Softened Water & Hair Problems

Woman washing her hair with water only
Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock
Q: We recently got a water softener for our home, and I love everything that it does for my home, except the effect it has on my hair. It is flat and lifeless! Why?
I have tried various shampoos and styling products but it seems to be getting worse. What can I do?

A: The first two suggestions I can make is to encourage you to use a volumizing shampoo and light conditioner. Since these are generally more alkaline and will help to leave less stuff on your hair. In addition, you can use a mega-hold styling gel and try drying your hair with your head inverted to maximize the volume in the finished style.
The other option is to try a shampoo designed to combat the effects of softened water on the hair. Currently, the only option I've found is a solid shampoo bar made by LUSH Cosmetics. This company is based in the UK and offers information on shipping all over Europe and some other overseas markets. However, their "Soft Shampoo Bar" is available in the U.S. through
The product has been reviewed in several forums online and is generally well-liked. Using a bar shampoo does require rethinking the application method of your shampoo - bar shampoos are generally slid across the scalp and down the length of the hair a few times before being massaged into lather. The "Soft Shampoo Bar" uses minerals to help bodify the hair a little in areas where soft water is a problem for some women.
See also:
Can you recommend a shampoo that will combat soft water?
Hair care