we all know know by now how hard water is our hair and skin’s “worst enemy” in the crunchy world. it can upset our delicate facial skin and leave our hair feeling gunky, gummy, and dull. what you’re experiencing is the hard water’s mineral deposits (calcium and magnesium, mostly) staying on your hair.
you’d think i’d have a real post on this by now! apologies, crunchies!
combating hard water can be simple, but it’s hit and miss, and costs vary greatly. let’s get into it!
how do i know if i have hard water?
does your hair feel gunky and sticky near the roots just from being under the water? does castile soap leave a sticky film on your hair and skin? do you notice a lot of white spots leftover in the shower and/or on your dishes? if you answered yes to one or more, chances are you have hard water.
to definitely check, reference your area’s Drinking Water Quality Report (click to search – new reports coming out July 1st 2015).
if you can’t find it, you can also do a simple bottle & soap check –
- get a clean, empty bottle (can be glass or plastic)
- fill halfway up with water, cover opening, and shake. dump water out.
- fill the bottle up halfway again, but this time add a few drops of liquid soap (whichever kind you have). shake.
- if you see a lot of bubbles, you do Not have hard water. the less suds/the more you shake, the harder your water. no suds at all? you water is extremely hard (arizona, i’m lookin at you!)
there are a few ways to combat hard water:
- install a water softener (very expensive yet permanent)
- install a shower head filter (helps a bit but must be replaced often and combined with a rinse)
- rinse your hair in filtered/distilled water (must be brought into shower with you; laborious)
- do an acid rinse after ‘washing’ (whatever ‘washing’ your hair entails)
THE ACID RINSE:
by far the easiest method is to do an acv rinse in the shower after you ‘wash’ your hair. in order to do so, you’ll need an old plastic water bottle (usually about 16 ounces), water (can be bottled or from the tap), and an acid. your acid can be acv, lemon juice, or lime juice.
- in your water bottle (can be full of bottled water or tap), put 2 tablespoons of your acid into the bottle. this will give you a ratio of 1 part acid to roughly 16 parts water (the harder the water, the more acid you should use). shake.
- after you wash, pour this mix onto your scalp, massaging gently. you can either rinse immediately or let it sit for up to 5 minutes. if you have hair that is on the dry side, rinse immediately.
once your hair dries, you – 1. won’t smell the vinegar/lime/lemond, and 2 – won’t have gunky hair. if your water is very hard, you may need to increase the acv/citrus juice.
depending on your hair type, you may notice the lemon lightening your hair over time and/or the acv bringing out red hues in your hair. please keep this in mind! you also may need to supplement with a leave-in conditioner or tiny amounts of your favorite oil on the length/ends of your hair to combat the drying effect the rinses may have on your hair (depends on hair type and history).
if hard water is still a constant issue, consider going low-poo with an all-natural “shampoo” alternative!
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oh, and if you didn’t hear on instagram, i’m finally on my way down the holistic esthetics path, thanks to YOU guys!!