shampoo! wait.

Once upon a time, my hair was pretty lovely. I didn't KNOW it was lovely, mind you, until I moved to a far off land called Philadelphia, and it turned to complete straw. It was then that I realized that my drier-than-average, cowlicked, split-ended mane that I had had before was not actually so bad.

New York is a soft water state. Pennsylvania is a hard water state. The change from soft water to hard water is nothing short of horrifying. Hard water is filled with lovely (disgusting) minerals that build up on your hair and actually COUNTERACT what your shampoo tries so desperately to do. The result is dry, brittle, dull, sticky-feeling, lifeless hair. It's the worst.

I did a post for Free People over the summer on 4 Ways to Beat Hard Water Hair, but I have to tell you, prior to writing that post, I hadn't tried any of the ways I listed. I mean, I DID get a water filter, but what I really should have gotten was a water SOFTENER. I DID try a clarifying shampoo, but it wasn't a chelating shampoo. I have since used an apple cider vinegar rinse, but I'm not sold on it. And I can't use argan oil because my skin breaks out from it.

So 4 months later, what works for my hair? Dishwashing soap.

I kid you not. Before I get in the shower, I literally pop over to my kitchen, grab the natural dishwashing soap from atop my sink, and get to washing. Before starting this regimen, I had vaguely remembered my sister Gretchen mentioning something about dishwashing soap as she scoured the internet for quick fixes for my hair problem (what a good sister she is!). Though she had no recollection of ever mentioning it, and though it was just a cloud of a memory in my mind, I decided to try it. And I love it.

Dishwashing soap is meant to remove buildup from your dishes, so why shouldn't it do the same for your hair? I think it's the citric acid that does the trick. I make sure to use a product with the most natural ingredients I can find, just because, you know. It's going on my body.

My hair is definitely not back to the way it used to be, but I can say it's not as much of an annoyance as it was for my first 5 months here in Philly.

I'm still in search of a miracle product, though. I was recently reading about Joico K-PAK Chelating Shampoo, and most of the reviews seem amazing. I'mma try to get my hands on it as soon as I can.

If you guys have any solutions for fighting hard water hair, let a girl know!


  1. For my easily dried out hair i use Hair and Skin Treatment Oil by Enjoy. it makes your hair incredibly smooth and soft and also makes your shin like a babies. it also reduces frizziness :) it saves my life on a daily basis
    -emmy lou

  2. I can relate to your hard water problem. I live in Chicago and during the harsh winter months, my hair turns into a big, dry, frizzy, mess. The thing that has worked best for me is Kendi Oil. It's natural, works better than Argon Oil in my opinion, and a light spritz is all you need to keep your hair tamed throughout the day.


  3. what happened to your old blog? I loved your archive :(
    I found using a regular hair mask helped my hair after I moved to a hard water area, I used a different one every week and then a kinder shampoo and conditioner

  4. Very good post. I'm facing some of these issues as well..
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  10. Very good post. I'm facing some of these issues as well..


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