Anyone who uses shampoo bars and has hard water knows the struggle. If you have hard water, the minerals in the hard water stick to the shampoo and cause a waxy residue. Using Vinegar and/or Lemon Juice will cut through the minerals and help remove the gunk. Some people are turned off by the smell of the vinegar. Let’s be honest, the stronger you mix it the longer it will smell.
When I first started using the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse I started with ¼ cup to 4 cups of water, for me this was too strong. After trying several different ratios, I realized that a little bit goes a long way. I also found that when using a spray bottle, it works better with a stronger mixture. Rinsing in a large bowl/tub works just fine with smaller amount of vinegar or lemon juice.
Vinegar – You can try most types of vinegar. For my hair apple cider vinegar worked better than white distilled vinegar.
Vinegar vs Lemon Juice – Vinegar has a stronger smell, but from what I read works great with curly hair. Lemon Juice smells a little better and people with straight hair sometimes prefer using just lemon juice. I like a mixture of both, I tend to do a little more vinegar. I find the lemon juice helps with the vinegar smell.
Applying with a Spray Bottle
I found a larger spray bottle at the dollar store that works great. Many people prefer using the spray bottle, it is convenient to fill and keep in the shower. When using the spray bottle method, you want to wash with the shampoo bar and rinse off with the shower water. Then use your hands to squeeze out as much of the shower water as possible. Next use the spray bottle to do a second rinse. You can either spray or twist the top off and pour it over the hair. I have tried both methods and they both work great. I find using between half and all of the larger spray bottle works the best.
I don’t use the spray bottle as much, but sometimes I still use about ¼ of the bottle between washes.
Rinse in a large bowl/tub
After using the spray bottle, I started to notice that it wasn’t getting my hair fully rinsed out. I thought soaking my hair would help, so I went back to the dollar store and found a large bowl. When I use this method (which is every time I wash my hair now), I finish my shower before I rinse out my hair. Before turning the water off, I pour a small amount of apple cider vinegar, about 4-5 caps full. I then pour a small squirt of the lemon juice; this is typically a little less than the apple cider vinegar. Then I use the shower water to fill the bowl to the top.
I keep the bowl on the floor of the shower and have a small 2 cup Tupperware to help pour the water on the back of my head. I kneel on the floor and tip my head upside down and soak the hair on the water mixture. I pour the water over the top/back of my head many times, and use my other hand to help rub out the residue. I will also run my fingers through my hair while it’s just coming out of the water. I know my hair is clean when the waxy residue is gone, it feels soft, and I can run my fingers through it.