Sunday, August 02, 2009

No Poo

Besides finding out that I react poorly when exposed to Red #40, our cherry canning evening gave me some insight into my No 'Poo experiment.

The next morning when I went to go inspect the cans of cherry filling, I found this:
You can see where I wiped (actually, scrubbed) off the white residue left by the water we boiled the cans in.

We have hard water. We get white mineral residue from it- the same white residue in my combs and brushes. I originally thought it was caused by not rinsing out the baking soda enough, so I started spending more time rinsing, with no improvement. This finding- that after just 30 minutes of boiling, our cans were left with mineral deposits that I had to scrub off- is a bit of a breakthrough in my No 'Poo experiment. It's not my routine per se- it's the water.

So now, what to do? I could wash my hair in bottled water, but that's a little excessive. McKay suggested maybe I find something to use once a month or so to get the minerals out. I've wondered if soap nuts would work, or a shampoo bar used sparingly.

Has anyone else dealt with this? What have you done? Any success stories with hard water issues?

In other hair adventures: I really hate having hair on my neck. I'd like to get a cut. I'm considering doing it myself because I don't want the salon to chemical-fy my hair.


  1. I always had that darn residue on my cans when I lived in Utah valley too. When we got a water filter/softener of course it solved the problem (both for the canning and for my hair LOL).
    I'm not sure that I have anything to recommend...I've heard the calgon (a laundry additive) can solve the buildup problem for cloth diapers, but I dont' know that I'd try it on hair :p
    I have not followed your no-poo experiments very closely (having not liked the results for myself), but how strong of a vinegar rinse are you using? I wonder if making it stronger, or letting it sit on your hair for a bit before rinsing might help get the residue off? (Put vinegar on one of those jars and see what happens to the white gunk, or soak your comb in it and see! I know vinegar can make a stained toilet white in a matter of minutes, so I bet it will take off the hard water deposits). That's my only guess...and I'd definitely test it on the jars/combs before doing it on your head.

  2. I think there are shower heads with filters in them? Maybe that would help.

  3. I've been having issues with my no poo experiment, too. It seems like everything causes build up. My hair was getting icky after a while, and I got desperate and tried Burt's Bee shampoo bar. That had the worst build up off all! I tried Avalon Organics shampoo once or twice a week, but even that caused build up. I finally gave in and used regular salon quality shampoo and got my hair clean. Now I'm back on the baking soda. I think I would get better results with more ACV, which I keep forgetting to use. How about lemon juice?

    I like the idea of using a filter in the shower head, though I don't know how much those cost. As for the haircut--nothing wrong with doing it yourself, unless you want a pro-quality cut. I'm sure they'd be willing to skip the products and just cut your hair.

  4. I know you hate the vinegar smell but it is a safe and natural water softener I think. I also would advise against cutting your own hair. Have a friend do it at least. You can go to a salon and ask them not to wash your hair or out products in it. They can just spray it down with H2o before they cut it. It might even cost less that way.

  5. I don't know about the hard water issue, but you can go to a salon and have them cut your hair without washing it first. I cut my own hair, myself.

  6. Just read your Twitter post -- although my kids are all weaned right now (sigh), I didn't nurse them and cover from head to waist with a blanket, either. You & I...we could've been buddies in the church nursing lounge. ;)

  7. I'm going to try making soap out of soapnuts and I'll let you know how it goes. I love no-poo for most of my hair, but the ends get dried out. That has happened with everything I've tried though :)

  8. Vinegar dissolves hard water deposits--but if you're already using it and you still have problems, I'm not sure what to suggest. A filter wouldn't take out the dissolved minerals in the water; you'd need a water softener for that. Hmmm....out of advice at the moment.

  9. Actually I haven't been using vinegar- I've been using lemon juice. Vinegar makes me gag and if I were pregnant right now, it'd make me throw up. But I might go back vinegar if it'll help with the hair.

  10. I cut my own hair using Feye's Self-Trim method, but this is only a trimming method for quite long hair.

    It might give you some ideas or lead to other Google searches on trimming methods.

  11. I've found that Lush Cosmetics have really good, all-natural soap and shampoo bars, and they smell sooo amazing!

  12. "I'm considering doing it myself because I don't want the salon to chemical-fy my hair"

    I was curious about that actually! What to do when at the salon. I mean, if you say "No" to shampoo, they can hardly enforce it, but then would they refuse to cut your hair? What if you said you were sensitive to loads of shampoos and have to use your own (which is close to the truth!) and you washed them just before so it would be nice for them, if they would 1) Accept it, and 2) Even notice.


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