• Cortney Pinion

For My Hard Water Honeys...



In case you're not from around here, around Memorial Day Weekend the Salem, OR area has been going through a pretty crazy water crisis. At the salon everyone has been sounding like a mad scientist, talking about cyanotoxins and EPA safety levels and blue-green algae.

We're also sounding like a bunch of topographers and water table experts -- if you ask anyone in Salem about their specific water source, I can just about guarantee they know where it's coming from.

I live in Keizer, which is the community just north of Salem. As in, we share a border. As in as in half of the Fred Meyer parking lot is in Salem and the other half is in Keizer. But strangely enough, the two communities obtain their water from two very different sources: Salem gets their from the Detroit Reservoir (which has been no bueno for consumption), Keizer has their own ground water supply (in theory, safe to drink).

What I didn't understand, from living on both sides of the Salem-Keizer divide for the better part of a decade, is that the ground water in Keizer is officially defined as HARD. I knew there were a ton of minerals in the water (copper, iron, sulfur), but for some reason the dots didn't connect for me.

Let me back up for a second. Confession time: My name is Cortney, I am a hairdresser, and my own hair is gross. Often I will liken it to melted Barbie hair, it's that gross. I had just assumed I had colored, bleached, recolored, and heat-styled it beyond it's capability, and that it had become a cautionary tale for my clients. No matter how much Olaplex I used, no matter how many keratin treatments I did, my hair never got any better. It looked and felt fried, it was stiff and lifeless, and it would get these little white balls on the mid-shaft and ends, and just break off.

But I also live in Keizer.

Once I realized I had been washing my hair in hard water for years, I had the epiphany that my hair felt exactly like my clients' hair who have to deal with well water (which is the hardest of all waters). Their hair always came to be ultra-compromised, no matter how well they took care of it. I consistently got feedback that the only time it ever felt pretty and nice was after I chemically treated their hair (it's because the ammonia in the color/lighteners strip out a significant portion of the hard water minerals on the hair). And this was exactly my experience, too.

I had assumed that even though Keizer water was terrible, that it was also from a municipal source. That it had been filtered and softened, so my hair issues were a 100% related to self-inflicted hair abuse.

What can I say, I'm a little slow on the uptake.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that Malibu C made a shampoo designed to strip out all of that hard water crudola. I figured I had nothing to lose (except $16), so I decided to give it a try.

AND THE MIRACLE HAPPENED!!!!!

Malibu C's Hard Water Wellness Shampoo is:


  • 100% color safe

  • Designed to strip out the years of mineral deposits without using harsh chemicals

  • Vegan

  • Removes mineral deposits that are likely discoloring the hair (copper and iron makes hair BRASSY)

  • Super conditioning for the scalp, to help soothe irritated skin reacting to the minerals

  • Designed for hair that is frequently shampooed

  • Formulated with rice and flax proteins to smooth out the hair, making it both silkier and shinier

When trying this out, I strongly recommend lathering and rinsing about three times. The first go-around there won't be much lather, and if your hair is coated in minerals, that stiff feeling will still be there. Lather number two will get the bulk of the build up out, and number three is just to make sure you've scrubbed all you can. With each lather the hair gets softer and more pliable, and I will say that after my third rinse my hair felt like I had already conditioned it!

The cherry on top would be -- if you have the time -- to treat your hair to a 20-30 minute coating of the Joico Moisture Recovery Balm. The amount of repair that happens will blow your mind!

In terms of maintenance, I recommend using Hard Water Wellness at least every other shampoo, remembering that every time you expose your hair to the water, it's getting re-coated in hard water minerals. I personally like to shampoo once with a toning shampoo and then immediately follow that with a good scrub with Hard Water Wellness. And finally, condition with some Moisture Recovery Balm for 3-5 minutes.

Now that I have a lot of the minerals stripped out of my hair, it feels so much softer and silkier, like my hair 10 years ago. I can attest that my color looks just as good as the day I did it, that my brown isn't brassy (a total miracle), and that my blonde is as bright and neutral as ever! The best part??? I can now reap ALL of the benefits of Olaplex, because it's now getting past the minerals, into my hair, and actually rebuilding my bonds!

I've got quite a bit of this little miracle worker at the studio, so don't forget to ask about it when I see you!

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