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How to get rid of hard water on hair

Georgia asks…I have hard water where I live. Should I be using a chelating shampoo to remove mineral build-up? If so, should I use it every time I shampoo, every other time, etc. I color my hair and it is normal to dry.

The Beauty Brains respond796px-Hard_water_and_drop

Back when people used soap-based cleansers for their hair, hard water was a serious problem because soaps react with minerals to form an insoluble salts that build up on hair. Fortunately, the surfactants used in modern shampoos don’t cause this problem. Still, if your water is very hard you may get some mineral deposits from the residual rinse water drying in your hair. If you don’t notice this buildup then you probably don’t need to use a special shampoo. If you do notice your hair looking dull, shifting color, or feeling raspy then then using a chelating shampoo is not a bad idea on occasion. It’s unlikely that you’d need to use it everyday.

When shopping for a chelating shampoo look for “EDTA” on the label. That stands for Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetate and it’s the ingredient that complexes with the minerals in the water and helps them rinse away. There are many shampoos that use EDTA at very low levels as part of their preservative so you should look for a shampoo designed specifically for chelating that uses higher levels of this ingredient.

If you’re shopping for a chelating shampoo to get rid of hard water on hair, you can support the Beauty Brains by buying through this link.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lily April 25, 2015, 1:24 am

    How does one determine the percentage of EDTA i.e. if it’s there for chelating purposes or as a preservative? For example, I have lived in Mexico and several South and Central American countries, and EDTA is present as an ingredient in both shampoos and conditioners made by most American owned companies (for example, Herbal Essences has a big presence in the market) whereas you wouldn’t find EDTA in an Herbal Essences (it pains me to pluralize this) conditioner in a US market.

    • Randy Schueller April 26, 2015, 8:10 am

      If you’re asking how a regular consumer would determine the level, the answer is you really can’t unless ask the company. I don’t of any “at home” test for quantifying EDTA.

  • Suzanne Huffman-Chamberlin August 15, 2016, 9:58 pm

    I think a simple solution of white vinegar and water works the best for removing mineral build up. I have been telling my clients this for years and it works well to remove hard water build up before a color application or if it is done once a week as a treatment the hair is soft and mineral free. I find most mineral removal shampoo’s to be harsh and drying on the hair if used consistantly.

  • Valentina Diaz January 28, 2020, 9:17 am

    What do you think about rinse with vinegar?