Anyone who lives in a hard water area, knows how much of a nightmare this can be, on your hair and what products to buy for it. Standard products use chemicals such as EDTA and sulphates to help remove mineral build-up resulting from hard water. However, these beauties are not only absorbed into our system but also do absolutely no good for our hair. Want good natural hair? Go green! But wait, hard water and green shampoo does not always go together! Read on to learn about hard water, what it does to our locks and the great shampoo and conditioner combo that helps mine!
Hair care was the first thing I changed when clearing out my personal care products. In the beginning, I thought I would just have to accept that my hair was not going to feel soft, like back in my toxic, SLS ridden Pantene days! On so many websites, I read that going low poo (limited use of shampoo) or no poo (cutting out shampoo altogether) meant your hair felt like “real hair”, which in my case was like a horse’s tail! So I carried on, on my high horse, feeling very smug that I was such an eco warrior!
After a while, the frizz arrived and my good intentions were most definitely tested. It was funny, I assumed that my hair was dry, but it didnt feel dry, just fluffy. The ends were the worst, fluffy, big and frazzled looking. No matter how much oil or various treatments I used, the fuzzy wuzzy hair was most definitely not going away. My colour was also very dull, but I just put that down to being old and did not give it a second thought LOL
It was not until I was making myself a cuppa one day and noticed the cup was full of white flakes, that it clicked! The flakes were chunks of mineral deposit that built up in my kettle from hard water. It was also around out tapes and, in that moment I realised, in my hair! I now knew what to do, to sort out my hair. Before I could do that though, I seriously needed to descale my kettle.
To be honest, I was totally out of my depth when I was researching products. I decided to contact one of my natural beauty gurus, No More Dirty Looks, on twitter, for advice. I never expected that these lovely ladies would have the time to contact little old me! But they tweeted back straight away and I got a few lovely responses from other fellow twitonians!
The general consensus was a water filter. I had gotten a quote for the house a few years ago, and the €2000 price tag turned my hair grey! That, plus the fluff, was not making an impression with my sally noggin (hair/head)! Luckily for me, the girls at NMDL didn’t stop there. They went out of their way to do a search for me and found a recommendation of a shampoo and conditioner that could help my situation – Aubrey Organic Swimmers Shampoo and Condititoner.
HARD WATER FACTS AND EFFECTS ON OUR HAIR
Hard water refers to the level of mineral content in water. The higher the mineral levels are, the harder your water is. The minerals we are talking about are calcium and magnesium, with a few others such as bicarbonates thrown in there. These minerals cause the cuticle, the outer layer of our hair strand to raise. Raised cuticles means dull, fluffy, tangle prone hair. Products will also over time become trapped in the raised cuticles, leading to product build-up. Normally, a good does of Apple cider vinegar would make the cuticle ly flat, but this is not enough in a hard water area.
“Standard” shampoo uses ingredients such as, sulphates, silicones and EDTA to hide the effect of hard water. However, these ingredients are not without thier drawbacks. EDTA & Sulphates are penetration enhancers, meaning they increase the perimeability or our skin leaving our system vulnerale to external influences, such as toxic chemcials and pollution. Sulphates strip our natural oils which work with our immune system and also conditioners our hair. Silicones, finally, cover each hair strand in a plastic layer, masking damage underneath. Follicules also become clogged, impeding hair growth. If you have thinning hair or you hair quality has reduced recently, as well ass seeing a health practitioner, look at the products you use. To see what these ingredients do once inside our bodies, check out EWG Skin Deep, cosmetics database!
In my case, as as you can see in pictures below, it was the ends of my hair that showed the tell tale signs of hard water and mineral build up. They were fluffy and even dry looking but so soft to touch. I noticed they also dried very straight, you know the look on hair that has been overly bleached. Some strands were curly while others were poker straight. My colour went a definite mousey shade. I do not dye my hair, I am luck that my hair colour is still quite vibrant, although now quickly going grey. However mineral build-up will either dull your colour or make coloured hair brassy. So if you are not sure if you suffer from the side-effects of hard water? See how your hair reacts to a deep conditioning treatment. If there are still signs of frizzy, look at your water supply.
There are websites available showing water quality in your region. Look what I discovered about my town! Its found on the south east corner here. The bright red area, yikes!
The shampoo and conditioner, along with delivery from the UK came to about €35, so not the cheapest of hair products around but here goes my thinking. I only wash my hair once, twice a week since removing harsh sulphates from products. This, in place of everyday shampooing back in the day, means it all balances out economically. I can’t remember but can imagine the ridiculous amounts of shampoo I used to go through!
The key ingredients here are the rice bran and quinoa protein. Both are used for their chelating properties and for smoothing the hair follicles. The latter adds to increased hydration and super shiney hair. If you suffer with porous hair, these ingredients will also benefit you.
Both products smell divine, almondy and sweet. As you would expect in a hard water area, bubbles were a tad shy to make an appearance but I didn’t care, as long as it cleaned my gruaige! I then applied the condiditoner. The texture of it took me by surprised in a good way. It was thick, very creamy and had the slippery texture, similar to silicone based products but obviously without the silicone! I did the usual, leave in for 5 mine and rinse. The first time I used the products I let my hair air dry and even slept on it a tad damp!
I honestly was not expecting much, sorry Aubrey LOL. But when I woke the next day I fell back in love with my hair! The cold war between us was over and we were most definitley back on 🙂 I had volume in my roots which I never got, not even back in the Pantene days! The hair was super soft to touch. I was raving about the products to a friend who touched my hair and could not believed how soft it was. She called it “baby hair”, just to give you an idea. The colour came back. Peeps even thought I had dyed it, and shiney, unbelievable shiney!
As for the fluff? You can see in the first pic, taken after the first time I used the products, that the fluff was till a tad at the ends. This did gradually fad with regular use of Aubreys, its been a month now. For me, I find the best way to use the two is to apply the condiditoner first to the ends, leave for 15mins or longer and then wash out. l sometimes, I reapply a very small about of conditioner just to the very tips and rinse.
So if you live in a hard water area, give Aubrey Organic a go! I still will be getting a filter fitted and luckily found a single shower head filter for €50. However, these two products are now my hair staple! Thanks No More Dirty Looks for the recommendation.
Let me know how you get on? Stay in touch on Facebook or Twitter or if you use the products, show me on Instagram!