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Hard water is damaging your hair! But we have a solution. No, literally... a solution of Vinegar.

Updated: May 18, 2022

Hard Water Build-Up is a HUGE problem that is not only making your hair dry & brittle, it's taking money out of your pocket.

Santa Barbara is known for it's breathtaking natural beauty but the water is literally destroying your hair, We are blessed with gorgeous mountains & beaches but we are also cursed with some of the hardest water in the country. As people learn after moving here, within a few months their hair feels and looks like straw. It's all due to the hard water build-up that started from their 1st local shower (yes, even with a water softener).

The results of mineral build-up include: Brassy Blond & Brown Color, Faster Color Loss, Dry & Breaking Hair, Loss of Curls, Excessive Tangles, No Shine, Irritated and Dry Scalp and in some cases Hair Loss. If your hair, "Just doesn't grow any longer", it could be mineral build-up causing it to break before you can grow to the longer length you desire.

BUT! There are ways to remove the harmful minerals and restore your hair to its' most healthy state. The following is what we us in the salon and recommend to our clients for aftercare at home.

How To Remove Hard Water Build-Up

Step 1 Start with a quality clarifying shampoo. We use and recommend Lumicia or Okara Blond Shampoo by Rene Furterer. Both of these options are safe for color and are designed to remove everything from product to mineral build-up. Okara Blond is for all shades of color, not just Blond. They can also be used daily or as often as you wash.

Step 2 Follow with a quality non-coating conditioner. We use and recommend Lumicia or Okara Blond Conditioner by Rene Furterer. These conditioners are designed to help eliminate build-up in similar ways as the shampoos do. However these conditioners won't leave behind their own build up. They are strong enough to nourish your hair yet light enough to use daily.

Step 3 This final step is the where the magic really happens... After your conditioner is rinsed out, while in the shower, squeeze as much water from your hair as possible. Take a squirt bottle filled with 2 to 5 parts Water to 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and spray it liberally all on your hair (it's good for your scalp as well so don't worry if you get it on your skin, in fact we encourage you to). We recommend a Fine Mist Continuous Spray Bottle and a quality ACV. For those who would prefer to not to smell the vinegar at all, Rene Furterer has a Vinegar based Rinse in the Lumicia line (We recommend putting Lumicia Rinse in a spray bottle as well. It comes in a flip-top pour spout that wastes product).

**Some people say condition after the ACV Rinse, which is not wrong. However it works best as the final rinse and will lock in those conditioning agents you just applied. If you decide to use the Rene Furterer Lumica Rinse, you must do it last.

Use a wide tooth comb or Wet Brush to make sure the Vinegar is evenly saturated through the hair and don't forget to massage it into your scalp. Leave it in for 2 to 5 minutes then rinse with COOL to COLD water. We know... it sucks to take a cold shower but this is crucial for this service. Your hair won't smell of Vinegar once it is dry. However, Rene Furterer offers amazing Detangling Sprays in the Okara line that smell simply divine! You can use these to counter any residual odor as well as add shine and smoothness without weight. We use these sprays in the salon on almost every client. They truly are amazing!

How Often Is This Done?

We suggest doing this cleanse once a week or every other for the best and most lasting results. It depends on how hard the water is in your area and how much product you use on your hair. You will notice a difference the 1st time, yet it really is noticeable after a few consecutive treatments. Adjust the ACV to Water ratio as you see fit. The dryer the hair and more build up use 2 to 3 parts water to ACV. If your hair isn't that bad off but just want a good refreshing, use 4 to 5 parts water to ACV. You can use 100% ACV if you ring only about 50% of the water from your hair after conditioning.

See below for recommended products with links on how to find them.

So What Does All Of This Do?

Okara Blond Shampoo, Conditioner & Spray are designed to gently remove hard water, styling product & environmental build-up. After around 6 shampoos you will see an overall brighter/lighter look to your hair.

Lumicia Shampoo, Conditioner & Rinse work in a similar way to Okara Blond but Lumicia is a Vinegar based line that seals the cuticle do to its' acidic pH.

Which brings us to the miracle product called... Apple Cider Vinegar! The final rinse with this product does most of the heavy lifting. It not only slices off all residual product and years of hard water build-up, it seals down roughed up cuticles to the hard protective shell they are meant to be.

Summary Of Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar & Vinegar Based Products

  • Promotes a Healthy Scalp: ACV may offer healing properties for the scalp. "The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of ACV help to keep the pH level of the scalp balanced, Dandruff is a buildup on the scalp that happens when too much yeast is present on oily areas of the skin. Using a mix with ACV can help avoid that build-up.

  • Reduces Color Fading: For color-treated hair, ACV can help close the cuticles, thus maintaining the life span of your color. When your cuticle is closed it also adds reflection, which means brighter, richer color. Toners last longer as well.

  • Brightens Blond Hair: When minerals & other build-up are removed, Blond hair becomes less yellow and will look a full level lighter. ACV is not actually lightening the hair, the color get's dulled my the build-up.

  • Detangles: If you have hair that's prone to knots or tangles, ACV can help smooth them out.mThis will also help reduce the breakage caused by tangles.

  • Revives Curls & Fights frizz: Removing minerals and build-up allow curls to be curly again. Helps smooth the hair and keep frizz at bay, making it a popular treatment option among those with curly and textured hair.

  • Strengthens & Softens: Apple cider vinegar coats the cuticle, leaving the hair soft and shiny,.It also helps to strengthen your hair by closing the cuticles and the hair shaft.

  • Reduces Hair Loss: With its ability to balance the skin's pH and clear the hair follicle from debris, hair can grow uninhibited by issues like crystalized sebum. Shampoo doesn't remove dried/crystallized sebum from the scalp. It is also one of the biggest causes of hair loss.

  • Cleanses: Apple cider vinegar is effective at getting rid of buildup on the scalp without stripping color.


Remember to NEVER wash your hair in hot water. Doing so will cause even more damage and make this entire recommendation ineffective. Always wash in warm to cold water. If you can't take a colder shower, protect your hair with a cap and wash in the sink to keep the cold water off of your body. For those who must have a hot shower, we recommend to do this treatment in a sink.

Products we recommend for this service & general/daily maintenance

Okara Blond - Shampoo, Conditioner & Brightening Spray

Lumicia - Shampoo, Conditioner & Rinse

Click on pics to purchase... Make sure you enter your email address when prompted through our Rene Furterer link. Once you enter in into their system, you will be part of our "Preferred Client Program". This entitles you to Free Shipping, Free Larger Size Samples with orders & discount applied to all Auto-Ship Orders... Among other Preferred Client offers from Rene Furterer.

Become our Preferred Client today by clicking any of our Rene Furterer links.

Purchase a Continuous Spray Bottle & Wet Brush Here.

We highly recommend this bottle! It has a continuous spray head so your fingers and wrist won't fatigue. They are Non-Aerosol so are Environmentally Friendly.

They are also excellent for watering delicate plants and general cleaning liquids... so why not get 2 or 3!

*We are an Amazon Affiliate

The Original Wet Brush is our go-to for tackling tangles and working product through the hair.

We recommend filtered ACV as is won't clog the spray bottle plus organic unfiltered ACV isn't necessary for this process and won't give better results.

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