Hair fall and split ends are some of the most common hair woes. And it would not be wrong to say that we have learned to live with them. But when I spotted a few grey strands, it freaked me out completely. I definitely don’t want to spend the rest of my life coloring my hair. You just have to Google to find out how chemicals in shampoo and conditioner (or other hair care products) are damaging our hair. They just create a superficially good looking hair and we feel we cannot do without them, but actually keep on damaging the hair.
I had been toying with the idea of making organic hair shampoo for a while now. As a teenager I have used reetha or aritha (soapnuts), amla (indian gooseberry) and shikakai (acacia concinna) for my hair. My mom had told me that if I kept using those, I would never have grey hair. But which teenager thinks about grey hair? Thirty-somethings do!
So, mom’s words came back to me when I started searching for natural hair cleanser. Twenty years too late, but I decided to return to the ancient wisdom of using amla-aritha-shikakai for my hair. I wanted to use them in their original dried, whole form, but I found the powders at the grocery store next to my house.
How to make the Organic Hair Cleanser with Aritha-Amla-Shikakai powder
Important: My hair is thick in texture and dry; and much to my dismay it is wavy and prone to getting frizzy.
Reetha (Soapnut) powder
Amla (Indian Gooseberry) powder
Shikakai (Acacia concinna) powder
I bought each of them for Rs 30 (100 gm pack).
How to make the hair cleanser
- Take enough water to cover your hair. I have below shoulder length hair. I take 2 glasses of water.
- Put it to boil in a container. Take it off the flame.
- Add 2 Tablespoon each of Aritha Powder, Amla Powder and Shikakai Powder. Mix it well.
- Cover the container with a lid and let it cool down.After it has cooled down, strain the mixture. When it cools down, the powder settles at the bottom of the container. So, just slowly pour the water from top and strain it. If you use the water without straining, it will leave your hair tangled.
- Slowly massage your hair while applying the amla-shikakai-aritha concoction and wash after 5-10 minutes. Make sure you protect your eyes, because it hurts.
- The best way to use aritha, amla, shikakai is in whole, dried form. It is easier to strain. Just soak them overnight in an iron vessel, boil them in the morning and strain after it cools down. It promises black hair.
- You can even store this concoction in refrigerator for 4-5 days.
I take a mug of tap water and add half a lemon. After I have cleaned my hair, I wash it with this lemon water; keep for 5 minutes and rinse. Since the time I have started using lemon water, I have found that my hair, which is naturally wavy, has straightened a lot and also it is much more smooth. It looks lovely.
Now everything is not hunky-dory in using this organic wash. Here are the pros and cons:
- My hair fall and split ends issues have been sorted. My hair fall was scary. Every time I would wash, comb or even touch my hair, a bunch would come off. I was losing a lot of hair all the time. I always had hair on my clothes and all over the floor. Now when I wash my hair, I am thrilled to find only 1-2 strands. The same thing happens on combing the hair. I am glad that I (re)discovered this. I have been using this for 4 months now. I have minimized usage of regular shampoo to only about once in a month. You would ask why! Read the Cons.
- Now I have no split ends. I used to have them all the time. Since I’m not using any chemical on my hair, my hair is healthy and no splits. I can actually feel my hair has become thicker and longer.
- The biggest issue with this is that it cannot wash off oil from hair. I love oiling my hair atleast once in 7-10 days, and I tend to put too much oil. So, sometimes I have to use regular shampoo, or wash twice on consecutive days.
- It does not give the smooth and silky feel, which a shampoo gives. But since the time I have been using lemon water, I feel the smoothness has improved a lot. I also feel that lemon water actually helps straighten the hair naturally.
- It is not the most user-friendly way of cleaning your hair. It takes effort!
I’m planning to continue using this; but I am also looking for a mild shampoo to wash off oil from hair, and also to use during travel.
People also use Cooking Soda for washing hair and Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in water for conditioning. They did not work for me though.
I cannot recommend this Organic Hair Cleanser enough. It truly is too good to be true. I hope people try this and see for themselves!