Nobody prepared me for the water. I promise you – like navigating the streets and walking in the rain with no brolly,  it has been a challenge adjusting to London’s hard water environment.

What is hard water you ask?

Basically, according to Wikipedia, “Hard water is formed when it percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.”

Imagine that – chalk in your hair. On the plus, girls with fine locks get volume and texture. For me? Horrible. my thick hair? really really hates it.

Everything is geared towards dealing with it. Demineralising shower sprays (we’re trying this one by Method)  are non-negotiable as water residue just leaves behind a chalky, white dust on everything –  that looks like dirt and is basically my worst nightmare. Ironing? You have to buy water for that. Kettles? Suffer swiftly and quickly from the limescale. 

My hair is terrible at the moment. I dyed it (a bit too dark in hindsight) before we made our way over as I didn’t want to have to deal with roots and finding a job at the same time. I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to get back to my original virgin hair without the colour contrast – buying some time and hair conditioning time, too.

I digress.

I came across New Wash by Hair Story on Instagram and I was sold. The product contains no drying soap or SLS, is made from natural essential oils and it naturally cleanses your scalp and hair, without the need for conditioner. Curls are left moisturised and bouncy, days between washes go from two to three and hair is healthier and scalps less itchy. Sounds like a dream!  It took me a while to cough up the £44 but once it arrived I figured – this philosophy is totally in line with what I’m trying to achieve at To Have & To Fold. Just one bottle in the shower – I mean – bliss!

I’m shattered to say it hasn’t worked out. Sorry New Wash, it’s not you, it’s me. Or rather, the water. First wash? Smelt lovely, hair looked bouncy and fresh. Second wash? Eh – I scrubbed and scrubbed – rinsed and rinsed, combed and brushed and still, felt like I had slimy gunk on my scalp and hair. I could not rinse it out no matter how hard I tried. I’ve used it a few more times but each wash – and copious amounts of time under the chalky spray has lead me to give up.

Further Googling has shown me that the oils in New Wash mixed with the mineral rich water of south London means the residue is not rinsing away but building up. I’ve since tried dousing my rinsed locks in vinegar to ‘neutralise’ and I’m on the hunt for chelating and clarifying shampoos (I’ve heard this one is good by Bumble and Bumble).

I wanted it to work out but frankly that silky soft clean hair feeling is hard to beat. It DOES work for some people – I’ve seen the Insta vids but sadly not for me. I’ve resorted to using it from mid lengths to ends as a conditioner once in a while and since noticed that many, many women in London have the same hard water hair woes –  dry, frizzy hair – and I reckon it’s the water. Who knew? I may resort to rinsing with distilled water at the end of every wash – apparently it helps.

Since securing that job, I’ve booked an appointment with a hairdresser to start the blonde chronicles version 2017 

…and at least the husband likes the Hair Wash.

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