Is A New Showerhead The Secret To Glowing Skin And Shiny Hair?

If your hair or skin never feel quite clean, you may need this small upgrade.
Lucidio Studio Inc via Getty Images

It’s no secret that skin and hair care products are a multi-billion-dollar industry that consumers pour their hard-earned dollars into every single day, hoping the next product will deliver glowing skin and silky, manageable hair. But what if the real solution can be found in the hardware store?

Have you ever noticed a change in the way your skin or hair looks and feels when you have showered someplace other than your home? Surprise! It could very likely be the water conditions that made a difference.

These days, beautifying water filter ads come at us from every direction on social media, claiming to clear up your skin and add shine to your hair under a fancy new (and sometimes expensive) showerhead. So we wanted to know if experts thinks they really make a difference.

What’s in the water that needs to be filtered out, anyway?

Scientific research and water testing in the United States provides evidence that the water we shower with may contain contaminants that adversely affect the health of your skin, hair and potentially your overall health, particularly related to the amount of chlorine in the water along with other bacteria, chemicals and minerals.

Angela Stiegler, a water infrastructure scientist, added that “although the water that arrives at your home from your local utility is safe to drink, in some cases, an at-home filtration system can be beneficial for your skin and hair because some water sources have more ‘hardness’ than others. Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium minerals than ‘soft’ water.”

According to Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) who researches contaminants in water, “Hard water, or water that contains higher levels of calcium or magnesium, can cause skin dryness or cause skin to be more sensitive.

In a previously reported HuffPost story, Dr. Brandon Kirsch, a board-certified dermatologist at Kirsch Dermatology in Naples, Florida, confirmed that hard water “can have cosmetic and dermatological effects, such as drying out hair and skin or exacerbating conditions like eczema. ... Chlorine and hard water minerals can also strip away natural oils from your hair, leaving it looking dull, and chlorine in particular can cause colored hair to fade faster.”

Hard water can make shampoos, conditioners and cleansers “less effective and react with those products to form mineral build-up, which might irritate some people’s skin,” Stiegler added. “You’ll notice that if you have hard water at home, you can’t get as much lather or sudsiness with shampoos and cleansers, and your hair or skin just doesn’t feel as clean.”

If you’re wondering about the state of the water coming out of your own shower or sink faucets, you can check the water contaminants in your area at You can also check the hardness of your water with home testing kits, which allow you to test water from multiple sources in your home.

Canopy is a popular brand of showerhead that claims to do all the things above.
Canopy is a popular brand of showerhead that claims to do all the things above.

What types of filtration systems can help your skin and hair?

Solutions range from whole house systems to more affordable and “portable” systems for those who may not be homeowners. Let’s get into the different kinds of filters, what they remove and their efficacies.

Studies have shown that charcoal is effective in removing chlorine, heavy metals and organic pollutants from water, and an activated charcoal system is a good option if you are a renter and not investing in something long-term. Charcoal water filters can be found in showerheads and showerhead filters, which attach between the wall spout and your current showerhead.

A true filter, like the AquaYouth 2.0 filter ($60), fits 99.9% of showerheads, including hand-held units. It’s important to note that regular maintenance and filter replacement is required with a charcoal system ― filters need to be replaced about every six months.

If you opt for a showerhead with the filter integrated, Canopy ($150) has a high rating of 4.8 stars. Canopy recommends filter replacements (which cost $65 for a two-pack) every 90 days.

Your other option is a whole-house filtration system, like a reverse osmosis system, which can run you thousands of dollars and can use up to four times the amount of water than you’d use without a system, due to pushing so much water through the system in the filtration process. This can also reduce the water pressure in your faucets.

The bottom line is that if you have hard water and can’t get your hair and skin products to work well, experts agree it’s worth giving water filtration a try. And luckily, that can be done by something as simple as trying a new showerhead.

Take a look at the options below to find one for your budget.

HuffPost and its publishing partners may receive a commission from some purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently curated by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Jolie Filtered shower head filter system
There's a good chance you've seen ads on social media for this cult-fave shower head filter recommended by Dr. Brendan Camp, a board-certified dermatologist. This high-pressure shower head is available in four colors to match your existing bathroom hardware and can be easily installed to fit all U.S. shower heads. You can adjust the angle seamlessly.

Promising review: "I rarely leave reviews but have to review this. This didn’t immediately show results for me but it started to show results after week 2.5. I have long healthy Asian hair and was skeptical I could really benefit that much more from anything except for maybe a keratin treatment. And wow was I wrong. I had no idea my already-nice hair could use this type of a boost. It made my shiny black hair SHINIER AND BOUNCIER…by a lot! It looks as if I ran shimmering shine spray from my roots down to the very ends of my hair, top to bottom. I couldn’t believe it. At first I thought I was imagining it, it seemed too good to be true. And oh, the bounce. I didn’t realize my hair needed bounce but now I don’t think I can live without it. As for my skin, it’s only been 2.5 weeks but I noticed that the pores on my nose are smaller." — Jade

"Saved my hair! I was using a different brand of water filter and shower head and after 2 years of living in Florida with it my hair was frizzy and breaking at the nape of my neck. I just installed this new version last night and took my first shower with it. It was my last ditch effort before chopping all my hair off again. My hair turned out amazing! It didn’t feel gummy or frizzy and when I blow dried it, it fell straight like it should! I have a hard time growing my hair to begin with and this filter will definitely help save what I have! I thought the price point was expensive but investing in yourself is worth it! Also a few hours later my skin still feels soft and moisturized. I put on some shower oil when I got out and my skin soaked it all in instead of just laying on the surface." — Mari Beeghly
AquaHomeGroup 15-stage shower filter
Also a Camp recommendation, this filter is extremely popular and highly rated among Amazon users. It can help to remove odors and impurities associated with hard water, chlorine and other minerals found in tap water. It's compatible with myriad shower styles and doesn't reduce or affect existing water pressure. It's a great option for people with sensitive skin.

Promising reviews: "Absolutely amazing for hair and skin. As a professional hairstylist and blonde haired I’ve noticed how hard water can really affect the hair/skin overall. This was SO easy to install and has made the biggest difference in my hair! I recommend to all of my clients" — katie spicer

"Wonderful product. This filter was so easy to install. I cannot believe the difference in my skin in just a month. If you live in the city and have hard water this is a must!" — Jeff
Aquasana shower water filter system
Dermatologist Dr. Brandon Kirsch told HuffPost that this filter is NSF-certified to remove chlorine, lead and other pollutants. It also has a 10,000-gallon capacity, which means you won't have to change the filter until it has filtered 10,000 gallons of water. "I have used Aquasana in my own house and been very pleased!" he said. It's easy to install and is compatible with 1/2-inch shower arms.

Promising reviews: "My partner and myself both have psoriasis. We use the shampoos hair oils etc. The whole 9 yards. Never really seemed to help. Took into consideration that perhaps it was our water. Heavy in calcium, lime, all those harsh fun chemicals. After having used it for 3 days, our psoriasis doesn't hurt like it did. My skin is even feeling better and no where near as dry as it otherwise would be when I exit the shower. Definitely a much better improvement to our daily routine. I can say with confidence, I am definitely going to want to get a few more for the other spouts in our home." — Shina

"Clean & soft water. I made this purchase due to my wife always complains about how our city water makes her body itch after showering 🚿 so I decided to give this shower head filter a try and it worked wonders. My wife no longer has those itch moments from the harsh city water coming from our water plant." — demetrius smith
Culligan S-H200-C handheld shower head
If you prefer a handheld shower head, Camp recommended this Culligan option. It is unique in that is has a magnetic docking mechanism that can be securely popped on and off its base. It has a brushed-chrome stainless steel finish that is aesthetically pleasing and will look lovely with the rest of your shower fixtures.

Promising reviews: "Love it! Nice quality. Not cheap looking. Easy to assemble. I am so happy to have this. So many great features! I definitely recommend you buy this product!!!" — Janet

"Love this showerhead, I love the filters they really help soften my hair and skin. The different settings are great and the magnet is strong and allows for easy positioning." — Keianna Wilbur

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