Soft water: flat hair disaster fix!

If you have EVER lived in an area with soft water or had a water softener installed in your home then you will NEVER forget what a disaster your hair will turn into after only one wash.

If you’re washing your hair in soft water, then there is a high chance you will be having a lot of ‘bad hair days’.

I once moved to an area with soft water and let me tell you ladies, I did not just have ‘bad hair days’ at that time, I also felt panicky. My long blonde hair became soooo super flat and thin, that I honestly thought it was going to fall out!!

It took me some time to figure out that the root of the problem was my water. Once I knew, I called our local water company to check the quality of their water because I thought there was something very wrong with it.

The report that I received from them made me sort of depressed and disappointed. It was stating that there was nothing wrong with the water and it was ‘safe to consume’. It made me depressed because, since relocation was not an option, I felt like I was STUCK with something I could not change. Ever felt this way before? Have you ever hated your soft water for the only one and one reason – what it does to your hair? I still love-hate it to this day but I found a way to get around it.

Just a brief overview on what makes water ‘soft’ and why it makes your hair flat: Soft water is a type of a water that, unlike the regular (aka ‘hard’ water), does not contain salts and minerals. You may wonder ‘So what?’ Well, this is where the problem lies – when you use shampoo, body wash, or laundry detergent, hard water’s salts and minerals bond with molecules of those cleaners and make it harder for those cleaners to do their job.

Soft water, on the other hand, has none of that, and therefore cleaners have their way of doing a perfect job of cleaning. The reason your hair gets so flat, limpy, and lifeless is because it loses healthy build up and healthy ‘must have’ oils. Your ordinary shampoo, in conjunction with soft water, REMOVES all of that.

To be honest, I had heard of ‘soft’ water before, but never knew it could have such a miserable effect on one’s hair. You know, you never worry about this kind of thing unless it touches you personally. Then, and only then do you know what it feels like, and that’s the moment when you start feeling desperate.

Yes, I was desperate and I wanted to find something that would work in my situation. To this day I found only 3 (THREE!) products that helped me with the loss of build up and volume, as well as preventing flatness. I‘m listing them below.

I do not know if there is something else is out there, but if you are aware of it, do please let me know. I just do not feel like being limited to only these two products for the rest of my life. I want to try other things AND feel happy about my hair. Besides, posting more suggestions here will help other women, just like you and me.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, rinsing your hair with bottled water does not work. I went as far as filling large bottles with water from drinking fountains. I thought it would make a good ‘build-up hair rinse’… but it did not. I soon gave up on the idea and turned my focus onto finding the right products to use.

    Shampoos for soft water:

1) Brand: Nature Skin Shop
Product name: Voluminous Sea Salt Shampoo (available on eBay or Amazon paid link - click here)

This medium sized bottle will last for a long time because a very little amount of the product is needed to do its job.

What this shampoo does: creates build up and gives bounce (lifts hair roots!)

This shampoo mimics hard water and helps to create build up and volume. In other words it ‘cures’ flatness. It has multiple 5 star reviews on Amazon. If you have never tried this product and would like to improve the look of your hair, then you can get it on Amazon (available on American Amazon only, paid link) or eBay (ships to multiple countries). One of my readers sent me a message saying that this shampoo added almost 'too much' volume. Wow.

The only drawback is that it may be too pricey for some of you. Unfortunately, there are not many shampoos for soft water available on the market. Most of them are for hard water only or do not work. So annoying!

2) Brand: Live Clean
Product name : Live Clean Baby Gentle Moisture Tearless Shampoo & Wash, 10 Fluid Ounce (UK - click here, CAN - click here paid link)

This shampoo is for babies and it is 97% plant derived. It consists of purified water and a blend of organic botanicals. What can be gentler and more divine than this?? This one major factor made me try this shampoo. I figured if it was safe and gentle for babies, then it wouldn't be harsh on my hair either.

I was right. My experiment worked and this is how it was added to my list of alternatives.

What this shampoo does: cleans hair WITHOUT stripping healthy oils.

It makes hair look healthy, clean, and shiny. This shampoo does not make one's hair flat, dull, lifeless or look like ‘dry straw’. I do not even care that it is for babies! I think it is a very nice and gentle product to use in soft water for everyone who is sick and tired of having flat, lifeless hair (please make sure to wash your hair in a like-warm water). Again, I do not know how it would behave with hard water.

As a USA resident I used to buy this shampoo in Walgreen's and CVS stores. Unfortunately, somewhere around the spring of 2015, this brand disappeared from their shelves. If you are a US resident, then the only way to get this product is online: Amazon: Live Clean Baby Gentle Moisture Tearless Shampoo & Wash, 10 Fluid Ounce (UK - click here, CAN - click here) paid link or eBay

Live Clean is a Canadian brand, and all of its products are 97% natural.

** UPDATE**

After trying multiple brands I have discovered another shampoo that exceeded my expectations. See my case study with photos below plus the list of shampoos that did not work.

3) Brand: Biolage
Product name: Amazon -Biolage Clean Reset Normalizing Shampoo paid link (or on eBay)
CAN - click here, UK - click here

As a part of my experiment I have decided to do something that I have never done before – I bought a  ‘salon’ shampoo. Salon shampoos are an upgrade from ‘regular’ ones and I figured that maybe there is a reason they are called ‘salon’.

Here is what I discovered. First of all, this shampoo has a much thicker and concentrated formula than ‘regular’ shampoos and a little amount goes a long way. Second – the way it works. Honestly, I have never experienced anything like this before. The main point is that my hair and especially roots stay clean much LONGER!

If your roots get a greasy look after 1 day of washing your hair, then this shampoo will stop it without drying or killing your hair. It confirms what other women said on Amazon – one's hair stays clean longer with less frequent washing. It means the bottle will last much longer too!

Below are the images Day 1 to Day 5 demonstrating the strange effect of this shampoo. I especially tried to focus on the root area to show how my hair looked days after washing it. Remember, we are talking about soft water here.

Day 1

Notice how shiny and silky my hair looks. Also, notice how much bounce is present, there is a natural lift from the root area and the hair is definitely not flat.

Day 2

Still shiny, silky and a lot of bounce is present.

Day 3

Still shiny and silky and not flat, but there is a little hint of grease on the roots. Still acceptable in my opinion.

Day 4

Oh oh! See the greasy roots? At this point I think I would wash my hair, but for the sake of experiment, let's wait till Day 5!

Day 5

What can I say, ladies. It is a hair wash day for sure! Honestly, I cannot take it anymore, lol!


Another unexpected side effect I’ve noticed that my highlighted blonde hair looks less brassy.

On the label it says for “All hair types”, so I figured it would be OK to try. The only thing that bothered me was the label stating it is a “clarifying shampoo” and “removes buildup”. This is something that I would not want to do to my hair that is being washed in soft water. I took my chance and I am glad I did! The shampoo did not strip anything and my hair did not look like it was washed using a laundry detergent.

Verdict: highly recommended!! (especially for those ladies whose roots get greasy very quickly). -Biolage Clean Reset Normalizing Shampoo on Amazon ( (or on eBay). CAN - click here, UK - click here.
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

Here is the list of shampoos that did not work. I felt like my hair was not clean and full of waxy/greasy buildup. Do not waist your money!

~ Aubrey. Island Naturals Shampoo, Tropical Repair

~ Shea Moisture. 100% virgin coconut oil, Daily Hydration Shampoo (horrible experience!! Hard to remove very thick waxy residue! Had to use another shampoo to remove it. You have been warned!)

~ Simple Truth. Argan Oil shampoo (Waxy residue + itchy scalp)

~ Think Baby. Baby shampoo and baby wash

~ Jason. Restorative Biotin (adds nice volume, but the hair feels dirty and greasy the very next day)

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