Are you a victim of hard water? Can't use shampoo bars? A customer recently informed us that their daughter, who had been using our shampoo bars with great results at home, went off to college this fall...and had a horrible experience using them with the hard water at school. Their solution? A Culligan Filtered Showerhead. Problem solved. Here's what the customer said:
It works! She now has softened water for her shower and the shampoo bars work just as perfectly there as they do here at home. And her two roommates are happy with the softer water, too!
Another option is an Aquasauna filter which is more expensive, but I've heard good things about it on forums.
Please note: I have no personal experience with a shower head filter, so I can't vouch for them one way or the other. This information is provided for you based on feedback we've received from customers. Results may vary depending on the mineral content in your particular corner of the world.
Some customers with hard water actually have success with natural shampoo bars, but as we do not know how hard their water is, we still recommend not using natural shampoo bars with hard water. However, if you suspect you have hard water, there is the option of using distilled water to saturate your hair before shampooing and then again afterwards to rinse. As there is no mineral content in distilled water, the shampoo bar will give you a nice thick sudsy lather. If this lather is different from what you experience with your own water, it's highly likely that you have hard water.
So is there any hope? Yes! You can try shampooing and rinsing with distilled water for a few days in a row to allow your hair the time to transition (if needed), along with an acidic rinse to help close the scales on your hair, but that can be a little cumbersome. Find out more about why using an acidic rinse is important. Plus what then? You'd either need to continue using distilled water to at least rinse your hair each time after shampooing to prevent build up, or find another way to soften the water. But there is another possible solution which some customers have had success with both at home when hard water is present, and when traveling. Baking soda. Baking soda may help with hard water and even transitioning to shampoo bars as it counteracts the buildup from hard water minerals. There are two ways that people have found works well using baking soda:
One, take your damp shampoo bar and dip into a little baking soda and then lather the bar up on your head. Rinse and then follow with an acidic rinse which will pH balance your hair and scalp.
Two, mix 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 8 ounces of warm water, shake well and saturate dry hair in the shower with this mixture before shampooing (for longer hair you may need a little more). Lather up well with one of our natural shampoo bars, rinse thoroughly, and then finish with an acidic rinse which will pH balance your hair and scalp. Leave the acidic rinse in for as long as possible (5-15 mins) then rinse out if you are using it at full strength. Typically, hard water causes most issues during the lathering stage, so that's why it's important to start with the baking soda and water, but rinsing with hard water should be just fine.
Another possible solution is to use a salt water mix. The ratio for salt water is like that of a saline solution, so 1/2 tsp of table or sea salt to 1 cup of water. The amount of salt could be reduced if necessary, but we don't suggest increasing it unless you want texture like being in the ocean.
As you can see, there are solutions to using natural shampoo bars with hard water. They may take a little more time, and a few more steps, but the end product is worth it!