What’s the Best Shampoo for Hard Water Showers? You Asked, We Answered

No, it's not your imagination: Your hair CAN look different after showering in someone else's pad.

Ever wonder why your hair feels different while you travel to other parts of the world? Yeah, it might be a combination of the products you use on the go, plus the various weather conditions at other locales. However, it can also mean a change in the kind of shower water you use to wash your hair. Hard water has become quite the normal reality for us NYC dwellers—so much so that having the best shampoo for hard water is a must in our routines—that a brief reprieve oftentimes gives quite noticeable results:

Find out which are the best shampoos so you can start using them to transform the texture of your hair.

What is hard water?

best shampoo for hard water showers
Mineral deposits, like calcium and magnesium, contribute to a lesser lather in hard water.

First off, let’s discuss: Hard water, as ominous and unforgiving as it sounds, isn’t really harmful to one’s health. It’s simply water with high mineral content, most often calcium or magnesium. It’s the main culprit in soap scum and crusty showerheads. In some cases, as with a lot of buildings with steel pipes, it manifests as iron oxide (a.k.a. rust,) like red rings in your toilet bowl and shower drains.

Hard Water Culprits

  • Calcium: chokes your hair around the root, causing breakage.
  • Sulfates: Strips natural oils out of strands.
  • Magnesium: Takes away shine in your hair.
  • Copper: Creates discoloration.
  • Iron: Changes hair texture and causes dryness.

1. Clarify and condition.

best shampoo for hard water curly hair
Get rid of that build-up and residue.

That said, you can probably guess that the best shampoo for hard water is one that clarifies build-up and residue. It’s important to remove all of those culprits we just mentioned, to give your hair a chance to bounce back. Resetting your hair will allow your other hair care products to effectively do their jobs.

Dove Nutritive Solutions Clarify & Hydrate Shampoo

Cleansing your locks once a week using a deep clarifying wash-and-care system, such as Dove Nutritive Solutions Clarify & Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner, will allow you to cleanse frequently without drying out your hair. This duo works to purify oily, dull hair from roots to ends and remove product build-up without stripping your hair.

Suave Professional Charcoal & Aloe Vera Clarifying Shampoo

Get the ultimate clarifying results with the power of charcoal and the soothing qualities of aloe vera. Suave Professionals Charcoal & Aloe Vera Clarifying Shampoo will purify your hair and remove any build-up from hard water and give your hair a soft and rejuvenated finish. Don’t forget to follow with the conditioner, too!

2. Pre-treat.

best shampoo for hard water pre-cleanse
A pre-cleanse is always a good idea.

There are adventurous souls out there that also swear by a vinegar rinse for your locks when you feel the need to reset (half water + half vinegar in a spray bottle). For the less “Pinterested”, a pre-poo treatment can also help matters. Just as it locks out water to prevent a new color or moisture from leaching out, it can also help shield your locks from any mineral deposits from hard water.

TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner

We personally love the nourishing benefits of TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner, which uses Fleximax Volumizers and Fiber Polishing Actives that work to moisturize and provide volume and vibrancy to your hair. Apply a couple of pumps to wet hair at the start of your shower, and shampoo as usual.

3. Clarify between washes.

Even when you don’t plan on washing your hair, you can work on removing build-up and clarifying your roots. If you know you have a hard water shower it can help to plan on taking fewer showers to avoid the nasties living in your shower head. Try adding a dry shampoo into your routine that promises to soak up that unwanted oil and gunk.

Dove Care Between Washes Clarifying Dry Shampoo

Dove Care Between Washes Clarifying Dry Shampoo is the answer to your in-between shower problems! Use this when you’re not showering to help soak up unwanted oils and nasties of hard water.

Hard water can really be an enemy when it comes to cleansing your hair and taking a nice shower. Although none of the side effects of hard water will cause any health problems, they can make keeping your strands happy a task. Try out these products and techniques, we know you’ll start to see a major difference in hair color and health in no time.

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