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the no 'poo method

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Solutions for Hard Water
veggie_one wrote in no_poo
I have very hard water which has makes not using shampoo much more frustrating. As far as I can tell a lot of people posting about waxy or dusty hair might have the same problem, my hair would feel so gross right after just running it under water. The hardness or your water may make this worse. So I set out to find an answer. What is happening when you run your hair under hard water is the minerals coat your hair with a fine powder which can mix with sebum and cause hair nastiness; an awful waxy feeling that makes hair feel awful and look very dull.

Using a baking soda with hard water makes this worse. A site I came across explained that "Soap is less effective in hard water because its reacts to form the calcium or magnesium salt of the organic acid of the soap. These salts are insoluble and form grayish soap scum," (sound familiar?) "but no cleansing lather. Detergents, on the other hand, lather in both hard and soft water. Calcium and magnesium salts of the detergent's organic acids form, but these salts are soluble in water." http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/a/aa082403a.htm Baking soda and water form a very mild soap when mixed with the oils in your hair, shampoo is not soap; it is a detergent which is why it works in all kinds of water. But you can make baking soda work!

The solution is fairly easy. I use distilled water for my baking soda mix, which costs less than a dollar a gallon at the grocery store, just make sure it is distilled not drinking water other wise you will have the same problem. I mix about 24 oz distilled water with 2 Tbs baking soda, but use whatever has worked for you. The solution will feel slippery which I never could achieve using my hard water. I also apply before I get my hair wet, to reduce hard water contact, but I rinse in hard water and it works doesn't interfere. I have also heard of some success with boiling water, though I couldn't get it to work. http://www.how-to-boost-your-immune-system.com/no-shampoo-method-with-hard-water.html I was getting really frustrated with the no shampoo method until I tried this, it makes my hair feel very clean and lovely.

I also use lime juice as a conditioner, 2 limes to 24oz (you can use hard water here). Partly because of my hard water. If you have hard water stains in your shower dipping fixtures and such in citrus juices helps break up the mineral build-up, the principle seems to apply to mineral build up in hair as well. I haven't tried lemon juice but I imagine it would also work.

I hope this helps those struggling with the no shampoo method due to hard water, it has made me quit before but now that I understand how to prevent mineral build-up I see no reason to go back!

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I wish I'd known this when I was on vacation in London. Worst. Water. EVAR.

Getting a really good filter on your shower head works too, but it's a pain to travel with. I had to resort to water only, with a lemon juice rinse - and some stylish bandannas.

Thanks for the info. I did notice that between my baking soda washes (I tried to cut back to once a week), my hair felt greasy but in an entirely different way than my hair would get after one day of not using shampoo. It was thick and greasy instead of lank and greasy and when I could see an individual strand, it had a dusty-looking build up, just like you described. It could be my water but baking soda mixed with my water works fine so maybe it's only slightly leaning toward hard.

Using diluted citrus rinse on in-between days might help with the build-up

Yeah, that frustrated me too! Lemon does work quite well as a rinse. It actually got my hair to fluff up a bit again instead of going more and more flat and dull until I would give in and shampoo it...

(Deleted comment)
Happy to help! It can get frustrating. I've had good success lately with salt rinses and tea rinses, I use them as a wash. The tea is more drying, if your hair is oily and I think the salt scrubs/ rinses cut some build up and oil while leaving it pretty soft. I've also read the salt can actually make the water softer; that it's like rinsing with soft water, if you want to look into that there are some good posts about it.

The best solution for hard water is to get a quality water softener! I got mine at Kinetico San Antonio!
Kinetico Water Softeners (http://kineticosa.com)

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