A couple of years ago, I decided that shampoo bars followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse was the best for my hair. I loved it and I still do, but many of my readers have told me that it just didn't work for their hair and the wanted an alternative. For months, I've been trying new and different hair products to try to find one that I can recommend to you all and after all this time --- I found it!!!
Ayurvedic Herbal Hair Shampoo
What exactly are Ayurvedic Hair Shampoo Powders? Well, they are hair powders that originated thousands of years ago in India. They are made from the leaves, bark, seeds, or other plant parts of herbs used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. They are known to increase silkiness, boost color and improve the overall manageability of hair without stripping the hair or using any chemicals.
These herbs closely resemble the Henna dyes which are becoming a popular alternative to chemical hair colors, but they aren't quite as strong. Many of the Ayurvedic hair shampoo powders can help add some umph to dull hair or even add a little color to gray hair! Of course I had to enlist the help of my dear sweet mother to test this out! She has gray hair and by using my formula for brunettes she has seen a subtle color change. Her grays have been gaining more and more of a golden color with each washing. For my hair, I haven't noticed a pronounced difference-- only that it seems like my natural highlights stand out more.
The particular recipe for this Herbal Hair Poo which I am sharing with you today is for dark hair, but I will give you some options later in the post for lighter hair colors.
- 1 part Shikakai Powder (cleanser)
- 1 part Aritha Powder(cleanser)
- 1 part Bhringaraj Powder (conditioner)
- Water or other hair friendly liquid
- Optional: 2-4 drops of essential oil per TBSP of Hair Powder (I use rosemary, lavender and cedar wood).
Once I am in the shower, I divide my hair into section and I massage the herbal shampoo powder into each section of hair. Before I wash out the Herbal Hair Poo, I will shave my legs and wash my body to give it time to work. Washing the Ayurvedic hair powder out takes some patience because parts of the herbs can get stuck in my hair if I move too quickly though the wash. I follow up with an ACV Rinse and it makes my hair feel like silk!
My mom likes to put this on before she gets into the shower and lets it sit for 30 minutes before washing to help absorb more of the color from the herbs to help color her gray hair.
Psst... I buy 1/2 pound bags of each of the dried herbs and the last for months and months!
How To Customize Your Ayurveda Hair Shampoo
Herbal Hair Poo should have both a cleanser and a conditioner for best results. Using them both helps to make sure that my hair is never too dry and yet it's always clean and shiny. But half the fun of DIYs is making it your own! I'm listing several alternative so that you can play around to find your signature Herbal Hair Poo! This is not an exhaustive list-- it's simply some of the more popular herbs for hair.
- Aritha (cleanser): Natural cleansing agent. Typically known as soap nuts. Highly recommended for oily hair and improves volume.
- Shikakai Powder: Is both a cleanser and mild conditioner. It promotes hair growth, strengthens hair roots, improves dandruff, can help volume and shine. The fruit has the Saponin to produce lather, but it may be drying. It is recommended that if mixed it is 1/3 or less of the hair powder mixture. Will impart a golden color to hair.
- Chamomile: Blondes, red heads and those with gray hair may like to use chamomile powder as it is not definite as to how your hair will react to holding the color of Aritha and Shakakai.
- Alma: may stimulates hair growth, prevent graying, strengthens hair at the root. May impart a blue tinge to hair which looks pretty awesome on black hair.
- Bhringraj: may pomotes hair growth, may prevent pre-mature balding and graying, improve hair texture, and may help with skin allergies.
- Cassia: Recommended for blondes, red heads or grays-- this is a neutral color so it will impart only a pale blonde color onto the hair. For brunettes, they should be no color change.
- Hibiscus: may promotes healthy hair growth, prevents hair loss, thickens hair. It will impart a burgundy to black cherry color.
- Kalpi: may promotes hair growth, prevents pre mature balding, light conditioning properties, imparts shine.
- Marshmallow Root: Nourishes hair follicles and scalp, conditioning properties, imparts shine
- Neem: may help to correct scalp issues, as well as promote healthy hair growth.
- Aloe juice: supports those with dandruff, shine, and conditioning (I use this one: Organic Aloe Vera Gel
- Rose Water: adds moisture to dry hair, adds softness and shine. May reduce dandruff and increase the strength of the hair. (I use this: Rose Water)
- Green Tea: Boosts hair growth, stronger hair, full of antioxidants to protect hair
- Rosemary: Brunettes, may improve thickness of hair, supports a healthy scalp. Are you blonde, a red head or have some gray? You may want to substitute Roman chamomile for rosemary.
- Cedar wood: supports a healthy scalp, improve hair fall
- Lavender: all hair types, helps support hair growth
- Lemon: lighten hair
- Peppermint: supports oily hair, supports healthy scalp
- Melrose: supports healthy scalp
- Geranium: supports healthy scalp, dry hair
- Copaiba: support a healthy scalp
- Ylang Ylang: Volume, boost vitality, support healthy scalp
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Using The Herbal Hair Poo
As with the shampoo bar, I find it important to brush my hair regularly to help spread the natural oils of the scalp down the hair shaft. Also, I do not wash my hair every day-- I listen to it and only wash when it's needed. Following it up with the ACV rinse makes my hair extra soft and shiny!
There was a transitional period for about a month when I switched from commercial hair products that stripped my hair to natural hair products. During this time, my scalp had to learn how to regulate it's oils naturally so having dry or oily hair/scalp is the norm. My scalp also purged itself of chemicals by releasing some white/yellow dandruff-like substances during this time.
After using the Herbal Hair Poo I have found that my hair is softer, more manageable, and has more shine and less frizz. I loooooove it :)
Looking for more easy DIY Shampoo ideas? I've heard a lot of great things about this DIY Rosemary Peppermint Shampoo.
How about some Natural DIY Hair Gel?
This post is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. Please do not ask me to develop a customized formula for you-- I legally cannot "prescribe" a custom blend. :)