If you’re suffering from skin irritation, dryness, hair fall or an itchy scalp, we’ve got just the list of shower filters to reverse these effects. Image Credit: Shutterstock

It’s not an exaggeration to wonder whether the tap water is behind your dry hair and skin. When you’ve altered your diet, switched to the best shampoos and skincare products, and still struggle with common problems, you might turn to a shower filter as a last resort.

Dermatology experts in the UAE have been increasingly concerned about premature greying becoming prevalent among the youth. According to Dr Loai Gaffer Ahmed Ali, a specialist dermatologist with Aster Clinic in Ras Al Khaimah, this could be due to the high chlorine content in water, which is used to disinfect water systems to protect us from illnesses like cholera, typhoid and dysentery.

A reliable shower filter traps such chemicals with heavy metals to reduce their contact with our skin and hair. So, if you’re suffering from skin irritation, dryness, hair fall or an itchy scalp, we’ve got a list of shower filters to reverse these effects.

Scroll to the bottom to learn why filtering your tap water might be beneficial, per Dr Ali. And, check out some of the best-rated shower filters on Amazon as vouched by positive user reviews. Use a Prime subscription to get free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: blu Ionic Shower Filter


  • Uses NMC filter cartridge to reduce chlorine, heavy metal ions, dirt and odour
  • Showerhead releases healthy negative ions
  • Easy installation process
  • Comes with three filters in the box


  • Some buyers wish they could adjust the water pressure on the showerhead
  • Short filter lifetime

Perhaps the most talked about shower filter in the UAE, the homegrown product Blu is your safest first attempt at installing a filter that works with the local plumbing systems. The Blu Ionic shower unit is not an in-line filter, rather, it replaces your entire showerhead. It promises to remove up to 99 per cent of harmful pollutants in the water using a nano molecular clusters (NMC) filter cartridge, and its performance has been tested and certified by various bodies like Eurofins and TUV. Besides reducing chlorine, pesticides, heavy metal ions, dirt and odours, the filter also produces healthy negative ions in its spray plate to boost immunity. The high-grade stainless steel plate with 244 perforations will further prevent limescale build-up in your showerhead. Filter replacements are easily available on Amazon and have to be replaced every 70 to 100 days, though your order comes with a set of three to last you a while. If the low return rate label on the product wasn't enough, happy buyers confirm softer hair and skin, and fewer breakouts. Filters at the end of their life appear rusty and thoroughly used, they add.

2. Best with KDF Filter: The Jolie Filtered Showerhead


  • Uses KDF-55 filtration media to remove chlorine and heavy metals
  • Clinically proven to help with hair health
  • Decent water pressure
  • Comes with installation tools


  • Replacing filters can be difficult
  • Wall-mounted showerhead only

If you want a showerhead filter with the coveted KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion), try the Jolie unit. This is a high-pressure, premium showerhead that's been tested by multiple third-party labs. It uses a proprietary blend of KDF-55 and calcium sulfite to remove chlorine, heavy metals and other contaminants from the water. Jolie is also clinically proven to reduce hair shedding, while claiming to restore other common hair and skin issues, like dry skin, change in hair colour, rashes and damaged hair. The box arrives with one filter (already in the showerhead) and detailed instructions with the installation tools you'll need. Do note that this is a wall-mounted unit designed for US showers, so you might need a pro's assistance. Some see a noticeable difference in their skin and hair, who previously suffered from an oily scalp or limp locks. Changing the filter can be tricky, as reviewers point out.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay AED 53.81 for 12 months with select banks.

3. Best Multi-Stage Filter: AquaBliss Heavy Duty Shower Filter (SF500)


  • Uses KDF-55 filtration media to remove chlorine and metals
  • Other effective filters - calcium sulfite and activated carbon
  • Universal design for various shower types
  • Each filter lasts six months


  • Some reviewers notice a leak after installing

Among various filtration media, from sand filter and activated carbon to calcium sulfite, the AquaBliss SF500 shower filter doesn't miss out on the KDF-55 in its system. The universal filter is an improved version of a previous product, with 30 per cent more media filter and leak-free seals. Overall, it blocks large sediments, traps smaller particles and lowers chlorine concentration, while also restoring the pH balance of the water. Each filter should last you six months. According to AquaBliss, it works with rain, standard, dual, combo and handheld showers. The effects on skin and hair are visible, as reviewers no longer experience dry scales and dull tresses. However, a few have trouble with leaks, so do get a pro to help with the installation process.

4. Best In-Line Filter: Pure Blue Shower Filter 


  • Uses KDF-55 and calcium sulphite filters
  • Tackles chlorine, iron, mercury, lead and other heavy metals
  • In-line design fits all showers in the UAE
  • Filter lasts six months


  • Might reduce water pressure

Pure Blue is another UAE-based product, but unlike our Blu option, this is an in-line filter so you don't have to give up your showerhead. It works by filtering the water through a US-made KDF-55 filter that takes care of 98 per cent of the chlorine, as well as heavy metals and piping residue like lead, copper and mercury. In addition to a calcium sulfite filter, the Pure Blue shower filter aims to clear skin and help with hair loss. The filter only needs replacing twice a year with a frequency of two showers per day. Your box comes with a step-by-step installation guide, however, you will need some tools to get it right, say reviewers. Buyers immediately noticed a difference in their hair and skin after their first shower, even seeing less limescale residue on the tiles and walls. Those who previously struggled with stiff hair, hair loss and dry skin leave five-star reviews.

5. Best Budget: Philips Shower Filter


  • Uses KDF-55 filter only with mesh on either side
  • Filters out chlorine and heavy metals
  • In-line design works well with UAE showers
  • Doesn't affect water pressure
  • Filter can last up to six months


  • Removing the original filter for replacement is difficult, say some reviewers

Philips has a great budget-friendly option for an in-line shower filter. At this price, you're still getting a KDF material in the system, sandwiched between two mesh filters, which help reduce chlorine and soluble heavy metals in the water. It works for both cold and hot showers, since the filter is made of anti-scald material that adapts to the temperature. The unit can filter up to 50,000 litres of water in its lifetime, after which the filter needs to be replaced every four to six months. Buyers in the UAE have an easy time installing this and report back softer, less dry skin and hair that doesn't feel tacky. It doesn't seem to reduce water pressure, either.

How does tap water affect our hair and skin?

Heavy metals and disinfectants like chlorine can clog our pores and exacerbate dandruff, hair fall, eczema and other conditions. Image Credit: Shutterstock

There is no definite way of tracing all our skin and hair concerns to the tap water. For one, we can’t pinpoint the exact treatments carried out, nor can we figure the mineral contents of the water, unless a sample is tested. But what we do know is that tap water will generally have some disinfectants to treat bacteria and viruses.

“Shower or tap water contains heavy minerals and some chemicals. Its contents can be divided into two categories: disinfectants, which include chlorine and chloride that can irritate the skin; and heavy metals, such as mercury, ions, cobalt, lead and copper, that can affect the hair shaft directly and cause dry hair or even hair fall,” said Dr Ali.

Naturally, this water make-up can exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions, especially if you have eczema and psoriasis. Repeated contact with hair follicles may “lead to scalp conditions like seborrhea capitis, seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff, excessive itching on the scalp, and hair fall to some extent”.

What do shower filters do?

Filters will minimise the concentration of harmful elements in the water. Image Credit: Unsplash/ONNE Beauty

Or, rather, what do shower filters remove? According to Dr Ali, filters minimise the concentration of these elements in the water, namely chlorine and heavy metals, using multiple filtration stages.

Most start by trapping larger objects in the water and then separating soluble minerals and chemicals farther down. “More filtration steps might be better, but it all depends on different filters [in the market],” said Dr Ali.

Pricier units feature the KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion) filter to remove chlorine, lead, iron, mercury and other metals. This filter medium uses a patented process that combines copper and zinc to create an electro-chemical reaction, through which harmful elements turn into harmless components for the hair and skin. Many prefer the KDF technology over affordable carbon filters, though manufacturers typically combine them.

At the end of the day, there is no harm in showering with a filter as it doesn’t affect us adversely, our expert adds. Do remember to replace the filter every three months or per the manufacturer’s instructions to keep reaping its benefits.

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