The Best Shampoos For Hard Water: Chelating Shampoos 2024

The Best Shampoos For Hard Water

One of the hair challenges many have to deal with but don’t know how to counter is the result of hard water on hair.

Hard water is a term used to refer to water that is full of minerals, the minerals include copper, iron o calcium, and washing your hair with this regularly, builds up into your hair and hardens it. This is why chelating shampoos were created to whisk away these minerals and take away all the impurities.

Although a clarifying shampoo can also be ideal for getting rid of these minerals, it is not as strong as chelating shampoo. Hard water can be bad for your hair, it can cause your hair to go thin and brittle or even discolor dyed hair as well.

Your regular shampoo should be substituted for chelating shampoos if you live in a hard water area. The small amount of chelating shampoo in your hair wash will prevent build-up while making sure the minerals don’t get into your hair either.

Chelating shampoos are considered strong so if you are experiencing the effects of hard water on your hard, a clarifying shampoo won’t cut it. Chelating shampoo plays lots of roles in your hair and scalp.

What Is A Chelating Shampoo?

To win the war against hard water, a chelating shampoo is needed. This ingredient is designed to remove heavy buildup and minerals that are found in hard water. Chelating shampoos are specifically formulated to relieve your hair of the effects of hard water. It is a safe ingredient that can be used on your hair every day to clear it of buildup, toxins, and impurities.

A chelating shampoo is simply a regular shampoo that contains a chelating agent. The chelating product deploys active molecules called chelating agents into your hair and gets rid of minerals and dirt from hard water.

Benefits Of Using Chelating Shampoo

Hard water can damage hair and this is one of the reasons chelating shampoo was created. Many people don’t know how to deal with hard water and the more the mineral in it accumulates on your hair, the more damage it is likely to do, it can lead to hair loss. The nasty residues in hard water have been claimed to weaken the hair follicles so you do need a chelating shampoo.

Below are other notable benefits of using chelating shampoos;

1. Prevents Bacteria Growth On Your Scalp

This is an effective clarifying shampoo that will not just keep your scalp clean but also prevent bacterial growth on your scalp. It makes the hair soft and manageable. This formula gently gets rid of dirt and protects your scalp from pollution and fungi infections that can cause bacteria growth. It exfoliates your scalp and removes excess

2. Restores Your hair’s Natural pH Level

To keep your hair healthy and balance its pH level, you need a shampoo that keeps it clean without stripping it of its natural oil. The chelating shampoo will keep your hair well hydrated and absorb deeply into your hair and scalp.

3. Rejuvantes And Refreshes

The clarifying shampoo is considered more effective than regular shampoos. It removes the impurities that sit on top of your hair while refreshing your mane. Choose a chelating shampoo with no sulfate to nourish your hair and energize it.

4. Prepares Your Hair For Coloring

Another reason you should grab a bottle of chelating shampoo is that it prepares your hair for coloring. Stubborn dirt on your hair will make it difficult for color to penetrate deeply into your hair shaft hence a clarifying shampoo will be of great benefit.

9 Best Shampoos For Hard Water

The chelating ingredient can be found in a clarifying shampoo to make it stronger so this not only removes dirt but whips away hard water minerals as well. This shampoo has been around for a while and it is fast becoming the go-to option for getting rid of build-ups. The chelating shampoo is formulated to cleanse your hair of all unwanted buildup either from products or water. if you are among the hard water users, here is the list of the best shampoos for hard water.

1. Hairprint – Natural Plant-Based Chelating Shampoo– Best Overall

Hairprint - Natural Plant-Based Chelating Shampoo To Remove Buildup | Clean, Non-Toxic Haircare (8 fl oz | 240 ml)

Hairprint Natural Plant-Based Chelating shampoo as the name implies is made with natural ingredients. This product is formulated to remove buildup on the hair and still give it the right care. This shampoo uses organic ingredients hence it can be used for damaged hair as it is unlikely to cause any irritation. The cleansing effect of this chelating shampoo is enough reason to get it and it will keep your hair shiny even in the face of hard water.

There are lots of major benefits attached to using Hairprint shampoo. It is the ideal shampoo if you have dull brittle hair, it improves the way your hair feels and minimizes the effect of hard water on it. It also has potent ingredients that can help you grow your hair.

Not all chelating shampoos are plant-based but this one is. This is quite expensive but reviews claim it is worth it. Hairprint shampoo heals, stimulates, and repairs your damaged strands. It works pretty fast too.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Rejuvenates and refreshes your hair
  • Cleanses your hair thoroughly without tangling your hair
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Scent-free
  • Contains ingredients that help fight minor hair loss.

What We’d Change:

  • Constant use can dry your hair out.
Why we recommend it
Hairprint chelating shampoo is highly recommended by dermatologists and it happens to be the first on how our list due to its natural plant-based ingredients. This shampoo is unscented which makes it ideal if you get nauseous pretty fast and it does keep your hair clean. This should not be used frequently to prevent it from stripping your hair of its natural oil.

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2. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo– Best Budget

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo, Gentle Non-Irritating Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hair Build-Up & Residue, 6 Fl Ounce

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying shampoo is one of the most highly rated chelating shampoos. This clarifying shampoo is specifically designed to remove the minerals from hard water deposited on your hair. Hard water can be damaging to your hair but this is a highly recommended shampoo from dermatologists. The effect is long-lasting and it won’t dry your hair out.

This clarifying shampoo is made with ingredients that remove heavy build-up from your hair and it is gentle enough for color-treated hair. It is made to revigorate your hair strand and leave your hair shiny every time you use it.

Despite its low price, it contains moisturizing agents and high-quality ingredients that won’t dry your hair out. This shampoo is designed to reset your dry damaged hair and remove up to 90% of dulling residues.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • It removes up to 90% of excess buildups
  • Recommended or all hair types and gentle enough for color-treated hair types
  • Leaves your hair shiny and strip away dull residue
  • Boost hair volume
  • Light scent that isn’t overpowering.

What We’d Change:

  • No moisturizing properties
  • Not safe for daily use.
Why we recommend it
The key feature of this chelating shampoo is the conditioning effect. Neutrogena shampoo boosts the volume of your hair by rinsing away buildups and restoring dry dull hair. This is an affordable shampoo but highly recommended for removing the effect of hard water on your hair. It is a weekly clarifying shampoo with mild ingredients that makes it suitable for color-treated hair as well.

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3. Livingproof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo– Best Chelating Shampoo For Colored Hair

Living proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo, 5.4 Fl Oz

Livin Proof perfect hair day as the name implies can give you the perfect hair day you need. This chelating shampoo is a non-stripping color-safe shampoo and it is packed with ingredients that will safely remove buildups and minerals. It not only contains a chelating agent that removes buildups but it also contains a gentle surfactant that removes particle buildups.

This is the ideal chelating shampoo for not just cleaning your hair of mineral and product buildups but also for moisturizing your hair and scalp. This shampoo is suitable for color-treated and chemically treated hair.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Lightweight formula
  • Very good at cleaning toxins
  • Activated charcoal that absorbs oil from hair and scalp
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Perfect for hair and scalp health

What We’d Change:

  • Not ideal for daily use.
Why we recommend it
This is a detox shampoo that is recommended for keeping your color-treated hair healthy and moisturized. This shampoo can be used as a booster for your color-treated hair. This clarifying shampoo comes in a tiny bottle that can serve you well if used as instructed. You can count on it to deliver enough moisture to your hair and keep your scalp clean at the same time.

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4. Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo– Best Chelating Shampoo For Dry Hair

Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo, 33.8 Fl Oz

Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo is another very suitable hard water shampoo worth buying. This chelating shampoo removes harsh minerals that can damage your hair follicles from your hair. This is pricey but reviews claim it is an effective wellness hair care. It is made of natural components that will not only keep your hair from damages but also restore its health.

This hard water shampoo is another highly rated chelating shampoo. This shampoo only needs to be used once a week hence it is sure to last for a while and it is very safe for most hair types. It is also a great moisturizer.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Comes in a large quantity that lasts long
  • Refreshes and reinvigorates your hair
  • Serves as a moisturizer and cleanser Specifically formulated for hard water

What We’d Change:

  • Expensive
Why we recommend it
This chelating shampoo is suitable for restoring dry and damaged tresses. This product is also made to give your color-treated hair the care it needs. It is sure to improve the way your hair feels after being exposed to hard water and it will not just keep it clean or product buildups but keep it moisturized as well.

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5. Ion Hard Water Shampoo– Best Chelating Shampoo For Damaged Hair

Ion Hard Water Shampoo, 33.8oz

Ion Hard Water Shampoo is another chelating shampoo that has been around for a very long time. This product is made to turn back the effect of product buildup and hard water on your hair. Unlike other products, Ion shampoo won’t leave your hair tangled after use. It can be matched with its conditioner too.

This is an option you should consider if your hair is damaged from hard water. It is specifically made to remove dryness and help reverse discoloration that comes from the effect of hard water. This also prevents build-up from products as well.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Cleanses hair and scalp thoroughly without entangling your hair
  • Softens your hair
  • Reduces dryness and damages.

What We’d Change:

  • Constant use in a week can dry your hair out.
Why we recommend it
This chelating shampoo is suitable for restoring dry and damaged tresses. This product is also made to give your color-treated hair the care it needs. It is sure to improve the way your hair feels after being exposed to hard water and it will not just keep it clean or product buildups but keep it moisturized as well.

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6. SACHAJUAN Scalp Shampoo– Best Chelating Shampoo For Itchy Scalp

SACHAJUAN Scalp Shampoo, 8.4 Fl Oz

Your scalp is just as important as the hair itself. Hard water tends to affect the scalp even more which is why you need a scalp shampoo. SACHAJUAN Scalp Shampoo is great for the itchy scalp which is often a side effect of mineral buildup in your hair. This is suitable for normal hair types and can be used as a hair treatment for dandruff and combat irritation.

This chelating shampoo is not just cleansing your scalp but also contains ingredients such as rosemary and ginger extract for restoring dry damaged hair.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Helps maintain a healthy moisture balance
  • Removes dandruff and combats irritation on the scalp
  • Suitable for normal hair type
  • Doesn’t damage the hair color

What We’d Change:

  • Expensive
  • Small quantity doesn’t lather well enough.
Why we recommend it
This is a highly recommended bottle of shampoo you are sure to love. This scalp shampoo cleanses your scalp and also helps treat scalp irritations. It is great for people with oily scalp and dandruff.

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7. Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo– Best Chelating Shampoo For Curly Hair

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, 8.5 oz

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo is the shampoo you need to give your curly hair all the care it needs. This shampoo lifts buildup away from your hair without drying your hair out. It is packed with beneficial ingredients like jojoba extracts, vitamin B5, argan oil, keratin, and avocado oil. These natural ingredients are powerful enough to get rid of dirt and buildups but also gentle enough to keep your hair moisturized.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Color safe
  • Contain nourishing ingredients
  • Restores hair and scalp to a healthy balance
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free.

What We’d Change:

  • Not for daily use.
Why we recommend it
This is a shampoo that combines moisturizing with keeping your hair clean. You only need a little of this to get rid of dirt and keep your hair nourished. It is powerful formula yet gentle enough for a color-treated and sensitive scalp.

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8. Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three– Best Chelating Shampoo For Swimmers

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three, Removes Chlorine and Impurities

Paul Mitchell Shampoo is suitable for getting rid of the chlorine and hard water mineral in your hair. This is a clarifying shampoo that works well with oily hair and the scent is not overpowering either. This can be used once or twice a week and you can say bye to dryness and hard water damages. Comes with a lemon scent that isn’t artificial.

This is a great clarifying shampoo to go for if you use lots of styling products and it does come from a well-known hair care brand. It deep cleans and removes iron and mineral that can damage your hair structure.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Mild scent
  • Works well with hard water
  • Suitable for oil hair type
  • Cleanses and restores hair shine.

What We’d Change:

  • Expensive for it’s size.
Why we recommend it
This shampoo not only works when you stop using hard water but also works well even in the use of it. To get the most of the shampoo, you only need very little of it and reviews claim the quality of this product justifies the price.

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9. Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo– Best Chelating Shampoo For Oily Hair

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Balance & High Shine, Daily Clarifying & Soothing Scalp Shampoo for Oily or Dull Hair, Paraben & Dye-Free, 12 Fl Oz

The list of chelating shampoo won’t be complete without Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo. This shampoo is ideal for getting rid of dirt on oily hair and it happens to have oat as the first key ingredient. It also contains apple cider vinegar to restore shine to dull dry hair.

This shampoo is designed to reinforce shine from the root to the tip.

Aveeno shampoo is formulated with the perfect blend of ingredients that cleanses your scalp, nourishes it, and helps soothe your scalp as well. It can help with excess build-ups and it’s gentle on the scalp.

What We Like About This Shampoo:

  • Paraben and dye-free
  • Suitable for oily or dull hair type
  • Refreshes and rejuvenates damaged hair
  • Affordable
  • Good at cleaning toxins.

What We’d Change:

  • Not for all hair types.
Why we recommend it
This shampoo is safe enough for daily use and it contains nourishing ingredients for your hair. This clarifying shampoo is the perfect option for oily and dull hair. It restores shine while keeping your hair clean. This shampoo does well at cleaning all toxins and minerals in your hair.

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Choosing Shampoo For Hard Water- Buying Guide

Choosing the best shampoo for your hair is very important especially if you live in an area with hard water. Hard water will not just dry your hair out but it can eventually lead to discoloration and hair loss. You must choose a shampoo that will remove buildup and still care for your hair.

Choosing the best hard water shampoo is not as complicated as it seems since it needs to be powerful enough to remove toxins. However, here are simple tips to guide you.

  • Look for a product that specifically suits your hair care
  • Choose hard water shampoo with a pleasant aroma
  • Look for hard water shampoo that is capable of removing the excess oil left behind by-products
  • Choose a chelating shampoo with moisturizing properties.


Can I reverse the effect of hard water on my hair?

To reverse the effect of hard water on your hair, you need a chelating shampoo to first get rid of the hard water mineral buildup. If the water is moderately low then a mild clarifying shampoo will do just fine. To finally improve your hair ACV rinse is needed to get rid of the hard water minerals.

What makes a shampoo chelating?

Chelating shampoos are simply shampoos that are formulated with ingredients that wash away minerals, impurities, and toxins. The chelating shampoo contains ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid or EDTA. EDTA attaches itself to any trace metal.

Why Is Hard Water Bad for Your Hair?

Hard water contains build-up deposits such as iron, copper, and magnesium which makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate. Hard water is not dangerous to your general health but can begin to absorb natural oil from your hair resulting in dry brittle hair.

How do you soften hard water naturally?

Hard water can e soften naturally with soda to help dissolve the calcium and magnesium in it. The removal of these mineral ions can soften the water naturally.

Should I Use a Specialized Shampoo If I Have Hard Water?

Mineral deposits from hard water can be harmful to your natural hair hence it’s best to counter it with a specialized hard water shampoo. Hard water can leave your hair dry and dull or even change its color however you can choose mild shampoo if the water is moderately hard.

Final Thoughts

The chelating shampoo and clarifying shampoo address similar issues however clarifying shampoo is best for removing buildups from products. Keep in mind that both types of shampoo can help remove hard water buildup.

A chelating shampoo is 10 times stronger than a regular shampoo hence you should avoid using it daily. Investing in a quality shampoo is important to combat the effect of hard water on your hair and remember to choose one that maintains your hair health.

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