My (Hair) Thoughts on Kampala’s Maybe Hard Water

wolfandmoroko hair thoughts kampala hard water

I live in Kampala, Uganda, which may or may not have very hard water. (I tried asking NWSC can see for yourself).This means I may or may not have to use a chelating shampoo to remove mineral build-up in my relaxed, highlighted mane. Now I may not know a lot about hair care but I do know why I might need said shampoo.

Back in the day, life was tough. People used soap-based cleansers for their hair, and the mineral salts in the hard water would react with the soap to form a residue. Thankfully,the surfactants used in today’s shampoos don’t cause this problem.

However, I live very close to L. Victoria and chances are the water is hard, so I may get some mineral deposits from the water used to wash my hair. My hair stylist, Auntie Biira, said I probably don’t need a chelating shampoo since she hasn’t noticed any buildup or the “hair looking dull and feeling like straw” (her exact words), so I believe it’s all good for now.

Until then, I know that when shopping for a chelating shampoo, one should look for “EDTA” on the label. “That stands for, Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetate and it’s the ingredient that complexes with the minerals in the water and helps them rinse away. There are many shampoos that use EDTA at very low levels as part of their preservative so you should look for a shampoo designed specifically for chelating that uses higher levels of this ingredient.” Source: Beauty Brains

For now, I’m continuing to love my Elasta QP Crème Conditioning Shampoo which claims to be great for hard water areas. I don’t know much about that, but I do know that it leaves the hair feeling soft and manageable – my hair feels like a marshmallow cloud after using this. It also has a low pH which is a good thing apparently (hair gurus, is it true?). In theory, lowering the pH of hair tightens the cuticle which improves shine, smoothens and detangles.

A much appreciated bonus is that this shampoo is available in Kampala. It retails at UGX15,000 at Delight Supplies, along Kampala Road.

Have you ever used a chelating shampoo? What is your experience? Also, what are your thoughts on Kampala’s water? Hard or very hard?


3 thoughts on “My (Hair) Thoughts on Kampala’s Maybe Hard Water

  1. I have used a chelating shampoo (ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo). I usually use it to clarify. One easy way to test for hard water is to use dish detergent. You take a sample of your water (~200 ml) and put a drop of the dish detergent in. Shake it up and see if bubbles form. If there are plenty of bubbles, you likely have soft water. If little to no bubbles form, you likely have hard water. This video ( describes the test and how hard water affects hair.

    Liked by 1 person

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