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Best Shampoo For Hard Water 2022: 5+ Detailed Reviews

Best Shampoo For Hard Water 2022: 5+ Detailed Reviews

Top 5 Best Shampoos For Hard Water 2022:

  1. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo
  2. Kenra clarifying shampoo
  3. Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo
  4. Design Essentials Deep Cleansing Shampoo
  5. Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

Shiny, soft, beautiful hair is something every girl dreams about. The amount of effort (and money) necessary to achieve that is not a joke! We spend hours upon hours taking care of our hair, investing money in expensive hair care products, only to have it severely damaged by none other than hard water!

Hard water is something most Americans have to live with and it’s no picnic! We’d love to tell you that hard water won’t affect your hair a lot and that it’s easy to reverse the damage caused by it, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Yes, it’s hard to nurse your damaged hair back to health, but it’s not impossible! The number one step is to get a shampoo for hard water.

They’re quite affordable and extremely effective at restoring your hair’s natural softness and flair. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time for your hair to be pretty again – it’s a process but it’s totally worth it! 

In the meantime, you can always try on some beautiful synthetic hair and experience fun hairstyles and hair colors while your hair is safely nourishing underneath it!

So, without further ado, let’s dive in to see what is the best shampoo for hard water!

Detailed Reviews: 5 Best Shampoos For Hard Water In 2022

1. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo – Best Choice

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Neutrogena is a long-standing trustworthy brand, especially in the skincare industry. In the past few years, they’ve been coming in strong with their hair care products, and they delivered! This clarifying shampoo is formulated to deep clean both your hair and your scalp without irritating it.

Neutrogena anti-residue clarifying shampoo was originally created to get rid of build-ups caused by other hair products, but it’s also highly effective against hard water build-ups. 

Since this is a clarifying shampoo, it’s enough to use it once a week in combination with your favorite regular shampoo. 

The formula is strong enough to get rid of 90% of build-up but it’s also mild enough to suit all hair types, even colored hair! This one is not sulfate-free, but this shouldn’t pose a problem when you take into account all of the beneficial ingredients like glycerine, castor oil, and sodium hydroxide, all of which are conditioning agents! These agents will deeply nourish your hair, and make it shiny and soft once again!

It also has propylene glycol, which is full of antibacterial properties, so it will keep your scalp clean and your pores unclogged! 

Neutrogena is an affordable brand and this shampoo is reasonably priced. After all, it’s a once-a-week treatment so the 6 fluid ounces should last a while!


  • Cleanses 90% of the residue
  • The formula is mild and non-irritating
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Full of moisturizing agents
  • Reasonably priced


  • It has a bit too strong scent 

 2. Kenra clarifying shampoo – Premium Pick

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The ability of the Kenra clarifying shampoo to remove both mineral and product build-up is outstanding. It will get rid of most residue caused by hard water without drying out your hair.

Whether you have oily or dry hair, you’ll love this one. It also works great on curly hair – it will dissolve any build-ups while at the same time defining your natural curls! Even if you have colored hair, including bleached, this is a good choice for you since Kenra clarifying shampoo can actually brighten up bleached blonde or gray hair. 

This shampoo is full of beneficial ingredients that will do wonders for your skin, like the aloe leaf extract, and witch hazel extract. There’s also wheat protein and wheat starch that will bring a balance to the moisture of your scalp. 

However, there aren’t a lot of conditioning agents like oils, so make sure to use a conditioner or some moisturizing hair oils!

It’s enough to use the Kenra clarifying shampoo once a week. If you have colored hair, combine it with another shampoo that’s suitable for colored hair to achieve the best results. If you have virgin hair, your regular shampoo will do the job.

This one is a bit pricey, but the effectiveness and the final result are definitely worth the price. Besides, the packaging is large, and it should last you a long time!


  • Extremely effective at removing mineral and product residue
  • Has beneficial ingredients
  • Suitable for all hair types, including bleached hair
  • Smells divine


  • Not a lot of conditioning agents

3. Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo – Best Value For Money

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Malibu C Wellness shampoo for hard water has been widely popular for many years now. This shampoo has been specifically formulated to deal with build-ups caused by hard water. If you want a vegan shampoo for hard water, this is the one for you! It’s a formula with plant-based ingredients, and it doesn’t contain any parabens, gluten, or colorants.

This shampoo fights mineral deposits of copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium, which are found in hard water in large amounts. Malibu C shampoo removes ashy discoloration caused by copper, it removes iron-caused brassy discoloration and the overall dullness of the hair caused by magnesium and calcium build-up. Your hair will be shinier than ever! 

The great thing about this shampoo is that you can use it every day! It doesn’t have to be an addition to your regular shampoo, like some other clarifying hard water shampoos that are too strong to be used more than once a week. 

Malibu C shampoo has a mild and gentle formula that you can use every day without worrying it will dry out your hair. On the contrary, this shampoo will hydrate your hair thanks to ingredients like glycerin, rice protein, macadamia glycerides, and many more!

The price may seem high at first, but remember you’re getting 9 fluid ounces, and if you don’t use it every day, it should last a while!


  • Designed to fight hard water build-up
  • Restores natural shine 
  • Full of hydrating ingredients
  • You can use it every day
  • Vegan formula


  • A bit pricey 

4. Design Essentials Deep Cleansing Shampoo – Solution For Thinning Hair

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Although the Design Essentials shampoo is a clarifying shampoo, it’s formula is so mild you can use it every day without any bad consequences. It’s one of the best hard water shampoos for fine or thinning hair prone to breaking!

Two main ingredients of this shampoo are hydrolyzed oat protein and henna. Hydrolyzed oat protein is a natural humectant, which means it draws the moisture into the hair, providing extra hydration. Henna adds volume and shine, and it makes your hair stronger and more resilient to breakage – ideal for thinning hair!

Since the formula is so mild and hydrating, it’s good for all hair types. It won’t overdry your dry hair, and it won’t make your oily hair even oilier! 

If you need to deep cleanse fine hair, you won’t be disappointed by the Design Essentials deep cleansing shampoo. It will thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping it of its natural oils. 

By preventing breakage and making hair stronger, this shampoo will also significantly reduce hair loss. So if that’s something you’re struggling with, we highly recommend you try it!

The price point of the Design Essentials shampoo is quite reasonable. The bottle is not big, but it’s affordable!

Sadly, this shampoo is full of parabens, so if that’s something you try to avoid, take a look at some other paraben-free choices!


  • Hydrolyzed oat protein deeply hydrates the hair
  • Henna makes the hair stronger and shinier
  • Prevents hair loss due to breakage
  • Gentle formula can be used every day
  • Provides deep cleanse


  • Not paraben-free

5. Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo – Citrus Heaven

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If you love the refreshing smell of citrus fruit, you’ll adore the Acure Curiously clarifying shampoo. It has a formula infused with lemongrass and it will make your hair smell lemony fresh every single time!

The formula is truly great. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and mineral oil-free, so it’s ideal if your damaged hair needs a gentle shampoo that can still remove all of the mineral build-ups. 

You can use this shampoo every day if you need to. It is a clarifying shampoo, but it’s not too harsh and it won’t strip your hair of its natural oils. This one actually contains some organic oils, such as argan oil, and other moisturizing ingredients, including glycerin, aloe leaf juice, blackberry fruit extract, chamomile, and calendula flower extracts. All of these will give your hair that healthy shine!

Whether you have mineral deposits from hard water or just residue from too many hair products, the Acure Curiously clarifying shampoo will get rid of them completely. It will gently but thoroughly deep cleanse your scalp, leaving your pores unclogged and your hair smoother than ever. The unclogged pores mean no more hair loss!

Since you get 12 fluid ounces in one bottle, the price is very reasonable. Plus, if you want a shampoo for hard water that’s vegan and cruelty-free, you won’t find a better one!


  • Vegan, cruelty-free formula
  • No sulfates, parabens, or mineral oils
  • Full of hydrating ingredients
  • Cleanses deeply but gently
  • Suitable for everyday use


  • Not ideal for very oily hair

How Hard Water Affects Your Hair

Best Shampoo For Hard Water

It’s astonishing how many people have to deal with hard water in the US – 85% to be exact! 

Clogged showerheads, taps, and washing machines are an obvious part of dealing with hard water. But, what about your body? How does hard water affect our hair and scalp?

The main problem in hard water is the deposits of mineral salts. Calcium and chlorine ruin your hair at the root, sulfates strip it of natural oils, and magnesium takes the shine out of it. Copper can discolor your hair, while iron can cause dryness and changes in the hair texture.

But, that’s not all. It seems that problems that come with hard water are endless. Your soap won’t lather, conditioners don’t work on your hair, there’s a stubborn calcium build-up on your scalp you can’t get rid of with a regular shampoo, your hair loses all volume and it’s very tangly after showering.

One of the more serious negative effects of hard water is the blockage of the pores on your scalp which can lead to major hair loss!

So, if you have to live with hard water, it’s crucial you get the right shampoo to keep your hair healthy as much as you can.

What To Look For In A Shampoo For Hard Water?

Shampoos for hard water differ from regular shampoos in a few characteristics and it’s important to know what to look for in a shampoo for hard water in order for it to work well on your hair! 

So, let’s see what the most important features of the best hard water shampoo are!

1. Sulfate – Yes Or No?

The first thing to look for is sulfates. Sulfates are not necessarily bad for your hair, as they’re added mostly to act as foaming agents, and they don’t have any special benefits other than that.  However, if you have fine, weak hair prone to breakage, we highly recommend you look for a sulfate-free formula. In case your hair is damaged, the less unnecessary ingredients, the better!

2. Conditioning Agents

While shampoos make your hair clean, they can sometimes make it squeaky clean which means they strip it of its natural oils. This is why it’s highly recommended you always use a conditioner or a hair mask – to restore the natural oil balance in your hair!

You can also choose a shampoo that has some of the conditioning agents, like moisturizing oils and conditioning polymers that will deeply hydrate your hair. 

If a hard water shampoo has ingredients like dimethicone, glycerin, panthenol, and silicone, it means it will moisturize your hair and reduce friction! 

Furthermore, you can never go wrong with a shampoo that has nutritious oils! Argan oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and castor oil are some of the best for hair affected by hard water. 

If your hair is severely damaged and dried out due to hard water, don’t be afraid to smother it in oils. Especially the castor oil – the natural remedy for damaged hair!

3. Clarifying Shampoos

Shampoos for hard water are often called clarifying shampoos because they provide deep cleansing. Unfortunately, this also means that sometimes they have some harsh ingredients and it’s not recommended to use them more than once a week. These strong shampoos should also be used in combination with your regular shampoo!

However, there are clarifying shampoos that have mild formulas and you can use them more often, even every day!

But, don’t worry, whether or not you can use a clarifying shampoo every day will be written in the instructions on the back of the bottle!

Final Thoughts And Recommendations

Nowadays, many people have to deal with hard water and all the troubles it causes, one of which is damaged hair. Luckily, there are a lot of amazing shampoos for hard water! We’ve told you about our choices for the best shampoo for hard water, and now it’s time to choose yours!

But first, here are our top choices!

Best Choice: Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

  • It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Neutrogena is our number one choice. For years now, Neutrogena has been making high-quality products at surprisingly low prices, like this shampoo for hard water! If you need something to get rid of mineral deposits on your hair, you can’t go wrong with Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo!

Premium Pick: Kenra clarifying shampoo 

  • If you can spend a few extra bucks on a clarifying shampoo, we highly suggest you go with Kenra! This shampoo is made of top-notch ingredients that are very efficient at removing build-ups from hard water! It’s a bit expensive but totally worth it!

Best Value For Money: Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo

  • You won’t find a better everyday clarifying shampoo than Malibu C, especially in this price range! This one is designed specifically for hard water build-ups, and you can be sure it will get the job done. It’s full of useful ingredients, and you can use it every single day!