Shampoo bars and water quality?

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Neve

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I've been using my shampoo bars for about 18 months and they've been perfect for my hair and scalp. Then a few months ago, not so perfect, my hair was always greasy and so I thought maybe with some of the bars being super well cured (over a year old) that maybe they were now too mild and not cleansing enough. So I reformulated to boost the cleansing and lower the superfat. But using 2 month old bars on the new formula wasn't making any difference.

I stubbornly refuse to go back to commercial shampoo permanently so I've just put up with it and used Aveeno shampoo a couple of times a week as well. Now however I've brought one of the original formula bars on vacation and on day three, my hair is soft and silky and totally how it used to be.

So is it the water? Eariler this year we moved house... maybe that was when the change began I don't remember. But this place I'm staying at has noticably different water. I could feel it. I mentioned it to hubby and he said there is a water softener installed, he saw it. The original place I lived had hard water though. I'm super confused over the effect the water quality might have but I'm thinking it's not a coincidence. Thoughts?

And do I go back to the old, more conditioning recipe? Aargh! What to do.
 

Neve

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No cos they used to be fine. And seem to be fine here too. Not sure what's been going on in between. Wonder what will happen when I get home. I'll use the same bar. It's so weird even in one week sometimes my hair was ok but mostly not lately. I just thought it was the bars but now I think it can't be. Cos this is an old bar I'm using again now and it's great.
 

Neve

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I'm in holiday. The place we are staying has a water softener. Neither of my homes did/do.
 

BrewerGeorge

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I'm in holiday. The place we are staying has a water softener. Neither of my homes did/do.
Ok, that makes sense now. "Hard water" is not a binary definition; it's a sliding scale. The more calcium and magnesium in your water, the harder it is and the worse effects you will see. Your previous house may have had "hard" water, but it could have been lower than your current house - lower enough to be below some threshold for making your shampoo perform poorly. The softener at the vacation house will remove ALL the Ca and Mg (if it's adjusted properly) so you should see no ill effects.

Not sure where you live, but you can probably call your water supplier and get an idea of how hard your house water actually is, as a Hardness value or Total Dissolved Solids number, or maybe ppm. Once you know how hard your water actually is in "hard" data, you can decide how best to proceed.

One thing is pretty certain: if the only thing that changed was your water, the cause is probably the water.
 

kumudini

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There's a naturopathy expert from my hometown who does videos in my language. What he had to say about dandruff is that you don't need any fancy stuff to get rid of it, you just need to massage/ scrub your scalp very well when washing it. I make sure to cover my entire scalp with my fingertips especially since I'm reading about the buildup issues with a shampoo bar. I never had much dandruff issues anyway and I don't have now. My scalp stays super clean.
You definitely need a chelator in the shampoo bars though. I don't know if regular acidic rinses post shampoo would help the lack of chelation.
 

Neve

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Hmm. My dandruff issues went away with the shampoo bars. My scalp just hates commercial shampoo. I never needed to do the acid rinse either.

I never thought of the sudden greasy hair syndrome being due to water until this week. But it is since we bought the house in a different town that the issues started.

So I'll keep using this bar when I get home and see what happens. But if I want to sell in the market next year I don't want different performance in every house! So maybe I add citric acid? I only tweaked the amounts of ingredients I didn't add new ones when I reformulated. Just to try and reduce the oil left on my hair.


There's a naturopathy expert from my hometown who does videos in my language. What he had to say about dandruff is that you don't need any fancy stuff to get rid of it, you just need to massage/ scrub your scalp very well when washing it. I make sure to cover my entire scalp with my fingertips especially since I'm reading about the buildup issues with a shampoo bar. I never had much dandruff issues anyway and I don't have now. My scalp stays super clean.

You definitely need a chelator in the shampoo bars though. I don't know if regular acidic rinses post shampoo would help the lack of chelation.
 

Neve

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Just mentioned all this to hubby who said maybe the old place (condos) did have a softener installed that we didn't know about. Possible I guess. The place before that had harder water for sure.

So I guess I want to make my bars waterproof! Well at least function in varying degrees of hardness.
 
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