Ayurvedic and Herbal hair care products on the market, most of which come with preservatives or additives.
So it’s still easier to stick to basic homemade items that have been used since ancient times.
- Shikakai: 4 parts (up to 5 parts for oily hair types).
- Soapnut or soapberries: 1 part
- Dried Amla (Indian gooseberry): 1 part
- Hibiscus leaves and flowers: 4-5 parts (more for deeper conditioning)
- Curry leaves: 1 part
- Green gram or whole mung: 1 part
- Methi or fenugreek: 1 part
- Dried Neem leaves: 1 part
- Dried tulsi or holy basil: 1 part
- You’ll want to make sure that all the ingredients are completely sun-dried and crisp.
This can be tricky with soapnut, which takes longer to dry and returns to a leathery hard-to-grind state more quickly.
You could fix the problem by buying soapnut powder, of course.
- Then grind all of the ingredients individually, several times if you have to to make a perfect blend, and combine together.
- You may also reduce the quantity for all but the first three: shikakai, soapnut, and amla.
Some Indian hair wash powders are made with only these three ingredients, so they’re the bare minimum.
- When all the dry ingredients are ready, you can need to process them at high speed in a food processor or blender jar until they are all mixed into a fine powder.
- Just before the shower, put a few tablespoons in a bowl and enough water to make a paste, blend well to help with the lathering—and that’s it.
- Then you wet your hair and either rub the paste into your scalp (if it’s thick), make sure you apply it down the length of your hair.
- If it’s a thinner paste, pour it over your hair and rub and rinse like you would a normal shampoo.
- The lathering helps to add more water. Ideally, leave this in a couple of minutes and then rinse off.
It takes a few things to get used to, and your hair may feel a little tangly at first.
But it has been found that just applying the paste in the right way will eliminate tangles and help in faster and more effective rinsing.
It’s just about not taking any step of the process for granted.
And once you’ve got the hang of it every time you use it, it’s even better.
You’ll see your hair falling a lot less and scented in this earthy-smoky-floral way—which, to me, beats every commercial or even essential oil fragrance out there by a long shot.
Shikakai: This helps in cleansing, restores shine to the hair, encourages hair growth, strengthens the roots of the hair, and decreases hair loss significantly.
Soapnut: This helps mainly cleaning; contains natural saponins that induce lathering.
Amla, Indian gooseberry: This helps in strengthening hair follicles, encourages the wellbeing of the scalp, restores natural oils, decreases frizziness, improves dark hair pigmentation, and prevents premature greying.
Hibiscus leaves and flowers: deep conditioning, stops hair from dropping and splitting, restores softness and shine.
Curry leaves: widely used in Indian cuisine, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and some amino acids that increase hair growth, reinforce follicles, and moisturize the scalp. Help extract dead follicles, which eliminates dandruff.
Green gram: degreasing, cleaning; contains minerals that keep the scalp safe.
Methi or fenugreek: prevents dandruff, restores vitamins, and minerals to the scalp, helps to strengthen the hair, and prevents breakage.
Neem: dried neem tree leaves, commonly known for anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties; promotes the protection of the scalp and reduces lice.
Holi basil: promotes growth, reduces itchy scalp, and prevents dandruff, adds fragrance.