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ccmuffingirl
September 29th, 2008, 10:11 PM
Lately I've been concerned about the hardness of the water in my area and my hair's health. My friend told me a story about a women that had very pretty hair who lived in a soft water area, and when she moved to a hard water area her hair became brittle and damaged from it. I'm not trying to instill paranoia or anything, it just concerns me a bit. I currently mix the water I use to rinse my hair with a bit of baking soda (because I 've heard that's supposed to soften it a bit) but I wanted to know if there was any truth to that statement. What do you ladies do who live in hard water areas and don't have filtration/softener systems installed in your home? Do you worry about the hardness of your water? TIA :).

crispycritters
September 29th, 2008, 10:20 PM
Yes, I worry about it because its hard to get rid of hard water stains in the shower and Im thinking is that why I dont like my hair ever? Is that stuff in my hair? I was thinking of adding epsom salt to my bath tub to wash my hair in....but I dont know if thats wise either..doesn't salt dry up hair? Im just guessing. I dont know much about it.

ccmuffingirl
September 29th, 2008, 10:43 PM
I know! The whole thing frightens me as well. I don't know why hard water has to even exist. Why can't all water be soft water? I'm not 100% sure if the baking soda/epsom salt thing really works, but it won't dry out your hair if you use a little. I believe the concentration for using baking soda as a rinse is something like 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. Baking soda is pretty strong so you don't need to use a lot. And salt is pretty good for your hair--well, at least sea salt is :).

crispycritters
September 29th, 2008, 11:05 PM
oh, ok...awhile back i used like a handful of baking soda in my hair...that might explain some stuff..dryness....lol. I know I wish I had soft water,, I get yellow and red stains from it in the shower...its just not right.

crispycritters
September 29th, 2008, 11:14 PM
ok wait a minute, I missed something, sea salt is good for hair? What does it do if you dont mind me asking?

ccmuffingirl
September 29th, 2008, 11:20 PM
ok wait a minute, I missed something, sea salt is good for hair? What does it do if you dont mind me asking?

Natural sea salt is rich in minerals, which are good for your hair. Regular salt has been stripped chemically and doesn't have these beneficial minerals in them :).

ccmuffingirl
September 29th, 2008, 11:23 PM
ok wait a minute, I missed something, sea salt is good for hair? What does it do if you dont mind me asking?

Here's a link that talks about sea salt being good for your follicles as well as your skin.

ccmuffingirl
September 29th, 2008, 11:25 PM
Here's a link that talks about sea salt being good for your follicles as well as your skin.



Actually, this is the correct link. Sorry about that :).

LifeisAdventure
September 30th, 2008, 03:58 AM
Hate to tell you ccmuffingirl, but I am a soft-water to hard-water horror story. :(
I lived in a soft water area (central North Carolina) for over 20 years and over the past few years I finally found a great routine and got my hair looking gorgeous at tailbone length. My hair was soft, shiny, full, and strong -- very resistant to breakage and frizziness. I moved to central Illinois (an area rated as having the "hardest water" in the US) about 4 months ago and it's been a downhill struggle since then. My hair is much duller, flatter, often frizzy, and breakage is pretty rampant. I've trimmed twice in the last 4 months whereas I hadn't touched my hair with scissors in nearly 2 years before moving here. I've had to start clarifying, I can't rinse with ACV anymore, and it's been a hair product merry-go-round in my shower since the move. I'm pretty freaking stressed out about it, so I keep hoping I can find another good routine and rescue my hair asap.

Anyway, your experience may not be as bad as mine, since I have literally swung between the two extremes of soft water and super hard water. Plus, plenty of people around here have GORGEOUS hair, mine is just used to being babied and I haven't figured out how to care for it yet. I'll be watching this thread for other helpful hints! And good luck!

wendyg
September 30th, 2008, 04:05 AM
lifeisadventure: shower filter! I fought with London water for 15 years and my hair broke off to pretty much shoulder length. Save your hair by fixing the water now!

wg

Monsterkitti
September 30th, 2008, 04:05 AM
Ive always lived in an area with hard water so dont really worry about it, suppose Ive got used to how my hair behaves with this water and my routine works for it. The only real difference in routine I make for the water is to wash my scalp twice and let the suds clean the length.

If I go on holiday my hair immediatly changes, softer and usually much more curly so the water does make a difference.

Slug Yoga
September 30th, 2008, 05:35 AM
I do worry about it a bit because I know there's hard water in my area (could be my imagination, but it seems like the water is less hard in my current apartment than the other one I lived in in the same city), but my hair is still shiny and soft. I thought maybe I needed to clarify due to some tangliness on my ends recently, but it didn't seem to make a difference. I'm going to install a water filter though, just in case.

ccmuffingirl
September 30th, 2008, 06:11 PM
Hate to tell you ccmuffingirl, but I am a soft-water to hard-water horror story. :(
I lived in a soft water area (central North Carolina) for over 20 years and over the past few years I finally found a great routine and got my hair looking gorgeous at tailbone length. My hair was soft, shiny, full, and strong -- very resistant to breakage and frizziness. I moved to central Illinois (an area rated as having the "hardest water" in the US) about 4 months ago and it's been a downhill struggle since then. My hair is much duller, flatter, often frizzy, and breakage is pretty rampant. I've trimmed twice in the last 4 months whereas I hadn't touched my hair with scissors in nearly 2 years before moving here. I've had to start clarifying, I can't rinse with ACV anymore, and it's been a hair product merry-go-round in my shower since the move. I'm pretty freaking stressed out about it, so I keep hoping I can find another good routine and rescue my hair asap.

Anyway, your experience may not be as bad as mine, since I have literally swung between the two extremes of soft water and super hard water. Plus, plenty of people around here have GORGEOUS hair, mine is just used to being babied and I haven't figured out how to care for it yet. I'll be watching this thread for other helpful hints! And good luck!

I'm so sorry that happened to you! I did more research on what hard water is and I found out that it's basically mineral deposits like calcium, silica, and iron that find its way in your water from piping and the like. There's also chlorine in faucet water, which can also be harmful to your hair, but ther reason why mineral deposits are so harmful (from what I read) is because our hair has a negative charge and mineral deposits have a positive charge, and when positives/negatives meet they bond to each other, causing the metals to bond with our hair. I definitely want to buy a shower filter. My hair doesn't feel horrible (probably because I grew up in a hard water area :(), but I feel that it can be better. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and your advice :).

ccmuffingirl
September 30th, 2008, 06:14 PM
I do worry about it a bit because I know there's hard water in my area (could be my imagination, but it seems like the water is less hard in my current apartment than the other one I lived in in the same city), but my hair is still shiny and soft. I thought maybe I needed to clarify due to some tangliness on my ends recently, but it didn't seem to make a difference. I'm going to install a water filter though, just in case.

Overall my hair feels soft and looks shiny too, but I get problems with my ends as well (They feel rough if I don't put shea butter on them daily) and I feel that has a lot to do with the hardness of my water. I'm going to buy a shower filter this week or next week. I'll keep you ladies posted as to whether I feel a difference or not :).

eternallyverdan
September 30th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Unfortunately, in my experience, all of the stories about hard water are totally true. After I lived in Wisconsin for several years with VERY hard water (our softener refused to be fixed, and we had half a dozen people out to try) my hair had decent texture and body, but was stuck at tailbone length. Then I moved to France and my hair is almost at classic after a year in France and then in Morocco. Definitely spring for a filter if you can afford one-- it makes a huge difference!

Anje
September 30th, 2008, 06:34 PM
Um, ladies, get the salt and baking soda out of your water. Neither will soften it. (Water softeners work on ion exchange. Simply adding sodium will not remove the calcium and magnesium "hardness" ions. More info. (http://www.culliganhays.com/softeners-howwork.html)) The baking soda may clarify your hair a little, but it's also alkaline and can make the scales of your hair stand up. You'll be better off with a dilute vinegar or citric acid rinse.

I moved from a really hard water area (Wisconsin, no softeners) to an extremely hard water area (Indiana) and ended up getting a softener. I don't notice a difference with my hair, but I do with the level of soap scum in my shower and on my dishes! Not using as much detergent and actually getting suds made it worth it!

harpgal
September 30th, 2008, 06:35 PM
I live with very hard water in a very dry climate. It is a constant battle to keep my hair nice. Some of the things that help:

1. Rinse with distilled water (I use 3 cups + 2 Ts ACV).
2. I also use this water filter (http://www.ronin-online.com/). It helps a lot.
3. Use a leave-in (I use Giovanni's Direct Leave-In).
4. Use coconut oil along with the leave-in.
5. Trim often (I do this every months - a very small amount).
6. Wear your hair in various updos.

All of this helps but when I get to a soft water area, the difference in my hair is amazing! I love, love, love soft water!

ccmuffingirl
September 30th, 2008, 06:49 PM
Um, ladies, get the salt and baking soda out of your water. Neither will soften it. (Water softeners work on ion exchange. Simply adding sodium will not remove the calcium and magnesium "hardness" ions. More info. (http://www.culliganhays.com/softeners-howwork.html)) The baking soda may clarify your hair a little, but it's also alkaline and can make the scales of your hair stand up. You'll be better off with a dilute vinegar or citric acid rinse.

I moved from a really hard water area (Wisconsin, no softeners) to an extremely hard water area (Indiana) and ended up getting a softener. I don't notice a difference with my hair, but I do with the level of soap scum in my shower and on my dishes! Not using as much detergent and actually getting suds made it worth it!

I checked out the site that you listed, and I had a question about this quote "Maintenance of water softeners is largely confined to restocking the salt supply (http://www.culliganhays.com/salt.html) for the brine solution. The brine tank may require periodic cleaning. The frequency of cleaning depends on the amount and purity of the salt used in the softening process. The brine valve and float assembly should also be checked and cleaned (http://www.culliganhays.com/service.html) as often as needed." It says that the maintenance of water softeners depends on the restocking of the salt supply, so I guess that means that salt does soften water because they use it in softening systems.

Chromis
September 30th, 2008, 07:59 PM
I'm another who has hair that hates hard water. Worst, my *scalp* goes nuts with it! Itchy, itchy. Acid rinses help and so do shower filters, but the thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of hardness. GH is general hardness, KH is carbonate hardness (this effects the buffering ability of the water, if there is a high buffer, the pH will be more stable), and pH which is normally what people mean when they talk about how "hard" or "soft" their water is. A good place to read up on the chemistry side of things are aquarium related websites since this sort of thing is very important to feeshies! (Some like very soft water, some need a higher mineral content, some like hard water, some neutral but low in minerals etc)

Silver Strands
September 30th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Um, ladies, get the salt and baking soda out of your water. Neither will soften it. (Water softeners work on ion exchange. Simply adding sodium will not remove the calcium and magnesium "hardness" ions. More info. (http://www.culliganhays.com/softeners-howwork.html)) The baking soda may clarify your hair a little, but it's also alkaline and can make the scales of your hair stand up. You'll be better off with a dilute vinegar or citric acid rinse.


I'm confused by this too.
If you go to the article and click on: "Is softened water safe to drink?" it says that "sodium bicarbonate,
which is different from sodium chloride (table salt) is formed through the water softening process."

So, a baking soda rinse sounds like it would work.

Anje
September 30th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Salt is used to soften water, but it's because it actually is swapped for the calcium and magnesium in the water in the resin chamber. Those ions bind to the resin and are flushed out as waste water during the recharge cycle. However, you need to remove the calcium -- all you're doing is adding salt.

Adding sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate to a bowl of water with flour in it doesn't remove the flour, nor does it remove anything else, unless it causes a precipitate to form that you could physically remove.

jivete
September 30th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Does anyone know if water softened by a softener is as good for your hair as naturally soft water? I'm planning on buying a water softener for my shower only, hoping it helps my dry, brittle hair.

And I know I've said this before in other posts, but hard water is natural and based on the soils, etc in the area you live. Most water utilities will treat for it, or at least reduce the level of hardness, but it depends on the utility. It isn't from water pipes or added chemicals. It's probably healthier to drink because of the added calcium, it just isn't good for soap, hot water heaters or hair/skin, so it seems.

spidermom
September 30th, 2008, 09:43 PM
You can buy pitchers that have a water filter in the lid and filter any water you use on your hair. Or buy distilled water. Or a shower-head filter.

Baking soda is not good for your hair. Hair likes an acid balance. Baking soda is alkaline.

CopperHead
September 30th, 2008, 09:54 PM
I have somewhat hard water and have no problems with my hair at all.

sky
October 1st, 2008, 02:07 AM
You may want to do something our great-grandmothers did....catch rainwater and use that!

Absolutely soft water....naturally and free, too!

For best results, do not gather it from a downspout, because it has run over the roof and picked up impurities.

Place a big bowl, bucket, open pitcher, etc. out in the open during a rainstorm.

HTH

sky

Silver Strands
October 1st, 2008, 06:16 AM
All good suggestions from Harpgal, Spidermom & Sky.

I actually have one of those pitchers. I'll have to dig it out.

I have used a Tb of baking soda in a gallon of water and it seemed to work well
using it as my rinsing water.
I have also used.... Fruit Fresh. It contains citric acid and vit. c with a little dextrose
thrown in and a non-caking agent.
It works very well but I always use bottled water for the final rinse just in case there are
any sugar traces left.
Oh, I use about 1 tsp in a gallon of water.

At Sally's I picked-up one of those Ion packets which contain almost the same thing as the
Fruit Fresh but on the label it said to not use it on hair that is 10% or more white.
I haven't used it. And the little 1 use packet cost over $3.00 whereas my Fruit Fresh contains 5 ounces and can be bought in any grocery store for a little over $4.00.


All in all the best i've found so far is the Aloe Rid shampoo. It does work the best.

Harpgal's suggestion of using oil and a leave-in reminded me that if you have a rusty bolt
you need to remove, you oil it and let it sit and the oil will loosen the rust's hold.
So, that makes great sense to do the same with hair maybe before a wash with the
Aloe Rid.

I'm getting some great ideas here but DH just has to replace the water softener. That will just simplify everything.

starla_zero
October 1st, 2008, 08:06 AM
I've noticed my flaky scalp clears up wonders when I'm in soft water areas and my skin looks really clear and glowy, so I can definitely see a difference between the two. I'd love to know what effect it might have on hair growth though, mine is so slowwww.

Periwinkle
October 1st, 2008, 10:21 AM
I have very hard water and I've never had any problems. I've never noticed a difference between my own hard water and soft water elsewhere.

teela1978
October 1st, 2008, 12:03 PM
I've found that with soft water I can shampoo less, and can get by on CO or other "alternative" washing methods for extended periods of time. With hard water I NEED to shampoo. With a sulfate. Regularly. Clarifying at least once a month is also vital. In hard water for me, this means using a sulfate shampoo straight (I usually dilute a LOT), pouring some baking soda-water over my head, massaging a bit, and rinsing. Cones also work wonders for me in hard water. Not sure if they block out the bad stuff or what. No cones+hard water=extreme frizz for me. Even with oil.

Also, baking soda does a good job of clarifying, but as spidermom mentioned is rather basic. I always do a vinegar rinse after (couple tsp in an old yogurt container filled with water). I think the vinegar somewhat regularly helps out too with hard water. It sure helps get rid of the gunk in the shower.

ccmuffingirl
October 1st, 2008, 05:04 PM
You may want to do something our great-grandmothers did....catch rainwater and use that!

Absolutely soft water....naturally and free, too!

For best results, do not gather it from a downspout, because it has run over the roof and picked up impurities.

Place a big bowl, bucket, open pitcher, etc. out in the open during a rainstorm.

HTH

sky

I've actually contemplated this, especially since it's been raining a lot where I am lately. I even contrived a sort of rain catcher device in my mind, that's how desperate I am for pure water for my hair :).

ccmuffingirl
October 1st, 2008, 05:06 PM
I've noticed my flaky scalp clears up wonders when I'm in soft water areas and my skin looks really clear and glowy, so I can definitely see a difference between the two. I'd love to know what effect it might have on hair growth though, mine is so slowwww.

I can relate to that. I wonder if soft water would help me retain length more efficiently so that my hair's growth progress could speed up that way.

NeilTheFuzz
October 1st, 2008, 06:04 PM
I live in a very hard water area. It's true that it does affect your hair, because when I visit my Nan, who lives in a softer water area of the country, my hair always feels loads better after a couple of weeks.

I would like to know, how exactly it effects hair, and if hard water is bad for hair.

justgreen
October 1st, 2008, 06:17 PM
I second harpgal on the distilled water. We have very hard well water with tons of minerals. I always do a final rinse with about 12 ounces of distilled water to sluice those minerals off my hair before towelling.

WavyGirl
October 4th, 2008, 08:58 AM
Get a shower filter! They are not expensive and they take all sorts of nasties out of the water. Plus once they are installed (5 minute job) there is no extra work involved in using them. Mine was the best 30$ I've ever spent on my hair. A very dilute apple cider vinegar rinse also helps my scalp as the water here is not quite the right pH for me.

I would be careful about the salt though. I've heard some real horror stories about what that can do to hair.

Silver Strands
October 4th, 2008, 10:08 AM
For those of you that have the shower filter,
what kind of hard water do you have (iron, calcium, etc.) and how often do you find you
have to change the filter?
I would think with iron especially that it would become clogged quite quickly.

Do you have trouble finding replacement filters?

ccmuffingirl
October 4th, 2008, 10:33 AM
Thank you ladies for your suggestion of getting a shower filter. I went to Home Depot yesterday and purchased a GE one that filters chlorine and sediments. I wanted to make sure I was going to get a good one so I asked a manager that worked there (who happened to be wearing green converse--my kind of guy :) and he said it also filters metal and various other things. He even showed me a used filter and I literally saw all the metal residue and various other garbage stuck in there. So thank you once again, ladies :D.

WritingPrincess
October 4th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Natural sea salt is rich in minerals, which are good for your hair. Regular salt has been stripped chemically and doesn't have these beneficial minerals in them :).
Morton-type salt actually has sugar in it to make it more palatable. It has been so stripped that it's very bitter. If you take a taste of each, sea salt tastes sweet.

ccmuffingirl
October 4th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Morton-type salt actually has sugar in it to make it more palatable. It has been so stripped that it's very bitter. If you take a taste of each, sea salt tastes sweet.

Sugar? Hmm, I didn't know Morton's did that to their sea salt. I buy mine from Whole Foods. There's no additives or anything in it--just sea salt. It doesn't taste sweet at all. Tastes just like salt :).

WavyGirl
October 5th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Silverstands this (http://www.emwc.uk.com/Details.asp?ProductID=607) is the one I use. I got it in February this year and it's still working well. I have no clue what's in the water here. It tastes metallic when I drink it; smells of chlorine worse than the pool in the summer; and leaves a white film on the inside of the kettle that is not limescale-I can wipe it away with a damp cloth. There's a detailed description on the page that says what it filters out. Whatever it does, it's working well for me. HTH.


Thank you ladies for your suggestion of getting a shower filter. I went to Home Depot yesterday and purchased a GE one that filters chlorine and sediments. I wanted to make sure I was going to get a good one so I asked a manager that worked there (who happened to be wearing green converse--my kind of guy and he said it also filters metal and various other things. He even showed me a used filter and I literally saw all the metal residue and various other garbage stuck in there. So thank you once again, ladies .

Yeah! Another convert. I'm so glad you found a good one. Let us know how you get on with it?

Silver Strands
October 5th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Silverstands this (http://www.emwc.uk.com/Details.asp?ProductID=607) is the one I use. I got it in February this year and it's still working well. I have no clue what's in the water here. It tastes metallic when I drink it; smells of chlorine worse than the pool in the summer; and leaves a white film on the inside of the kettle that is not limescale-I can wipe it away with a damp cloth. There's a detailed description on the page that says what it filters out. Whatever it does, it's working well for me. HTH.


Thanks!
I am going to pick one up this week some time along with a few extra replacement filters.
I have iron in my water so i'll let you know how it works out.
Thanks for all the info!

ccmuffingirl
October 5th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Silverstands this (http://www.emwc.uk.com/Details.asp?ProductID=607) is the one I use. I got it in February this year and it's still working well. I have no clue what's in the water here. It tastes metallic when I drink it; smells of chlorine worse than the pool in the summer; and leaves a white film on the inside of the kettle that is not limescale-I can wipe it away with a damp cloth. There's a detailed description on the page that says what it filters out. Whatever it does, it's working well for me. HTH.



Yeah! Another convert. I'm so glad you found a good one. Let us know how you get on with it?

Sure will :D I can't wait to try it out!

Rain76
October 7th, 2008, 07:03 PM
I am really glad I saw this thread. I also have hard WELL water, and a very itchy, flaky scalp. I am wanting to buy a water filter (from Amazon.com) soon, because I am pretty sure the hard water has something to do with the itching & flaking. In fact, now that I think of it, my scalp has worsened since I moved into this house w/the well water. Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies (and gentlemen).

ccmuffingirl
October 7th, 2008, 09:33 PM
I just tried out my water filter for the first time yesterday, and I liked it a lot. I had to do the taste test to see if I could tell the difference between the filtered water and the non-filtered, and there was a big difference. The filtered water tasted like...water. Nothing more nothing less. The unfiltered water tasted nasty. It had slightly metallic taste and kinda tasted dirty. Overall I'm happy I got the filter. Thanks again peeps ;).

walkinglady
October 7th, 2008, 10:22 PM
Miracle water works well. Desdemona is the LHCer who wrote the following information on the old LHC board. I saved this to my computer before the old website went down....

I make my water in a gallon water jug right before I get in the shower, I use warm water and add 1/32 of a teaspoon of vitamin c L-ascorbic acid and 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid. I think the key to this is less is more, I didn't want a strongly acidic solution like the standard after-shampoo citric acid rinse (1/4 teaspoon to 2 cups of water). I just wanted enough to chelate the minerals and through trial and error found that 1/4 teaspoon was plenty. I was also worried that if it was too acidic, shampoo and conditioner wouldn't work correctly and that it would dry out my hair.

I based my amount of vitamin c on the information given by the Vitashower company but am actually using more than necessary just because it's too hard to measure anything smaller, lol (and the little extra doesn't seem to matter). They say that 1 gram of vitamin c will dechlorinate 100 gallons of water (but they don't say how much chlorine/chloramine that water contains), meaning 10 milligrams would dechlorinate 1 gallon. My bottle of ascorbic acid says that 1/2 teaspoon contains 2.25 grams so 1/32 of a teaspoon is more than enough. I did test my water with strips I got from the pet store to make sure the chlorine/chloramine was gone.

walkinglady
October 7th, 2008, 10:31 PM
I have hard water and about a year ago I started washing my hair in miracle water. I did not let tap water touch my hair at all, what a difference! Admittedly I've become lax in the past 3 months and have modified my routine. I now saturate my hair in miracle water before I let the tap water touch it. The same way you would soak your hair really well before swimming in chlorine or salt water. This is suppose to help your hair not absorb as much of the yuck. I rinse with tap water, then a gallon of miracle water. My final rinse is two glasses or reverse osmosis/bottled water from the local grocery store. This routine has worked well for me. I have noticed my hair is softer and the color is more vibrant.

ccmuffingirl
October 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM
Miracle water works well. Desdemona is the LHCer who wrote the following information on the old LHC board. I saved this to my computer before the old website went down....

I make my water in a gallon water jug right before I get in the shower, I use warm water and add 1/32 of a teaspoon of vitamin c L-ascorbic acid and 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid. I think the key to this is less is more, I didn't want a strongly acidic solution like the standard after-shampoo citric acid rinse (1/4 teaspoon to 2 cups of water). I just wanted enough to chelate the minerals and through trial and error found that 1/4 teaspoon was plenty. I was also worried that if it was too acidic, shampoo and conditioner wouldn't work correctly and that it would dry out my hair.

I based my amount of vitamin c on the information given by the Vitashower company but am actually using more than necessary just because it's too hard to measure anything smaller, lol (and the little extra doesn't seem to matter). They say that 1 gram of vitamin c will dechlorinate 100 gallons of water (but they don't say how much chlorine/chloramine that water contains), meaning 10 milligrams would dechlorinate 1 gallon. My bottle of ascorbic acid says that 1/2 teaspoon contains 2.25 grams so 1/32 of a teaspoon is more than enough. I did test my water with strips I got from the pet store to make sure the chlorine/chloramine was gone.

Thanks for this info. I will definitely keep this in mind. Vitamin c and citric acid for dechlorinization.

LifeisAdventure
October 7th, 2008, 10:51 PM
lifeisadventure: shower filter! I fought with London water for 15 years and my hair broke off to pretty much shoulder length. Save your hair by fixing the water now!

wg


I'm so sorry that happened to you! I did more research on what hard water is and I found out that it's basically mineral deposits like calcium, silica, and iron that find its way in your water from piping and the like. There's also chlorine in faucet water, which can also be harmful to your hair, but ther reason why mineral deposits are so harmful (from what I read) is because our hair has a negative charge and mineral deposits have a positive charge, and when positives/negatives meet they bond to each other, causing the metals to bond with our hair. I definitely want to buy a shower filter. My hair doesn't feel horrible (probably because I grew up in a hard water area :(), but I feel that it can be better. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and your advice :).

Thanks for the sympathy wg and ccmuffingirl. Unfortunately, I live in a university apartment so installing a filter is not an option for me as it violates my lease terms. I also can't really collect rain water because of how our buildings and complex are laid out. I have considered miracle water but my partner and I actually had a financial crisis not long ago so buying the ingredients was not an option (and really still isn't). :(

On a different note, for those who have lived long-term in hard water areas, do you find that cones or no cones is best? I've been a hardcore cone-user for years and a cone-full routine is what originally got my hair in such great shape. I was cone-free for years before that and it simply didn't work for my hair (nightmare tangles). BUT I will try anything to restore the quality of my hair if I'm stuck washing with this hideous water. Thanks in advance for any advice!

ccmuffingirl
October 8th, 2008, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the sympathy wg and ccmuffingirl. Unfortunately, I live in a university apartment so installing a filter is not an option for me as it violates my lease terms. I also can't really collect rain water because of how our buildings and complex are laid out. I have considered miracle water but my partner and I actually had a financial crisis not long ago so buying the ingredients was not an option (and really still isn't). :(

On a different note, for those who have lived long-term in hard water areas, do you find that cones or no cones is best? I've been a hardcore cone-user for years and a cone-full routine is what originally got my hair in such great shape. I was cone-free for years before that and it simply didn't work for my hair (nightmare tangles). BUT I will try anything to restore the quality of my hair if I'm stuck washing with this hideous water. Thanks in advance for any advice!

There are shower filters that are very easy to install, and they don't require you to permanently tamper with the shower head. The shower head easily twists off and to install the filter that I have all I had to do was twist off my shower head, connect the head to one end of the filter, and connect the spout that the water comes down from to the other end and voila, I've intalled a filtration system without ruining my bathroom. It easily removes too.

Silver Strands
October 8th, 2008, 08:18 AM
walkinglady,
Where do you buy your citric acid?

I've looked online and it's only about $2.00 a lb. but shipping is almost $10.00.
I ask at evey health food store I go to and no one carries it.

That's why I use the fruit fresh since it has both vit. c and citric acid in it.

justgreen
October 8th, 2008, 08:26 AM
I buy my CA at the health food store. She sells in bulk , so I can buy about 3-4 ounces for less than a dollar.

missy60
October 8th, 2008, 09:11 AM
I buy my citric acid on ebay I use it in my laundry also because my water has iron in it. It is excellent for using on clothes. I no longer have dingy, orange color clothing. I was afraid at first it migh fade my color clothes faster but actually the reverse is true. I buy larger quantities so I dont have to order as often.

heidi w.
October 8th, 2008, 09:12 AM
Lately I've been concerned about the hardness of the water in my area and my hair's health. My friend told me a story about a women that had very pretty hair who lived in a soft water area, and when she moved to a hard water area her hair became brittle and damaged from it. I'm not trying to instill paranoia or anything, it just concerns me a bit. I currently mix the water I use to rinse my hair with a bit of baking soda (because I 've heard that's supposed to soften it a bit) but I wanted to know if there was any truth to that statement. What do you ladies do who live in hard water areas and don't have filtration/softener systems installed in your home? Do you worry about the hardness of your water? TIA :).

False.
Mixing Baking Soda with water doesn't soften hair. Baking Soda is a super cleaner and what it does do is strip the hair of all coatings from conditioner, shampoo, dirt, grime, any natural or applied oils. This is known as a CLARIFYING HAIR WASH. There is no need to clarify hair wash on any regular basis or schedule. Those who have their routine down probably don't need to clarify more than once a month to once every 3-4 months, depending on their hair wash method. A clarify hair wash is generally only needed once buildup on the top of hair, on top of the cuticle, has occurred -- and this occurs over time. It CAN include buildup from hard water minerals, combined with all the other stuff we apply to hair plus our own sebum and general dirt.

If you are concerned about your hard water there are a few things you can do:
1. Get a water test kit and test the hardness of your water. These are easily found in hardware stores.

2. Install a shower head filter. Various styles can be found in a hardware store including Home Depot, Lowe's and Menards or your local family run store. Likely even places such as Walmart have them -- and on occasion I've seen them in drugstores. This is a filter system that fits on the arm of the shower head .... the pipe before the shower head itself. (It won't affect any handheld shower though.) A reasonable unit shouldn't cost much more than $25....maybe as high as $50 depending if you get a bunch of filters to change out with your kit. DO buy some spare filters.

The filter on the shower head arm is the easiest solution for those in apartments or other types of rental situations. You do NOT need your landlords permission and can easily remove it upon departure. Basic tools such as a wrench is all that's needed.

3. If you own your home you can soften the water by installing a water softener. You can then also, at some juncture, or in lieu of, add a osmosis filter which then pumps out very pure water. Most homes install the water softener near where the main pipe for water enters the house. Many include osmosis filter systems then under a kitchen sink, for example, since the cost of doing for the entire house can be prohibitive for many.

A water softener can be purchased at a hardware store for around $400, or better if you hit a sale. If you have a handy person in your life that knows plumbing, they can install it. Otherwise you'll need to pay to get it installed. I paid $200 to have mine installed since it included some copper piping and sweating the copper and the like.

Osmosis filter under a sink can be had for around $600, is the price I come up with. Likely there are cheaper situations. I've seen some under-sink units for 'purified water' in the $200-$300 zone at hardware stores. But I want the whole house done up. So I'm presently saving for that.

I believe in most bathroom tub/shower situations, most of the shower/tub piping is behind walls so installing an osmosis unit there can get rather involved.

4. One other idea: a lot of people do a final rinse with distilled water they bring into the shower with them. You can warm this in the microwave so it's not brutally chilly.

heidi w.

heidi w.
October 8th, 2008, 09:16 AM
One thing to note:

Many municipalities include chloramine in their water to sanitize it. Trust me, you want your water sanitized. Some do it with just chlorine, but more & more do it with chloramine, that is a combination of chlorine and ammonia.

Look for shower head filters that will remove not only hard water minerals, but also chloramine. This can be harder to find, and you may have to search online for that feature. (Recently a shop in our area just announced such filters being available.)

For those who water house and outdoor plants with this water, it can kill plants -- that chloramine. (One reason I collect rain water and collect the water from my dehumidifier (distilled water). I use it to water plants.)

heidi w.

walkinglady
October 8th, 2008, 09:29 AM
walkinglady,
Where do you buy your citric acid?

I've looked online and it's only about $2.00 a lb. but shipping is almost $10.00.
I ask at evey health food store I go to and no one carries it.

That's why I use the fruit fresh since it has both vit. c and citric acid in it.

Silver Strands,

I ordered my acids from....

http://www.lotioncrafter.com/store/Citric-Acid-pr-16177.html

I just visited their website site and their shipping is high. I truthfully don't remember what I paid a year ago. I would probably order from them again though. They have good service, carry both acids, and they have lasted forever.

I also found citric acid at a health food store in a neighboring town. Their citric acid was sky high! I don't know why, unless they could just get away with it (no competiition?) This was over a year ago so I really should go hunting for it again!

walkinglady
October 8th, 2008, 09:33 AM
For those who water house and outdoor plants with this water, it can kill plants -- that chloramine. (One reason I collect rain water and collect the water from my dehumidifier (distilled water). I use it to water plants.)

heidi w.

What a great idea, I never thought of that!

Iylivarae
October 8th, 2008, 11:42 AM
We have pretty hard water here, but I've never experienced any damage because of the water. But I had problems when I went to a soft water area for a week, the hair was all tangly and messy, I couldn't even comb it any more, which was never a problem here. So I suppose the hair just has to get used to the water you have, then it is no problem.

jivete
October 8th, 2008, 11:55 AM
Just remember, a normal water filter will not soften your water, just remove contaminants and smells, etc. You need a water softener to actually soften the water. This is one I've seen for your shower than I'm thinking of purchasing: http://www.watersticks.com/shower.htm

There is other stuff in your treated water that could potentially wreak havoc on your hair, chlorine, etc. that a filter would remove. But if you want to make hard water soft, you need a softener, not just a filter. But then if you had a softener, you would also need a filter to remove the chlorine since the softener only addresses the hardness, calcium and magnesium components.

Hard water defined: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water

What most water filters remove: http://www.home-water-purifiers-and-filters.com/carbon-water-filter.php

If you have hard water and it's treated, not well water, you probably need both, a softener and a carbon or other filter. But if cost is prohibitive, I would go with the filter first before the softener.

Then there's the whole other issue of ph, but that's another post and probably easier to solve.

heidi w.
October 8th, 2008, 12:32 PM
Just remember, a normal water filter will not soften your water, just remove contaminants and smells, etc. You need a water softener to actually soften the water. This is one I've seen for your shower than I'm thinking of purchasing: http://www.watersticks.com/shower.htm

There is other stuff in your treated water that could potentially wreak havoc on your hair, chlorine, etc. that a filter would remove. But if you want to make hard water soft, you need a softener, not just a filter. But then if you had a softener, you would also need a filter to remove the chlorine since the softener only addresses the hardness, calcium and magnesium components.

Hard water defined: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water

What most water filters remove: http://www.home-water-purifiers-and-filters.com/carbon-water-filter.php

If you have hard water and it's treated, not well water, you probably need both, a softener and a carbon or other filter. But if cost is prohibitive, I would go with the filter first before the softener.

Then there's the whole other issue of ph, but that's another post and probably easier to solve.


Excellent Point. It's implied in my post but for those not in the know of these different processes, it's better to be clear about it.

This is exactly how I proceeded. I have very hard water, that is most distasteful to even drink, and I first applied the shower head filter. Then, lucky me, for a housewarming gift a friend gave me a brand new water softener (he had bought it for his house but liked his well water very much so had no use for it, so he outright gave this purchase to me!). So I have softened water throughout the house--it was added second (the shower filter on the arm remains for the present). I still buy bottled water, presently, to drink and for some of my cooking needs (such as oatmeal which absorbs the water; boiling corn, I use the softened water). I am saving presently for an osmosis filter system to add in to the house down in the basement, near where the main water vein is. Then I can completely remove the shower head filter which takes out some of the saltiness of softened water and mostly removes that chloramine. (And I can cease buying bottled water, too.)

Someone above pointed out that when their water quality shifted they went through a brief phase of the hair adjusting somehow. I too had this experience.

UH, oh, and softened water should not be used for watering plants either. That trace of salt can contribute to killing house plants. (FYI, those with high blood pressure and salt issues should NOT drink softened water.) When I water outdoors, I have to go shift the softener to 'off' by pushing in an arm (if you will) to close off that vent/port and switch back to the usual hard water. This shift in older plumbed houses can sometimes result in a yellow water when you shift back, say, when warming up the bath water. Just keep an eye out. (My house was built in 1925. Old pipes, alright!)

heidi w.

kimberlily
October 8th, 2008, 01:21 PM
I have a water softener (yes, Heidi, you're right about softened water killing plants. My poor orchid :( ) and an Aquasana (http://www.aquasana.com/)filter on my kitchen sink. What I do is boil the filtered water, put it in a gallon pitcher with 1/4tsp citric acid and 1tsp white vinegar, then top it off with more cold filtered water. It makes for a nice temperature, and it is enough to get the sticky soap scummy feeling out of my hair AND my skin.

I grew up with soft water, so this was a major adjustment for me. I love going home to visit though. I have spectacular hair when I do :lol:

Silver Strands
October 8th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks to everyone.
I went to the site you quoted walkinglady and shipping is $9.00- $11.50 so that must be average now.

missy60, how much do you add to your washing machine?

DH & I went to Habitat for Humanity today and came across a water softening system just like the one we had that broke.
We may have to replace the transformer plug but if it works i'll be thrilled!
If we bought one new it would cost nearly $500.00 and we got this one for !!$20.00!!

I can't believe I threw away the plug that came with the old one.
But if I saved everything "just in case", I wouldn't have room for anything.

ccmuffingirl
October 8th, 2008, 07:08 PM
I still don't understand the whole thing about baking soda not softening your water. I was reading an article from from a website (here's the link ... also click the link that talks more about what water softening is on the left panel) sodium bicarbonate acts like a magnet to attract the hard water ions. I read in another article (I must look for it on the internet and then I will post) that says once the ions have become attached to the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) it it renders it so that it the metal ions won't attach to your hair. I know that baking soda has clarifyinig properties, especially when you use a lot of it, but when using it to soften water you're only supposed to use around 1/4 of a teaspoon per gallon, which is pretty miniscule and I don't think that tiny amount is going to strip a person's hair.

Here's another article I found on google that says that Baking soda does soften water: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/201827.html

kittymomma
October 8th, 2008, 07:11 PM
Hey LifeisAdventure! I grew up in central IL (Mattoon/Champaign) and can def. testify to the hardness of the water! :no:

I now live in Texas, and the water is almost as bad here...less iron, but more lime residue...I want to get a shower filter too, but don't know which to choose...maybe I'll try the GE one from Home Depot? :undecided

kathyblack1
October 8th, 2008, 07:37 PM
One thing to note:

Many municipalities include chloramine in their water to sanitize it. Trust me, you want your water sanitized. Some do it with just chlorine, but more & more do it with chloramine, that is a combination of chlorine and ammonia.

Look for shower head filters that will remove not only hard water minerals, but also chloramine. This can be harder to find, and you may have to search online for that feature. (Recently a shop in our area just announced such filters being available.)

For those who water house and outdoor plants with this water, it can kill plants -- that chloramine. (One reason I collect rain water and collect the water from my dehumidifier (distilled water). I use it to water plants.)

heidi w.

Baking soda does soften water, but first you must not get water filters and water softeners mixed up. I asked a personnel at home depot and they told me it's essentially salts that soften the water and various companies will use various salt including none other than BAKING SODA!:cheese:

Water softener again is not a water filter. If you have a water filter, that's great , it filters water and does not soften. Some brands are coming out with a water filter softener mix, but for the most part it's one or the other. For some, a filter is enough and makes there hair feel optimal, but hardness is an issue for many and just using a filter doesn't cut it.

Oh yeah, there's plenty of reputable sorces so I wont even bother, google it.
I hope this information gives you ladies and gents a bit of insight:).

jivete
October 9th, 2008, 10:21 AM
I'd be interested to see the chemistry behind baking soda as water softener. From the americanhomewater site, it states: "Sodium bicarbonate, which is different from sodium chloride (table salt), is formed through the water softening process." Which tells me it's a byproduct of the softening process.

Sodium bicarbonate is NaHCO3, and hard water is generally defined by the amount of calcium & magnesium in the water usually from limestone. Hard water is treated here by adding calcium hydroxide so that the calcium basically precipitates out. (Lime/Soda Ash softening)

When looking at wikipedia I saw this: "The addition of sodium carbonate also softens permanently hard water containing calcium sulfate, as the calcium ions form calcium carbonate which precipitates out and sodium sulfate is formed which is soluble. The calcium carbonate that is formed sinks to the bottom. Sodium sulfate has no effect on the hardness of water.

Na2CO3 + CaSO4 → Na2SO4 + CaCO3"

Maybe that's where the confusion comes from. If I get a chance, I'll ask the guys at the treatment plant. I work for a water utility but I'm a hydraulic engineer not a chemist. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I'd hate for someone to use baking soda thinking it was softening their water when really it was just making it a little more alkaline.

ccmuffingirl
October 9th, 2008, 05:45 PM
The google answers site that I listed that talked about baking soda as a water softener was kind of toward the bottom of the page, so here it is again just in case anyone wants to check it out http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/201827.html. And I don't mean to come off abrasive toward anyone. I respect all of your opinions and expertise on this and any subject and it's totally understandable to want to make sure that a statement actually has some validity to it and is safe before trying it out. Happy growing, everyone :).

P.S. And like I mentioned before, the amount of baking soda that I put into my water is very miniscule so my hair never feels stripped. I only put 1/4th of a teaspoon of it per gallon. I read on a website that only a little amount is needed to reap the benefits because baking soda is pretty potent.

dor3girl
October 9th, 2008, 06:01 PM
I love my water softener--my water here is semi-hard & my skin would get all itchy after I got out of the shower. Maybe that's why my hair is longer than it has ever been--the soft water? Although--for the last year, I was living in a home without a water softener & have just recently moved back--my hair did okay without the softener--but I did have to clarify & deep condition more often at the other house.

missy60
October 9th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Thanks to everyone.
I went to the site you quoted walkinglady and shipping is $9.00- $11.50 so that must be average now.

missy60, how much do you add to your washing machine?

I use about 3 Tablespoons I was trying to go by the 1/4 to a gallon thing, and I came up with that. It works excellent on my clothes, but it doesnt get out water stain that is already on your clothes. It does keep them from getting dingy and rusty looking. I soaked my white clothes in iron out to remove the orange color and now I just use the CA and even my whites stay white.

kathyblack1
October 9th, 2008, 08:11 PM
Here is some links:


http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/AN00317

http://greenliving.about.com/od/greenhome/tp/Natural-Cleaning-Kit.htm

http://palmbeachnutrition.com/Education/HealtheNewsArticles/tabid/242/itemid/15/Default.aspx

http://www.dwi.gov.uk/consumer/faq/hardness.htm

Hope these sources are helpful...

LifeisAdventure
October 9th, 2008, 10:04 PM
Hey LifeisAdventure! I grew up in central IL (Mattoon/Champaign) and can def. testify to the hardness of the water! :no:

I now live in Texas, and the water is almost as bad here...less iron, but more lime residue...I want to get a shower filter too, but don't know which to choose...maybe I'll try the GE one from Home Depot? :undecided


Haha, yes, that is EXACTLY where I am (grad school at U of I)! How did you stand it??

Like other people mentioned kittymomma, a filter only takes care of one part of the problem, so you'd need a softener in your water unit to actually address the mineral contents and whatnot. And to clarify, I'm not just in an apartment, I'm in university housing, so installing anything DOES in fact violate my lease. (Installing a shower filter, even on the shower head, in my graduate apartment would be the same as making changes to shower heads in a communal dorm bathroom. Add to that, my fixtures and water tank are ANCIENT so there might be no undoing any changes I'd make). So I'm happy to try anything short of structural changes to combat this evil hard water. Still searching my local health stores for ascorbic acid though!

ccmuffingirl
October 9th, 2008, 10:47 PM
You could try doing a final rinse with distilled water mixed with a bit of lemon juice. That way the hard water isn't sitting in your hair. You could also purchase a pitcher with a filter installed in it and use it to do a final rinse on your hair.

P.S. Is there any way that you could try speaking to the person that's in charge of the dorms? You could explain that you want to put a water filter in your bathroom and that it doesn't require you do break apart or ruin the shower head in any way. It's literally just twisting off the head, twisting on the filter, and then twisting the head to the end of the filter. Maybe they may allow it.

Silver Strands
October 10th, 2008, 09:03 AM
I use about 3 Tablespoons I was trying to go by the 1/4 to a gallon thing, and I came up with that. It works excellent on my clothes, but it doesnt get out water stain that is already on your clothes. It does keep them from getting dingy and rusty looking. I soaked my white clothes in iron out to remove the orange color and now I just use the CA and even my whites stay white.


Thanks for the info!

danacc
October 19th, 2008, 01:09 AM
The google answers site that I listed that talked about baking soda as a water softener was kind of toward the bottom of the page, so here it is again just in case anyone wants to check it out http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/201827.html. And I don't mean to come off abrasive toward anyone. I respect all of your opinions and expertise on this and any subject and it's totally understandable to want to make sure that a statement actually has some validity to it and is safe before trying it out. Happy growing, everyone :).

P.S. And like I mentioned before, the amount of baking soda that I put into my water is very miniscule so my hair never feels stripped. I only put 1/4th of a teaspoon of it per gallon. I read on a website that only a little amount is needed to reap the benefits because baking soda is pretty potent.

Looking at the thread you linked, I think there is some confusion. The first answer talks about combining vinegar, baking soda, and water. Definitely do NOT combine vinegar and baking soda and then put that on your head together. Vinegar and baking soda react with each other in a way that can dissolve hair; in fact the reaction that this combination makes is used to unclog drains blocked by hairballs. I don't see any reference to how this concoction softens water.

The answer goes on to quote another site:
"There is a really cute description of how baking soda does the job at the following site:
Jimmy learns about Hard and Soft Water
( http://www.geocities.com/thephunnyfarm/soapbubbles7.html )"

While it is a cute story, it is a confusing reference. "Jimmy learns about Hard and Soft Water" talks about sodium carbonate NOT baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Sodium carbonate softens water by attaching to the minerals that make the water "hard" and "sinking" them to the bottom. The point here is that sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are not the same thing. The article describes how sodium carbonate softens water. It doesn't say that sodium bicarbonate does. Sodium carbonate is more alkaline than sodium bicarbonate. This is NOT something I would use on hair because it will disrupt the cuticle.

I don't think the small amount of baking soda you are using will do any harm, and I'm sure it is cleaning your hair more thoroughly. But I don't see anything convincing about it "softening" the water.

With hard water, I recommend a diluted vinegar rinse or the "miracle water" rinse mentioned earlier in this thread as a final rinse. Vinegar helps to rinse the minerals applied with the water more cleanly (ALWAYS use a little vinegar diluted in a lot of water). "Miracle water" dechlorinates. Don't add baking soda to either of these, though. the baking soda will react with the acid in them, negating the effects and possibly introducing trouble.

ljkforu
October 19th, 2008, 03:06 AM
Looking at the thread you linked, I think there is some confusion. The first answer talks about combining vinegar, baking soda, and water. Definitely do NOT combine vinegar and baking soda and then put that on your head together. Vinegar and baking soda react with each other in a way that can dissolve hair; in fact the reaction that this combination makes is used to unclog drains blocked by hairballs. I don't see any reference to how this concoction softens water.

The answer goes on to quote another site:
"There is a really cute description of how baking soda does the job at the following site:
Jimmy learns about Hard and Soft Water
( http://www.geocities.com/thephunnyfarm/soapbubbles7.html )"

While it is a cute story, it is a confusing reference. "Jimmy learns about Hard and Soft Water" talks about sodium carbonate NOT baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Sodium carbonate softens water by attaching to the minerals that make the water "hard" and "sinking" them to the bottom. The point here is that sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are not the same thing. The article describes how sodium carbonate softens water. It doesn't say that sodium bicarbonate does. Sodium carbonate is more alkaline than sodium bicarbonate. This is NOT something I would use on hair because it will disrupt the cuticle.

I don't think the small amount of baking soda you are using will do any harm, and I'm sure it is cleaning your hair more thoroughly. But I don't see anything convincing about it "softening" the water.

With hard water, I recommend a diluted vinegar rinse or the "miracle water" rinse mentioned earlier in this thread as a final rinse. Vinegar helps to rinse the minerals applied with the water more cleanly (ALWAYS use a little vinegar diluted in a lot of water). "Miracle water" dechlorinates. Don't add baking soda to either of these, though. the baking soda will react with the acid in them, negating the effects and possibly introducing trouble.

This doesn't necessarily apply to hair, but CLR remover the commercial product removes the build-up using a Very strong alpha hydroxy acid. So would ACV be the best???

aprilmay
October 19th, 2008, 12:22 PM
That water filter for the shower sounds pretty cool. When we travel, I notice the difference in water types and how the impact my hair. Vinegar seems to be great at removing buildup too.

pariate
November 3rd, 2008, 08:21 AM
Hi all

I used to live in a town built almost entirely on chalk which meant we had horribly hard water. I was there for two and a half years. The town before that had hard water, but it was NOTHING compared to the new stuff! I switched to CO, experimented with various other cleansing methods, but my hair rarely felt soft.

A few weeks ago I moved to a new county and OH. MY. GOD. The water is super-soft and my hair looks AMAZING! I'm not kidding! I can't believe the difference that water makes. I'd just resigned myself to having so-so hair for the rest of my days. Now I know I just need to be careful about where I live ;) :lol:

Since moving I've switched back to sulfate-free poo and conditioner. I'd like to experiment with things like herbal washing again. It didn't work for me before, it just didn't soften my hair enough, but who knows what it will be like this time round! Before I moved, the only time my hair felt soft was for the 18 hours after I'd washed (guess it still had traces of water in it and that made it feel less coarse, because as soon as it was properly dry my hair felt naff again) and when it was loaded with oil... so much oil that I couldn't wear it down and felt that the softness was wasted!

I'm thrilled to bits, can't tell you how excited I am. You may have guessed from the rambling nature of this message though... :oops: