Are you weary of using shampoos laden with chemicals? Do you aspire to rejuvenate the natural vitality of your lackluster, dry, and damaged hair? If so, it’s time to embrace the goodness of Mother Nature and consider a natural alternative for your hair wash. Reetha emerges as an optimal choice for restoring your hair’s cleanliness, softness, and shine purely naturally. Consistent use of Reetha in your hair care routine can yield surprising results. If you’re unfamiliar with this enchanting hair care ingredient, fear not; we’re here to guide you. Discover how to cleanse your hair with Reetha through two uncomplicated and productive methods you can easily apply at home.
What Is Reetha?
Reetha, scientifically identified as Sapindus Mukorossi and colloquially known as soapnut, washnut, or Indian soapberry, is a remarkable botanical resource. This deciduous tree, indigenous to the western coastal regions of Maharashtra in India and commonly found in the lower foothills and mid-hills of the Himalayas, holds a significant place in Ayurvedic medicine as a member of the Sapindaceae family. Recognized for its medicinal properties, the reetha tree produces tiny, walnut-like spherical nuts, readily available in stores specializing in Indian herbs and medicinal plants.
This versatile herb has gained widespread recognition for its pharmacological and cleansing applications. Beyond its traditional use, Reetha is a valuable natural resource, contributing to holistic health practices and eco-friendly alternatives. Explore the multifaceted benefits of Reetha, from its Ayurvedic roots to its contemporary relevance in promoting well-being and sustainability.
Reetha has medicinal uses in treating migraine headaches, curing dermatological issues like eczema, and removing skin impurities like acne. Reetha extract can also be used as an organic surfectant to eliminate arsenic from iron-rich soil and increase the mobility of oil from the fields (1).
How Does Reetha Work For Cleansing?
Reetha boasts a wealth of ‘saponins,’ naturally occurring plant glycosides renowned for their outstanding soap-like cleansing properties. Researchers have identified around eleven classes of saponins across hundreds of plant families. When combined with water, the distinctive chemical structure of these phytochemicals facilitates the creation of a lather akin to conventional detergents. This unique quality underscores Reetha’s innate ability to effectively ‘clean and wash.’
Reetha transforms into a mild soap-like solution upon contact with water, generating gentle suds. This characteristic makes Reetha an exceptional natural hair, skin, and clothing cleanser. Beyond its cleansing prowess, Reetha aligns with the growing demand for eco-friendly alternatives, offering a sustainable and plant-based personal and household hygiene solution. Embrace the natural efficacy of Reetha and experience its wholesome benefits in your daily cleansing rituals. (2).
Benefits Of Washing Hair With Reetha
If you are still wondering why using Reetha for washing hair has become such a popular choice among Indians, here are the benefits you need to know:
- Washing hair with Reetha does not involve using harmful chemical compounds like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and other additives.
- Reetha makes the hair much tangle-freer than the results from using other commercial shampoos.
- Since Reetha is a mild ingredient with a naturally low pH, the hair’s natural oils remain intact, giving it a better shine and texture after each wash.
- After using Reetha, the hair becomes very manageable as it gets utterly free from frizziness and split ends.
- Reetha has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which help reduce hair loss by keeping dandruff away.
- With regular use, Reetha strengthens the hair from the root, reducing hair fall significantly.
- Reetha makes the scalp feel more moisturized and helps it stay supple.
- It is an excellent conditioner that also nourishes the hair to help it grow faster.
- The saponins in reetha work as insecticides to eliminate lice from your scalp.
Read Also – Amla, Reetha & Shikakai Shampoo Recipe
How To Wash Hair With Reetha?
Reetha is an all-natural cleansing agent that is easily accessible, cost-effective, reusable, and environmentally friendly. Its versatility extends to various applications, including laundry, jewelry cleaning, and even addressing specific medical conditions. However, its most renowned use undoubtedly lies in hair care. Leveraging Reetha for hair care results in clean, soft, and glossy hair, instilling a sense of pride.
The most straightforward method for incorporating Reetha into your hair care routine is through a hair rinse. Alternatively, you can craft your natural reetha shampoo, offering a comprehensive solution to various hair concerns. By embracing Reetha, you enhance your hair’s health and appearance and contribute to a sustainable, eco-conscious lifestyle. Experience the transformative benefits of Reetha and bid farewell to many hair issues.
[A] Make Your Own Reetha Shampoo
When combined with other everyday natural hair cleansing and nourishing ingredients, i.e., shikakai and amla, Reetha becomes even more effective in thoroughly cleaning the hair, adding shine and volume. So, prepare a natural shampoo that can combine all these ingredients with goodness. Even if you are not into DIY projects, you can still try making this simple natural shampoo anytime at home. Here is an easy recipe to try:
- Reetha nuts – 10 gm.
- Shikakai – 10 gm.
- Amla – 5 gm.
- Water – 750 ml.
Preparation Of Shampoo
- Take the reetha nuts, shikakai, and amla in a bowl. Add water and allow the ingredients to soak overnight.
- Heat the bowl on a high flame the following day until the water boils.
- Then, reduce the flame and boil for 5 to 15 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat when the liquid becomes concentrated and frothing up a bit.
- Let the mixture cool down by covering the bowl with a lid.
- Once it reaches room temperature, use your hand to crush the boiled ingredients.
- Strain the liquid out, but do not throw away the used ingredients. Instead, place another jar of water inside for future use.
Method Of Application:
- Divide the strained liquid mixture into three equal parts.
- Start massaging your scalp with the first part and work it through the entire length and volume of your hair. You will notice that it does not give much lather. Wash it off thoroughly with plain water.
- Repeat the process with the second part of the shampoo, and again, not much lather will be visible. So again, wash it off with plain water.
- Now, use the third part of the shampoo; this time, you will notice a slight lather. Again, wash the foam and the shampoo off with plain water.
- Finally, pour the water inside the jar along with the used soapnuts, shikakai, and amla onto the end of your hair and allow it to soak for about 2-3 minutes. Then, wash it off thoroughly with plain water.
There will be slight lather and a little tangled hair during the third wash, which indicates that the hair has been cleansed completely. But do not worry as reetha, shikakai, and amla are natural conditioners, which will turn your hair softer and smoother instead of creating dryness in it.
[B] Make A Reetha Hair Rinse
If you want a quick natural remedy for shinier and healthier hair, use a reetha hair rinse. It makes use of reetha powder instead of whole nuts. The best thing about this method is that it does not need three separate washes like the shampoo and is much less time-consuming. Check out the easy recipe here:
- Dried reetha nuts
- Dried shikakai
Preparation Of Rinse
- Grind a handful of dried reetha nuts into a fine powder.
- Also, grind a handful of dried shikakai pieces into a smooth powder.
- Mix both of these ingredients to prepare a herbal mixture of hair rinse.
- Add some water to this mixture and make an even paste of medium consistency. Now, it is ready to use.
Method Of Application
- Apply the herbal paste to your scalp uniformly and slowly work your way to the end of your hair.
- Massage 2-3 minutes by moving your fingertips in a small circular motion.
- Then, add water and rinse thoroughly. Make sure that the paste is washed off completely.
- You may want to repeat the rinsing process until the water dripping off your hair is entirely transparent. That is when you become sure the powder has been washed off thoroughly. Even if some remains in your hair, it will fall off when dry.
Make a jarful of this reetha hair rinse mixture and use it for over a month. You can even add a little hibiscus powder to it for better results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does The Reetha Shampoo Work On Oily Hair?
Natural reetha-shikakai shampoo suits all types of hair perfectly. However, if your hair is too oily, apply it directly to your scalp before making it wet and massage gently to ensure it works on the excess oil. Mixing 1-2 tablespoons of Fuller’s earth or bentonite clay with the shampoo will also help you remove extra oil from your scalp.
Does It Work On Dry Hair?
As said earlier, it works on any hair type. But if you feel your hair is too dry to handle, add one tablespoon of fenugreek seed powder to the shampoo mixture. The moisturizing and conditioning properties of fenugreek will leave your super dry hair silky, soft, and shiny smooth.
Should I Condition After Using The Shampoo?
This shampoo does not need to be accompanied by a conditioner. Shikakai works as a natural softener and a detangler, which gives soft, shiny, and easily manageable hair that does not require an external conditioner. If you have split ends or frizziness, apply almond or coconut oil to the ends of your locks after shampooing.
Does It Change Blonde Hair?
As the natural reetha shampoo contains shikakai and amla, it may turn your beautiful blonde locks darker over time. But you can always replace these two ingredients with fenugreek seeds, nettle leaves, chamomile flowers, horsetail herb, marshmallow root, etc., to keep your hair color intact. All you need to do is take one or more of them, 1-2 teaspoons each, and add them to the shampoo mix.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Reetha Hair Wash?
Reetha is a natural hair cleanser used in hair care for ages. It is generally safe to use Reetha for washing hair. However, you must do a patch test before using the herb for the first time to ensure you are not allergic to it.
Where Are These Herbs Available For Purchase?
The herbs used in this shampoo can be found in all grocery stores or purchased online. Whole herbs are safer and more effective. If you opt for herb powders, ensure they come from reputed sellers to prevent adulteration.
How To Store Natural Reetha Shampoo?
You cannot produce this shampoo in large batches as storing it in its liquid form for a long time will spoil the benefits. However, you can pour the mixture into ice trays and freeze it for future use. Just take out 2-5 cubes based on your hair length and use them on your hair once they liquefy again.
- “Sapindus Mukorossi“, Wikipedia
- “What Are Saponins? Discovering Their Health benefits“, GlobalHealingCenter.com