The performance of natural shampoo is greatly affected by hard water. We've done a bit of digging and tried to shine some light on the subject.

What is hard water?

Hard Water is water with a high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium, these minerals cause a chemical reaction with traditional soaps that prevent them from working as effectively.

Why is there a problem with shampoo bars and hard water?

When traditional natural soap comes into contact with the minerals in hard water it causes a chemical reaction that changes the sodium salt component in soaps into their calcium and magnesium salt counterparts, thus resulting in an insoluble white-grey residue.

hair pics

What can be done?

This residue is very difficult to rinse out of hair using the hard water from your tap or shower so it is for this reason that you hear of the apple cider vinegar, baking soda or washing soda rinse being advised. All of these solutions, soften the water chemically.

A Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) solution can be used to rid your hair of the mineral build up caused by hard water. While this is perfect for removing the mineral build up, it doesn’t solve the problem of hard water, as you then re-applying the minerals when you rinse your hair from your supply.

If you are in any doubt or are not really up to such a drastic change in habits, then natural shampoo bars, when used in very hard water areas, are probably not for you.

Though we know that the problem can be solved with a few alterations to lifestyle, we fully understand that people often just don’t have the time or patience for it and so feel that it is better, for everyone involved, that we are open and transparent about it from the start.

Are you in a hard water area?

We have collected a list of the areas of the UK that are considered to have the hardest water.

map of hard water areas

01. Ipswich – 423*

02. Colchester – 379

03. Luton – 360

04. Norwich – 359

05. Watford – 358

06. Stevenage – 355

07. Swindon – 343

08. Harrow – 335

09. Hemel Hempstead – 333

10. St Albans – 323

11. Reading – 323

12. Cambridge – 322

13. Dartford – 315

14. Hull – 313

15. Bath – 312

16. Bromley – 311

17. Milton Keynes – 309

18. Canterbury – 308

19. Slough – 303

20. Portsmouth – 296

*Numbers represent calcium carbonate levels ppm or mg/l