We put a lot of effort into our showers—from redesigning the whole bathroom for the most enjoyable bathing experience to mastering shower organization. And on the product side, we can spend upwards of hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and scrubs. There is a whole ordeal that goes into making your daily shower a spa-like experience.
But you could be overlooking one super important thing: water quality. Tap water can have excess levels of chlorine, iron, dirt, and other contaminants, which can alter not only the effectiveness of your products, but also the quality of your hair in general. These impurities can damage hair follicles and result in a dry, itchy scalp.
Even if you have the purest water, you should be concerned: Over time, your shower heads could be accumulating all sorts of unpleasantness, from bacteria to mold.
But you’re one little swap away from that enviable bouncy, shiny hair. A quick flip of a showerhead and you are good to go. It’s even an easy switch for those renting apartments or houses—just keep that original showerhead for when you move out.
We rounded up the best showerheads, each accomplishing something equally different yet impressive. Happy hair can be just one shower head away.
The Original Chrome Showerhead, Shower Clear, $275
This one is interesting for so many reasons. First, it’s purposely designed to be very easy to install. Second, it literally pops open to let the showerhead dry thoroughly after each shower, so it never develops any mold or buildup. Third, it has a gorgeous, clean (pun intended) design to instantly elevate your shower and showering experience.
Feeling a bit questionable about needing a new showerhead in the first place? Take the story of Shower Clear’s creator, Steve Sunshine: After researching his mother’s respiratory illness, he searched for the cause, and discovered her showerhead was overrun with mold and bacteria. With that cautionary tale in mind, it’s worth taking a moment to unscrew your showerhead if possible and clean it, or change it out for one that works double time.
Prestige Handheld Vitamin C Showerhead, Aroma Sense, $125
Okay, this showerhead is really clever, and multi-tasking. It uses a specialized Vitamin C filtration cartridge to neutralize chlorine, rust, dirt, and other contaminants from your unfiltered water system (and the Vitamin C specifically promotes healthier hair and skin). If that doesn’t mean much to you, I bet water pressure does: It optimizes water pressure to be 1.5 times greater than traditional showerheads. And on just looks alone, the rose gold accents are just really pretty, too.
Showerhead, T3, $150
If you want your showerhead to give you pretty hair, get one from the people who design solely for great hair: T3. The brand is known for their high-tech beauty tools, like hair dryers and curling irons, but they also created a showerhead that removes chlorine, dirt, sediment, rust, and odors from your water, which in turn, eliminates scalp buildup, frizz, and flyaways.
The tech behind it is a “mineral mixture combining calcium sulfide, zinc, and copper to reduce free chlorine from your shower water,” says the brand. The process also helps to remove the gross rotten egg smell water can sometimes smell like, as well as other impurities, for a better and cleaner shower experience.
Filtered Showerhead, Culligan, $34.99
Coming in a bit over $30, this one (from a brand that knows just a bit about water) is a no-brainer. Easy to install, removes 99 percent of chlorine in water, and installs easily without any tools. And it gives major spray options with five spray settings, from a full-body spray for maximum water pressure, to an invigorating pulse for a relaxing massage.
Rainhead, ThermaSol, price upon request
Okay, this one is on the aspirational side, but it’s too cool to not include it. This sensory showerhead experience delivers two rows of 82 jets with gradually changing colors for a shower that cleans not only with water, but also with light and sound. Known as chromatherapy, it’s the healing method that uses color and light to balance energy wherever the body is lacking. The underlying principle is that certain colors can affect your body and mood. Plus it’s just really pretty, too.
See more about changing up your shower:
This story was originally published in February 2018, and has since been updated with new information.