I have now been no poo for 10 months! Wooh! This means that I have saved around 5 bottles of shampoo and 5 bottles of conditioner. I have also probably saved an average of 3 minutes of the water running every time, multiplied by the amount of showers I have in ten months : around 180, with an average of 7.9l per minute shower equals : 1,422l!

So ten months : 10 plastic bottles and almost 1.5 thousand liters of water!

I have recently gone back to France to stay with my mum for a few months while my back heals, because despite my best attempts to keep it under control with yoga, a bout of tonsilitis ended up disabling me for two weeks and completely threw my back under the bus.

Anyway, the problem I have encountered here is that France, near the Jura and Alps, has extremely hard water.

WHAT IS HARD WATER?

Hard water is water with a high mineral content. Typically this is due to dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium which enters the water as it percolates through deposits of lime stone and chalk.

While hard water tends to be the best drinking water. (as opposed to soft water which often has an almost salty taste). It is horrible for just about everything else. The high percentage of minerals means it has several downsides

  1. High Iron Content Leaves Stains
  2. Hard Water Spots From Soap
  3. Clogged Pipes
  4. Worn Out Appliances
  5. Dirty Cloths

This is all due to the high mineral content and reactions with soap, ceramics or just itself. If it creates such a huge difference in appliances : of course its going to do something to your hair.

HARD WATER AND HAIR

The high mineral content acts as a sort of mask on top of your hair, this build up of magnesium and calcium therefore needs to be eliminated. How do you do that? Simply :

Counteract the effects of the alkaline magneisum and calcium with something slightly acidic :

  1. Rinse with 2 cups of boiled water and half a cup of apple cider vinegar
  2. Rinse with 2 cups of boiled water and a squeezed lemon

Either one of these two options should counteract the effects of hard water on your hair. I tried it and was extremely pleased with the results.

 

These two photos were taken an hour apart, just before and after using the alkaline rinse : as you can see (despite the terrible lighting) is that my hair definitely got blonder and some of the dullness went away. After three more rinses my hair was back to being its usual beautiful self.

Tackling hard water is not fun, but it does not mean I would ever go back to using shampoo. I have simply saved too much water and plastic to ever go back!! Going no poo is just one of the many ways you can help tackle the enormous plastic problem : just check out my guide to plastic free living here.