Usefulness of chelating shampoos?
October 30, 2017 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Chelating shampoos are supposed to help hair that's washed in hard water, by removing an excess of minerals. But how can they be effective when the shampoo is then rinsed off the hair with the same hard water?
posted by tangerine_poppies to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
I think it's more an idea of a build up of minerals. When you use the chelating shampoo, you are removing many days worth of minerals. Yes, the water you rinse with will deposit some but not as much as you remove.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:14 PM on October 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, if you're talking about something like a Malibu treatment on your hair, it's stripping off like a month or more's worth of mineral deposits on your hair from being washed in hard water. Even if you're doing the treatment in your home bathroom, using the same water source you always use, it's going to take time for the buildup on your hair to accumulate again.

Source: my best friend's sister, a hair stylist whose home water comes from a well and smells like eggs (but whose hair always looks perfect thanks to monthly treatments)
posted by palomar at 10:05 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Others have answered as to how it could be effective. Are you asking if they actually are effective? My hair texture and look massively improved when I started using a chelating shampoo (it got softer, lost its dullness, and had less frizz). Our water is very hard.
posted by moira at 12:13 PM on October 31, 2017

Here are a couple of posts that go into detail on hard water buildup: "Hard Water and Your Hair," "Why is everyone so concerned about build up of products on hair?"
posted by moira at 12:30 PM on October 31, 2017

Response by poster: moira, I was really asking how they *could* be effective. How often did you use the chelating shampoo?
posted by tangerine_poppies at 4:30 PM on October 31, 2017

I use the Ion hard water shampoo 2-3 times per week. That's more often than people say to use a chelating shampoo, but my hair likes it the most.
posted by moira at 5:20 PM on October 31, 2017

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