View Full Version : I might have to go back to sulfates and cones =/ Thoughts?

September 14th, 2010, 04:48 PM
I've just moved into a new apartment in the city. I previously lived in a fairly rural area with relatively soft water. I've been successfully using the CO method for washing my hair for nearly 9 months now and I love it. Except in these past couple of weeks since I moved my hair has been a nightmare!

I can't go longer than 2 days without washing it when previously I could easily go up to 6. My hair seems to have rejected half my conditioners as they now leave it feeling waxy, so I can't use any heavier conditions. Now my ends feel like velcro and rather fluffy. I've tried clarifying which works wonders for half a day, then my hair just feels very dry, but my scalp turns into a greaseball quickly. :?

It's doing my head in. I know the water is harder here, but surely it can't make that much of a difference. Plus my shower isn't as powerful which I guess makes rinsing conditioner out harder, but I can rinse for 20 minutes and still end up with waxy hair.
So I'm tempted to go back to using sulfates and cones to try and tame my hair in this new environment. I don't want to say goodbye to stretching washes and CO, but it seems like I have no choice, something has to change. :( All the adverts for Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends seem to be calling me.

I'm probably going to henna this weekend so hopefully that'll help. I just wish my hair would behave! :shrug:

September 14th, 2010, 04:54 PM
maybe you could try using a shampoo and conditioner combo that is all natural (and w/out sls and cones)? and try doing CWC with that for a while to see if you can reach some sort of normalcy? unfortunately its probably going to take a little trial and error but that doesnt mean you have to revert 100% to cones and SLS!

September 14th, 2010, 05:17 PM
You can buy shower head attachments that soften your water.

September 14th, 2010, 05:53 PM
I feel your pain - up until June this year, I've spent most of the past few years in Scotland with their lovely soft water, and my routine was so much easier there - a very gentle shampoo in a CWC routine worked wonders. Since moving home to Norfolk, where the water often comes out of the tap with a chalky cloud gathering in the glass, my hair's felt like it's needed clarifying almost constantly - waxy, lank, and weighed down.

I had to abandon my SLS-free, cone-free shampoo, in favour of Sainsbury's apple shampoo - still cone-free, but very definitely SLS. It is much cheaper though, which is some comfort. I generally use it diluted which helps; initially I used it as part of a 'normal' SC routine, but I've since managed to return to CWC, albeit with the harsher shampoo. I still get by with the same conditioner, but the results here are a bit different than with soft water - my hair seems more temperamental almost, it's much easier to get the balance wrong. Hopefully you'll find something that works for you before long. :flower:

September 14th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Grrrrr....stupid hard water. Cones and sulfates are my only choice where I live too.

September 14th, 2010, 06:14 PM
you might want to try washing your hair over a bucket to catch the water with and use distilled water. If you can stretch washes to 6 days, it might be worth the inconvenience of hanging your head over a bucket.

September 14th, 2010, 06:44 PM
I hope you find a solution soon.

September 14th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Have you tried ACV rinses? The acid might counter the effect of your hard water and get rid of that waxy feeling.

Also, as countryhopper said, rinsing with rainwater or distilled water should be doable - especially if you do scalp washes. Remember the length of your hair doesn't need to be washed every time you wash your head.

Good luck! :flower:

September 14th, 2010, 07:31 PM
Try Trader Joe's, they have lots of SLS and Cone free products that might give your hair the care it needs?

September 14th, 2010, 07:33 PM
It may be less the water change and more a build-up from CO'ing that just took this long to accumulate.

Instead of clarifying with a harsh shampoo that requires deep conditioning afterward and increases the cycle, try one for normal hair with few additives to help reduce conditioner residue and use lighter conditioners.

There is nothing wrong with sulfate shampoos. SLES ones are milder than SLS ones. All Herbal Essences shamoos use a combination of both and many here love them. I use one as a body wash in the shower and it, Colour Me Happy, does not dry out my skin. Not all cones build-up.

September 15th, 2010, 06:25 AM
I've tried using sls free shampoos and cone free conditioners, but the non SLS shampoos don't get the build up out, and cone free conditioners give me fluffy hair, which I've never had before. So I guess I need the cones to try and tame it a bit and make it manageable again. And then SLS to stop the cones building up.

Ah well, I'll probably do CWC if I go back to sls and cones, and only use shampoo on my scalp. The bucket thing would be a good idea except I don't have the room, and it would cost me a small fortune in distilled water.

I've never been able to get on with ACV rinses, they've always made my hair very lank and waxy. I may try again now I've got different water to contend with though.

Thanks for the responses guys. :)

I hate changing hair routines, I was so happy with my dirt cheap CO routine. I'm just hoping I'm not going to end up spending a small fortune trying new things as I have barely enough money to feed myself and buy books as it is. Ah well.

September 15th, 2010, 06:39 AM
Hope you find something that will work.

September 15th, 2010, 07:07 AM
Nothing to advise but wanted to say that I feel your pain. When I visit my parents in London, I can't use Aubrey organics shampoo as it just doesn't rinse away the same as it does where I live. I have soft water and they have liquid calcium coming out of their tap, LOL. Shikakai worked, but cleaning up their bath afterward was a chore i do not want to repeat.

Silver Strands
September 15th, 2010, 07:18 AM
You can try "miracle water" which contains citric acid and vit. c.

I don't know how to give you a link but it is easier to google "miracle water long hair community" than try to find it in a search on here.

I haven't been able to find citric acid but have used a product called "true lemon" and I have also used "fruit fresh". I actually liked the fruit fresh better than the true lemon.

You will have to add some to a gallon of tap water and figure out how much you'll need for your situation.
But it truly does work wonderfully.

Hard water is lousy but it can be worked around.
If you can afford a water softener it will be a great investment.
I actually found one at Habitat for Humanity for dirt cheap.

Good Luck!

September 15th, 2010, 08:32 AM
I would just try it out it can't hurt to go back to shampoo and conditioner I know people with lovely long hair that us pantene shampoo and conditioner or anything they like and they don't worry about it! why not buy trial size ones for travel boots or superdrug sell small ones that you can try out and see how your hair behaves see which brand you like before buying big bottles?

September 15th, 2010, 01:07 PM
I used to use SLS shampoo and coney conditioner before I stumbled across LHC, and they worked fine.
I just guess I prefer CO plus it's soo much cheaper and I don't have to wash my hair nearly as often. Ah well.
I'm only living in this current apartment for a year, then I'll be off somewhere else, don't know if the water will be better, but I can get my OH to buy me a filter then :)

September 15th, 2010, 01:31 PM
You could try a baking soda wash with vinegar rinse and see if that will help spread out the time in between washes. I have hard water where I live and it seems to leave my hair nice enough.

September 15th, 2010, 08:52 PM
I have hard water, too. I CO almost every day and use a shampoo with ALS once a week (CWC). The daily CO is enough to keep my roots from getting oily and the once a week shampoo gets rid of CO build-up. If I go longer than that, my hair begins to feel waxy, too.