Best Shampoo For Hard Water [Reviews + Buying Guide]

Hard water is not considered a health risk but can be a nuisance around the home and not just for your appliances and plumbing but also for your hair. It can actually damage your hair and create further hair problems.

Hard water contains more minerals than soft water, mostly calcium and magnesium. If you wash your hair often with hard water, these minerals form deposits on your hair and scalp. This build up prevents moisture from getting inside your hair.

Your hair becomes dry, dull and weak. The deposits can also cause dandruff-like flakes on your scalp. No amount of oil or moisturising conditioners will help you.

Mostly swimmers and people who live in hard water areas get affected. You may also have visited a new city or country and noticed that your hair felt differently. No matter how well you moisturise it, it still feels frizzy and clumpy. Sometimes it feels greasy because all the oil you are applying never gets absorbed. The problem is most likely the water you are using.

There are a few DIY ideas you’ll find online for dealing with hard water on your hair. They include rinsing with lemon or vinegar, installing a shower filter or using bottled water.

But there is an easier way to keep your hair healthy and well-moisturised when using hard water; use a shampoo designed specifically for hard water.

These shampoos contain ingredients that rid your hair of mineral build up. They restore your hair’s natural shine and soften it.

Which is the best shampoo for hard water use?

Here are the best shampoos for hard water you can buy online.

1. L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pure Resource Shampoo 1500ml

This is a salon-size shampoo but there’s no reason you can’t use it at home. It will last for many washes. It comes with a pump for easy use.

This shampoo not only targets mineral build up in your hair, it sweeps away any unwanted deposits. It gets rid of old makeup, greasy residue from oils and dust that has collected in your hair. Its two main ingredients are citramine and vitamin E. They purify your hair of all build up and nourish it from roots up.

What we like about it:

  • Immediately restores your hair’s brilliance and soft feel.
  • Hair colour safe.
  • Huge longer-lasting bottle. It’s perfect for a large family.

2. AreaH2O Coloured Hair Shampoo 250 ml

This shampoo comes in three variations: for soft water, medium water and hard water. Make sure you choose one of the last two if you use hard water. The hard water shampoo is the best and most effective for eliminating mineral deposits in your hair and scalp.

Immediately after the first wash, your hair should feel softer, less-frizzy and generally cleaner. You can use it daily if you live in a hard water area or use it occasionally when you travel to a hard water area or after a swim.

The AreaH2O hard water shampoo is pH balanced, making it gentle for your hair and safe for all hair types. These include damaged hair, bleached hair and dyed hair. It is also biodegradable.

The formulation is concentrated so a little goes a long way.

What we like about it:

  • Gentle on hair and safe for the environment.
  • Softens and strengthens hair by eliminating mineral and dirt build up.
  • Hair colour safe.

3. Kenra Clarifying Shampoo 10.1 oz

This shampoo contains amino acid chelators. These are chemicals that eliminate mineral build up in your hair and scalp. They restore your hair’s natural softness and radiance.

It also contains Grapefruit and Witch Hazel extracts which help dissolve the deposits and also nourish your hair.

Use this shampoo if you swim often to prevent your hair from drying out and getting dull. It’s also handy if you live in a hard water area or expect to travel to a hard water area soon.

It is safe for hair colour so you can use it on dyed hair as well as highlights. You can also use it on bleached and grey hair.

What we like about it:

  • Leaves hair soft, smooth and radiant.
  • Safe for hair colour.
  • Gentle enough to use every day without drying out your hair.

4. Batiste Original Dry Shampoo 200ml

It’s not always that you have time for a deep clean with a shampoo. Sometimes you just have a few minutes to clean up before dashing off to work or on an errand.

This shampoo is for such times. You just need to spray it on your hair, massage it in a little and leave it in for a few minutes before brushing your hair.

It refreshes your hair by removing any build-up of old oils and makeup as well as mineral deposits from hard water. Your hair will look healthy and radiant as if you’ve just washed it.

This shampoo is not just for when you are short on time; you can also use it in between washes. If you are concerned that your regular shampoo will dry out your hair, alternate it with this one. Your hair will still feel clean, healthy and soft.

What we like about it:

  • Easy to use.
  • No need to lather or rinse with water.
  • Perfect for quick hair rejuvenation and cleansing.

5. DGJ Organics HairJuice Mandarin Oil & Rose Extract Clarifying Shampoo 250ml

This clarifying shampoo uses certified organic ingredients. So it’s really gentle on your hair. It won’t dry it out or strip off your hair colour.

It is formulated to remove makeup residue and mineral build up from your hair. If you spray your hair often or use oils, this shampoo will prevent your hair from getting heavy and greasy with the residue. If you live in a hard water area, it prevents your hair from getting dry and dull because of mineral deposits.

The shampoo is quite thick so just a little blob is all you need to lather up your hair. Expect it to last a while even with every day use.

What we like about it:

  • Organic ingredients.
  • Immediate results. Your hair will feel softer and look more radiant after just one wash.
  • Hair colour safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What ingredients work for use with hard water?

Hard water releases minerals such as limescale, calcium and magnesium, which can build up on your hair and make it look dry and dull.

In order to combat your hard water, look for a “clarifying” shampoo that contains softening ingredients. These are also specially designed to remove the build up of minerals on your hair that can make it brittle and lifeless.

Ingredients such as aloe vera, honey, fruit extracts and oils such as avocado and Argon oil are an absolute godsend for those in a hard water area who want to improve the look and overall health of their hair.

Clarifying or chelating shampoos can be a little harsh, so it’s best to not use them all the time in place of your regular shampoo; stick to once a week or so, or if you notice your hair looking a little dull.

Q: How to make homemade shampoo for harder water?

Making your own shampoo is easy, inexpensive and great for tailoring to your specific hair needs. You can get clean hair using a few simple ingredients, and if you have a particularly dry scalp you may wish to avoid the soap in this recipe – but for those of us who like a bit of lather this one is perfect.

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup of Castille soap
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera juice
  1. Grate the soap using a cheese grater
  2. Add it to a small pan with the coconut milk and aloe vera
  3. Warm over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the soap has melted in to the other ingredients
  4. Allow it to cool then place into a container

You can also experiment with adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the mix, to give your hair a pleasant scent, and if you like a shampoo that is a bit thicker then add some vegetable glycerine too.

This is a great recipe that works well in hard water, and will clean your hair of any leftover mineral residues from the water. If you want to go for a really good shine, try a rinse of apple cider vinegar after you have washed your hair.

Q: Where to find a good shampoo for hard water?

As described, you can make your own shampoo for hard water, but if you’d rather buy one then there are many options open to you.

Your stylist or hairdresser will be able to give you some good tips for the best brands, or a quick trip around the high street shops will also turn up some likely contenders.

If all this fails, the internet is a great place to find the best shampoo for hard water.

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