The Definitive CurlyEllie Guide to Hard Water vs Soft Water

What causes hard water?

Hard water is caused when rainwater is filtered from the ground through layers of limestone, chalk, and dolomites, which increased the levels of calcium and magnesium in the water supply! In addition to the calcium and magnesium, hard water also contains, but to a lesser degree, heavy metals like chlorine, iron, lead etc

So, if you live in the South East and Midlands in the UK, you more than likely have hard water coming out of your taps.  This does not mean that the North and the rest of the UK are safe and exempt. Did you know that more than 50% of homes have hard water in the UK ?

Which means that, unless you have been lucky to bag yourself a hard water softener, it is so important for you to understand why and how hard water can affect your hair and what to do to change your routine when you notice hard water.

So, how does hard water effect your hair?

The answer is simple - DRYNESS! The arch enemy of curly hair.

Hard water tends to dry your hair out. You would start to see tell-tale signs like

  • Limp and greasy hair but with dry, frizzy roots.
  • Styles do not hold well or for very long.
  • Your hair colour starts to look dull and not vibrant. Its lost is glossiness and looks shines and nothing seems to bring it back.
  • Your hair takes forever to lather when you have put on some of our fab shampoo, and you have to use it a few times to get the lather going.

The main issues with all these surplus minerals is that they tend to settle at the roots and also run through the hair strands, creating a coating on your hair shaft which can make your products less effective.

So, What can you do if you have hard water ?

Double washing

When washing your curls in hard water you might find that it takes longer for your hair to be completely saturated if you have very full, thick hair. You may need to stay under the shower for longer to get your hair fully wet before starting a washing/conditioning routine.

You may also notice that your shampoo doesn’t lather as well due to the build up of minerals such as calcium, you can definitely try double shampooing to combat this as it will help with the build-up.

There are more benefits to double cleansing, you can read about them here. Alternatively, if you don’t want to double cleanse, fair enough, it’s not for everyone, then try our CurlyEllie Intense Hydrating Shampoo, which has a bit more OOMPF to it, to wash out that pesky mineral residue!


Nourishing with the Conditioner to bring back oils and nourishment.

The chlorine in hard water strips your hairs natural oils that are produced by the glands on your skin. This then in turn causes dryness and your hair becomes less water-resistant and prone to damage and breakage. So take care to always follow any shampoo with our Nourishing Conditioner and sometimes, skip the shampoo and only condition your hair with Nourishing conditioner to bring back the oils and nourishment your hair craves.

Nourishing Conditioner for Curly Hair  

Use Lukewarm water when washing your hair or rinsing off the Nourishing Conditioner. This is a lot gentler on your hair than hot water.

Water Softner and a creamy Gel for hold

One thing you can do is use a water softener to filter out some of the calcium and minerals, products tend to work better in soft water, become richer and create less grease, meaning you can potentially use less shampoo and conditioner and cut your number of washes, saving on some water bills to boot!

Soft water doesn’t have the same drying effect or cause the same build up. You might find that when you travel to a soft water area, you will not need as much products and the bare minimum will suffice. You may also notice that your hair feels softer and fluffier. This can mean an adjustment in your hair care routine! 

Now, fluffy curls are cute, but if you’re looking for more definition you might find that you need products with a little more hold, the perfect time to experiment with our new CurlyGellie Natural Hold Gel!

It gives you that extra hold and definition you might be needing. Again, if you need a little something more, we've got you covered! Try our CurlyEllie Intense Strong Hold Gel, for extra hold! Don’t be scared of a hard cast, you can simply scrunch it out using just your hands or our Styling Serum for extra shine!

Regular Hair Mask

Regularly using the Intensive Hair Mask is a must if living in a hard water area. It is important to regularly use an Intensive Mask that will bring back the oils and nourishment that your hair has lost. 

But hard water is not an enemy and there are any benefits to living in areas with hard water.  Hard water contains essential minerals, and you get to benefit from this source of minerals. Sometimes removing Calcium and Magnesium with water softeners replaces them with salt which may well create health issues with salt-sensitive individuals.

So, here it is, this is your sign to try our brand new gel!! Our Mini Works are on sale for another week only, and you can try out our tried and tested gel combos too!
Don’t walk, RUN!

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