women washing hair

If your curls won't cooperate no matter what product you use, then it might be time to take a look at a new suspect: your water. Hard water can create mineral buildup of calcium and magnesium on your faucet, plumbing, and also on your hair. If your water is hard you may notice that your hair is dull, flat, lacks volume, or has frizz.  If you are not sure if you have hard water then try using a water testing kit  and find out just how good or bad your water actually is. "Different places have different minerals in the water that change the look and feel of your hair," says chemist Jennifer Marsh, PhD, a researcher at P&G Beauty .  

So what are you supposed to do besides test your water, get a filter, and hope you live in a city with the best tap water? Well, if you do have lots of minerals or contaminants in your water and you just cannot afford a shower filter, you may want to try either a clarifying shampoo or a chelating shampoo. A clarifying shampoo will remove all the buildup from environmental pollutants and product from your tresses. A chelating shampoo is specifically designed to remove heavy buildup from hard water minerals, pool water chemicals, and the regular hair product residue. Chelating shampoos have ingredients that attach to the impurities, minerals, and toxins that are then rinsed away.

Many chelating shampoos contain ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid or EDTA. EDTA attaches itself to any trace metal, so it is highly effective in these types of shampoos for removing them from your hair. Chelating shampoos are extremely drying and even more so than clarifying shampoos, but if it is necessary then use it and then moisturize the dickens out of your hair! Deep condition, do a hot oil treatment…whatever to ensure you are replenishing your hair’s natural oils since not only the toxins will be removed by this super powerful shampoo. Here are some popular ones that curlies may be interested in.

Shampoos for hard water

These may be great for the co-washers who dip in and out of using a shampoo regularly and may find more buildup over time. These should not be used regularly, as they are too drying. They are great for pool time but always remember they are good at what they do. They remove everything and may even dull your hair color so use color-safe conditioners to help retain as much of it as possible.

Do you have hard water in your area? How has it affected your hair routine?