Using shampoo bars in hard water can be just as easy as soft water - provided you understand the basics! In this blog post I will explain the differences between hard and soft water, and what you need to know to use shampoo bars successfully!
Hard water contains minerals
If you've ever looked at the back of your clothes detergent box, you'll see that hard water requires a larger dose of detergent to have the same effects. This is because hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, which bind to the detergent - meaning more detergent is needed to offset these effects. The most basic, natural shampoo bars are simply just soap, and these soap molecules can bind to the minerals and leave waxy deposits in your hair. You'll typically find that these bars don't work in hard water for this reason, which can be frustrating but isn't the end of the road for budding zero-wasters.
Not all bars are created equal
Like bottled shampoo, bars come in all different types - just because you've tried one bar certainly doesn't mean you've tried them all. There are certain brands, such as ecoLiving and Beauty Kubes, which are formulated to work more efficiently in hard water. These bars are surfactant-based rather than soap-based. Surfactants work by binding to hard water minerals and carrying them away, so there's no risk of waxy deposits. Although they are slightly pricier than the cheapest shampoo bars, it's worth remembering that each bar is the equivalent of 2-3 bottles despite their small size.
Benefits of shampoo bars
One of the best things about shampoo bars is that they're travel-friendly as they don't count towards your liquid allowance on a plane. All of our shampoo bars are packaged plastic-free and typically come in a small cardboard or paper sleeve, no bigger than what is necessary to protect the product. Another benefit of shampoo bars is the cost - they last two to three times longer than a bottle of shampoo and you'll find your hair needing less washes as it adjusts to the more natural ingredients.
If you’ve been considering the switch to shampoo bars, we hope these tips will help make your decision easier. Shampoo bars are an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional shampoos, and if you live in a soft water area then take advantage and buy yourself a soap-based brand such as Friendly Soaps. But if you want one that works well in hard water or just need a little extra cleaning power then choose a surfactant-based bar, such as ecoLiving or Beauty Kubes.
If in doubt, speak to an independent business such as ourselves - we pride ourselves on knowing lots about our products, having tested them all personally.
Have you made the change yet? We would love to hear about any success stories -- so please share below!