Here in Brighton, we have extraordinarily hard water. It’s been something I’ve begrudgingly lived with for the great majority of my life, making it harder to wash my thick hair, as well as keep my bacne-prone skin clear. If you live in London or the South East, you’re probably familiar with the same issues – or at least, limescale staining everything! So when I was recently offered the Hello Klean shower filter and scalp products to try, I jumped at the chance. Could something so simple fix my water supply, and make my hair and skin better?
What’s The Problem With Hard Water?
Hard water refers to tap water that contains very high mineral content. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be something to complain about – many minerals included in water are good for us, and some are even added to commercial bottled water.
Hard water is common across London and the Southeast of England, where chalk and limestone are more present and provide high traces of calcium and magnesium in our water supply. These two mineral deposits can be a problem. They make it harder to properly clean hair or skin, leading to a build up of product residue. This in turn can exacerbate other skin conditions, such as eczema and acne.
One easy way to tell if you have hard water is to check your kettle for limescale. You may also notice calcium and magnesium deposits elsewhere in your home, such as white traces on your shower, or white crystals on your iron or steamer.
Soft Water vs. Hard Water
You might not think that hard water has a massive effect on your hair or skin, but I have to be honest – it’s something I almost always immediately notice the difference of when I’m travelling. Having lived in the Southeast of England for almost all of my life, the brief periods when I’ve travelled to soft-water-blessed-lands like Edinburgh, Manchester, or Wales, I’ve not only been able to taste the difference in the tap water, but I’ve also felt the difference when washing. With my thick hair, it takes a lot of effort to shampoo it, but with soft water I find it lathers so much easier, and leaves my scalp feeling a lot cleaner too. I can’t write too much on my skin condition, as I have quite an extensive skincare routine as well, but I reckon the effects would be similar too.
Hello Klean Shower Filter Review
Enter, Hello Klean. This hybrid-skincare-haircare-homeware brand makes shower heads and shower filters that reduce the effects of hard water. They also have a range of skincare and haircare products to alleviate the effects of hard water. Oh and did I mention they look like Dyson designed them? Their range is all clean lines and swish glossy metal.
I was gifted the Hello Klean Shower Filter* and Clarifying Scalp Soak* as a sort of starter-kit. I’ll be honest – I thought our shower could have done with the shower head upgrade. But actually, I found the filter was a better fit by itself. You see, I live in a little cottage built in the 1850s, and apparently, people were shorter in those days. Our entire upstairs has a ceiling so low I can touch it despite being only 5’ 5”, and that includes in our bathroom. In fact, my boyfriend already struggles to shower comfortably under our rainfall shower. So while the filter was meant to go on the overhead rainfall shower head, it ended up fitting much better screwed into the handheld.
In order for me to write this review, I limited myself to only taking showers with the handheld shower and have done so since the middle of August. However, it only took me a week or so to notice the difference!
Results After One Wash…
With my first wash, I wanted a complete reset. I applied the Scalp Soak first, and left it to sit on my scalp for 5 minutes, before rinsing, and shampooing and conditioning under the now-filtered shower water. (I later learned the box said to not shampoo after use, but I did try that once and it left my hair a little greasy). The soak has a base of apple cider vinegar and phytic acid, making it an acidic pH 4.0. It’s aim? To cut through scalp build up and reduce flakiness. Because, believe it or not, but a lot of flakiness comes from product build up, and not skin conditions like dandruff. You can quickly tell the difference too – build up sticks to the hair, whereas flaky scalp tends to fall out.
From wash one, my hair felt lighter. Swooshier. Like it had been double shampooed at the hairdressers kind of lightness. In the last eight weeks, I’ve gotten used to this feeling, only once having issue after trying a new blue shampoo which left my scalp sticky and slightly blue (insert Big Fat Liar reference here).
I only use the Scalp Soak once a week, but I really use it. I have long, thick hair, so I apply it directly to my scalp like an at-home hair dye. The guidelines mention ‘coin-sized’ amounts but I am certainly using much more than that. I also make sure it’s across my whole scalp by using a shower brush* which honestly feels like a mini head massage. Love!
And the filter? I’ll be honest, my hair and skin have never looked better. I suffer with bacne and I genuinely think the filter, combined with my robust skincare routine, is keeping me clear.
So, Does Hello Klean Actually Work?
Shower filters have been around for ages, and I have used them in the past (before moving house and finding they’re incompatible… grr!) Hello Klean is different because it takes a more holistic approach to combatting the ills of hard water on hair and skin. I do genuinely think their products work, but this comes with some caveats. First, it’s important to integrate their products with a routine that best suits your skin and hair. Second, I’m a bit wary of buying refills – and I think for the price point, it’ll be something I put off. If refill capsules were a quarter of the price, and could be bought in bulk, I’d likely buy in. But £40 a pop? After the initial £65 outlay? Meh.
Finally, a warning if you have coloured hair. The Scalp Soak may wash your colour out quicker than normal. I’m pretty sure this is what happened to me, but I could also chalk it up to my sun exposure and sea swimming too. I’ll have to keep using and see, but in the last eight weeks I’ve definitely seen my hair dye lighten more than normal between my regular appointments.
My Overall Rating: 7/10
Overall, I’m rating Hello Klean a fair score of 7/10. They get an instant 5/10 for having products that *work*, and additional points for their style and sustainability (everything is recyclable except the filter mix). They lose points for their expensive price point, and the knowledge that I’ll likely put off rebuying filters because of this. Hello Klean is available to purchase on Cult Beauty*, HelloKlean.com, and Selfridges.
Have you tried Hello Klean? I’d love to know your thoughts.