the no 'poo method

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Help, I'm in England!
stachelbeeren wrote in no_poo
...and the water is so horribly hard in a different way that my medium-hard water at home is. I only arrived today but I really don't want to mess up my hair and spend days trying to find out what might work best for me in these circumstances. 
My hair is straight, with a few occasional waves, shoulder-long, somewhere between fine and medium (individual strands), medium thick, dry, hennaed. I don't use the BS & ACV combo. I've been off shampoo since the end of March 2012, so it's been around 3-4 months.
I am still experimenting but I get excellent results with egg yolk washes (to get rid of build-up), coconut oil for the ends/length, an occasional syrian shampoo wash (according to the ingredients it only contains herbs and 'saponifiers' whatever that means (by writing that I wonder what kind of saponifiers were used), WO between washes (until there is evident buildup), and an acidic (not ACV) rinse. 

Any suggestions about English water from the Berkshire region? oh and I want to get some good henna and indigo and shikakai, amla... tell me - what's the best place to buy? :)

Hi, I'm in Cambridge. I'm on the BS/ACV combo myself, so I can't give you too much advice on your method. But, if you need to mix up any thing to wash with, boil the water first and mix while it's still hot.

WO probably won't work for you either, unless you get a shower filter. I just bought this one for relatively cheap:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0079210QK/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00
No idea yet on if it will work, only installed it yesterday!

As far as buying your henna, et al, try Lush, Revital, or your local health food shop.

Good luck!

thank you for the advice - so how is the shower filter? I'm actually considering buying one...

Jury's still out. It hasn't made like an immediate, "OMG WOW!" difference, but I'm going to give it a bit more time.

ah, sorry for my on-and-off replys on this post - so have you observed any difference yet with your shower filter? as for me and hard water here in Reading, it's just a pain... first of all, I can't find any white vinegar! Lemons leave my hair stringy, but my hair has a problem with acidic rinses in general. back home I was able to find the right balance, now I have to start over. is it just me or is wv hard to find?

Nope, no white vinegar in England. (Believe they call it "spirit vinegar" here. Only some online specialty shops carry it, and it's usually imported from the US.). I use ACV for my roots and sometimes distilled malt vinegar as an overall rinse. The distilled malt vinegar is clear and works fine, but it smells horrendous. Just more to love about being an expat. :-P

I'm not sure the shower filter I bought is worth it. I'm noticing a slight difference, but if you're going to buy one, I'd recommend going a little more high end.

spirit vinegar is something different, believe me :) I'm not putting that on my hair. I've seen some the other day as well as malt vinegar but I was very hesitant of buying it - I'm not sure I'd like myself to smell like fish and chips hehe - I think I'll try orange juice next (today). if all else fails, I have my Syrian shampoo and coconut oil. I might even invest in emu oil shampoo. i's been in the back of my head for ages.

Nope, pretty sure what we call white vinegar in the US is called spirit vinegar in the UK. It may be distilled spirit vinegar, but it's definitely not the same as (distilled) malt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar#Distilled_vinegar

really??? hmmm... I'm pretty sure that the WV I used wasn't spirit vinegar. It didn't smell as strongly. Maybe it was processed differently or .... waaait. I know what it was. it was white balsamic vinegar

that explains a lot. I couldn't find this one at Morrison's.

Ah, right. Well, if you don't want to use white distilled malt (that's what I use), most supermarkets here sell white wine vinegar. Don't know about white balsamic.

Good luck!

thanks a lot for the tips! I'll definitely try out one of the two - hopefully they'll work :)

Hey again! I think your current regime should work just fine really. As I said on loveexhumed's post above, hard water's ph levels are usually exceptionally high (sometimes even a 9) so you might need to up the ratio of your acid rinse to keep your hair ph balance right, and just keep a gentle eye on your scalp that might be sensitive to the minerals in the water. Hopefully though, the shower filter should be helping with that bit.

Welcome to England!

thank you, it hasn't been easy I must say. sorry for the late reply on this post, it's been so busy around here.
ah, I can't find the right balance of the acidic rinses again and my hair is stringy, it's funny, it's "reverse oily" - the roots are fine, the rest is stringy. any suggestions? what is your routine?

cheers :)

Yeah, I've hard to start with an overall vinegar rinse (not just roots) to get rid of build-up from the hard water.

I actually had a hard time with acid rinses when I first started out here. Somewhere you'll have to go back to basics and think things through again. What acid are you using? I have never heard of someone using balsamic vinegar successfully, but white balsamic?! Weird! Learning something new every day. The only place I can imagine carrying a high end vinegar like that would be Waitrose, or a fancy deli like place. I have been incredibly happy with ACV and/or coffee, myself. Alternatively, try citric acid, maybe? Also - did you ever use the honey like we talked about before? I still swear by honey in my acid rinse.

I'm only a couple of train stops north from you, by the way, in Oxford. And I litmus tested the water recently to find that it has a ph of 8. My ACV mix is about a 4. Not sure if that's helpful to you. The hardness of the water is what is keeping your scalp relatively clean, I think. And you don't use BS so you're probably not messing up your scalp ph either, which is great! For the length maybe concentrate on combing it through under hot hot water, and go easy on the acid rinses. Good organic lo-poo products by the way, in case you get desperate, can be found at Holland and Barrett. I use the Dr. Organics Lavender Conditioner occasionally, diluted and just on my ends, especially when I've BS'd.

At the end of the day, your hair is just going to need time to adjust, I guess!

Hi there, I'm sorry it's taking me ages to reply! I think I found what works for me - really hot WO + coconut oil works quiet well and egg yolk wash every 3rd/4th wash to remove build up - which is when I realise that my hair takes ages to dry...

I tried honey + ACV - but that was back in Poland, I haven't had the chance to try it out here yet but I've been okay with my current routine so far, my hair may be too dry but that's the fault of my diet I believe (I hardly have the chance to take up unsaturated fats).

Thanks for the tips, I figured out that too acidic rinses aren't really a good idea for this type of water so I occasionally take a teaspoon of lemon juice and dilute it in a cup of cold water. I recently found a post where someone was suggesting an EO rinse after hot WO and that has been working just fine. I'm still looking for something to condition my hair, after an egg wash my hair is nicely conditioned but then it becomes dry and it takes a lot of coconut oil for me to able to comb through my hair.

Oxford, eh? What a beautiful town to live in! Especially last week when the weather was nice :)

Edited at 2012-07-29 05:13 pm (UTC)