Welcome to our expert guide to choosing the best shower filter for hair, skin, and nails. In this article, we share our top 5 shower filter picks to help reduce hair fall & hair loss, give your skin a more youthful glow, and banish those rust stains that ruin your beautiful blonde hair. We also created a buyer’s guide that explains how we arrived at our top 5 picks and teaches you how to choose the best shower filter for hair and skin health.
We’re confident that by the end of our guide, you’ll have chosen the perfect filter for your home and have a complete understanding of how shower filters benefit hair and skin health. The #1 problem is chlorine & chloramines in your municipal water. Once you remove these pesky chemicals, you’ll reclaim your hair, skin, and nail health.
Chlorine is a double-edged sword and a necessary evil to keep municipal water safe. However, once the water safely reaches your showerhead, there’s no longer a need for it.
Let’s start with our Top 5 picks.
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Our #1 Pick for Removing Chloramines
In this section, we’ll explain in greater detail how shower filters help to reduce hair loss, boost hair & skin health, and protect blonde hair against discoloration/fading.
Can shower water make your hair fall out?
The same way we don’t want to drink chlorinated water, we don’t want to absorb it during a shower either. Every time you shower in hot, steamy chlorinated water, you open your pores. Once your pores open, the chlorine in your municipally-treated water flows into your pores.
Chlorine wreaks havoc on hair and skin health due to its drying effect. I’m a guy who’s had long hair nearly my entire life – no I didn’t jump on the man bun bandwagon – and I know how important it is to keep hair well-hydrated. Dry hair easily breaks, looks like crap, and leads to clumps of fallen hair every shower.
The key to ending this vicious cycle is to remove the chlorine to stop the drying effect. I’ve also battled dandruff most of my adult life, and the Aquasana shower filter worked quite well for me when I purchased it for the first time in 2009. It’s hard to explain, but once you shower in filtered water the first time, you’ll never want to go back to showering in chlorinated water again.
Washing your hair becomes something you look forward to instead of something you dread because we all know that looking at that clump of hair in the drain every shower gets depressing.
Bottom line, the answer to the question, “Can shower water make your hair fall out?” is a resounding yes.
Inflammation caused by dandruff, chemicals entering the scalp, and the damaging effects of chlorine can all cause hair to fall out. The good news is this type of hair loss is reversible by installing a shower filter, unlike male pattern baldness.
Chlorine vs Chloramines
It’s critical to identify whether you need to remove chloramines or chlorine before you buy. Since more and more public water suppliers are beginning to use chloramine, it’s essential to choose a filter that removes chloramines.
According to sfwater.org, Vitamin C has the capacity to neutralize chloramine and remove chlorine completely. The Pelican shower filter is one of the only quality shower filters on the market that removes both chlorine and chloramines without Vitamin C. Instead, Pelican uses a special type of activated carbon that removes both chemicals.
The problem with buying a filter that removes chlorine only, if you’re dealing with chloramines, is the chloramines will sneak right through. In the end, you end up dumping money down the drain, despite buying a filter that works.
We recommend choosing the filters below if you detect chloramines in your water:
How to Test for Chloramines
Since there are no test strips that test for chloramines directly, the easiest way to test for chloramines is to use strips that detect both total chlorine and free chlorine. The strips below are the type of chlorine test strips that test for chloramine:
If you get a Total Chlorine reading in the upper range between 2 and 4, yet a low Free Chlorine reading close to zero, this is a clear sign that your provider treats with chloramine.
The second, more accurate option is to test a sample with the Hanna Free Chlorine checker and Hanna Total Chlorine checker:
The gentleman in the video below explains how to test for chloramine in greater detail:
Well Water vs Municipal Water
Well water is typically harder than municipal water, yet if left untreated, there’s no chlorine in well water. While this may sound great, it’s not a good idea to leave well water untreated. Without chlorine disinfection, well water can carry iron bacteria, VOCs, lead and other toxins.
For this reason, we recommend the Aquasana or Pelican filter if you’re on well water and want to boost your hair, skin, and nail health. The Aquasana and Pelican shower filters have thicker layers of activated carbon and KDF redox media to effectively remove more contaminants from your water beyond chlorine.
If you’re a blonde on well water, the Aquasana AQ-4100 is the best choice.
The advantage of the multi-stage filters (AquaHomeGroup and AquaBliss) is they include a wide range of beneficial minerals for hair, skin, and nail health. The drawback is they remove fewer contaminants because they contain less activated carbon and redox media.
Be sure to consider your water source before you choose your filter or you could end up being let down by the results.
Replacement Filter Price Comparison
Below, we created a chart that includes the replacement filters for each model in our Top 5. We ordered the replacements from highest to lowest annual cost to maintain (#1 = highest annual replacement filter cost):
I’m confident that by following our guide to choose the best shower filter for hair and skin, you’ll arrive at the best option for your home. Be sure to check for chloramines and to choose the correct shower filter for well water or municipal water. Once you know what you’re dealing with, choosing the correct filter from our Top 5 is easy-peasy.
The key is to remove chlorine and chloramines to avoid drying out your hair and skin. For blondes on well water, the key is to soften your water and remove the iron bacteria/rust to protect against discoloration or premature color fading.