Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
You can buy special shampoo and conditioner for hard and soft water areas. Try the brand AreaH20 at lookfantastic.com or other places online.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How do I keep the iron in hard water from ruining my hair?
By Stacy from Milton, DE
I also have very hard water. I keep a small bottle with an applicator tip ( like the hair color bottles) in the shower with about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in it filled the rest of the way up with water. When you are done shampooing, squeeze a little all over your hair and apply your regular conditioner. Leave on a min or two then rinse. I read this tip on a hair dresser's web site and it works for me.
Ditto with using the apple cider vinegar rinse. :-)
Boil the water before your use it to get all of the 'yuckies' out of it. That is also how 'distilled water' is made if anyone wants to know, why buy distilled water when all you have to do is boil it, cool it off and use it.
Just a quick clarification to the response by Paula Jo Carr. Boiling water doesn't turn it into distilled water, it just kills any bacteria. Distillation is the process of boiling the water and re-condensing the steam into a clean container, leaving contaminants behind.
To make distilled water from boiling water, you have to capture the steam created during the boiling process and direct it into a second vessel, such as through those coiled tubes you see in a laboratory. The steam re-condenses into water in the second vessel and that water is distilled.
The boiled water in the pan is bacteria free, but not free of all of the original metals and elements, such as iron and manganese which make the water "hard." Those are still present after simply boiling.
My mom lives where ther is so much iron in her well water that you can see it, & she has to buy her drinking water. She has always used a cider vinegar rinse on her hair after her shampoo & even though her hair is very fine, she is always complimented by her hairdressers on how soft & pretty it is.
Try taking a little shampoo and mix in some salt. I have read that this is very helpful as the salt softens hard water.
We have hard water in our home. Having a water softener is a long way away. So I was wondering if anyone can suggest a shampoo that can handle hard water? I find my hair is dull and flat with the build up. Any suggestions?
By Sheila from Ontario, Canada
We have hard well water too. I have fine hair but lots of it. It can get fly-away pretty easy if I let it get too dry. I use Aveeno Nourish + Revitalize daily and then about once a week or so I wash my hair with Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo. I buy both shampoos at Walmart. Also, I never use really hot water on my hair and I rinse, rinse, rinse because it seems like it's harder to get all the shampoo out with hard water.
Douse your hair with vinegar after shampooing, to close the cuticle,then rinse with cool water.
We have hard water also. We use sunlight dish soap to wash our hair. Works great.
Ion purifying solutions Hard Water Shampoo. Made by: Professional Products, Inc.
We have well water so our water is hard also. I use no special brand shampoos but I do use a different shampoo once a week to wash out the hair oil, hairspray build-up, gels & mousses, etc & if wish to, put white vinegar in a spray bottle to keep in the shower & after done washing hair, spray hair all over, distribute with fingers then leave in or rinse out.
I got this suggestion from ThriftyFun last year and I have used it satisfactorily ever since: Mix baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) into liquid shampoo (I use SunSilk 'anti-flat' shampoo) to make a paste. Wet your hair very well, then scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture, rub it between your hands, and work it through your hair. You might need to repeat this for the first time or so until your hair is rid of the hard-water buildup.
The baking soda is really cheap, so it extends your shampoo. You can add a little warm water to the mixture and put it into a bottle; be sure to shake it up (end over end) before using to mix it well. You can use a vinegar spray if you want, but even with our very hard water, I get good results with a small amount of SunSilk conditioner ('anti-flat' formula) rinsed out very well, and my naturally wavy hair is soft and bouncy.
Good luck, Nancy in NC
I just moved into my new apt. and it has really bad hard water. My hair feels like it's covered in wax, when I get out and it takes 10x longer to blow dry. I use Tresemee shampoo and conditioner everyday, but should I switch it up to a shampoo that will help me with my hair dilemma? If so what kind?
By Jenna E.
A vinegar rinse each time (google to find the proper proportions of vinegar and water) If it doesn't help try using a clarifying shampoo once a month, more often if you shampoo more than a couple times per week. Your usual shampoo brand likely also sells a clarifying formula as well.
If you have any way of collecting it, you'd be best off washing your hair with rainwater, which is naturally soft.
Try rinsing your hair with a solution of apple cider vinegar and water. 50/50
I heard wash with baking soda and rinse with vinegar, vinegar smell goes away as you rinse. Please let us know how this went.
Try rinsing with a capful of vinegar. Pour on, rub and rinse with water. This will help make your hair softer and it will feel cleaner. Be careful not to get it in your eyes.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Does anyone know of a good way to neutralize the effects hard water has on hair? Our water here is very hard and my hair seems damaged from it, even the color gets a reddish tint to it only a week or two after I color it (usually medium ash blonde).
Tamisuemcp from MO
I don't know if this will help you or not. A beautician once told my daughter and me to add a teaspoon or two of baking soda to our shampoo. Hope it helps you. (01/03/2007)
Adding a little lemon juice to the water you use to rinse your hair can also eliminate hard water deposits.
I also heard that giving your hair "oil treatments" once in a while helps. (01/03/2007)
By pam froelich
I had to finally get a water filter put on the kitchen faucet. I think you can also find the hand shower sprays with a filter on it now to filter out all the bad stuff. I have noticed a big difference. I just have to wash my hair at the kitchen sink instead of in the shower. Walmart is the most inexpensive place to purchase it that I am aware of. (06/10/2007)
Has anyone found a natural, organic daily shampoo and/or conditioner that works well with hard water? Our hair is so dull. Thanks.
Cindy from Texas Hill Country
Your hair is probably dull, because hard water doesn't rinse the shampoo, hair spray, etc. out as well as soft water does. To remedy this, put about a teaspoon of baking soda in the palm of your hand, add your shampoo, rub your hands together, and shampoo as usual.
The baking soda gets rid of the buildup on your hair. You can use this as often as you want, but once a week normally does the trick and keeps hair shiny. (09/24/2008)
By Jean from MS
Hard water is alkaline, as is baking soda, so I'm not sure that idea is the right one for TX Hill country. Vinegar or lemon juice might help. When I was a kid with very long hair, I forgot to take conditioner on a visit to a farm in Iowa. My hair seized up and all stuck together after rinsing. I was in a teen-age panic. My aunt gave me some lemon juice to mix in a cup of water, and it worked a miracle.
For organic hair care, check the health food store, or search online. Read labels carefully. You still might need to add vinegar to your final rinse. (09/25/2008)
I live in East Texas and have impossibly hard well water. I tried all the clarifying shampoos, baking soda, vinegar, and Dawn dishwashing liquid. I have very long hair, which adds to the problem. I found a shampoo at Sally's Beauty Supply by Ion that's simply called Hard Water Shampoo. It's more expensive than store brand shampoo, but it actually works, and you can use it daily to prevent any buildup. It takes a very small amount to clean your hair.
With my really long hair I buy the large bottle of shampoo (32 oz.) twice a year. I also buy the small (12 oz.) bottle of Hard Water Conditioner and just apply it to the ends of my hair. The only drawback is the boring scent it has. I really like that perfumey smell in my hair, and this just has a plain scent. Hopefully the organic/household hints will work for you, but if not, find Ion Hard Water Shampoo. (09/26/2008)
We have hard water here from a well, too. I have found through experimentation that shiny hair depends more on the brand of shampoo than the water. I have had good luck with Head and Shoulders and Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoos. Suave might be cheaper, but it leaves hair stringy and dirty looking. I've never used it, but my sister and her family use it.
I once read that when you rinse your hair after you think you're done you should give it one more rinse. The last rinse should be in cool water to make the cuticle lay close to the shaft of each hair. This is what makes it shine. You will find that curly hair is harder to shine. I'm not sure why it doesn't reflect the light in the same way as straight hair. Also, I've heard that grey hair lacks shine, but I have a full head of salt and pepper hair and it shines like a halo. I even get compliments on it. I laugh because I don't do anything except wash it every day and get a really good haircut. That's it.
If you still aren't getting the shine you want, you can always do your last rinse with vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water. I doubt if you'll need to do that.
Best of luck.
By Carol in PA
I thought I read a post on this web-site some time ago that you should put salt in your shampoo. Salt is what softens water in water softeners. I'd research that on Thrifty Fun and you might find the post. (09/26/2008)
I use Apple Cider vinegar once a month. I use 1/4 cup of ACV and mix it with 3/4 cup water. I shampoo and condition my hair as usual and use the ACV/water mix as a final rinse. It helps remove product build up and hard water. You can also add a little bit of baking soda to your shampoo every once in awhile. Both of these are really great for the skin, too. (09/28/2008)
I don't know about shampoo, but a beer rinse makes your hair really shiny and soft. Just let a can go stale and after shampooing, pour it on and rinse in cool water. You'll be amazed. (09/30/2008)
Use Suave Clarifying Shampoo, it really cuts through oil, hairspray, hard water, mousse, gel, anything that's screwing up your hair, and it will put the shine back in. (10/02/2008)
There is a professional hair product line called Malibu 2000, they have a treatment you leave on your hair for like 20 minutes and it removes the minerals left on your hair from hard water. (10/05/2008)
I have just moved to an area with hard water, and my hair felt awful. I have been using "Aquelle" shampoo and restorative conditioner. I buy it at Sally's Beauty Supply. I am getting compliments again, so I guess it is working. My hair does feel better, though. (10/15/2008)
Does anyone know how to get well water build up out of hair?
Sandy from Maryland