Do you live in an area with hard water or well water? Are you frustrated with the fact that your shampoo and conditioner don’t seem to make a difference when it comes to softening and cleaning your hair? It’s not just in your head — hard water can cause serious issues for those trying to keep their locks looking great. Thankfully, there are shampoos and conditioners specifically designed to help combat this issue, leaving you with lusciously clean hair.
The best shampoo and conditioner for hard water is the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection because it lifts mineral deposits and build-up from the scalp, but it’s free of sulfates and parabens. Plus, it’s cruelty free, smells great, and leaves your hair feeling moisturized.
If you’re currently dealing with the effects of hard water on your hair – scalp build-up, itching, and dryness – you should integrate a combination of clarifying and moisturizing hair products in your routine. In this post, we explore some of the best shampoos and conditioners available specifically created for hard water challenges.
What is Hard Water? And How Does It Affect Hair?
Before buying a shampoo and conditioner, it’s a good idea to understand what hard water really is and how it affects our hair.
Hard water is a type of water with a larger than usual amount of minerals. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and chlorine are often present in water that make it hard. The more minerals there are, the harder the water is. And when these minerals build up, it can make your hair feel hard, dry, and brittle.
Regularly washing hair in hard water can make it harder to completely wash away residue. This causes build-up and itchy scalp. Soap and shampoo are less likely to produce huge amounts of lather as well. Hair loss is also a common issue among people with hard water. Because of the presence of a lot of minerals in water, it can cause color-treated hair to fade faster and can even alter your natural hair color.
Not only does hard water affect the hair, it also affects the skin. When showering with hard water, you can end up with dry skin that is prone to itchiness and irritation. It also makes getting rid of and washing away all residue from your body much more difficult. Washing with hard water can often make people feel like they haven’t washed enough.
Because of these effects on hair and skin, many people prefer using soft water. If that isn’t a choice from where you live, a water softener and filtration system may be installed to lessen the minerals in your water. Another quick fix people turn to are shampoos and conditioners that work with hard water. These shampoos and conditioners work to counteract the effects of hard water on your hair so you can be free from the build-up, drying, and itching effects.
Below are our current top picks for hard water shampoo and conditioner.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
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The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Hard Water
1. Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection – Our Pick!
Our number one pick for the best shampoo and conditioner for hard water is the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection! With this in your hands every time you wash your hair with hard water, you are sure to gently lift mineral deposits and build-up from your scalp. This helps your hair and scalp recover from discoloration, dryness, and dullness caused by regular washing with hard water. This works to moisturize and restore your hair and scalp back to optimum health with every wash!
Every purchase of this Malibu C collection will give you a bottle of shampoo and conditioner set and 4 packets of hard water wellness to make sure your hair and scalp are getting the best treatments possible. This set promises to defend your hair from the harsh hard water minerals that cling onto your scalp and hair and cause dryness and brittleness. You can trust this to restore your hair’s softness and shine and be able to bring back life and beautiful bounce back to your locks.
Every time you wash and treat your hair with this Malibu C hard water set, you are washing to eliminate toxins, impurities, and build-up on your scalp. This deeply cleanses your scalp to naturally remove the damages hard water has caused your hair and will restore your hair’s health, bounce, and healthy-looking life. This removes and prevents discoloration as well, something many people with hard water know too well. Aside from offering users a remedy and solution, this also prevents further damage caused by the minerals in your hard water.
By getting your hands on this hard water set, you can rest assured that you are restoring your scalp and back to optimum health without the use of sulfates, parabens, or gluten. This is 100% vegan and is cruelty-free for your guilt-free washing experience. This is sure to detoxify and deeply cleanse your scalp and hair while locking in moisture for a hair finish that is deeply hydrated, soft, and even more manageable.
This has been formulated to be ultra-hydrating on dry and damaged hair caused by hard water. Your hair is sure to come out with more life, bounce, and vibrance every time you wash with this. You are promised hair that is more manageable and much easier to comb through without the tangles as well. This is sure to leave you with extremely soft hair with a beautiful and healthy shine. This works as a remedy on hair discoloration caused by hard water as well and prevents future discoloration to keep your hair healthy-looking.
Many users have shared that the conditioner isn’t heavy at all and doesn’t weigh down hair. It instead helps you achieve bounce and life, together with the rest of the set. By using this, you are not only getting hair that feels good but also hair that smells good. Though gentle and safe enough for daily use, as with many other clarifying shampoos in the market, some might find this a bit too drying is used daily. If you notice that this has been drying on your scalp and hair, you can opt to limit your use to ensure it wouldn’t irritate your scalp.
- Gently lifts mineral deposits and build-up off of scalp
- Helps hair recover from dryness, brittleness, and dryness
- Moisturizes and restores hair from damage
- Set of shampoo, conditioner, and 4 wellness packs
- Protects hair from harsh minerals in hard water
- Removes and prevents hair discoloration
- Restores hair’s life, bounce, and vibrance
- Prevents further damage from hard water
- Formulated without sulfates, parabens, and gluten
- Certified vegan and cruelty-free
- Hair is hydrated, silky soft, and more manageable
- Not heavy at all and rinses well
- Provides hair with life and bounce
- Smells and feels good on scalp and hair
- Formulated gentle and safe for daily use
- Might be drying for some if used daily
2. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – Best Weekly Treatment!
The next item on our list of the best shampoos and conditioners for hard water and our choice for the best weekly treatment is the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo! If what you’re looking for is a weekly treatment to help you get rid of the effects of hard water on your hair, you might want to check this one out. Because a clarifying shampoo might be too drying for some if used daily, some might prefer a weekly treatment to completely avoid the drying effects of cleaning and clarifying.
Designed as anti-residue shampoo to be used only once a week, this works to remove mineral buildup and residue caused by your constant use of hard water on your hair. It’s also been designed to help your favorite daily shampoo work even better in keeping your hair how you want it to be. This is promised to work on your hair and scalp gently so you don’t aggravate and irritate your scalp. This is safe for use on all hair types and is gentle enough to use on colored hair so as not to fade their colors away quickly.
With this in your hands every time you step in the shower to clarify and cleanse your scalp, you are sure to remove up to 90% of heavy and stubborn residue caused by hair products and hard water minerals. By removing stubborn impurities, dirt, and build-up off of your scalp, you will be able to get more days in between your wash days as your hair and scalp feels cleaner and better. You can trust this shampoo to leave your hair looking and feeling cleaner more than ever as well.
Everytime you wash and clarify with this anti-residue shampoo, you don’t only get a cleaner scalp but moisturized and hydrated scalp and hair as well. Your hair is sure to feel much more moisturized and healthy without being overly oily. You are also able to achieve softer, shinier, and overall healthy-looking hair with this in your hair care routine. This works to cleanse and purify your scalp gently so as not to aggravate and irritate your scalp. This is sure to last you for a while too as you only need to seldomly incorporate this in your routine.
On top of offering you a much cleaner scalp and hair free from mineral build-up, this Neutrogena shampoo helps you hair achieve bounce, life, body, and volume with a shiny and healthy-looking finish as well. This has been formulated to be clear without any artificial dyes or colorants for those who are sensitive to it. Because this is intended as a weekly treatment, it can dry hair if used daily to wash hair. Keep in mind though that some might still find this to be drying their hair, but a remedy of following it up with your favorite conditioner shall do the trick.
- Ideal weekly treatment
- Helps avoid the dryness caused by other clarifying shampoos
- Anti-residue shampoo that removes build-up and residue from hard water
- Helps your daily shampoo work better
- Gentle and non-irritating formula
- Safe for all hair types and color-treated hair
- Removes up to 90% of stubborn and heavy build-up and residue
- Hair can go more days between wash days
- Hair is softer, shinier, and healthier
- Scalp is hydrated and moisturized while being deeply cleansed
- Hair has more volume, body, life, and bounce
- Clear formula without artificial dyes or colorants
- Some might still find this to be drying on hair
3. Pacifica Strong & Long Shampoo and Conditioner – Best for Moisturized and Manageable Hair!
Our next favorite shampoo and conditioner for hard water and our choice for the best formula for moisturized and manageable hair is the Pacifica Strong & Long Shampoo and Conditioner! If your main concern is dry, brittle, and unmanageable hair due to the effects of hard water, make sure you read on for this one. One of the effects of hard water on hair is dry and brittle hair, and this shampoo and conditioner set shall alleviate you and your hair from that concern.
Specially designed for dry and damaged hair, you can trust this to revive and restore your hair texture so you can come out with locks that are soft, smooth, and moisturized. You can trust this to help your hair restore moisture and even helps protect against environmental pollution that can cause further damage. This is a deeply moisturizing formula without weighing your hair down and feeling heavy at all. This works to gently remove dirt, impurities, and build-up as well you may have accumulated from regularly washing with hard water.
Every time you wash with this shampoo and conditioner set from Pacifica, you are sure to achieve hair that is so soft and smooth that it becomes extremely manageable. This will leave frizz under control and will help your dry and damaged hair achieve a tangle-free finish. The shampoo promises to gently remove dirt, oil, and build-up from your scalp for healthier and cleaner scalp. The conditioner, on the other hand, promises to help restore and revive damaged and dry hair types for healthier strands from roots to ends.
This has been lauded by users who have frizzy hair, saying they experience far lesser frizz and more manageable hair. This works well even on those with curly hair and keeps thirsty curls and waves quenched and moisturized, with less frizz as well. Many users and reviewers have also mentioned how amazing both the shampoo and conditioner smells. Both are equipped with a pleasant and summer-y coconut scent that is soothing and pleasant. Many would agree that the scent instantly takes them back to relaxing summers at the beach.
Having been formulated without harsh chemicals and ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, this is for sure a great clean beauty option for someone who considers this important. This is also certified vegan and cruelty-free so if these are important things for you, make sure to check this one out. You can rest assured that with this in your hands every time you cleanse and purify your scalp and hair, you are only getting clean and safe products that are far less toxic than most in the market.
- Ideal for moisturized and manageable hair
- Revives and restores dry and damaged hair
- Helps protect hair against environmental pollutants
- Deeply moisturizing formula without weighing hair down
- Gently removes dirt, impurities, and build-up from scalp
- Hair is soft, smooth, and manageable
- Keeps frizz under control
- Works well with curly hair – less frizzy and more manageable
- Pleasant and summer-y coconut scent
- No parabens, sulfates, and phthalates
- VEgan and cruelty-free
- Clean, safe, less toxic, and clean beauty
The next item to make it into our list of the best shampoos and conditioners for hard water is the Ion Hard Water Shampoo and Conditioner! This shampoo and conditioner promises to reduce the effects of hard water on your hair like dryness, damage, dullness, and discoloration. This works to help lift away and remove build-up from the minerals in your hard water so you can achieve healthier and cleaner scalp all over. On top of removing dirt and buildup this also works to prevent further build-up and damage from latching themselves onto your scalp.
Though a deep cleansing formula, you can trust this shampoo and conditioner set to be gentle and mild on your scalp and hair. This is safe to use on all hair types and works to protect your natural and color-treated hair. Every time you wash with this, you are sure to keep the vibrance of your hair color so they don’t eventually end up looking dull and lifeless. This is sure to bring your dull hair back to life so you can come out with much life and vibrance.
If you’ve had issues with dry and damaged hair, sit tight for this one as this helps revive your hair and replace the damage with an extra boost of shine and moisture. You are promised hair that is silky soft and more manageable than ever as well. This also helps prevent hair breakage you might be experiencing due to constant use of hard water on your hair. Every wash day with this shampoo and conditioner set is sure to smooth out frizz and remove dullness from your locks so you can stride on with much more confidence than ever.
This has been formulated to be gentle enough and safe to use daily if you ever choose to do so. This promises to neutralize the effects of hard water on your hair and leaves it looking and feeling soft. It also allows your hair to feel light yet bouncy and full of life at the same time for healthier-looking strands. You can rest assured that your hair will appear fuller and less weighed down. The barand assures users that this is 100% vegan – if that is of major importance for you, be sure to check this one out.
The only few drawbacks users had to share regarding this Pacifica shampoo and conditioner set is that it is on the expensive side. If you are ready to splurge on your new shampoo and conditioner, go on right ahead with this one. Some users also found the shampoo to be a bit drying, but fear not as when it is partnered with the conditioner in the set, you are sure to counter that dryness.
- Restores and revives hair from dryness, damage, dullness, and discoloration
- Removes dirt and build-up from scalp caused by hard water
- Prevents further build-up on scalp
- Deeply cleanses but works gently
- Protects natural and color-treated hair from discoloration
- Gives hair extra shine and moisture
- Hair is silky soft and more manageable
- Lessens and prevent hair breakage
- Eliminates frizz and dullness of hair
- Gentle and safe for daily use
- Gives hair life, body, volume, and bounce without added weight
- 100% vegan formula
- A bit expensive
- Shampoo can be drying without conditioner
Our last pick for the best shampoos and conditioners for hard water is the Kenra Clarifying Shampoo! Another clarifying shampoo in our list, this will help eliminate up to 99% of the mineral deposits causing build-up on your scalp. While a deep cleansing formula, this promises it will not dry your hair at all and strip hair and scalp off its natural oils. This lathers nicely under shower and you are sure to come out of the shower with hair and scalp squeaky clean without the dirty feeling from hard water.
A gentle and color-safe formula, this shampoo promises to clean and cleanse without stripping off any color from your hair. This helps restore your natural hair’s radiance that has been dull due to the harsh minerals in your water. If you’re someone who has highlighted, bleached, color-treated hair, you can trust this to brighten those colors up and not strip them of any of their color. Every time you wash with this clarifying shampoo, you are sure to come out with ever-vibrant locks.
Thanks to its deep cleansing and clarifying formula, you are able to achieve hair that feels clean and soft – something you might be yearning for because of your hard water at home. Many users would also agree that a little bit of the product goes a long way so a bottle should last you for quite some time. The brand also assures you that they are cruelty-free and do not engage in animal testing at any stage. If this is something important to you, make sure to check this one out.
A few downsides some users have to say regarding this clarifying shampoo is that the scent is not up for everyone’s taste. Some would prefer that it has something else for the scent. Some also found this to be drying in some cases. If you ever choose to go with this favorite of ours, make sure to listen to what your hair needs and adjust frequency of usage as needed. As a clarifying shampoo though, this doesn’t come as a surprise.
- Eliminates up to 99% of drt and build-up on scalp
- Deeply cleanses but does not strip off natural oils and moisture
- Hair and scalp feels squeaky clean
- Color-safe formula does not strip off natural or color-treated hair
- Helps brighten and maintain hair color’s vibrance
- Hair feels clean and soft
- A little goes a long way – will last a long time
- Cruelty-free brand and formula
- Scent is not for everyone
- Can be drying on some hair
How to Choose the Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Hard Water
With so many options to choose from when it comes to shampoos and conditioners for hard water, it’s understandable that it can get confusing to choose which ones can really make a difference. But fear not – that is why we’re here. We have below some important things for you to consider in looking for your new best friends for your wash days!
Clarifying and deep cleansing
When it comes to shampoos and conditioners countering the effects of hard water on your hair, a clarifying and deep cleansing formula is the way to go. Because the minerals in your hard water have caused build-up, you would need something that can effectively and gently lift and remove those dirt and build-up. Regular shampoos might not be as effective in lifting away those dirt and build-up so you might need a specially formulated clarifying and deep cleansing shampoo.
Frequency of usage
Shampoos and conditioners often come in varying frequencies of usage, especially clarifying ones. Make sure to ask yourself whether you’d want to get a daily usage product or weekly treatments. Clarifying hair products are often formulated to not be used daily or every wash day as it can cause drying. When looking at and considering options, also make it a point to read through the product’s instructions and directions of usage.
Other hair needs
The last thing you’d want to consider in your new shampoo and conditioner for hard water is your other hair needs. Whether you’re looking to add moisture, volume, or vibrance to your hair, you are sure to find ones that will fit your needs. If you also have color-treated hair, you can find color-safe options that will help you keep the color from fading away. Make sure to consider what other needs your hair has and get products that can address those needs.
Believe it or not, the right shampoo and conditioner can make all the difference when it comes to the effects of hard water on your hair.
Our number one pick for the best shampoo and conditioner for hard water is the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Collection thanks to its formula that helps lift and remove mineral deposits and build-up from the scalp. The set of shampoo, conditioner, and 4 packs of wellness treatments also help moisturize and restore hair to its optimal health.
The Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo is our top choice for the best weekly treatments for hard water. This weekly treatment helps lift away dirt and residue and helps your daily shampoo work even better.
Hopefully our list and review of our best picks for shampoos and conditioners for hard water has led you to your new go-to. Happy hair shopping!