Gone are those days when we were completely dependent on natural ingredients for cleansing our scalp and hair. With more and more brands coming up with new varieties of shampoos, we do not need to invest our time and efforts in preparing a homemade hair cleansing remedy anymore. But each of these synthetic shampoos is loaded with harmful chemicals, which not only take a toll on the health and appearance of our hair but also cause a negative impact on our overall well-being over a period of time. On the other hand, using a homemade hair cleansing remedy made of three age-old natural ingredients i.e. amla, reetha, and shikakai not only nourishes our hair but also protects it from all sorts of damage. So today, we are going to give you the DIY recipe of amla reetha and shikakai shampoo that is simple yet amazing for locks. Keep reading.
Why Use Homemade Natural Shampoo?
Knowing the benefits of natural shampoos is the most important thing before taking the plunge and hence, we will start with this only. Most of the synthetic shampoos available in the market contain certain toxic chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), parabens, fragrance, polyethylene glycol (PEG), and so on. These not only damage the scalp severely but also cause a number of hair issues including dandruff, dryness, frizzes, split ends, premature greying, hairfall, etc. Sometimes, harmful chemicals in commercial shampoos cause minor to major health problems, which may even turn out to be fatal. Therefore, it is always good to pick a herbal or homemade natural shampoo over these chemically-treated ones. It is even better to prepare your own homemade natural shampoo by sourcing all genuine herbs that people in India used to do for centuries.
What Is Amla Reetha And Shikakai Shampoo?
Amla reetha and shikakai shampoo is a herbal concoction, which has been in use since ancient times as a natural shampoo for hair. As the name suggests, it contains three simple age-old herbs i.e. amla, reetha, and shikakai that have many useful applications in hair care remedies. All of these ingredients have active components, which nourish hair fibers deeply and stimulate their growth exponentially. Being natural components, they are also mild enough to retain natural oils of the hair and maintain its natural texture for a healthy shine and beautiful appearance. You can steer clear of all your hair woes by using an amla reetha shikakai shampoo regularly. Moreover, it suits all types of hair irrespective of its length, texture, and condition.
Amla, reetha, and shikakai complement each other and form a very rich combination for hair. So, they are mixed together to get dark, healthy, and lustrous hair.
Hair Benefits Of Amla, Reetha, And Shikakai
Amla, reetha, and shikakai are herbal fruits, which are mostly available in India and widely used for hair either combinedly or separately. But before we proceed to make the shampoo at home, it is necessary to know about the working procedures and effectiveness of each of these ingredients for the benefits of hair. Here we go:
1. Benefits Of Amla For Hair
Amla or amalaki or Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus Emblica), is a berry-like edible fruit obtained from a small to medium-sized deciduous tree belonging to the Phyllanthaceae family. The spherical fruit of light greenish-yellow color has a smooth and somewhat hard surface with six vertical stripes or furrows on it. It is quite fibrous in nature and has an astringent flavor with a sour-to-bitter taste (1). Amla has long been used as an effective remedy for hair loss and grey hair. The following properties of the fruit make it highly useful in natural hair care:
- It consists of a number of essential fatty acids that nourish and moisturize hair. They penetrate the scalp to eliminate dryness and address issues like dandruff, itchy scalp, etc. successfully.
- Being rich in proteins, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals, it provides the hair fibers with adequate nutrition. This helps in preventing hair loss as well as promoting healthy hair growth.
- Amazing antioxidant properties of the fruit are effective in strengthening the roots of the hair fibers. It repairs damaged hair cells and protects them from further oxidative stress in order to stimulate the growth of hair fibers.
- It acts as a conditioner that strengthens hair roots and moisturizes them thoroughly. This not only makes the hair soft and smooth but also gives it a natural shine and bounce.
- As it keeps the scalp healthy and improves the functionality of hair cells, both premature greying and hair loss become under control.
Read Also – How Good Is Amla Powder For Your Hair And Skin
2. Benefits Of Reetha For Hair
Reetha or soapnut or soapberry (Sapindus Mukorossi) is a drupe from the Sapindus genus. The reetha tree belongs to the Sapindaceae family, which has 5-12 species of shrubs and small trees including both deciduous and evergreen ones. The small leathery-skinned, yellow-colored drupe contains 1 to 3 seeds and it turns blackish upon ripening (2). Reetha is a very effective hair cleansing agent that keeps the scalp healthy by removing infection-causing microorganisms. Here are all the benefits offered by the fruit:
- The presence of the natural surfactant called saponin makes reetha an amazing natural cleanser. It removes all dirt, grime, and build-ups from the scalp easily and effectively.
- It causes no irritation to the scalp and hence, is more beneficial for hair than other chemical-based cleaning agents used in commercial shampoos.
- The anti-microbial properties of reetha help in removing microorganisms from the scalp, thereby preventing scalp infections and itchiness.
- It has various active components including antioxidants, which not only nourish the hair but also keep it healthy and smooth.
- Regular use of reetha adds shine to the hair and brings back its natural texture while adding lots of volume to it naturally.
- Because of its cleansing properties, you can also get rid of dandruff and lice over time.
Read Also – How To Wash Hair Using Reetha (Soapnut)
3. Benefits Of Shikakai For Hair
Shikakai (Acacia Concinna), also known as the ultimate ‘fruit for hair’, is derived from a climbing shrub that is native to Asia. Since ancient times, this Ayurvedic medicinal plant has been used in hair care across the Indian Subcontinent. The extracts of shikakai are not only used in traditional natural shampoos and hair powders but also added to their synthetic Ayurvedic counterparts. Those are made by drying different parts of the plant (bark, leaves, and pods) under the sun, grinding them into a fine powder, and adding water if required (3). Shikakai helps in taking great care of our hair and there are multiple reasons to use it in haircare remedies. We have listed them below:
- Being a mild component with naturally low pH value, shikakai retains the natural oils of the hair while cleansing it gently.
- It is rich in antioxidant vitamin C and a lot of essential phytonutrients that nourish the hair follicles and encourage the growth of hair.
- As it nourishes the scalp as well as the hair roots, the dryness and itchiness of the scalp go down.
- Shikakai acts as a powerful anti-dandruff agent that protects the scalp from other types of infection.
- It is also effective in strengthening the hair and conditioning it deeply. As a result, the hair falls is controlled and it gets excellent volume.
- Consistent use of shikakai makes the hair healthy, soft, lustrous, and bouncy naturally.
Read Also – Make Shikakai Hair Wash Powder At Home
Homemade Amla Reetha And Shikakai Shampoo Recipe
Making this wonderful natural shampoo containing at home is far easier than you think. Check out the recipe below:
- Soak 5-6 reetha pods, 6-7 pieces of shikakai, and a few freshly chopped amla in 500 ml. of water overnight.
- The next morning, heat this mixture. Just when it begins to boil, turn the heat off.
- Allow the mixture to cool and then using a blender; squash the ingredients to a pulp.
- You will notice a lot of froth is being produced during the process. This is when you know that your shampoo has acquired all the goodness of these ingredients.
- Strain the mixture, discard the residue of the ingredients, and use the liquid concoction as a shampoo.
Amla reetha and shikakai shampoo cannot be produced in large batches and stored in the refrigerator as the concoction turns bad after a few days. But you can freeze it into your ice trays and make use of 2-3 ice cubes (based on the length of your hair) whenever required.
How To Use Amla Reetha And Shikakai Shampoo?
Once you are ready with your very own natural amla reetha and shikakai shampoo, apply it properly to get the most out of it. Start with making your hair wet and apply the required amount of shampoo to your scalp. Massage gently by using your fingertips for 3-4 minutes and slowly move towards the tips of your hair. Let it sit for a few more minutes and then, rinse thoroughly with plain water. This shampoo does not lather well, but it really cleanses the scalp and the hair beautifully. Make sure that you rinse out all the bits and pieces of herbs while washing your hair. In case your hair is extremely dry, you can either use some hibiscus powder or a mild conditioner on your hair.
What To Expect After Using The Shampoo?
Well, it will probably take months for your mane to get adjusted to this paraben and sulfate-free mild hair wash. But you can still experience its goodness from the very first use. The first thing that you will notice is that the amount of hair that you normally lose during each wash has reduced significantly. All dirt, dust, grime, and excess oil will be removed from your scalp completely and the scalp will feel very happy. Also, the strands of hair will get separated from each other instead of staying limp, thereby making your hair look a lot more voluminous. The hair will also look healthier and shinier.
This shampoo does not offer the smoothness provided by chemically-treated shampoos during the hair wash. Rather, you will feel like the shampoo is tangling your hair. However, once you wash it off, your hair will feel normal again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Use This Shampoo On Oily Hair?
Amla reetha and shikakai shampoo suits all types of hair easily. But if you fee that your hair is way too oily for this, add 1-2 tablespoons of Fuller’s earth or bentonite clay to the mixture. This will remove all excess oil from the scalp effectively.
Can I Use This Shampoo On Dry Hair?
You can use this shampoo on dry and damaged hair without any worry. However, if your hair is too dry, add a tablespoon of marshmallow root or fenugreek seed powder to the shampoo mixture. These super moisturizing natural ingredients will hydrate your hair deeply.
Should I Condition The Hair After Shampooing?
The natural conditioning power of shikakai will keep your hair soft, smooth, and manageable. So, there is no need to apply a conditioning product right after shampooing. But if your hair is very frizzy, you can use a pea-sized amount of coconut oil for the lower-third part of your hair.
From Where To Get The Shampoo Ingredients?
You can buy amla, reetha, and shikakai from any Indian grocery store both offline and online. These are available as whole dried herbs or herb powders. It is always good to opt for whole herbs as they come in the purest forms. If you purchase herb powders for convenience, make sure to find a reputed brand.