Switching on the television, we find ourselves being bombarded with advertisements for some great shampoos. The long lustrous tresses that those models keep swinging about, make us believe that a good shampoo is a solution to our hair woes.
If we were to take a minute off to think about shampoos and lovely hair, we would realize that our ancestors did have very lovely hair. And they did maintain their hair without these fancy shampoos. How did they do that? To begin with, shampoos are not a new invention. They have been used since ancient times in India. The colonial rulers of India latched on to the benefits and spread the word across the globe.
But, did our ancestors mix chemicals that pass off as shampoos these days? No, they never did! They made their own and today we understand that they were smart enough to pamper their hair with what was available locally, and what suited them best. Today, we can follow those trusted and time-tested paths and make a shampoo of our own. To begin with, here are the advantages:
- We can trust the quality of the product.
- They are usually very cost-effective.
- They have negligible side-effects if used properly.
- They are milder than store-bought stuff and the body accepts them more readily.
This article helps you understand the benefits of a homemade shampoo and suggests a recipe that should help you take care of your hair.
- Soapnuts or reetha – 25 gms
- Shikakai – 25 gms
- Dried amla – 25 gms
- Fenugreek Methi seeds – 25 gms
- Hibiscus leaves – 20 leaves
- Neem leaves– 20 leaves
- Aloe vera – 25 gms
- Water – 1 liter
Shikakai strengthens the hair roots, adds luster to hair and makes it soft. It also cleans the scalp, but unlike modern shampoos, leaves the essential oils intact. It also helps to combat dandruff and is said to halt premature greying. Soapnuts or reetha have been used since ages for hair care. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and thus helps to keep the hair and scalp in good health. It also gently cleans the hair leaving it softer and shinier.
Take reetha, shikakai, dried amla, and the methi seeds, and soak them in about a liter of water for about 12 hours. After 12 hours you would find the water to be black in color and soapy in nature. Discard the seeds of reetha and shikakai while keeping the pulp of both in the water. Chop all the leaves (which have been washed and dried) and grind them with aloe vera gel. Add this paste to the water mixture and heat it on a stove until it boils. Allow it to cool before straining it into a glass bottle. Since it does not contain any preservatives, you could store it in a refrigerator.
Wet your hair and then apply this shampoo to the scalp and on the hair. Massage it for a few minutes before washing off with water. Remember that since it does not contain chemicals, it would not foam as much as a regular shampoo. You don’t have to use a conditioner as the shampoo acts as a natural conditioner. Being herbal and free from chemicals, you can use the shampoo every time you have a hair wash.
Each individual is unique and that is why Ayurvedic physicians of ancient times prepared custom-made remedies for their patients, something that would be far more efficacious than any general medicine. Preparing homemade herbal shampoos is, in a way going back in time and preparing something special,
just for you. Depending on the conditions and how your body and hair respond, you could tinker around with the herbs until you find something that really works for you.
If you would like to know more about Ayurveda, Ayurvedic products and an authentic Ayurvedic approach to life, check out our blog on Ayurveda