The performance of natural shampoo is greatly affected by hard water. We've done a bit of digging and tried to shine some light on the subject.
What is hard water?
Hard Water is water with a high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium, these minerals cause a chemical reaction with traditional soaps that prevent them from working as effectively.
Why is there a problem with shampoo bars and hard water?
When traditional natural soap comes into contact with the minerals in hard water it causes a chemical reaction that changes the sodium salt component in soaps into their calcium and magnesium salt counterparts, thus resulting in an insoluble white-grey residue.
What can be done?
This residue is very difficult to rinse out of hair using the hard water from your tap or shower so it is for this reason that you hear of the apple cider vinegar, baking soda or washing soda rinse being advised. All of these solutions, soften the water chemically.
A Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) solution can be used to rid your hair of the mineral build up caused by hard water. While this is perfect for removing the mineral build up, it doesn’t solve the problem of hard water, as you then re-applying the minerals when you rinse your hair from your supply.
To actually soften your hard water, you can use Sodium Carbonate (washing soda) which binds to the minerals in hard water, changing their chemical makeup and thus making them insoluble.
If you are in any doubt or are not really up to such a drastic change in habits, then natural shampoo bars, when used in very hard water areas, are probably not for you. Though we know that the problem can be solved with a few alterations to lifestyle, we fully understand that people often just don’t have the time or patience for it and so feel that it is better, for everyone involved, that we are open and transparent about it from the start.
Are you in a hard water area?
We have collected a list of the areas of the UK that are considered to have the hardest water.
09. Hemel Hempstead
10. St Albans
17. Milton Keynes