Suffering from dry, frizzy or dull, lifeless curls? Hard water might be the problem. Lucky for you. I have the solution. Read on to learn how a hard water shampoo fixed my curly hair.

What is Hard Water?

Simply put, water hardness is determined by the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Your soap reacts with the calcium in the water to form “soap scum”. You actually need more soap to get things clean!

Do I have Hard Water?

There are a few ways to quickly determine if your water is hard. Check to see if you have mineral buildup around the faucets or shower heads. Depending on the minerals, this can be a white or reddish color. For me, it was red! (Which didn’t react well with my curly highlights! But, I will get to that later.)

Additionally, dry, itchy skin can be a sign of hard water. Along with cloudy spots on your glasses.

Hard water & Curly Hair

What does all this scientific jargon mean for your curls? Well, for me it was greasy roots since the hard water wasn’t thoroughly cleaning my hair. My spiraled, 2c 3a curls went limp. At times, my curliest coils would be so dry they would break because I was over-clarifying. Lastly, my beautiful espresso colored highlights went from a creamy, warm brown to brassy red.

My Hard WAter Curly Story

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know my curly girl story. It’s taken years for me to fall in love with my curls.

New Climate & Water Source

In early 2020, during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved from Charlotte, NC, to Alton Bay, NH. This meant we changed from a humid, warm climate to a dry, cold climate. Plus, our water source changed from city water to well water.

After living in New Hampshire for a few months, I was thrilled to find a curly hair stylist. She gave me beautiful curly highlights and an amazing layered cut.

dark-curly-hair-with-curly-highlights-shinewithjlWithin one week and my first wash day, I was horrified to find my color a brassy shade of red and my curls a complete hot mess! I tried every curly girl approved method as I thought the problem was damage due to the bleach process.

One Solution

Months went by and at my next Deva-Curl cut, I asked my stylist for help. She suggested a shower filter as the problem might be the well water.

Fast forward to a second move to a new apartment with city water! Hooray! However, my curls were still in crisis mode.

At this point, I was in deep depression about my hair. With each wash day, the hope that my curls would return to their former self waned.

(Disclosure: Some of the product links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. This helps keep my blog running!)

Curly Community

Then I found Manes by Mell on Instagram. She had this informative reel about preparing your curls for color. One suggestion was a chelation treatment to remove build up on your curls. The paraben free, sulfate free product combination she suggested was the Malibu C: Natural Protective Hard Water Wellness Kit.

Hard Water Hero: Malibu C

The products that saved my curls was Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo and Conditioner. It gently eliminates toxins and impurities from your hair and removes the damaging mineral build up.

Hard Water Wellness Shampoo and ConditionerMineral Build Up Removal

My first wash, I decided to start with the Malibu Hard Water Shampoo and Conditioner. If I felt I needed it afterward, I’d utilize the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Remedy packets.

Pictured are my immediate results from this simple wash day.

Malibu C Hard Water Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I can’t say enough positive things about these products! Minimal hair loss in the shower, which is amazing by itself. Smells great! It removed 60% of the brassy color from my curls with one wash. My curly roots were soft and voluminous. No more greasy scalp. You can see from the photos that the limp curls hanging here and there disappeared.

Curly Styling Products

I followed up my chelation wash and condition with only two curly hair styling products. They were Curls Creme Brule whipped curl cream followed by Kinky-Curly Original Curling Custard.

Curls Creme Brule and Kinky Curly Curling CustardFinal hard water thoughts

Before my next hair color appointment, I washed two more times with the hard water shampoo and conditioner. At this point, my curls had returned to their normal 2c 3a selves and were ready for a cut and color (a new blog coming soon!).

colored curly hair after malibu hard water shampo
Vegan Makeup by Thrive Causemetics

My curly hair stylist highly recommends the Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Combo to prepare for color. However, after my color she said to use a softer product. She suggested All-Nutrient Color Safe Protect Shampoo to safely clarify my curls.

There you have it, how a hard water shampoo fixed my curls. I hope this information helps you out. Let me know if you have any questions.


Diagnosed with Celiac Disease eleven years ago, I've been on a journey discovering what it means to be truly healthy. Join me as I share my personal fitness goals, gluten free recipes I've tried, travel tips, curly hair product reviews and all things creative.


  1. Thank you for this post! Your tips fixed my sad limp and crunchy curls after I moved to a different city. I bought the shampoo and conditioner and water filter and the gel and custard as well for good measure, but just fixing the hard water issues made it so I could go back to my minimal routine of shae moisture shampoo, conditioner and curl enhancing smoothie. You were god sent and my hair looks and feels so healthy after just a couple of washes. Water really makes a difference!

    • Jennifer Leigh Reply


      Thank you for revisiting my curly hair blog to let me know about your positive results with the hard water shampoo! I’m so happy to hear your hair is looking happy and healthy. 🙂

      Enjoy your day, curl friend!
      Shine with Jennifer Leigh

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