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No Poo and Hard Water… It’s “Harder” Than It Looks!

I’ve been no pooing off and on for the better part of four years. It all started with a desire for less maintenance overall. I had just gotten officially separated from my ex-husband and I was rebelling against his idea of the the perfect woman… who happens to also conform to all of the normal society expectations like wearing make-up, shaving, and spending hours worrying about what everyone else thought of you based on appearances. If you know me at all, you might have a clear picture as to why we couldn’t possibly fall in love. Go figure!

Anyhow, I just dove in one day and was like “Yeah no poo!” I started with the regular regime of baking soda and vinegar, but it left my hair feeling rough and I shed more than usual. I didn’t know it back then, but baking soda can be really intense for your hair depending on your hair type and water. Since I happen to have naturally course hair and started my journey in an area with moderately hard water, the baking soda was not working for me. I researched herbal shampoo bars on Etsy and found Mirasol Farm. I ordered the backpacker’s bar, fell in love, and I used it the entire time I lived in that area.

I had a brief period of relapse to the commercial shampoo world. Once I moved here to Tampa, Florida I decided to try and go back to no poo. At first I did baking soda and vinegar. Then I had a job interview and I couldn’t go in looking all detox hair mode, so I went back to shampoo. Since I was working and I couldn’t afford to sacrifice tips over gross detox hair, I put it off. Then I had got pregnant and had Anders, and then I started playing around the idea again.

I grabbed a new bar of hair soap from a local farm and I tried that for a month. The very first shampoo left a super waxy patch in the middle of my head. I kept with it assuming this was just normal detoxing, though it clearly was not greasy from detox after a while. Upon research, I found out it was a castile soap base. Which is well-known for being horrible for hard water homes. Back to the drawing board!

I decided after a while to try baking soda again. This time I decided to incorporate bentonite clay as well. The baking soda/bentonite was doing a great job and getting my hair clean, but it took a long time to realize that I needed to boil my water before mixing it with my baking soda to dissolve it better. Ahhh! There’s that slippery feeling!

My hair was still getting dried out and shedding. (I do shed a lot and I have TONS of hair, but the rate of hair loss did noticeably increase.) In order to counter this, I got my hands on some 100% Argan Oil from Bebe Lush. Argan oil is a gift from the gods for natural hair care. Argan oil adds softness and shine, but my favorite perk is it has been known to help dandruff. Hello! Me me me! It can also help to treat split ends and tame frizzy hair and even acts as a sealant for your hair when applied before using a blow dryer of flat iron!

no poo and hard water

So my current no poo method includes the following:

  1. Measure out 1 Tbsp. baking soda + 1 Tbsp. bentonite clay.
  2. Add 1.5 cups boiling water. Let cool. Shower.
  3. Apply argan oil to damp hair gently massaging the roots.
  4. Air dry. Brush with natural bristle brush.

After further research I decided that the ACV was contributing to my waxy roots, but if I only applied it to the ends it could be fine. This lady also suggests using the ACV as a way to strip the minerals off of your hair with a fine tooth comb (and in the comments a “hair specialist” debunks the “don’t comb wet” hair myth). I often have some grey stuff come off my hair when I brush. I thought it was from the bentonite clay, but Eco Cat Lady says it’s sebum/mineral build up. Worth a shot, yes?

I’m still playing with my routine. I also have plans to find a non-castile based herbal soap and see if that works. This has been several months of experiments and frustration, but I’m getting closer to the answer and I will definitely include you in the answer!

To be continued…


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All stories and experiences are my own. I shall not tell lies!



  1. This is interesting. I think we have hard water as well. However, when I visit my parents in LA they have hard water. And wouldn’t you know I look like I have model hair. Seriously, my hair never looks as good as it does when I am there. I am almost done with my commercial shampoo and am toying with trying no poo again. Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Yes, you definitely need to pre boil water if you have hard water (unless you have a water softener). Those with hard water definitely seem to have the hardest time getting no ‘poo to work for them.

    • I’ve never struggled this hard, Brittany! I’m so sad, but I’m finally getting the hang of it!

      • Beverlee says:

        I have hard water too, and I use a coconut milk and aloe “shampoo” then an AVC rinse then a coconut oil/argan oil leave in and it works great. I have been thinking about buying a filter for my shower head so I don’t have to work so hard to get the soft hair. The coconut oil aloe mix has stopped my scalp from itching and my scalp feels so so much better. It has the same ph as the scalp does so it works great.

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