No Poo Methods for Washing Hair in Hard Water

Because hard water shouldn't be hard on your hair

Hard water makes everything, well, hard to deal with. From your wine glasses to your sink drains, to your shower experience. It’s hard to clean, gets everywhere, and torches the lifespan of your appliances. That is if you let it.

Hard water is typically found in more rural areas, where sediment levels are high and families are relying on well water. 

Hard water is typically found in more rural areas, where sediment levels are high and families are relying on well water. But it can found in cities, too. In hard water, total dissolved solids (TDS) are typically high, and as they evaporate, they leave stains and mineral deposits in pipes and on surfaces and drains.

Your hair is no exception.

AQ-NoPooHairwashing_body2 (1)

For those who shop organic, eat only local, and recycle everything, you may also be looking into ways to achieve ‘no poo’ hair washing — a method where you only wash your hair with water and natural products, like vinegar and baking soda. But if you’re dealing with some of the adverse effects of hard water, it can make your organic, shampoo-less life a little more difficult, too. Here’s how to deal.

The ‘No shamPoo’ Recipe

For those who have hard water, you’ll have to mix a special resolve to create your natural remedy shampoo and conditioner to counteract the effects of the high amounts of TDS.

The ingredients for the shampoo are:

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1.5 cups of boiled water

Instructions are as follows:AQ-NoPooHairwashing_body1 (1)

Bring your 1.5 cups water to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat. Boiling the hard water will help eliminate some of the minerals you don’t want in your solution. While the water is still hot, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. The soda will fizz and bubble when it hits the water — this is good since the baking soda is dissolving into the water. Take a spoon and stir in any leftover baking soda that stays solid on the bottom of your pot. Let the water cool, and then transfer it into whatever container you keep your solution in.

The ingredients for the conditioner are:

  • 2.5 tablespoons white* vinegar
  • 1 cup of boiled water

You can use either Apple Cider vinegar or white vinegar to condition your hair. It’s best to keep your conditioner in a spray bottle and only spray from the earlobes down to the ends. Rinse with cold water to mitigate the oily feeling you’ll experience in the transition phase.

Understanding the No Poo Transition Phase

The transition phase is the hardest part by far. This is the phase where you wean your hair off of shampoo and conditioner and onto natural products.

When you’re using a no poo baking soda solution on your hair, if the baking soda to water ratio is correct, the solution should feel very different from just putting plain water on your hair. The baking soda-laced water will feel slippery, even slimy. This is good to keep in mind as you get started, as this means that your solution was combined properly and is working effectively.

When you use shampoo, the soap strips your hair and scalp of the natural oils your body produces. Regular use of shampoo (especially daily use) can cause the oil glands in your scalp to over-produce oil because those oils are being constantly stripped away. Thus, when you stop using shampoo, you have allowed time for your scalp to re-adjust and return to normal oil production. This transition can take a few weeks to several months.

Once the transition phase has subsided, and you’re washing your hair at 4-5 day intervals, the oils will start to even out.

Mitigating Hard Water Effects on Your Hair

If you’re looking for a more long-term solution for the effects of hard water on your hair that also fits with your eco-friendly lifestyle, there are many options out there. For example, the Aquasana Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioner acts to descale the build up in your water, leaving your pipes clear, your appliances longer-lasting and your water free from TDS build up. For those who are going no poo, this should help you balance your natural shampoo and conditioner formulas a little easier. Plus, with the Aquasana Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioner, it doesn’t waste excess water, doesn’t use power or electricity, and doesn’t require that you lug around heavy bags of salt.

Organic shopping and living might require a little extra effort, but it shouldn’t require you sacrificing your appliances, cleaning time, and hair to hard water. Investing in your organic lifestyle also means investing in healthy skin and hair, and trust us, your skin and hair will thank you for it.


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