I Count on This $17 Clarifying Shampoo to Combat Buildup and Brassiness Caused by Hard Water

It gives me long-lasting, toned locks.

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This Clarifying Shampoo Helps Me Banish the Hard Water-Caused Brassiness From My Hair

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There’s no doubt that freshly washed hair, especially in these dreary late winter months, can be an instant mood-booster. My hair feels softer, my highlights brighter and it somehow makes my complexion look generally more alive. So when I noticed that even after a thorough double cleanse my hair was looking dull and wasn’t feeling properly clean, I had to find out why.

As it turns out, hard water (aka water with a high content of dissolved minerals, such as calcium or magnesium) can leave a buildup on each hair strand. Just as hard water can negatively affect your skin and nails, it can prevent proper moisture absorption into your hair strands, leading to crunchy, lank tresses — and can even change the tone of your hair.

So, as my highlighted hair started to look and feel more brassy, dull and weighed down than usual, I was delighted to discover this effective and affordable clarifying shampoo from Malibu C.

Malibu C Un-Do-Goo > pH 9 Shampoo


Shop now: $17; amazon.com

While a clarifying shampoo is a useful weapon in any hair-washing arsenal, I’ve found that many formulas can leave my hair feeling frustratingly tangled or parched. Thankfully, Malibu C’s sulfate-free Un-Do-Goo is formulated specifically to keep hair feeling hydrated and clean rather than stripped, and keeps my locks looking freshly toned. It’s able to cut through buildup from hard water, excess product or scalp oil to leave hair shiny, silky, and ready for conditioner.

With a pH of 9, this shampoo is much more alkaline than the hair and scalp’s natural pH: a slightly acidic 4.5-5.5. While regularly using a shampoo with a high pH would lead to frizzy hair and an irritated scalp, it’s exactly this alkalinity that makes it effective for an occasional deep clean. Its suggested use is once a week, though I’ve found that twice a month is totally enough to prevent hard water buildup on my hair. 

Blondes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this clarifying shampoo — those whose curls get weighed down from hard water rave about its mineral-busting properties. “I have used this shampoo twice and I literally have my hair back,” wrote one shopper, “my hair has volume again [and] my curls are curls.” Another one of the 2,700 plus five-star shoppers sings this shampoo's praises for “removing buildup” without making their “hair feel like straw.”

For highlighted hair that is in a constant battle with hard water, or anyone whose hair could use a clarifying treatment, try Malibu C’s Un-Do-Goo for yourself.

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