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Do Water Softening Shower Heads Work? (Harsh Truth)

Do Water Softening Shower Heads Work

Many people turn to shower filters to soften their water and alleviate the issues caused by mineral buildup. However, not all shower filters are designed to soften water.

Shower filters can effectively remove chlorine and reduce calcium and other mineral buildup but don’t soften the water.

There is hope in the form of water-softening shower heads like the Shower Stick, which can effectively soften water and alleviate hard water problems.

In this detailed guide, we will explore whether water softener shower heads work and how to get your softer and glossy hair again! 

🤔Do Shower Head Water Softeners Work?

Do Shower Head Water Softener Work

The simple answer is: Yes, shower head water softeners, such as the Shower Stick, are effective in softening water. They work through an ion exchange process, similar to an entire house water softener but on a smaller scale.

The Shower Stick softener cartridge contains resin beads that attract and remove the harsh minerals responsible for water hardness, such as calcium and magnesium ions.

As a result, the water becomes softer, reducing the negative effects on your skin and hair.

After using shower head softeners, users reported improved hair texture, reduced dryness, and minimized scalp issues.

A Reddit user even shared the shower softening head’s positive impact on their seborrheic dermatitis condition.

These portable softeners are especially beneficial for individuals living in apartments or rented spaces, offering a budget-friendly solution.

🧑‍🏫Expert advice: 

It’s important to note that shower head filters, on the other hand, do not soften water. They are designed to remove chlorine and chloramine from the water primarily and may provide some relief from certain hard water problems caused by these chemicals. 

However, they do not address the overall hardness of the water. 

🎯How to Soften Shower Water in the Apartment?

Ways to Soften Shower Water in the Apartment

If you’re a tenant living in an apartment and want to soften your shower water, several effective and less invasive solutions are available. Here are some options:

1️⃣Portable Water Softeners

Portable water softeners are a convenient and extremely efficient system for apartment dwellers. They use ion exchange resin to remove minerals that cause water hardness. 

These compact units can be easily installed without cutting your main water line, so you can enjoy soft water without making permanent changes to your rented property.

2️⃣Water Descalers

Water descalers use electromagnetic waves to alter the structure of minerals in the water, reducing their ability to form scale. 

They are non-invasive, like portable water softeners, and do not require any plumbing modifications, making them a convenient choice for renters.

While not technically water softeners, descalers can effectively reduce the negative effects of hard water without using salt or chemicals.

3️⃣Shower Head Softeners

Shower head softeners like the Shower Stick are specialized showerheads with water-softening capabilities.

These shower heads feature a replaceable softening cartridge containing resin beads that remove hardness-causing minerals from the water. 

Shower head softeners are easy to install and can be directly attached to your existing shower arm, providing softened water specifically during your shower.

👉How Do I Convert My Shower to Soft Water? [Natural Solutions]

Natural Solutions for treating effects of Hard Water

The following natural solutions can provide temporary relief from the effects of hard water:

  • Add Baking Soda: Adding baking soda to your bathwater or creating a paste with water and applying it to your hair can help neutralize the effects of hard water minerals. Baking soda acts as a mild exfoliant and can remove some mineral buildup. However, this solution may not fully soften the water, and excessive baking soda can dry your hair and cause itchy skin.
  • Use Vinegar: Using apple cider vinegar as a rinse after shampooing can help remove mineral deposits and restore pH balance to your hair. Vinegar’s acidic properties can dissolve some of the mineral buildup caused by hard water. However, apple cider vinegar can irritate, especially if you have pre-existing eczema. 
  • Boil Shower Water: Boiling water before it is used for your shower can help temporarily reduce the concentration of minerals. The heat causes the minerals to settle at the bottom of the container. However, this method is time-consuming and impractical for regular use, especially as higher water volumes are needed for a shower.


It’s important to note that while these natural solutions may provide some temporary relief and are cost-effective, they are not permanent or effective long-term solutions for softening shower water.

They may help minimize the effects of hard water to some extent, but they do not address the underlying issue.

Consider installing a whole-house water softener for a more comprehensive and permanent solution to hard water problems.

This system treats all the water entering your home, ensuring every tap and shower receives softened water. 

💡Do Water Softening Shower Heads Work: FAQs 

What does hard water do to your hair?

Hard water can cause several issues with your hair, including dryness, brittleness, and dullness. In addition, the mineral buildup from hard water can make it difficult for shampoos and conditioners to work effectively.

Do hard water filter shower heads work?

Hard water filter shower heads are primarily designed to remove chlorine and other impurities from the water, improving its quality. 

However, they do not soften the water. These shower heads can effectively reduce the negative effects of certain contaminants, but they do not address the hardness caused by minerals.

What are the cons to shower filters?

Some common cons of showerhead filters include the following:

1. Limited effectiveness in softening water
2. The need for frequent cartridge replacements and 
3. Reduced water pressure due to the filtration process. 

Does apple cider vinegar remove hard water from hair?

Apple cider vinegar can help remove mineral buildup from hair, but it does not directly remove hard water from your hair. Instead, it acts as a clarifying agent, helping to remove impurities and restore the hair’s pH balance. 

However, a water-softening solution is necessary for the long-term prevention of hard water effects.

What is the cheapest way to soften hard water?

The cheapest way to soften hard water is to use DIY remedies such as boiling water, baking soda, or vinegar rinses. 

However, these methods provide temporary relief and may not fully address the hardness of the water.

Therefore, investing in a water softening system, such as a portable or whole-house water softener, is recommended for a more effective and long-lasting solution.

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