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If you’ve ever suffered from dry skin or scalp, eczema, or brittle strands, hard water may be to blame. An estimated 85% of the US water supply is considered “hard water,” aka water with extra minerals. While not all minerals in hard water are dangerous, there is the potential for contaminants like heavy metals. You’ll often see those same effects of hard water in our skin, hair, and even build-up in the shower.
One easy way to reduce hard water is by shifting to a filtered shower head. Filtered shower heads use Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF)—otherwise known as a zinc or copper filter—to get rid of contaminants and only pass through clear, clean water instead. As the water goes from “hard” to “soft,” you’ll experience a gentler clean that won’t irritate or strip your skin of oils.
If you’re looking to make the switch, we’ve rounded up five great options worth trying. Some are full shower heads while others are filters you can add onto your existing shower head—and some even reduce our daily water use or improve water pressure. Reap both the wellness and sustainability benefits—and enjoy softer, more nourished, and shinier skin and hair along the way. ????
Best For | Chlorine & heavy metals
Notable Specs | Five colors, includes replacement filter (lasts 90 days), DIY installation, biodegradable packaging
Price | $165; discounted subscriptions with new filters available
When it comes to your hair and skin, clean water can make all the difference; that’s the premise behind Jolie’s filtered showerhead. Dubbed the “essential beauty wellness tool,” the showerhead easily filters for chlorine or heavy metals for the purest water. The filter itself is a proprietary blend of KDF-55 and calcium sulfite, so it doesn’t just meet the standard certifications—it far outpaces them. Beyond its efficacy, it’s also aesthetically pleasing and available in five beautiful colors. Opt for a subscription starting at $148 that includes a filter subscription every 90 days ($33 for each one after your initial purchase) or the standard one-time purchase with one filter. If you don’t see a difference in your skin or hair within two months, Jolie will offer you a full refund.
Best For | Affordability
Notable Specs | Individual filter, pairs with existing shower head if preferred, lasts up to one year, DIY installation
Price | $40-$50
Not interested in replacing the entire showerhead? Try out Berkey’s Shower Filter, which can be used in conjunction with your existing hardware (though you can also add a shower head on for just $10 more!). Starting at $40, this affordable filter packs a mighty punch—it’ll reduce scale build-up in the shower as well as chlorine and vapor inhalation. And it’s long-lasting too, a singular filter lasts up to 20,000 gallons (or one year’s worth of showers). As for the filter, it’s a patented blend of zinc, calcium, and copper. Support this family-owned, American-made business from Colorado, and enjoy squeaky clean H2O.
3. Hello Klean
Best For | 2x the pressure
Notable Specs | Two models (shower head or filter), saves 25% of water, FSC certified & recycled packaging, filters last 90 days, DIY installation
Price | $78; discounted subscriptions with new filters available
If you’re one of the millions of people out there dealing with hard water, Hello Klean is here to help with its shower care essentials. Recommended and reviewed by the likes of CNN, Women’s Health, and Good Housekeeping, this handy brand filters your water in one of two ways—either via a shower filter or a purifying shower head. (Then, if you’re inclined, you can also stock up on some of its clarifying and nourishing hair care products as a one-stop shop.) The Purifying Shower Head leverages a two-step filtration process while boosting your water pressure along the way—the filter comprises the standard KDF-55, amino acid, and an activated carbon fiber. Then, when you’re done, you can compost or recycle all the materials from the cartridge to the carton. Say goodbye to dry skin and crisp hair once and for all.
Best For | A relaxing experience (with aroma!)
Notable Specs | Four colors, three-stream settings, 3-stage filter, aroma included, filters last 90 days, DIY installation
Price | $150; discounted subscriptions with new filters available
Upgrade your daily shower into a soothing spa-like ritual with Canopy’s Filtered Showerhead. Available in four colors, you can opt for the showerhead alone or add a filter or aroma/filter subscription for a discounted price. While the filter itself uses a mix of granular activated carbon, KDF-55, and calcium sulfite, there’s also a space on the shower head for a felt diffuser—so you can use essential oils and aromas simultaneously. (Eucalyptus oil for us, thanks!) You can even adjust between three stream settings to match your mood. Easy to install, even easier to use, and effective from the first wash, you’ll see why this filtered shower head has a five-star rating. If not, you can use Canopy’s 60-day Happiness Guarantee for your money back.
Best For | Sustainability & saving on water
Notable Specs | 2 “flow rate” choices, handheld feature, six colors, Bluetooth connection, customizable LED lights, different water pressure & sprays, DIY installation
Price | $199
It’s about time that smart technology reached our bathrooms, thanks to Hai. While not a filtered showerhead, the Hai Smart Showerhead uses Bluetooth technology and a free app to make your shower as personalized (and sustainable) as possible. Its design is impressive—from the customizable LED lights that’ll let you know if you’ve exceeded your target water limit or if your water’s warm enough, to the various spray settings—and you can also track your environmental impact! Plus, you’ll offset the carbon footprint over its lifetime, the packaging is recyclable, and shipping is carbon-neutral, too. Choose from six fun colors, your preferred “flow rate” for water, and enjoy free shipping and free returns.
Featured image is from Canopy