What is a Shower Head Water Softener?

Some homeowners install a shower filter to help deal with problems that stem from soft or hard water.
In some ways, the technology in a shower head water softener is similar to small water filtration systems used for purifying drinking water.
Copper, carbon and zinc are common types of filtering materials used in shower head water softeners.
A shower head water softener can help remove minerals that may cause hair discoloration.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2015
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A shower head water softener can come in several forms and is used primarily to remove minerals, which may change the shower experience and cause things such discoloration of hair, from water. Unlike a water softener that is attached to an entire water supply, one on a shower head is usually attached to the shower valve, and provides a head from which water is sprayed. These devices are typically rather small, with the filtration part looking simply like part of a shower hose, and each type can have slightly different functions.

The ways in which a shower head water softener works depends on its design. Most have some form of filter, often made up of materials like carbon, through which water flows. As it passes through the filter, a certain amount of minerals and chemicals are removed.

Usually, there is no secondary mechanism needed to achieve filtration; the passage of water through the filter does the job. The degree to which this is effective can depend on the hardness of the water. Sometimes, when people live with very hard water, they find that an exterior filter for the whole house is more appropriate. In most cases though, simply running the shower filters the water, and the most people might need to do is to replace a filter from time to time. In this respect, the concept is very similar to small water filtration systems used for purifying drinking water.


There is some distinction between the shower head water softener and shower head filters. It’s now very popular to buy water filters that sit on the shower head or below it and that filter out chemicals like chlorine. A filter doesn’t necessarily remove minerals, and often the difference can be told in price. A shower water filter is typically relatively inexpensive, but a water softener usually costs at least twice as much. People interested in chlorine filtration and mineral removal can find devices that perform both actions.

A number of places stock more than one type of shower head water softener. They may be available in a variety of home improvement stores, in stores that sell bathroom fixtures, or online. When buying one, shoppers should make certain that the filters used with the model are easy to find. Softeners could last for years, but they may lose their usefulness if homeowners cannot replace the filter.


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Discuss this Article

Post 7

I have several water treatment licenses. There are only two companies that make a true softener capable of installing in the shower and actually removing hardness instead of just chlorine. Everything else is a waste of money. Period.

Post 6

@Georgesplane: Could you please post the name of the water filtration system for the shower that you use?

Post 4

georgesplane: could you tell me what brand you used, please and thank you.

Post 3

You forget to describe the function of vitamin C shower filter. it does both jobs -- softening and chlorine removal.

Post 2

I have also used theses filtration systems. They are so easy to install, and they work great. My wife says it makes her hair softer and healthier.

Post 1

Carbon filters are not very effective for removing contaminants in hot water. Because of this they are best suited for drinking water. Like the article stated, there are some very good filters/softeners that filter most heavy metals, chlorine, chloramines, bacteria and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They run about 75 to 100 dollars and require new filters every three to six months. They can be very helpful for people with chlorine allergies, sensitive skin, acne, and people with eczema. I have problem skin and I installed a good quality shower filtration system. It made all of my skin issues clear up within days.

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