Abstract: Synthetic hematites with Al substitutions between 0 and 18 mol % were synthesized at different temperatures and water activities. The cell-edge lengths a for different synthesis conditions decreased linearly with increasing Al substitution. The regression lines, however, had different slopes and intercepts: the series with the highest synthesis temperature (1270 K) had the most negative slope. With increasing Al substitution, the hematites contained increasing amounts of non-surface water. Significant correlations were found between these chemically determined water contents and the deviations of the unit-cell parameters a, c, and V relative to the corresponding 1270 K regression lines. To explain the measured X-ray peak intensities, structural OH had to be included into the theoretical calculations. From intensity ratios normalized to I113, it is possible to determine the structural OH separately from the Al substitution, which can be assessed by the shift of the cell-edge lengths relative to the 1270 K regression lines. The incorporation of Al and OH into the hematite structure induces strain, which was quantified by X-ray diffraction.