up and restore your hair's pH balance. Try mixing one part vinegar with three parts water and rinse your hair with this mixture after shampooing once a week.

4. Use Lukewarm Water

Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils, so using lukewarm or cool water to wash and rinse your hair is a good idea. This simple switch can make a substantial difference in the health and vibrancy of your hair.

5. Incorporate a Deep Conditioning Treatment

Hard water can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. A deep conditioning treatment can help restore moisture and shine to your hair, leaving it looking and feeling healthy.

Long blonde hair with highlights facing away

Protecting Your Hair Colour

If you dye your hair, protecting your hair colour from the effects of hard water is crucial. Here's how you can do it:

1. Use Colour-Protecting Products

Invest in shampoos, conditioners, and treatments specifically designed to protect coloured hair. These products contain ingredients that help seal the hair cuticle and lock in colour, preventing it from fading.

2. Avoid Overwashing

Overwashing can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause your colour to fade faster. Try to stretch the time between washes as much as possible, and when you do wash, use a gentle, colour-safe shampoo.

3. Get Regular Trims

Regular trims can help prevent split ends and keep your hair looking fresh and vibrant. Plus, removing the damaged ends of your hair can help your colour look brighter and more even.

rich short bob red hair

Professional Haircare in London

If you're based in London and struggling with hard water, consider seeking professional help. There are many salons in the city that offer treatments specifically designed to combat the effects of hard water.

Margaux Salon

If you're looking to switch up your hair colour, Margaux Salon in north London is an excellent choice. We offer a range of treatments, including a natural alternative to Olaplex, which is known to tame frizz and improve hair texture.

brunette with short curly hair balayage


Living in a city with hard water doesn't mean you have to compromise on the vibrancy of your hair dye. By understanding what hard water is and its potential effects on your hair, you can take proactive steps to protect your hair and keep it looking vibrant and healthy. With the right products, treatments, and a little bit of professional guidance, you can overcome the challenges of hard water and enjoy beautiful, colourful hair.

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