10 Best Hairstylist-Approved Shampoos For Hard Water – 2024

Give your hair a lustrous and healthy shine with these listed shampoos meant for hard water.

Reviewed by Laura Courtie, Professional Hairstylist Laura Courtie Laura CourtieProfessional Hairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA, Certified Skin Care Coach Oyendrila Kanjilal MA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
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Do you live in a locality where hard water runs through taps? Then you must be suffering from buildup in your tresses and have brittle hair. In this scenario, you will need the best shampoo for hard water to preserve your hair health. Such a shampoo will contain strong cleansing ingredients that will remove the mineral buildup on your hair, keeping them fresh and lightweight.

In this article, we have listed the 10 best shampoos for hard water that will reduce the harmful effects of hard water on your hair. Take a look.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best For Color-Treated Hair: Kenra Clarifying ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For All Hair Types: Pacifica Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Gentle Cleansing: Pantene, Shampoo and Sulfate Free Conditioner Kit, Paraben and Dye Free, Pro-V Blends, Soothing Rose WaterPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Sulfate-Free Formula: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate-Free Detox for Natural Hair 12oz SinglePrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Pleasant Fragrance: R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo, 6 Fl OzPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Hair Growth: SACHAJUAN Scalp ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Dry Hair: Malibu C Hard Water Wellness ShampooPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart

10 Best Shampoos For Hard Water To Remove Hair Buildup – 2024

1. Best For Color-Treated Hair: Kenra Clarifying Shampoo


The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo eliminates up to 99% of the dulling deposits. The shampoo has a gentle, color-safe formula and contains mica that enhances shine and promotes restoration. The restorative care shampoo brightens highlighted, bleached, and gray hair. It is said to be great for swimmers and those staying in areas with high levels of hard water exposure. The shampoo is paraben-free and cruelty-free which is good for scalp health. Moreover, it is safe for color-treated hair. You can use this shampoo once a week (on color-treated hair) to remove deposits that may dull your hair color.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Dehydroacetic Acid, Mica, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide/Ci 77891, Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol Butyl Ether, Honey Extract/Mel Extract/Extrait De Miel, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Gluconate.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.25 x 8 inches | Weight: 11.85 Ounces.


  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Contains mica that promotes shine
  • Good fragrance


  • Contains sulfates
  • Faulty packaging

protip_icon Pro Tip
Hair washed in hard water is prone to scalp buildups. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove residues and unclog hair follicles.


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 3,848 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

2. Best For All Hair Types: Pacifica Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo

Pacifica Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo Image: Pacifica Beauty

The Pacifica Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo is a sulfate-free, gentle shampoo for dry, damaged, and color-treated hair. It is formulated with coconut oil, vitamin E, and a blend of fruit oils that moisturize and soften your hair, giving them a lustrous and healthy shine. The color protection shampoo lathers well to cleanse off all dirt, impurities, and build-up and gives lustrous hair, manageable hair. It has a refreshing coconut scent that enriches your shower experience to a relaxing one.

Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, Panthenol, Superfruits, and Hydrolyzed rice protein.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 2.3 x 7.7 inches | Weight: 14.4 Ounces.


  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free


  • May dry your hair

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

There are more than 545 Amazon reviews attesting to the quality of the product and endorsing its value.

3. Best For Gentle Cleansing: Pantene Pro-V Blends Shampoo and Conditioner Kit

Pantene Pro-V Blends Shampoo and Conditioner Kit

The Pantene Pro-V Blends Shampoo and Conditioner Kit is free of sulfates. The products have a nutrient-infused formula that combines a Pro-V blend of provitamin B5, antioxidants, and rose extracts. They help gently cleanse and invigorate dry hair without stripping it off the natural oils. The products are free of silicones, parabens, dyes, and mineral oil. They will give your hair a luscious scent of rose water, mint leaves, and lily of the valley. Here’s an honest review of the product according to the tester’s experience.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Fragrance, Panthenol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-10, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Salicylic Acid, Polyquaternium-7, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Glycolic Acid, Rosa Gallica Flower Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 5.3 x 8.7 inches | Weight: 2.23 Pounds.


  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • No dyes
  • No mineral oils
  • Cruelty-free
  • Moisturizing
  • Pleasant smell


  • Not good for color-treated hair

protip_icon Pro Tip
Never skip on a conditioner after washing your hair, especially with hard water. Instead, incorporate a leave-in conditioner or a hair mask at least once weekly in your hair care routine to compensate for the lost moisture.


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 1,018 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo
Best For Color-Treated Hair
Pacifica Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo
Best For All Hair Types
Pantene Pro-V Blends Shampoo and Conditioner Kit
Best For Gentle Cleansing
Hair Type All All All
Dimensions 1.6 x 2.25 x 8 inches 2.3 x 2.3 x 7.7 inches 5.3 x 5.3 x 8.7 inches
Weight 11.85 Ounces. 14.4 Ounces. 2.23 Pounds.

4. Best Sulfate-Free Formula: Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo removes the mineral deposits caused by washing hair with tap water, dirt oil, or other regular hair products. It is made from natural ingredients and is safe for all hair types (including color-treated hair). You can use this twice a month or whenever your hair needs to reset from the harsh products or oil build-up. The shampoo also removes chlorine from hair and is especially good for swimmers. It also is recommended to remove the built up medication or residual anesthesia from hair. The product has garnered many positive reviews as it cleans without stripping off the natural oils of the scalp.

Ingredients: Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Polyquaternium-10, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Capric/Caprylic Glycerides, Polysorbate 20, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citric Acid, d-Limone, Linalool, Citral.

Hair Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 9 inches | Weight: 12 Ounces


  • Sulfate-free
  • Moisturizing
  • Removes chlorine build up
  • Recommended for swimmers


  • Faulty packaging
  • Contains DEA

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 2,474 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

5. Best Pleasant Fragrance: R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo

R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo

The R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo gently cleanses and removes all build-up from hard water. The product also removes color-dulling residue and build-up caused by chlorine and other styling products. The key products in the shampoo are rosemary leaf extract, amino acids, coconut oil, and witch hazel. The rosemary leaf extract purifies the hair and removes unwanted mineral build-up. The amino acids increase hair’s ability to retain natural moisture. They also impart shine and gloss to dull or damaged hair. The coconut oil and witch hazel strengthen and condition the hair and purify the hair and scalp. The shampoo is not tested on animals, and does not contain parabens, sulfates, gluten, mineral oil, or petrolatum. The fragrance of the shampoo is ecstatic. It has a bright, earthy composition of Sicilian lemon, tangerine, eucalyptus, green tea, tree moss, and crisp amber.

Key Ingredients: Rosemary Leaf Extract, Amino Acids, Coconut Oil, Witch Hazel.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.1 x 5.2 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces


  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten free
  • Does not contain mineral oil or petroleum.
  • Pleasing fragrance


  • None

6. Best For Hair Growth: Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo

The Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo is a performance driven hair care product. It removes dandruff from your and combats scalp irritation. It is designed with Ocean Silk Technology that adds moisture, body, and superior shine to your hair. It contains a blend of piroctone olamine and climbazole that soothes irritated scalp. The shampoo contains ingredients like rosemary oil, menthol, and ginger extract that help maintain a healthy moisture balance and leave the hair feeling clean and fresh. It also contains lactic acid that helps regulate oil production and salicylic acid that gently sheds dead skin and promotes new cell growth. The shampoo is suitable for both men and women. It is ideal for people with an oily scalp and dandruff. Here’s a video of the reviewer’s experience featuring a detailed review of the product.

Key Ingredients: Ocean Silk Technology, Piroctone Olamine, Climbazole, Rosemary Oil, Menthol, Salicylic Acid, and Ginger Extract.

Hair Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.36 x 5.71 inches | Weight: 10.4 Ounces


  • Ideal for men and women
  • Good for everyday use
  • Treats dandruff
  • Ocean Silk Technology for added moisture and shine
  • Rosemary extract, menthol, and ginger extract for cleaner hair
  • Salicylic acid exfoliates scalp


  • Expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"This shampoo is great for those like me battling dry, flaky, and oily scalp. It helps alleviate the dandruff and scalp irritation. It adds shine and smoothness to my hair."

7. Best For Dry Hair: Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo

Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo

The Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo is a 100% vegan shampoo. It is formulated with ingredients that safely, gently, and effectively detox and defend against hard water deposits. It reverses the dull, brassy, limp, dry and rough-feeling of hair due to hard water. It restores the silky softness, maximum hair manageability, and dazzling shine of the hair. Daily use of this shampoo prevents the build-up of copper (that causes an ashy discoloration). The shampoo also removes build-up of iron that is found in hard water, which may otherwise cause a brassy discoloration. It is sulfate- and paraben-free and contains no colorants or harsh chemicals. It is rich in rice protein that smoothens the hair cuticles and provides a protective barrier for damaged hair.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamide DIPA, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides, Polyquaternium 10, Linum Usitatissimum Seed Extract, Sodium Gluconate, Glucose, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool.

Hair Type: Dry, chemically-treated-hair, Fine, Normal, Thick | Product Dimensions: 3.13 x 3.13 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 2.2 Pounds


  • 100% vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Rice protein provides protective barrier to hair.
  • Removes iron and copper build-up


  • Faulty packaging

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has received 3,206 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.

8.Best Revitalizing Formula:  Living proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo

Living proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo

The Living proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo is non-stripping and color-safe. It contains a chelating agent that help remove the build-up caused due to pollution and hard water. It also contains an anionic polymer that removes product build-up and a gentle surfactant that removes pollution particle build-up. The shampoo has activated charcoal that absorbs oil from scalp and hair. The product also helps moisturize the scalp and comes with a hard water test strip. It is free of silicones, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. It is safe for chemically treated hair. It also is cruelty-free.

Key Ingredients: Anionic Polymer, Chelating Agent, Surfactant, Activated Charcoal, Scalp Moisturizing and Soothing Complex (includes Witch Hazel Extract), Living proof’s Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA).

Hair Type: Chemically-treated-hair, Chemically Treated | Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 1.97 x 7.09 inches | Weight: 6.4 Ounces


  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Safe for chemically treated hair
  • Contains a hard water test strip
  • Activated charcoal absorbs oil from scalp and hair


  • None

protip_icon Pro Tip
Exposing your hair to hard water for a long period can make it extremely dry. Therefore, it is important to choose moisturizing shampoos that keep your locks hydrated and nourished.


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 1,156 great reviews on Amazon.

9. Best For Discoloration: Ion Hard Water Shampoo

Ion Hard Water Shampoo

The Ion Hard Water Shampoo reduces the dryness and damage caused due to hard water. It adds shine and moisture to the hair. The product increases manageability and helps reverse and prevent discoloration. It will make hair softer and shinier after each use. It gently cleanses hair and is also safe for color-treated hair. This daily cleanser is 100% vegan. It is suitable for all hair types. This video will help you understand the product better.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamide Dipa, Sodium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Disodium Edta, Fragrance, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Gluconate, Peg-120, Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Potassium Sorbate, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-10, Glucose, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extra, Benzoic Acid, Ascorbic.

Hair Type: All, Dry, Chemically Treated, chemically-treated-hair


  • 100% vegan
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Suits all hair types


  • May turn hair frizzy

Our Tester's Experience

"Using this shampoo has been such a relief, especially with the challenges of hard water. It deeply cleanses the scalp and leaves the hair soft. It adds a subtle shine and bounce that brings life back to my hair."

10. Best For Oily Hair: Oribe Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo

Oribe Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo

The Oribe Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo deeply cleanses and removes build-up caused by hard water. It purifies hair and scalp without stripping their essence. The product has a unique aerosol mousse formula that transforms into a beautiful, creamy, rich lather as it mixes with water. The detoxifying mousse contains volcanic ash that polishes away dirt, oil, and product build-up. It also removes mineral build-up from hard water and chlorine. The product also prepares hair for treatments and processing. The restorative care shampoo contains watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts that defend hair from oxidative stress and photoaging. It also prevents the deterioration of the natural keratin. The shampoo also contains sea kelp extract that purifies the scalp and clears the pores. It also contains eucalyptus that invigorates the scalp and provides a healthy environment for hair.

Key Ingredients: Oribe Signature Complex (Watermelon, Lychee and Edelweiss Flower Extracts), Volcanic Ash, Sea Kelp Extract, Green Tea Extract, Eucalyptus.

Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2 x 9.2 inches | Weight: 9.6 Ounces


  • Unique detoxifying mousse
  • Moisturizing
  • Nice fragrance
  • Volcanic ash removes product buildup


  • Faulty packaging
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Hair washing with hard water can be tricky and you have to use the right product for better results. The above listed shampoos are specifically designed for hard water, which means they remove stubborn residue better than the regular shampoos. However, while purchasing these shampoos, you should keep a few things in mind.

Things To Look Out For While Buying Shampoos For Hard Water

  •  Ingredients

Look out for shampoos that contain strong cleansing ingredients to remove calcium deposits, copper, and iron buildup. The other best ingredients for shampoos include rosemary extract, menthol, vitamin-rich formulas, and ginger extract. These ingredients will help in removing the mineral buildup and residue removal on your hair as well as keep it fresh and lightweight. Go with the shampoos that contain more nourishing ingredients.

Avoid using shampoos that contain sulfate, paraben, silicone, dyes, mineral oils, and any other harmful ingredients. Also, you must avoid shampoos that can turn your hair frizzy and untamed.

  •  Chelating And Clarifying Shampoos

Chelating and clarifying shampoos are the top two choices for removing hard water buildup. Chelating shampoos, also known as demineralizing shampoos, function by binding to the minerals and dissolving them as you wash. They are typically harsher and more drying than clarifying shampoos. Clarifying shampoos, on the other hand, will assist in removing the mineral accumulation as well as general product buildup on your tresses, but they are less successful in removing stubborn minerals.

  •  Formula

Always go with a shampoo with a gentle formula! As a result, it doesn’t strip natural oils from your hair while you clean it. This can lead to increased sebum production and can also lead to an oily scalp.

  • Hair Type

You must choose shampoos for hard water according to your hair type as well. If you have dry hair texture, you can go with shampoos that contain cocamidopropyl betaine and moisture-rich ingredients. For oily hair, you can choose shampoos that contain keratin and cysteine amino acids. For chemically-treated hair, or wavy, curly, coiled, and textured hair, you can use the shampoos that contain tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar. Shampoos that contain salicylic acid, hydrolyzed rice protein, and aloe vera work for all hair types. For sensitive scalps, opt for expert-recommended shampoos that are clinically proven safe for use.

Infographic: Tips To Protect Your Hair From Hard Water

Washing your hair with hard water is as difficult as it sounds. However, you can prevent hair damage by making a few changes in your shower routine. Check out the infographic below to learn about a few tips and tricks and defeat the ill effects of hard water on your locks.

Tips To Protect Your Hair From Hard Water (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Hard water is a constant problem for your hair as it tends to penetrate and crystallize in hair strands. The excessive minerals in the hard water, when combined with the shampoo, may form salt and lead to scalp buildup. It can cause hair fall and breakage and leave you with dull, rough, and lifeless hair. So you have to use shampoos specially formulated for hard water. These special shampoos help to remove mineral buildup and minimize hair concerns. The Kenra Clarifying Shampoo effectively removes buildup to restore shine, while the Pacifica Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo offers color protection and softens the hair. If you are swimmer and removing chlorine and build up is your priority, then try the Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo. The products listed in our article are paraben-free and remove mineral buildup, making an ideal choice for your hard water hair issues. But steer clear of shampoos that make your tresses frizzy and dull.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a hard water shampoo do?

A hard water shampoo removes build-up that has formed on your scalp and hair due to hard water. It also helps restore the hair’s natural shine and moisture.

Why is hard water bad for your hair?

Hard water contains minerals like iron, copper, calcium, etc. These can make your hair brittle, rough, discolored, and dull. Regularly washing your hair with hard water may cause hair loss too.

How do I know if my hair has hard water build-up?

Some common signs of hard water build-up are:• Itchy scalp
• Split ends
• Dandruff
• Thinning hair
• Dull hair issue
• Hair loss

How often should you use hard water shampoo?

You can use a hard water shampoo every alternate day. However, if you feel that the shampoo is stripping away moisture from your hair, make sure to pair it up with a nourishing conditioner or moisturizing hair mask.

How do you take care of your hair if you have hard water?

There are some simple steps that you can apply if you use hard water on your tresses regularly. You can use a clarifying shampoo to deeply cleanse your hair and remove any kind of residue that may have accumulated on your tresses due to the use of hard water. You can rise and massage your hair with lemon water to remove any remaining impurities. Afterward, apply a nourishing conditioner and couple it with a moisturizing hair mask.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article is Oyendrila Kanjilal, a serious hair fiend with a passion for discovering incredible hair care products that transform your tresses. She spent hours reading through many reviews to bring you this list of the best shampoos to use with hard water. She selected these products based on the ingredients, absence of harsh elements, and additional benefits like color-safe properties and many more.

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Laura Courtie

Laura CourtieProfessional Hairstylist

Laura is a multi-award-winning celebrity hairstylist with 19 years experience and clients from all over the world. She is a global educator teaching color and bridal hair and has a global coaching business for hairstylists throughout the world.

Read full bio of Laura Courtie