TOP Shampoos for Hard Water

Hard water doesn’t mean it’s strong, but that it’s high in mineral content and various agents. Calcium, magnesium, sulfates and bicarbonates are typically high in hard water.

Buying Guide to Shampoos for Hard Water

Why is hard water bad for your hair?

It’s mostly magnesium and calcium that ruin your hair and rain is typically hard water. When you’re washing your hair with hard water, the substances are going to build up in your follicles and in your hair, and a regular shampoo or conditioner aren’t going to be able to remove it. The more you use hard water, the harder it’s going to be for you to repair your hair.

A chelating shampoo is the answer to the hard water and here’s why:

  • It reduces the tangling in your hair
  • It eliminates dryness from your hair
  • It blocks the build-up of unwanted hard water minerals

What is a chelating shampoo?

A soft water is going to soften your hair when you’re washing it, eliminating any tangles nice and easy. It’s not difficult to wash out the shampoo or the soap either and the whole cleaning process runs smooth, leaving your hair clean and nice.

On the other hand, when you’re using hard water, your hair remains untangles, has no volume and you can actually fell the build-up of toxins.

A chelating shampoo is going to remove the build-up of minerals, breaking them down and washing them easily. It’s formulated so that it also moisturizes your hair, locking in moisture and reducing the risk from damage.

Chelating or clarifying shampoo?

Even if they’re meant to do the same thing (cleansing your hair), they’re actually made to be used in pretty different situations.

You should use a clarifying shampoo for removing the build-up of substances on the surface of your strands caused by the hair care products (hair spray, air pollutants and so on).

The chelating shampoo isn’t just stronger than the clarifying shampoo, but it’s formulated so that it eliminates metals, minerals and chlorine from your hair strands.

One last tip

The very first thing to do is to test your water to see if it’s hard or not. Once it’s clear to you that the water is hard, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a good chelating shampoo for keeping your hair in top notch shape at all time.

TOP 7 Hard Water/Chelating Shampoos

1. Life Lab Grapefruit Detox Shine Repair Shampoo

The Life Lab Grapefruit Detox Shine Repair Shampoo isn’t just able to reverse the unpleasant effects of hard water, but it’s also capable to give your hair back it’s natural radiance and body. This can only mean one thing: healthier and nicer looking hair.

Life Lab Grapefruit Detox Shine Repair Shampoo review

Safe to use on color-treated hair, the shampoo is going to restore and improve the vibrancy of your strands, leaving them soft to touch and shiny in a good way. It eliminated the product buildup and the environmental toxins from your scalp and hair.

The formula is sulfate-free and gentle, putting the dullness caused by various pollutants, hard water deposits and styling products under control. The shampoo doesn’t contain any colors, fragrances nor synthetic dyes. It’s paraben free, BPA/phthalate free and DEA free. It hasn’t been tested on animals either.

The energizing grapefruit scent is pleasant and subtle, but it doesn’t linger for a long time. It’s best that you follow the shampoo with a conditioner.

The list of good things looks like this:

  • The shampoo is sulfate-free
  • It eliminates the buildup caused by hard water and styling products
  • It has a gentle formula
  • It wears a slight and pleasant grapefruit scent

The downsides are nothing to worry about:

  • Some noted that the shampoo worsen the dandruff
  • It may dry out the hair so remember to use a good conditioner

All in all, the shampoo is going to help you handle the hard water a lot better, without emptying your pockets. What’s not to like?

2. Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three

Even if the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three isn’t a chelating shampoo, but a cleansing shampoo it’s still a great option to use with hard water.

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three review

The shampoo is formulated so that it’s capable to eliminate buildup from your hair. its formula is enriched with many ingredients (wheat protein, plantago major leaf extract, sulfated castor oil)) so it’s effective for leaving your hair cleansed from unpleasant buildup.

The shampoo is going to remove chlorine, iron and minerals which is why you can use it after swimming in the pool. Even if it’s strong, you can use it on a regular basis if you live in an area with hard water.

You only need a bit of it. Be patient about the application and massage it well. Don’t forget to rinse it afterwards.

Many got results after 2-3 washes. As it’s quite strong, you should follow it with a conditioner. please note not to use it on color-treated hair.

Let’s have a quick look at the pros:

  • It removes chlorine, minerals and iron
  • You can use it if you have hard water or after swimming pool
  • It cleanses your hair and leaves it softy and bouncy
  • It has a great formula

The cons aren’t major:

  • It strips your hair from oils so make sure you never skip the conditioner
  • Some sit on the fence about the smell

Efficient, easy to use and reliable, the shampoo is a solid choice when you struggle with hard water.

3. Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

Formulated to help the swimmers and the people living in areas with hard water, the Kenra Clarifying Shampoo is a solid choice for many.

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo review

It’s able to give your hair back its natural shine as it’s going to eliminate the buildup and deposits that make your hair look unhealthy and dull. The shampoo is also going to brighten the gray, bleached or highlighted hair.

The formula is well thought out and includes extracts of witch hazel and grapefruit, but also amino acid chelators that are removing the build-up and the dulling deposits.

Clear, the shampoo has a light pink color and an amazing grapefruit scent. You need to massage it and lather it into your damp hair. it creates heavy suds and it’s easy to rinse afterwards. it leaves your hair cleansed and detangled, without weighing it down.

If you have colored hair, you should use a good conditioner afterwards.

Here’s what we like the most about it:

  • Its formula includes extracts of witch hazel and grapefruit
  • It eliminates dulling build-up and deposits
  • It’s color safe too
  • It has a beautiful scent and doesn’t weigh down your hair

The parts we like less aren’t many:

  • The grapefruit may irritate some so make sure you’re not allergic to it
  • You shouldn’t use it for frequent use

Nevertheless, if you’re going to the pool on a regular basis or you live in an area with hard water, you should keep this one in mind.

4. Joico K-PAK Clarifying Shampoo

Affordable and good for using when dealing with hard water, the Joico K-PAK Clarifying Shampoo is a deep chelating shampoo to write down on your shopping list.

Joico K-PAK Clarifying Shampoo review

The shampoo is going to remove chlorine and buildup cause by hard water or styling products. If you’re going to the swimming pool, you should take this one with you.

The formula is quite gentle, but doesn’t mean it’s less effective. The deep-chelating shampoo is going to work, but it’s going to leave your hair moisturized and conditioner. It’s going to be easier for you to detangle it later on.

You can use it 1 to 2 times a week. Apply it to your wet hair, lather and rinse well when you’re done. Leave it on for 2 minutes or so when you want it to work as a deep-chelating shampoo. Don’t forget to rinse.

Let’s list the pros:

  • It removes buildup and chlorine
  • It only needs 2 minutes to work as a deep-chelating shampoo
  • It leaves your hair easier to detangle
  • It’s efficient and gentle

The inherent flaws aren’t deal breakers:

  • Some experienced frizz on hair
  • It doesn’t work for everybody (just like any other hair care product out there)

Regardless of the minor issues, the shampoo may be just the right solution for your hair related hard water problem. You just need to give it a try!

5. Hard Water Shampoo by Ion

Specially formulated for hard water, the Hard Water Shampoo by Ion is one problem solver when you’re dealing with hard water every single day.

Hard Water Shampoo by Ion review

The shampoo is going to remove mineral build-up from hard and well water minerals. It’s going to bring your hair back to life, leaving it shiny, soft and easier to manage. Thanks to its formula, the shampoo is also going to reduce dullness, damage, dryness and discoloration from your hair.

Safe for daily use, the shampoo is also going to lower the risk for future build-up of Iron, magnesium, calcium, and copper which are the main reason for the lifeless and dullness feel in your hair.

You can also use it for color-treated hair as it’s effective without stripping color from your hair. Even though it cleanses on deep level, it’s gentle and can be used on all hair types, chemically treated hair including. For best results, follow it with a conditioner.

100% vegan, the formula has no sulfate or surfactants.

Let’s see our favs:

  • It’s going to remove mineral build-up from hard and well water minerals
  • It also prevents future build-up
  • It’s safe to use on color-treated hair
  • It makes the hair shiny, soft and easier to handle

Don’t let the minor problems stand in your way when deciding:

  • Some think it works better when used along with other hard water shampoos
  • We’re not sure what to think about the smell

All in all, as it’s affordable, easy to use and dependable, the shampoo should be on your shopping list when you’re in town.

6. Hairprint – 99% Plant-Based/All Natural Chelating Shampoo

Pure and 100% plant-based, the Hairprint – 99% Plant-Based/All Natural Chelating Shampoo is one choice to keep in mind when you’re searching high and low for a simple, yet efficient way to eliminate buildup caused by hard water on your hair.

Hairprint - 99% Plant-Based/All Natural Chelating Shampoo review

The shampoo is scent-free, low-suds and no foam as it’s made from seeds, roots, leaves, bark, petals, fruits and oils. Its formula is sulfate and paraben free. Some of its ingredients are fermented, which only increases their efficiency.

The list of ingredients includes aloe Vera leaf juice, green coffee bean, olive leaf, lactic acid, radish root, coconut milk, saw palmetto fruit, sea buckthorn fruit and many more. They all work together for efficiently removing the buildup caused by hard water and styling products from your hair.

The formula isn’t going to damage your highlights and it’s going to leave your hair smooth and with a soft touch feel.

Summing it all for the big pros:

  • The formula is 100% plant-based and pure
  • The list of ingredients is impressive
  • It eliminates buildup caused by hard water and styling products
  • It doesn’t damage your highlights

The downsides aren’t deal breakers:

  • It may strip your hair down from its natural oils
  • It’s not very cheap

If you’re dealing with hard water and want a good fix, but in a natural way, don’t hesitate to take the plunge with this one as it’s worth every single penny.

7. Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection

When you’re not only looking for a hard water shampoo, but for a whole collection which is going to help your hair recover from hard water, the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection is coming to the rescue.

Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection review

The shampoo is going to remove impurities and toxins in a gentle way. The high quality system kit is going to benefit the hair exposed to hard or softened water, reducing the risk for hair losing its color or moisture.

The 100% vegan system is made with wellness ingredients that are going to eliminate buildup caused by hard water, leaving your hair softer, shinier and easier to style. It’s also going to remove ashy discoloration, making your hair healthy and vibrant once again.

You should use the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo and conditioner on a daily base. Use the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Remedy once a week for preventing buildup and cleansing your hair from it.

Let’s have a quick look at the pros:

  • It eliminates toxins and impurities in a gentle way
  • It’s a 100% vegan system kit
  • It can be used daily
  • It leaves the hair shiny, healthy and easier to manage

The minor problems don’t worry us:

  • The bottles are a bit tricky to squeeze
  • It may dry the hair out, which is why you should use the conditioner every time

However, if you’re looking for a complete system to use when you have hard water, this one isn’t going to let you down.