Tag Archive | Tap Water

Q&A: What’s The Difference Between Bottled and Distilled Water For Hair Purposes?


Nikeisha asks: Is there a distinct difference between bottled water and distilled water if using on the hair?


Also, I have heard people say that taking a dip in the sea helps with skin and hair problems.. is this due to the country/climate one lives in or is it a myth. If I were to wash my hair with some sea salt in the water would it cause my hair to weaken?


Hi Nikeisha. Thanks for your questions.

I’ll answer the first question here and the second in another post.

It may seem like a really simple question but really it’s not, so i’m going to have to break it up into sections to get a full understanding of the answer. Here goes!

The Problem With Tap Water

All my research definitely suggests that tap (hard) water is very bad for our hair and skin as the chlorine and other chemicals deposited in the water can have a very negative effect.

Your skin is a living sponge that absorbs virtually anything that comes in contact with it. That is one reason your skin is so vulnerable to chemicals in water. Chlorine oxides are formed when chlorine enters the skin. These chlorine oxides are linked to aging, freckles, and skin de-pigmentation, and itchy/ flaky skin. Chlorine dries out hair, makes it brittle, and leaves it looking dull and damaged. (3).

Like your skin, your hair is "wide open" when it is in hot water and it absorbs the chlorine, which strips the hair shaft of its natural oils, leaving it dry and dull. Also, chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water can interfere with and shorten the "life" of hair colouring, highlights and other hair treatments.

Tap water often contains at least as much, if not more, chlorine than is recommended for use in swimming pools.(2)

So if you live in a hard water area it is certainly worthwhile to invest in purer , softer water for better health benefits, including skin and hair. The biggest question is what kind of purified water is better?

So What Is the Difference Between Bottled and Distilled?

Distilled water is the product of distillation, meaning the original water source has been converted into steam and then cooled down until it condenses into its final distilled form. This means heavy minerals and metals such as salt and iron do not generally survive the conversion to steam and are left behind as residue. Distilled water contains only scant traces of the minerals contained in natural spring water and other water sources.(1)

Bottled water, however, may not necessarily be better than tap water in some instances. “An estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle—sometimes further treated, sometimes not.” (2)

Types of bottled water

The UK Food Safety Administration list three types of bottled water for consumption. Natural mineral water is water that originates from an underground table or deposit which emerges from a spring and is tapped at one or more natural exits. Spring Water originates from an underground water source, is bottled at the source and satisfies biological labelling requirements. Bottled drinking water is drinking water that doesn’t come from a spring or natural mineral source and may come from a variety of sources, including municipal supplies.

Natural Mineral Water

  • Natural mineral water must come from a recognized spring and must be tapped from a natural exit. The spring must be free from pollution, and certain information about the source must be known. The water’s physical and chemical characteristics must be analysed. In addition, this information should be gathered over time to make sure the properties of the water remain consistent and for quality control purposes.

    Spring Water

  • Spring water should come from an aquifer or other water deposit point. Its chemical composition need not be constant; however, it must be bottled at the source to be labelled spring water. Bacterial colony counts and other biological data should be consistently checked. Spring water is intended for consumption without treatment and its label should include information on the spring from which the water was taken.

    Bottled Drinking Water

  • Bottled drinking water has no restrictions on treatments as long as these treatments don’t make the water unsuitable for human consumption. However, this water must meet certain safety guidelines set forth by the Food Safety Administration.(4)

    My Suggestion

    From all that we’ve learned, distilled water seems to be better than bottled water for the purposes of washing our hair as we just can’t be sure of the quality of the bottled water we are buying.

    But MY question now is – is distilled water better than filtered water for our hair?

    The reason why we need purified water to wash our hair, as stated above, is because it contains much less toxins, harsh chemicals and mineral deposits that can be damaging to our delicate hair and scalp. Distilled water is definitely one road to travel but is it worth the necessary expense. In my opinion No. A shower filter is much cheaper than a constant demand for distilled water and most last from 6 months to a year. They focus on removing toxins such as chlorine and hard mineral deposits out of the water for a much safer showering experience. Depending on the filter you buy will depend on the results that you get so shop around and do your research first before you buy one. If you can afford one, then a whole house filter system will be perfect, a bit costly to install but well worth the investment. You can also buy little filter balls to put in your bath if you don’t have a shower.

    And there you have it. A consistent flow of purer water for healthier hair!

    However if this is not possible and tap/hard water is all that’s available at this time, don’t worry too much as using a chelating shampoo once in a while is great at removing the minerals deposited in your hair.


    Sorry for the length of the post but it was a lot to get through. I hope this helps.



    1. Source – WiseGeek.com
    2. Source -  AllAboutWater.org
    3. Source – Thefreewaterreport.org
    4. Source – UK Food standard Agency Guidelines