In a bid to do away with store bought cosmetics, I have been making things at home out of humble kitchen ingredients. Latest in this series is a hair cleanser that was actually used a lot when I was a kid. I used to hate it as it would sting my eyes. Plus it never had that awesome fragrance that a shampoo used to have. But my mom never cared for my thoughts on this and it was a Sunday ritual in the house.
Today when I make this hair cleanser for myself, I mentally commend my mother for taking out the time to put in this effort. She would make it fresh every Sunday while I have opted to make it once a month and store the rest in the fridge.
Its a pretty easy enough recipe and the resulting liquid is awesome for my hair. I have tried and tested it several times over and now sharing the method to make it. Best part, only three ingredients are required and all are easily available in stores near you.
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Hair Cleanser Ingredients:
- 1 cup of Soap nuts or aritha or reetha
- 1 cup of dried Shikakai
- I cup of dried Amla/ Gooseberry
- 8 cups Water
- De-seed the soap nuts and throw away the seeds in your compost bin.
- Soak each ingredient in 2 cups of water in separate containers overnight. This would allow for them to become soft which would further help to release their goodness in the mix.
- Empty each soaked ingredient into a heavy bottomed pan and add another 2 cups of water to it.
- Bring to a big boil on high flame and then reduce the flame. Boil away for at least 30 minutes with a lid. Keep checking to ensure the mix doesnt boil over.
- Cool the mix and then start mashing with your hands to release the pulp, similar to how you make tamarind pulp.
- Dont throw away the used mix.
- Once all of its been mashed and squeezed for maximum pulp, strain it in a muslin cloth to remove any debris.
- Store it in clean bottles and refrigerate. You would get about a Litre from this recipe.
- Add the used mix back into the pan and add about a litre of water. Boil, mash and strain in the same way. This will have less potency as the earlier mix and I use it as a dish washing liquid. I also add it to my mopping water along with the Bio Enzyme
- The mashed out mix works as an excellent scrub to rub off grime and grease. So use it to clean tiles, counters and gas hob. When done, it can be simply added to the compost bin.
You can easily buy these ingredients in your local grocery stores or use this link to purchase online as well.
- Some people grind the ingredients and then soak. One can also use store bought powders, but I am always apprehensive of their purity.
- Soap nuts have saponins in them which allow for saponification or lathering effect of a soap. These are essential to cut through the grease in the hair.
- Shikakai or Acacia Concinna is a naturally occurring herb which is rich in saponins and antioxidants. Its an alkaloid and balances the acidic effects of the Soapnuts by its soft cleansing action.
- Amla or Gooseberry is high in Vitamin C content and is used to darken hair while inducing better growth. I have used dried version in my recipe though I have heard of people using fresh ones too. Nowadays its in season and I am going to dry them at home instead of buying from the store.
- Dont worry if you dont get the exact proportions; a little more or less of either ingredients will not have a huge effect on its potency. Each of these ingredient supplies plenty of vitamins to the hair cleanser that enrich and nourish hair.
So what are you waiting for? Get cracking at making this super easy and green hair cleanser at home. Trust me your hair will thank you for it. Not to mention that the water from this wash can be reused to water plants quite safely. If you do try out this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback on it please.