Make Your Own Natural Shampoo: Get Soft and Shiny Hair at Home - hair buddha
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Make Your Own Natural Shampoo: Get Soft and Shiny Hair at Home

Make Your Own Natural Shampoo-


For centuries people in India have mostly used various fruits, barks, stem, seeds and leaves to make their own homemade shampoo. Although, now many people are opting for more convenient options -market bought shampoos; is it good or bad is a big question.

Since I was little I have seen my mother make her own natural shampoo using shikakai, reetha (soap nut) and orange or lemon peel. I had never tried it until recently when my favourite shampoo had its ingredients changed, and my hair refused to like the new ones. Luckily my mother was paying us a visit. And I decided to use her expertise of making this all natural homemade shampoo.

Before we go on how to make homemade shampoo, let me tell you a little about my quest for natural shampoo. I have suffered from itchy scalp for many many years. And I have had uncountable bad hair days. Besides, when I moved to London the hard water made things even worse. I tried using filtered water to wash my hair, this did help, but only a little. I then started trying various shampoos. I finally found a shampoo which claimed to contain all natural ingredients. My hair & scalp absolutely loved it; I used this for couple of years. But just recently the shampoo producers changed many of its ingredients, and my hair was left ‘cuticle broken’ and my scalp was itchy again. So I finally decided to give my mom’s homemade shampoo a try.

My mom’s homemade shampoo – let’s call the shampoo Ree-Shi for its main ingredients reetha and shikakai – made my hair amazingly soft and shiny. And my scalp felt better and the itch has gone away. Moreover my hair are doing pretty fine without the need for filtered water. I so much like happy endings! I was a bit annoyed with myself to have waited all these years to find the right shampoo for my hair. I totally overlooked my mom’s homemade concoction for all these years and never ever thought of using it on my hair. Anyways it’s never too late…blah blah.. I hope you won’t delay any bit

Here are the ingredients and how to use them:



1. Shikakai: Shikakai or Acacia concinna is a climbing shrub native to central and south India. Shikakai literally means “fruit for hair. It has been used as a hair cleanser in the Indian sub-continent since ancient times. Shikakai acts as a detangler and makes hair smooth and soft. It is rich in vitamin C and vitamin D, and many essential phytonutrients that nourish the hair follicles and promote hair growth.

Soap Nut/ Reetha

2. Soap nuts or Reetha: Reetha contains natural surfactants called saponins, which makes it a great natural cleanser. Surfactants are foaming agents that help remove dirt and grease from your hair/skin. Most commercial shampoos contain chemical surfactants which may not be skin or environment friendly. Reetha is a natural softener, so no need for conditioner after shampoo. It is an excellent alternative for people who are allergic to sulfates and parabens in the commerical shampoo.

Dried Amla

Dried Amla

3. Amla or Indian gooseberry: In traditional Indian cultures, amla is considered a valuable hair tonic and forms a regular part of hair care ritual. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties help to maintain a healthy scalp. Amla is known to strength hair roots, encourage hair growth, and address premature greying.

Shampoo Ingredients: Shikakai, Reetha, and Amla

Shampoo Ingredients: Shikakai, Reetha, and Amla

How to make?

You will need:

  • 10 grams  shikakai pods
  • 10 grams reetha berry 
  • 5 gram amla pieces

This is the basic ratio, you can adjust the ingredients as desired. You can substitute amla for orange peel or lemon peel. Use any one of the three- amla, orange peel and lemon peel- if you use all or excess, it will dry out your hair.

2. Take all ingredients in a pan, add 750 ml of water and let them soak for about 8 hours ( I sometimes leave it for 24 hours to make a strong shampoo).

3. Heat the mix till it starts to boil, reduce the flame slightly and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then leave it to simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. The longer you let it simmer the more concentrated it will become. (add more water if you wish)

4. Remove from the heat and let it cool. When it comes to the room temperature, crush the reetha, shikakai, and amla/peels with your hand.

5. Strain before use.

Shampoo in Process

Shampoo in Process

This is a not a long process, it just needs some planning. Yet to do this every time, before you wash your hair, can put many off. And you cannot make a large batch and store the liquid in the fridge, as it will turn bad. The good news is, you can freeze the mixture into ice trays, and use it as and when required. Take out 2 to 3 cubes (more or less depending on the length of your hair) few hours before you want to use it.

Reetha Shampoo frozen into cubes

Reetha Shampoo frozen into cubes

How to use? Use as normal shampoo. Wet hair, then massage the Ree-Shi (Reetha & shikakai)  shampoo on the scalp, and move towards the ends of your hair. Let it sit of couple of minutes and then rinse.  This mix hardly lathers. But it cleans your hair well.

If you have oiled your hair, then use multani mitti/fuller’s earth, (or rhassoul clay, or besan/chickpea flour) and yogurt pack. Mix 6 to 7 tablespoon yogurt and 1 tablespoon besan, apply on your hair and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly, then use the ree-shi shampoo to wash your hair. This will ensure that your hair cleans well and don’t feel greasy.

If you have dry hair: Add a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds or marshmallow root when making this shampoo. Both fenugreek and marshmallow are very moisturising and conditioning for hair, and will leave it soft, shiny and smooth.

Fullers Earth/ Multani Mitti

Fullers Earth/ Multani Mitti

No more conditioner: After shampooing with Ree-Shi you will not need to follow with any conditioner. Following shampoo, pat dry your hair, take a pea sized amount of coconut oil or almond oil and rub through the lower third of your hair, avoiding the scalp, and  leave-in. The result is soft, shiny and manageable hair. 

Suits all hair types: This shampoo is suitable for all hair types and will not strip the natural oils from your hair. This traditional product is probably the original pH balanced shampoo.

Blond hair: Shikakai and amla can darken your hair over time. If you do not wish to alter your hair colour, skip these two. So use just reetha and along with it you can add one or more of the below listed herbs (1 to 2 teaspoon each), and follow the same directions to make the shampoo.

marshamallow root – conditions and softens hair

horsetail herb – makes hair strong and shiny

fenugreek seeds – softens hair and useful in scalp conditions such as dandruff and eczema

nettle leaves – add body and get rids of excess oil, good for oily hair

licorice root– moisturises your scalp and hair and helps with hair loss

Where to buy? Reetha, shikakai and amla are available in most of the Indian grocery stores, or you can also purchase them online.

Why Shikakai – Reetha Shampoo?This shampoo is a great natural cleanser. It is free from not so good ingredients like Sulfate, parabens, and other additives, and moreover packaging – no more plastic bottles. It is mild, having naturally low pH and will not strip the natural oils from your hair. Usually no conditioner is needed, as reetha is a natural softer and shikakai acts as a detangler.

Buying Cosmetics and toiletries: Before buying shampoo or any cosmetic products train yourself to read the labels. If you are unsure of any ingredient you can check it on

Buying herb powders: I generally prefer to use whole herbs than their powder forms, because powder can be easily adulterated.

Always buy powdered herbs from a reputed seller, so you know what you are getting is pure herbal powder.

Note: If you have never used these herbs before, do a patch test to see if you are allergic to any ingredient.

What do you think? If you have used this before, please share your experience.

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Get the Ree-Shi shampoo ingredients:

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Besan Buy Now

  • Rebecca Bligh

    Hi Minaz!

    What would you recommend for “combination” greasy and dry hair? I have long, thick hair – the bottom two-thirds is very dry, coarse, brittle, frizzy, and damaged. But my roots are greasy. There’s literally a visible division between the two types of hair: thick, weighed down and greasy on top; poofy and frizzy on bottom. I made your Reeshi shampoo, and I loved it at first. But by the third wash, the bottom was more dry and straw-like than normal and the top was greasier than normal. What do you suggest?

    Thank you so much for your help!

  • Tiffany Goodman

    Is this safe for color treated hair? Color is deep burgundy/black. I want to be sure it will not strip the color before I pay to have it done again.
    I am very excited to try this. Looks promising.

  • Nico

    How much besan do you add for oily hair. Also what is the consistency of this shampoo.

    • Do a yogurt and besan mask before shampoo (leave it on for 10 mins). Then use the shampoo, this will clean your hair really well.

  • bibi fatma

    Whenever i use this method it never cleans my hair all my strands are sticky and there is this buildup residue left on my scalp why is that ? i have hard water

  • Naveen

    Hi, I am using castrol oil since 2months, weekly 3 times i am using. My hair loss is controlled but i have a baldness in front part of the head pls give me a suggestion to get hair on the parts. Thank you

  • Vidhya Beno

    Hi, Can you please let me know if i can grind all these ingredients after boiling instead of smashing and using only the water?What else should I do/add if I need more lather?

    • You can grind them, but it can be very messy.
      For lather try castile soap, but if you have hard water you may have residue buildup.

  • Rose

    I could only these herbs in powder form at my local Indian grocery. I mixed up 2 Tbsp each shikakai and reetha and 1 Tbsp amla, added 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon for scent, and made a paste with it using 3 ounces of very strongly brewed, over steeped black tea. It was gritty in my hair (possibly from the cinnamon) but it washed out smooth and my hair dried soft and silky, and faster than usual. I didn’5 use any coconut oil because my hair doesn’t like coconut oil, but I was still able to comb through damp hair without any tangles. The only downside is that I had to use half of the shampoo in one use because my hair is very long! When I get close to running out of powders I’ll look into getting the whole, dried herbs from Amazon.

    • Rose

      Nine days. It has been nine days since I washed my hair with this shampoo, and I haven’t needed to wash again yet. I’m still showering daily to clean my body, but my hair has not been frizzy, greasy, or stringy all week, and my scalp dermatitis is GONE. And it took less than an hour to fully dry, which is saying something when your hair is almost to your knees! With normal shampoo, even dandruff shampoo, it took my hair three hours to dry, I had oily, stringy, frizzy hair after two days and I never got rid of the dermatitis. I’m never going back to normal shampoo again!

  • Nicki

    Hi, I have these herbs in powder form.. How can adjust your recipe so that I measure out the correct amount in powder form. Thanks in advance for your help 🙂

    • Hi Nicki, use this:
      1 tablespoon shikakai
      1/2 tablespoon reetha
      1 teaspoon amla

  • Jennifer Raganit

    Hi when crushing the ingredients with my hand, do I crush them until it becomes mushy? or into small pieces? Also, do i use the ingredients on my hair or just the water mixture?

    Thank you

    • Hi Jennifer, I crush them until it becomes mushy. Then strain and use just the liquid.

      • Jennifer Raganit

        Got it, i appreciate it.

  • farha

    Hi I have tried your shampoo.It works fine but since I got a extremely oily scalp could you please suggest me what can I use for oily scalp? Also I have dandruff too.

  • Isha

    Hi, I haven’t tried this method yet but i am planning to soon, I just had a question, would the consistency of these ingredients be easy to use in the shower, like if its a liquidy consistency is there a way to make the consistency thicker?

  • Christelle de villiers

    Can I just add the Shikakai and neem and amla powder to my home made shampoo (ingredients: honey, coconut milk and castile liquid soap). Will it be as effective? Or do I need to make the shikakai powder shampoo as a seperate batch?

  • Christelle de villiers

    I am very interested in these powders. Could I just add the powder to my natural home made shampoo (ingredients are honey, coconut milk, castile liquid soap). Or do I need to make a seperate shampoo with the shikakai and amla powder?

    • Hello, You can try adding them and see how it works.
      I would skip honey…

  • Denice


    I have been wanted to go no-poo for a while, however I was very skeptical. I finally bit the bullet two weeks ago and man did I suffer. My hair was extremely oily, I knew about transition period, but wasn’t really ready it seems. I broke down the first week and did use a natural shampoo/conditioner to help me out. Second week I decided to go with only soap nut water and no vinegar. I still couldn’t wear my hair down. Then saw your site. I prepared the above recipe and I love the results!!!! Not oily at all!!!! Needless to say you will now be my go-to site for hair advice. I do have one question. I am not in love with the scent of this shampoo. Would you advice using essential oils and if so how much?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Dence, happy to know this natural shampoo recipe worked for you.
      Try adding 2-3 drops lavender or rosemary essential oil.

  • Hi Rami,
    This recipe should be enough for one time use.
    Just use the whole shikakai, no need to break it.
    If you are using the powders, add 1 tablespoon shikakai powder and 1/2 tablespoon amla powder.
    You can also try adding fenugreek seeds to soap nut and it should make your hair soft.

  • Waseem

    Hello Maam,
    Myself waseem.i am 25 year old.My hair fall problem was started when i was in college before 5 year.i tried too many shampoo and hair oil for dandruff and hair fall but nothing works.i finally decided to do hair transplant and i got a good result after 1 year and i used minioxidil hair oil that give me best result but once i stoped using it my hair become thiner and my scalp is visible then i started using onion juice with castor oil from last 4 months and bought baby shampoo as i read on that its free from parabens and sulphate but its also have sulphate.
    My questions are,
    1)can i use reetha,Amla and shikakai homamade shmpoo?
    2)For howlong i need to use juice of onion and castor oil to see the result?
    3)Can onion juice and reetha shikakai shampoo cause any negative effect on my transplanted area?
    Please reply

    • Hi Wasim,
      you should ask your doctor if you can use reetha-shikakai shampoo or onion juice on transplanted area.
      It can take 3 to 4 months for onion juice to show results.

  • Waseem

    Hello Maam,
    Myself waseem.i am 25 year old.My hair fall problem was started when i was in college before 5 year.i tried too many shampoo and hair oil for dandruff and hair fall but nothing works.i finally decided to do hair transplant and i got a good result after 1 year and i used minioxidil hair oil that give me best result but once i stoped using it my hair become thiner and my scalp is visible then i started using onion juice with castor oil from last 4 months and bought baby shampoo as i read on that its free from parabens and sulphate but its also have sulphate.
    My questions are,
    1)can i use reetha,Amla and shikakai homamade shmpoo?
    2)For howlong i need to use juice of onion and castor oil to see the result?
    3)Can onion juice and reetha shikakai shampoo cause any negative effect on my transplanted area?
    Please reply

  • shruthi

    Hello Minaaz, would it be okay if I do not include reetha berries? And use just shikakai and amla with fenugreek powder? Would it still be cleansing? And can we use this on oiled up hair?

  • Rami


    I just tried soap nuts alone and it’s great, but drying; my hair feels like straw. I really like the soap nuts though, so I want to continue doing it so it doesn’t dry it out. I imagine adding the amla and shikakai will fix that problem?

    The stylist I go to once a year says I have long, thick, coarse hair (and I chopped it off to mid-back/bra strap level). Should I double/triple your recipe then? Also, I am looking at Amazon and most sell the shikakai and amla in powder form. How much should I use according to your original recipe if it was in powder form?

    Or if I buy the shikakai whole, I just crack it open and get the pods? I’ve never seen them before, so I want to know what I’m expecting and doing. =)

    Thank you so much!

  • anjum ishrat

    Hi Minaaz
    My hair has been shed from my scalp and the hair fall problem is still occurring. now i am using Aroma magic stimulated oil with Bhrangraj hair oil and wash my hair with Head & Shoulder shampoo. What do you suggest me to use Ree-chi mixture for best result for my hair.
    Awaiting your valuable reply

    • Hi Anjum,

      Give it a try, it won’t harm you.
      Do a weekly castor oil and egg hair mask.
      Why would you mix two oils? They have different ingredients, which may not be compatible with each other.

      Also you need to rule out any deficiency or medical condition, see here.

      Hope this helps.

      • anjum ishrat

        Hi Minaaz,
        Thanks for your feedback. I have read your new article and its seems good.From now I’ll stop using this combination oil and try out your remedies.
        I just want to know that can I wash my hair with this Rii Shi Shampoo after using Miracle hair Mask? and is the coconut oil is better to use for massaging hair and leave it overnight before shampoo?
        There’s a link given on your website for Khadi Shampoo, which one is the best for my hair?
        Awaiting your revert.
        Thanks & Regards

        • Hello Anjum, you are most welcome 🙂
          Coconut oil is good for hair.
          Yes you can wash your hair with ree-shi shampoo.
          I will tell you a shampoo trick: Pick any herbal shampoo, take 1 -2 teaspoon shampoo, add some homemade ree-shi shampoo (or herbal tea) and use that to wash your hair.

          • anjum ishrat

            Thanks Minaaz..

          • anuragPatle

            Can I use it daily?

  • naturefreak

    When adding any of the herbs you listed at the end, do you add the 1-2 teaspoons with the overall batch or with few ice cubes before each individual use?

  • Hi Ali, this could be because the ree-shi shampoo is not strong enough and not removing the grease from your hair. Soak the ingredients (add more reetha) in cold water and boil in morning till half liquid remains. Use this to wash your hair.

  • Ali

    Hi minaz .. I hav to ask that I grands the sikaki amla and reetha from a grander shop.. then I use full boil water and put some of the mixture into it… and after overnight I use it every morning.. firstly I get very good results but as tim pass away .. this mixture starts gathering in my hair roots and it was so even that I can’t brush my hairs when they dry.. now again it creating problem like gather in roots nd when I brush my hairs there’s sound of “kruch kruch ” from my hairs also… what I hav to do please guide??

  • Naseer Mohammad

    Hi Minaz … had a severe hair loss when I was 17 … Now is there a way that I could recover my lost hair back .. Iam 24 now by the way .. thank you

  • Alice

    Hi there, is this shampoo safe for kids or is there any other natural shampoo that is more suitable for children? I used on my 11 years old and he complained that his eyes were itchy and it did got a bit red… Thanks! Oh, and does anybody know if we can use this shampoo as a liquid soap as well or is there another soap recipe? Thanks!

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  • arti-arte

    Is there a way to preserve this for longer like 6 months?

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  • Meet Manmeet

    What is shelf life if kept in fridge? How much (750 ml of water)it comes out after boiling?

  • Meet Manmeet

    What is shelf life when keep in fridge? 750 ml water comes to how much after done???? And what is suggestion u give it on more soapy like normal shampoo thnx in advance

    • It will stay good for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge. It doesn’t foam like normal shampoo.
      The shampoo yield will depend on how long you boil it.

  • Z

    Hi. Please consider adding a suggestion for people to patch test the products … at least the shikakai. I made a paste of shikakai powder, amla powder, and marshmallow on two separate occasions. The first time went fine, but after the second application, I had a severe allergic reaction that necessitated a visit to the doctor along with both topical and oral steroid treatment. I am still dealing with the rash weeks later. I believe it was the shikakai since I found a couple of other similar reports online.

    Thanks for all of the information on natural products. I look forward to trying other recipes and finding one that works for me! 🙂

    • I am sorry to hear that.
      This is the reason I prefer to use whole herbs than their powder forms. Because powder can easily be adulterated.
      On few occasions I had to throw away the herb powders, because they did not smell right and when I used them the effect was very different, it even caused my hair to fall out.

      So I really suggest you buy whole herbs in future.

      Wish you speedy recovery.

  • Tamarra

    If it’s powder form do we still need it to sit for 8-10/overnight if so what temperature water, or do we just boil and simmer for 15-30mins?

    • No you don’t have to soak them over night. Add hot water and make a runny paste, then let it cool down and use.

  • Lora Hull

    Hi Minaz! I had been suffering the pain extremely hard water hair for the last year since moving to a house with well water until I finally gave your recipe a try. Soooo glad I did! It has made my hair so happy! I used to have incredibly strong, smooth and healthy hair until we moved and since it has been a tangled, broken, split mess! Now, after only a week of using your mom’s 10-10-5 Ree-shi, I see real improvement! Thank you so much for sharing! I have a few questions. I hope nobody asked these before, there are so many posts it is hard to read through them all!

    -I’ve only made it once and one batch made just over one ice tray worth. From looking through you Q& A, I am guessing I may have simmered too long, in turn cooking off too much water. So, I followed the advice you gave another follower and added a bit of water. Doing this stretched the single batch, as you have quantities above, to about 8 washes worth for my mid back length hair. Roughly, does this seem about right to you? Or should I add more/less water?
    -Also, Do you have any application tips? I am not oiling but being accustom to lathering, this has been an adjustment…. Is it better to apply to dry hair or wet? Do you suggest letting it sit for a bit before rinsing?
    – Do you ever re-use the berry & pod bits that are captured in straining? I noticed that if I squeezed them in my hand after straining, the Shikakai pods bubbled a bit which made me think there was some life left in them. It would be great to stretch my $ a bit!
    -Last one, I promise! I was also considering trying your besan & orange peel powder recipe. I am a working mom & the convenience & cost for materials seem significant but, hard water has really been my issue. Any recommendations? Thanks for all your

    • Hi Lora, I am so glad you like ree-shi shampoo.
      You will have to try different ways to using it and see what works best for you, as everyones hair responds differently. I usually wet my hair first and then apply it.
      I also reuse the berry and pods, it gives me couple of more washes.
      Since your hair is broken and tangled I suggest you give this egg shampoo a try.

  • mauri

    Hello Minaz! Thank you for your great recipes. I was eager to try this because of my dry hair. I am 52 and of course my hair is not the same anymore. I also have color treated and bleached hair. I used the shampoo recipe and my hair has darkened quite a bit as a result and the color is a bit strange. Where do I go from here?? Please help
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Mauri,

      Just use reetha and add 1 to 2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds. Follow the same recipe.

      Let me know how it goes.

      • mauri

        Thank you so much. Fenugreek seeds? I will go looking for those. Also, when I am washing my hair, how much of the mixture should I use? Either the regular shampoo or the new one you have recommended.
        Love you site…keep up
        He great work!

        • You should be able to find fenugreek (methi) seeds online or in any Indian grocery store. Alternatively you can use marshmallow root.
          How much will depend on the length and thickness of your hair, try various proportions and see what cleans (not over clean) your hair the best.

          • mauri

            Hi Minaz
            I am a little discouraged. I picked up the fenugreek and did as you suggested. My hair is no better. It’s has turned an ash color and did not return to the original
            Color. Any other suggestions?

            • Oh no. Strange that fenugreek did that.

              I did suggest marshamallow root earlier.

              You can also give rhassoul clay a try.

              Also, a natural hair rinse such as apple cider vinegar/lime juice can remove buildup. Make sure you condition your hair well.

              Does anyone with colored hair have any suggestions for Mauri???

  • sky

    Hi,I am really battling hair problem these days,as I have to wash my hair regularly in hard hair.Does using this shampoo make any change? Or do you have any suggestion to prevent hair fall? I have got dry hair,in that case do I need to wash my hair in alternate days? I do need to wash on a daily basis because of the iron consumption in water :S.Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance 🙂
    P/s : Another question.Do I need to buy shikakai pods for this shampoo? Wanted to know what should I look for in the shops.Thanks again!

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  • ramya

    hie sir.. I have dry and thin hair, I have prepared large bunch of it and stored in the fridge. Do i need to heat the mixture as and when i use it? I apply oil to my hair so by adding besan to hair does it makes hair rough and dry?

    • Hi Ramya, you don’t need to heat the shampoo before using it. Since your hair is dry, don’t add besan. Just the ree-shi shampoo should clean your hair nicely. Let us know how it goes.

      • ramya

        Hie…. After washing my hair with shampoo it’s not completely cleaning what to do? plz tell me…

        • Add more reetha. And boil for longer time.

          • ramya

            separately do i need to boil and mix it with already prepared content?

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  • kalpana

    can this shampoo be used on my colored hair?

  • Cindi Burgess Wair

    I would like to try making this product but will it strip the color from my color treated (blonde) hair? Thanks

  • Claudia

    Firstly WOW.
    Second nice to see a website like this thats in the UK !
    Third ever thought about soap ?
    On my second page I will be giving this one a go fingers crossed :o) You certainly know your way around shampoo

  • akku

    Hi.. i had long waist length hair bt due to my stupidity dstroyed dem by gettin wrng hair cut.. now dey luk weird n evn its length became shortr nw.. m vry much dpressd cz of d guilt of hving wrng hair cut… plz hlp me out.. n tell will i gt my hair length back.?
    N in how much time..
    Plz hlp

  • smiley

    Sounds like fun. I’d add clay powder just for extra cleansing, and add peppermint /spearmint oil to stimulate scalp circulation. I’m curious to see what would happen if I add fenugreek powder.

    I’m planning on starting an at-home beauty business, and am looking for ideas.

  • Shalini Jha

    Hi Minaz, I have been following your blog for a while now. I must say all that you write about is just amazing and worth following. I tried a couple of them but then laziness killed me. I am writing to you today for I am tired of pouring those chemical on my skin and hair. I’d love to go natural. I am 34 and mother of a 18 month. I have straight, silky hair that were never very thick but they were decent. They started thinning 6 years ago and it’s only going bad to worse. My hair has started graying as well. I used to colour. However, I stopped colouring 8 months ago. Please help me with an easy to do all natural shampoo, conditioner and colour. I am a working woman so I can”t really boil amla, reetha and shikakai at 6 in the morning. How can we use the powder?

    • Thanks Shalini, you can make a large batch and refrigerate the shampoo, it will stay good from couple of weeks. And for conditioning apply a few drops of coconut or olive oil to your damp hair.
      You can also their powders: Take amla, reetha, shikakai, and fenugreek powder (ratio of 1:2:3:1), add hot water to make a runny paste. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then shampoo.

      • RevealTheFacts

        @hairbuddha, can I mix the powders together and store them premixed in a jar? If so, any idea how long they will keep if dry?

        • Fawn Hunkins-Beckford

          I’d think if it’s all dried premixed goods, they should keep at normal shelf life. Great idea to do this then add the hot water before a wash! 😀

  • Shweta Pal

    Hey Minaz,
    Thanks for wonderful shampoo recipe. I remember my mom using this shampoo on my hair in childhood. Growing up I take charge of my hair care and totally messed up losing half of my hair volume..

    I want to add triphla and bhringraj powder in this shampoo as I am having some grey hairs. Please guide me exactly at which step I can add them.

    • Hi Shweta, first just follow the recipe as it is and see how it works for you. Then you can experiment adding other herbs one by one.

      • Shweta Pal

        Thankyou for the reply Minaz.. I will buy the ingredients asap.. I just hope I find them easily here in bangalore..

  • Jennifer Navis

    Hey Minaz,
    Thank a ton for sharing the recipes.
    I added a few henna leaves, tulsi, rose petals, hibiscus petals, green tea to the reetha-shikakai concoction you mentioned above. My hair really feels soft in just one wash.
    Is it advisable to use it everyday?

    • Hey Jennifer, that’s brilliant.
      Washing hair every day, even with natural shampoo, can be drying for your hair. Every alternate day or once in 2 days is good enough.

      • Jennifer Navis

        Thank you 🙂

  • Mani

    Hi Minaz,
    Thank you so much for sharing your hair care tips. I already bought shikakai and reetha. But I still couldnt get amla. But you advice that instead of amla, orange peel can be used. Is the orange peel a dried one also or I can use a fresh one.
    Thank you.

  • Martina

    Hi Minaz,
    I tried the shikakai as my hair wash and it made my hair very dry. Any recommendations?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Martina, did you follow the above recipe or did anything different. Try skipping reetha.

  • Chua Xuan Yi

    I have stumbled upon this blog while looking for natural shampoo and saw this article. I have read through many of your posts and I love it! Makes me super eager to try out your hair recipes! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Would you please advise if this ratio is good for very oily and thinning hair? My sis has very oily hair scalp and suffering from hair loss due to it. Not sure if this will help?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hi, give this a try. If it doesn’t take the oil out then add more reetha.

      • Chua Xuan Yi

        Thank you so much. Shall ask her to try!

  • Jacky

    Hi Minaz,

    Thank you for answering my question about henna. I was also wondering how much darker the alma makes your hair? Is it significantly darker? I do not wish to lighten it either with orange peels. Maybe there is something out there that can do the same job alma does without affecting hair color? I do not mind if it darkens my hair a little bit but I just hope it does not make a big change in my hair color.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jacky, just use shikakai and see if cleans your hair.

    • Jacky canova

      Hi Minaz,

      I have been using the shampoo recipe for several weeks now and I really love it! So far the Alma has not affected my hair color so I am not even worried about that anymore. But thank you for your advice and if I ever need to take a break from using the Alma in the future if it ever makes my hair darker than I will take your advice and use just skikakai. Thank you for this awesome shampoo recipe.

  • Jacky

    Hi I am excited to try this. Is this safe to use on henna colored hair?

    • Yes it is.

      • Jacky

        Thank you. 🙂

      • megha sanghvi

        Hi Minaz,
        How much gram flour(besan) should we add if we are washing oiled hair.
        And also I have a greasy scalp n dry hair. So even the dandruff is very greasy n stuck to scalp. Any recommendations please.

        • Hi Megha, if you have dandruff don’t add gram flour. Just make a concentrated ree-shi shampoo and it should remove all the oil.

          • megha sanghvi

            Thank you for replying. How make concentrated ree-shi shampoo. N will it remove castor oil because I apply castor, almonds, coconut oil to hair. Please let me know few rinse recipe n wat are the benefits of rinsers. Please reply.

          • megha sanghvi

            Thank you for replying. How make concentrated ree-shi shampoo. N will it remove castor oil because I apply castor, almonds, coconut oil to hair. Please let me know few rinse recipe n wat are the benefits of rinsers. Please reply

  • Elizabeth B

    Hi Minaz,
    What do you think of washing hair with just soap nuts? I have heard some say it is too harsh. Perhaps if I added hibiscus along with the soap nuts?

    • Soap nut can be over cleansing for some people. If your hair is on dry side use shikakai, you can also add hibiscus to it.

  • marko

    Hello Minaz,
    First, I would like to thanks and appreciate you. Your work is awesome. The way you explain the recipes with photographs and constituent’s ratios is really great.
    I just have one question, can we use fenugreek (methi) powder instead of basin or fuller’s earth if we have oiled the hair? Thanks

  • Kusum Kanwar

    I only have the powder, not actual shikakai and soap nut, can I make this shampoo with the powder? Should I make a paste using boiling water and once it cools down, use the paste? Normally the ingredients in the powder are very grainy and get stuck in my hair and it’s hard to get them out and my hair falls because of that. Also my hair is very thin and I have been experiencing a lot of hair fall overall. What are the best ingredients to stop hair fall?

    • You can make a strong tea using the powder. Add licorice or green tea to it – these help with hair loss.

  • Hi there!
    I am currently on holiday from London and the difference of how my hair is without the hard water!
    So now I’m trying to find a way to keep it this way, and ended up on your blog. I was diagnosed with slight eczema (from weather changes) on my skin, so always thought it was the reason winter makes even more damage to my hair! It is so itchy and the dandruff flakes are visible which is embarrassing. Thought it was the eczema, but been showering with soft water for 3 weeks now and no itching or dandruff.

    Anyway — should I do the tokamak+sheetha+amla mix (bearing in mind the ?scalp eczema)? And can this concoction be refrigerated in a bottle or is ice cubing it the only way (freezer in flat is teeny)? Tempted to find a hard water filter too, for hair washing use…

    • Me again, just some other questions —
      I’ve read through the whole comment section of this blog, but still wasn’t sure if I was meant to soak the powdered shikakai and reetha for 8-10 hours as well? Or do I just add freshly boiled (filtered) water to make a runny paste and then off to shampoo I go?

      Also, is there any difference between making a paste and a tea version, ie. soak the mixed powdered shikakai and reetha in boiled, simmering water? I wasn’t too sure if my tendency to flake — whether it is scalp eczema or the hard water residual or both — would exacerbate having some bits of powder particles left on the hair/scalp. Should I add neem to it, just to be sure?

      I am also in the process of getting licorice root powder for the softening properties, as I wasn’t sure if using amla will darken my hair. I tend to get bored with my hair so I get myself to a salon to get it coloured; currently with a slightly ombre brown at the moment which I am trying to lighten more by using chamomile-marigold-lime.

      • Hi Gemma, try using shikakai and licorice tea. You can also use their powders, no you don’t have to soak them, just add hot water, wait for it to cool down then shampoo.
        Are you using lime peel or lime juice, juice can dry your scalp overtime: you can follow this recipe:

        • Thank you! I saw a video where they steeped the powders overnight, but also said it could last for a long, long time, so I was a bit doubtful.

          Do I just use licorice and shikakai? Or should I play with a mix of shikakai-reetha-licorice? Also been reading your other posts about beating hard water–would it be beneficial or should I skip the oil soak pre-wash if I have scalp eczema? Should I go for your dry scalp/hair oil recommendations?

          I use dried kaffir lime leaves along with the marigold and chamomile flowers and use the process you’ve recommended in that post. I use it as my final hair rinse and don’t wash off after.

          • You are welcome gemma. Oil massage with rice bran oil. Wash off the rinse.

  • EddyBolt

    Hello Minaz.

    When u say strain does it mean that you take out all the dried fruit and just use the water as the shampoo?
    And after 30 minutes, all the water is gone. As the result, I have very little water from the fruit left. Am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks Minaz

    • Hi Eddy, yes you strain the dried fruits and use the water as shampoo.
      If you have very little water left that means you are cooking it for too long or using high flame. Just add more water and it should be okay.

  • Kristie Hoskins

    Hello Minaz. Thank you for sharing these wonderful techniques for hair. I would like to make this and I am wondering about the smell. Is it pleasantly scented. If not; do you have any suggestions on how to make my hair smell nice with this?

    • Hello Kristie,

      I like the smell. It’s a mix of fruity and herby smell.

      If you don’t like it, you can try adding a few drops of essential oil to it.

      • Kristie Hoskins

        Mmm! Sounds delightful. Now I am really excited about making this. Thanks again!

  • aks

    hey dear i have a question ,, i live in hostel so here i dont have stove but only oven. i just want to ask that u need to make this mixture every time u r washing ur hair ? or i can make it in big quantity and preserve it in shampoo bottle ? as i dont have refrigerator here ,,

    • I haven’t tried it without refrigerator. It may last a week in cool place. Check the smell before using it, if it smells bad just discard it.

      Alternatively, you can also use this shampoo in powder form.

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  • Lori

    I tried making the shampoo this morning. I made the mistake of taking the cooled mixture of amla, shikakai and reetha and putting it in my blender for a few minutes. It did foam! I washed my hair and it didn’t seem too soft. Wonder if the soap nuts made it too concentrated… I used equal parts, another video I saw first. I will try less soap nits perhaps. Any hints are appreciated.

  • Gouthami Kanchukatla

    hi, i have added equal amounts of henna,bhringraj ,amla ,rita,shikakai powders to warm water and made a paste of it and appiled to my hair as shampoo,is this a good combination?

  • Tom

    Does this shikakai and reetha shampoo seem okay to you?

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  • Munish Gupta

    I am suffering from severe hairfall, scalp issues and gray hair. I have dry hair, without oil it all looks messy, it gets all tangled up. So after doing all this, do I still need to apply oil in my hair.

  • DaisyS

    Hi I wanted to ask that i have heavy loss and can i use this shampoo to lessen my hairfall problem ?

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  • What is your question pratibha?

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  • Yoga Shree

    Hi. Your blog is very helpful thank you.

    I have curly hair. Because of harmful shampoos my hair is always dry rough lifeless. I knewthat shikakai reetha shampooing is very very good for hair than shampoo. Bt i ciuldnt try becoz the residue always stick like powder on my scalp. But after reading ur blog i planned to try out.

    I tried applying only multani matti first. Its very good. In one wash itself my hair is soft and shiny. I was very happy. But some part of my scalp had powder like residue stuck. I am worried whether it will turn to dandruff.

    I wash throughly with hand. Since my hair is curly its very hair to wash the hair.
    Please give me some sugfestion

    Is it ok if some residue is stucj on the scalp

    I dnt apply it as hair pack. I use it lije shampoo and rinse in 2 minutes coz worried it might dry stick on scalpe

    • are you using reetha – shikakai powder or like above – decoction?

  • pratibha

    hiii.. minaz . 🙂
    thank you so much for your blog i have a ruff grey thin hairs which looks dry not very bouncy .i am using ree-shi in powder form .plz guide me that how much quantity of water i should take. usually i took 2 tablespoon of reetha one tablespoon shikakai in 500ml of water and kept it it correct method thai i am using please guide me . i also apply oil before every wash so i am confused about how to use multani meethi with the powder whether i shall mix it just 5-10 min before wash my hair or initially mix it while preparing the mixture .my hairs are not cleans up properly and getting dandruff . 🙁

    • Do you boil the water afterwards?
      You mix multani mitti 10 mins before washing your hair.

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  • Rashmi

    Hey it necessary to boil the mixture before filtering?..what if we do it after filtering?

    • Boil before.

      • Rashmi

        I did not boil it..shall i throw the mixture?

        • Can you describe the whole process that you followed.

          • Rashmi

            I had soaked all the three ingredients in water for overnight and then filtered it the next day…

            • Why would you filter without boiling? You boil the whole thing to extract the saponins from reetha and shikakai.

              You can still use the filtered liquid, but it will be very mild.

  • komal rafique

    hi minaz,
    i am 25yearz old n facing hairfall for 8-9 years my scalp is itchy with wet dandruff cn u suggest me some good thing to stop my hairfall i have started using amla reetha n shikakai shampoo

    • Komal, apply neem oil mixed with sesame or coconut oil, leave overnight then wash using ree-shi shampoo.

  • Ankit Yadav

    Hi Minaz truly amazing post.

    I am planning to use the ree-shi shampoo with slight change. I have bought all four items ( Reetha, shikakai, amla and multani mitti) in powder foam since they are easy to get online.

    Little bit of background. I have been suffering from oily, itchy scalp and flake dandruff for long which is causing massive hair fall. Due to itching when I scratch my head I get at least a hair strand from root with the dandruff flake.

    Tried so many Anti dandruff shampoo and Anti hair fall oils none helped. After getting frustrated from most of the products I decided to go for natural way to cease hair fall and other issues. Thats when I stumbled upon your blog. Knowing about my problem do you think there is any alteration or addition of ingredient for ree-shi shampoo or paste for powder.

    • Thanks Ankit,

      I have a few suggestions for you:

      – massage your scalp with neem oil (mix it with sesame or almond oil). Leave it on for 2 to 3 hours or overnight if possible.

      – to wash your hair, experiment few combinations:
      shikakai and amla – try this first
      shikakai, reetha and amla
      shikakai, amla, reetha and multani mitti

      See what works best for you, and use that.

      • Ankit Yadav

        Hi Minaz, thank you for the suggestions.

        I am going to user neem oil with cocunut oil for massage before washing with the paste I m gonna perpare with 4 items. Hopefully it will help

        me get rid of dandruff and hair fall. Will post if have any more questions.

        Thanks again.

        • Ankit Yadav

          Hi Minaz,

          Sorry to bother again forgot to ask is the process to make paste similar to liquid or different?
          Once the paste is ready shall i just wash my head with it or keep it for a while?


          • You can either make a tea as mentioned above, or make a paste by adding water.

            Let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes and wash off.

            Skip multani mitti as it can dry out your scalp and cause dandruff. Try with and without and see the difference.

            • Ankit Yadav

              Hi Minaz,

              I have tried all the things mentioned above however no help. Then I decided to visit a doctor and found that I have dry scalp not oily.

              Anyways Doctor recommended me to use KETOCONAZOLE SHAMPOO which cause my scalp skin to peel off. Would you suggest any good anti dandruff shampoo which does not cause hair fall. Trying to counter multiple problem at the same time.

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  • shruti sahai

    hi Minaz
    i added 2 eggs and few drops of lemon juice to amla reetha shikakai mixture and blend it by adding some water to make it a thick paste. But i had to use my shampoo(pantene) to clean my scalp as i oiled my hair before applying this mixture and i use it as a hairfall treatment hairpack..although it cleans my scalp and my hair becomes softer but its not able to stop my hairfall..can u plz suggest something??

    • Oh! This mixture should have got the oil out. Scrub the mixture into your hair when rinsing out. This should help.

      Or use a strong decoction of reetha-shikakai to wash your hair.

  • Malaysian girl

    Thank you so much for the tips! I have always trusted Indian beauty tips! I have been experiencing hair fall and premature graying. I am 21 by the way. Absolutely going to try this.

    • You are welcome 🙂

      That was the age when my hair started to fall out in large numbers.

      This shampoo, oiling and healthy lifestyle saved it!!

      Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Ryu Noshojo

    Hey Azaming post ! Very happy i came across this page. Im definitely going to use the ree-shi shampoo. My problem is tat i have a very oily scalp and im using an anti dandruff shampoo which has not caused any good result.;( i have got small white thing at the root of my hair which causes more hairfall which i believe is caused by excess oil 🙁 .Just hours after shampooing while my hair is left dry my scalp has so much oil.. Along with ree-shi shampoo can u suggest me something which can leave my scalp oil free !

    • Ryu, add more reetha to it. You can also add couple of teaspoon of neem powder, which is great for dandruff. And boil the mixture for longer to make it more concentrated.

      Apply the ree-shi shampoo on dry hair (as oppose to wet hair) – this will help get rid of oil and any flakes from your scalp.

      let me know how it goes.

      • Ryu Noshojo

        Thank you so much ! In sha allah im going to try this 🙂 i absolutely loveur blog !

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  • Naved

    how to make a shampoo in a thick form & how to use

    • Naved, this shampoo is suppose to be liquidy. You can use a nozzle bottle to pour it on your hair.
      Alternatively, you can also use their powders, add water to make a paste, and use.

  • Naved

    how we use this shampoo,it is very liquid form.

  • Anushree Acharjee

    How to use Amla, shikkakai and reetha shampoo if I have them in powder form?

    • Anushree,

      Add hot water to make a runny paste and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then use like normal shampoo.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

      • Anushree Acharjee

        Thanks Minaz. I used it as you suggested. washing off the powder entirely from the scalp is a task 🙂

        Well, after the wash I got rid off itchy scalp and dandruff, but hair seemed like no shiny. Mine is normal to dry hair. Could you suggest what I can add to the mixture to get shine? Also, how frequent should i use this? Alternate dates?

        • Anushree, Good to know that reetha shikakai powder mix got rid of dandruff and itch. For shine you can add some orange peel powder to it.

          Also try licorice (mulethi), which is very conditioning. Make a licorice tea (1 tsp in cup of water and boil for 5 mins) and use after shampoo as a hair rinse. This will also help to rinse out the powders.

          I wash my hair every 2 or 3 days, and mine is normal to oily. You may want to stretch out longer, but if you live in hotter climate or work out regularly then it will vary.

          I oil once a week, but since you have itchy scalp you may want to oil before every wash. Leave it in for at least couple of hours, or overnight if you can.

          Try this oil blend: sunflower oil, almond oil, castor oil, and coconut oil – all in equal amounts. You can also add 1% vetiver oil (khus) to this blend. And please use cold pressed oils, not the refined ones.

          Let me know how it works.

  • Irene

    Hi Minaz

    Hello from London, great post! Been using these powders since November, I also add Brahmi leaves powder to mine for that extra kick. My problem is with oiling, never managed to wash it off with the mix. Today I finally added Multani Matti and so far I´m sitting here with clean tips and still oiled roots… I smell pretty good though 🙂

    I was wondering if you could give more intel on how to wash off the oil, it could be me that I´m doing something wrong or perhaps the water over here that tends to be quite hard.



    • Hello Irene, some of things that have helped me get the oil out of my hair are:
      – adding more reetha
      – applying ree-shi shampoo on dry hair (without wetting it)
      – using bentonite clay instead of multani mitti

      Hope this helps you. It will be wonderful to hear your experience.


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  • Anita

    Thank you Minaz!! I’ll keep you posted xx

  • Anita

    Hi Minaz! I just stumbled over your blog and I’m soo excited. This is so my thing!
    I have used reetha water for washing my hair (especially oiled hair, it’s super for that) and haven’t used any commercial shampoo for over a year now. But what I’m wondering is, if it’s possible to buy reetha, shikkakai, and amla in a powdered form, make a paste out of it, and wash the hair with this paste, have you tried it? Somehow it seems more easier than boiling and storing. What do you think of this idea? Kind regards, Anita xx

    • Hi Anita! Welcome to hair buddha!
      Yes you can use them in paste form, and do let us know your experience.

    • Irene

      Hi Anita

      I use the powders and what you might save on prepping time you add it in complication to apply and wash off. I can be a mess at times, but I found that the ´mud´ you get from the powders gets everywhere and you have to be careful washing it. I normally bend forward in the bathtub and rinse it before getting the rest of myself and finish the sower.

      Hope this helps!!

      Irene xx

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  • Amit Kundan

    Hello ma’am!! This is Amit…I m use this paste since 1 month….in 2 day of week….but after use it my hair getting oily…and plz tell me how to use it….bcz I m tense about hair falling and dandruff!! Plz !! And it is helpful for boy also….

    • Have you tried using multani mitti as suggested above?

      • Amit Kundan

        Thanks ma’am about consider my problem!! But No ma’am i m not apply multani mitti but I read it !! I m confused how to use it….plz ma’am tell me procedure!

  • Aku

    Hello Minaz,
    I am glad that i found your website,the information provided here is really very useful.
    My hair used to look dry and frizzy after using chemical based shampoos..So I thought to try ree-shi mixture.i used equal quantity of Aamla,reetha and shikhakai..after using it my hair dint get dry,however they looked a bit oily especially the lower portion.I dint oil my hair before washing .i even had a hair fall while massaging and after that as well.Could you help me out with it?i generally use olive oil for my hair,is there any better oil that I can use?

    • Minaz Aslam

      Aku, you can add some multani mitti or one of the clays mentioned in the post to get rid of the oil. It’s normal to lose more hair when washing, so do not worry.
      Olive oil is good.

      • Aku

        Thank you minaz!!should I mix Multani mitti in the shampoo or use it separately?and what should be the quantity(just a rough idea)?

        • Minaz Aslam

          Aku, Combine it with the shampoo. You can start with 1 to 2 teaspoon, depending on the length of your hair.

          • Aku

            Thank you so much Minaz!!you are doing a great job:)really appreciate it

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  • Christin

    for anyone who says this shampoo isn’t working for them, this might help: grind the ingredients, add a little bit of water to make a paste, then massage your scalp and viola! This liquid recipe didn’t work for me either. I read on a different site to use it as a paste and it works fabulously! This is how I do it:

    grind the shikakai, amla, and soap nuts (each in separate turns) in a blender. use 1 teaspoon of each, as well as 1 teaspoon of ground fenugreek.(fenugreek is optional, but its good for the scalp) Add just enough water to make a slightly runny-not watery-paste. Let this mixture soak overnight. Next day when you’re ready to cleanse, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and a little more water to the paste. Mix it very well until oil is incorporated. Then you’re ready to massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then wash it out. This is what I do and it works every time. Hope this helps!

    • Minaz Aslam

      Christin, thanks for sharing your experience with us. Appreciate it!!

      • Swetha

        Minaz i hv tried this shampoo ,but in powder form ,n also rinsed with rice water (boiled ones) ,but my hair feels very rough now ,wat do i do?

        • Minaz Aslam

          Swetha, how often do you wash your hair? do you oil your hair before washing?

          • Swetha

            I wash twice a week n yes i oil my hair one hour before wash.last time i added honey n olive oil to the mix ,now my hair is better but its not smooth as it used to be wen i used shampooo.but one good thing is its become darker may be because of amla .i hv used reshi shampoo for 4 times till now .wat do i do to get smooth n manageable hair after wash.

            • Swetha

              My hair is dry by nature .

            • Minaz Aslam

              Swetha, Post shampoo use this rinse instead of rice water. And then apply flax seeds gel. This will make your hair smooth and soft.
              Let us know how it goes.

              • Swetha

                Hi minaz ,thanks for the advice .so do i use this rinse after using re shi shampoo ,bcozi use powders to make this shampoo ,or do i mix in honey n oilive oil in the re shi shampoo along with besan n use it ?

                • Minaz Aslam

                  Swetha, use the rinse post-shampoo.

    • Swetha

      Christin,do u apply this paste to dry hair or you first wet the hair n scalp before application ?

      • Christin

        Hi Swetha, I apply the paste to my oiled scalp. It is wet with oil only, no water.

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  • sharee

    Can you re-use the herbs that were soaking? … or is is single use only and then you have to toss and soak a new batch for next time?

    • Minaz Aslam

      Sharee, Yes, you can reuse them.

      • Hy.. My hair are falling 30 per day.. I m using only reetha on my scalp. What we have to use in reetha it’s seed or outer covering.?my hair are thin and don’t have volume pleeeeez help me. Can I use egg or onion juice for regaining my hair and the faster growth of hair.. Please tell me the solution

        • De do solutions please..

          • How can I get a solution
            I thought it was an active site but I was wrong please give me solution .

            • Surbhi

              Use Reetha pulp and not the seed.

        • Karen

          You loose 30-50 strands a day normally. No need to worry unless it’s in large excess amounts beyond that.

      • Hlw minaj please tell a solution..

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  • rakhi

    it did not remove the oil. please help

  • Hi,
    I have been this Ree-shampoo for almost 2 months but the result was negative. I had severe hair fall and my haid is 50% left only.
    I have dry and frizzy hair with oily scalp. I also oil my hair with coconut hot oil before shampoo and apply co dition but my hair resulted in bad dry and valume is almost half.
    Please guide what went wrong as I am real concern about my hair.

    • lisa

      I have an allergy to coconut and it sounds like you do too. If I apply it to my scalp, my hair falls out immediately!!! Very scary. I can no longer use any form of coconut-based detergent on my skin.

      • No I dont have any allergy with coconut. I am using coconut oil since my birth. I am an Indian we use a lot of coconut in our day to day stuff. I may have allergy with alma or shikakai or reetha. How to identify if I have any allergy?

    • Hi
      I have another query whenever I oil my hair, this ree-shi shampoo does not removd the oil, I have to use commercial shampoo to remove the oil. I dont understand why. M I missing something?

      • appy

        Let it air dry and then see whether your hair is oily or not.It may seem to be oily when you are rinsing but it will be ok after drying.I too feel the same.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Preety, Do you have any deficiencies? do you eat well balanced diet: vegetables, fruits, nuts (almond, walnut), seeds (flax seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin) dal, and pulses.

      It is seen that when you start head massage initially lot of hair fall out. These are dead hair and simply hanging in there. If you see new growth happening then there is nothing to be concerned about.

      • Miraz
        I do not have deficiency and I do take balanced diet. However I am facing hair fall problem since quite a long time and there no new growth. Why it does not remove oil?

        • Minaz Aslam

          Preety, have you read this post: how did I regrow my lost hair.
          To help remove oil add clay or flour to the ree-shi shampoo as suggested above.
          Good luck.

  • Christin

    If I use the citrus peel instead of amla, will it lighten my hair? Or in fact, will any of these ingredients lighten my hair? I really do NOT want my hair to lighten. a few months ago I used plain yogurt to soften my hair, which it did beautifully. but it also turned my hair from very black to a dark brown/amber. I was in tears when I realized I didn’t have black hair anymore. right now I have about an inch of new, beautiful black hair at my roots, and I do NOT want to lose it again. Sorry for the life story, but I’m desperate.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Christin, Citrus peel will lighten your hair. Use amla, it will enhance your dark colour.

      • Christin

        ok, thank you!

  • suman doshi

    when we should add multani miti

    • Minaz Aslam

      Suman, Add multani mitti just before washing your hair.


    i use this pack. but it leaves black residue on my scalp. i leave the amla reetha shikakai mixture in my for 2 – 3 hrs. and whenever i scratch my scalp, black powdered residue can be seen under my nails.
    Am i doing it wrong.
    plz help.

    • Lili

      Hi Anindita,

      Why do you leave them on your hair for 3hrs?

      You can leave Amla ( either as a oil or powder for your hair strength) but the Shikakai or the mixture is mainly to wash your hair/rinse it off not to leave it.


        hi, lily.
        thanks alot for informing me. ok. from now on i won’t leave shikakai n reetha in my hair for that long. i’ll rinse my hair with them. can i put amla in my hair along with egg n curd? actually my hair is falling a lot. even when i oil my hair it falls. i use coconut oil. what should i do?

        • Lili

          Hello Anindita,

          I think it is more important for you to make a cause analysis than applying things.

          Why your hair falls?
          Do you dry your hair with towel or blow drying? if so, either of them cause shedding

          What type of oil do you use? coconut organic or pure virgin, or even better make your own?
          How long and how often do you leave them on your hair?
          I think once every two weeks for 15min to begin with would be sufficient.

          Do you color your hair with the industrial hair color?

          Amla powder mix with just warm water (sit for 4-8hrs before applying it) would help the shedding, But Henna (pure henna only comes in 1 color ) help the most with strengthening your hair and stopping your shedding all together.

          • ANINDITA GHOSH

            hi, lily,
            I towel dry my hair. but i don’t rub it too harshly.
            i oil my hair in every three days n leave it overnight and shampoo next day.
            i use parachute 100% coconut oil. its pure i think. i mean it solidifies in winter. that makes it pure, ryt???
            other than shampoo n conditioner i don’t apply any sort of chemical in my hair. i have never used coloring agents in my hair.
            how often should i apply henna on my hair. My hair is extremely dry and frizzy and curly too. some people told me henna makes it even more dry so i don’t use it these days. and what brand should i use? is mayuri or ayur henna pure?
            also tell me the procedure of using it.
            does washing my hair twice a week is bad for my hair. some people say that curly n frizzy hairs should be washed once a week.
            what do u think???
            thanks a lot by the way for your previous comments.
            i don’t use amla powder, i use dried amla. how should i use it, plz let me know the procedure too.
            i know i am asking for too much. but i m really grateful for ur comments. n eagerly waiting for them too.
            thanks again,

            • Lili

              Hi Anindita,

              Well, I dont towel dry my hair but just keep it in the towel for 5min then let the air take care of it.

              Once the damp is gone, I put little bit of either ( coconut oil- just tiny on my palm and apply it on the end of my hair or wherever I think is dry but avoid the scalp- or any other oil that might help) and then twist it and tie it in the back .

              If i dont want to twist it then I use the warm oil, the coconut oil with some Amla oil, warm and apply. I did it last week, my hair was so soft, shiny and freeze free 🙂

              You can make your own amla oil, if you have the powder, just warm up the coconut oil in an metal or steel pot on the stove and add the amla oil or dried amla, but you need to stir it to make sure it doesnt burn the amla.
              Then once it reached the golden color, remove it and filter it . vela, you have amla oil.

              BTW about the conditioner , well if you apply your warm oil prior to the shampooing then you dont need to your hair, but if you really feel like you need to, just apply conditioner at the end of your hair – away from root-

              • ANINDITA GHOSH

                Hi lili,
                Thanks for your comments.
                about this warm oil. it doesn’t go from my hair. even after shampooing my hairs feel sticky. i shampoo only once. and my scalp has developed a new condition dandruf.. eww!! for that i’m applying egg and curd mask every sunday. one more thing. amla reetha shikakai, its not washing my hair properly atall. the hair still feels unclean n sticky. i m putting 3 reetha in that mixture. should i increase the no. of reetha? my hair is curly and around waist length .. plz let me know as soon as u can.


                • Minaz Aslam

                  Anindita, try besan shampoo

                  • ANINDITA GHOSH

                    besan shampoo?

                    • Minaz Aslam

                      Anindita, Click on the given link dear

  • Lili

    Hi Minza 🙂

    Im so happy to find your website, straight to the point no mambo jambo :))

    My question is where to find ‘Shikaki and Reeta ‘ in the format of fruit – where you demonstrated it – ?

    Im Persian and I watched my mum since i was little how easily she hennaed her hair and mixed with something which i dont remember and she always had a shiny black hair.

    I got henna from US with indigo and went through two process my root still is red. ( tried to cover grays but it turns red)

    So now im trying to find a powder that can give it some tune – from red towards brown-
    Thank you

    • Minaz Aslam

      Thanks lili, you can buy them online:
      Shikakai Pods: Buy here
      Reetha: Buy here

  • parnika

    Hello Minaz ,
    I am not in london but where I lives there water is salty my hairs turn thin and grey hairs can you tell me how I protect my hairs I use also color to hide grey hairs is there any other solution to hide grey color because color causes hair fall also and i found whence I started to use color my front of head shows very less hairs
    kindly tell me some remedies to protect them

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hello Parnika, Henna, amla, katha, bhringraj, Indigo are some of the natural options you can use on your hair.
      Also, amla is an excellent remedy for grey hair.

  • deepa

    Hello minaz,
    i have hair long to waist and they were very shiny and beautiful as i was used to use henna pack for conditioning, but 3 months ago i have my hair re-bonded which was biggest mistake i have done, as i was crazy about long straight hair, now i suffering from severe hair fall, dandruff as well as my hair look very rough and when i touch them the ends feels like they are burnt cutting the ends is loosing the length which i dont want to do i love long hair and i dont mind them growing up to my knees. and im very dis-appointed with what i have done.
    so please let me know how to get rid of that chemical effects on my hair and have that shiny long hair back. just to add i have started oiling my hair with hot coconut oil before a night i wash my hair and i eat raw amlas everyday.
    please suggest how should i prepare my natural home made shampoo.
    thanks in advance.
    you are a great help.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hello Deepa, Well done for oil massage and eating amlas.
      Follow the above method to make the shampoo. You can add multani mitti or besan to get rid of the oil.
      You can also try this shampoo. Please let us know how it goes.
      Best wishes.

  • Lisa

    Any advice on using the powdered forms? I’m never sure how much to use when making an infusion like this. Thanks so much for posting!

    • Minaz Aslam

      Lisa, You can use one teaspoon of each (amounts for shoulder length hair), add hot water to make a paste and use.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for this recipe! I followed your directions exactly and wow, it really works! I still can’t believe how well it works – no greasy feeling, really clean without stripping hair of oils, as you said. This batch lasted me almost a week, and I did not freeze it; just kept it either in fridge or in bathroom, and it did not seem to go bad. I probably used more than I needed because it’s so watery that sometimes I dump too much over my head and probably waste some. I will try adding the besan in order to thicken it a bit.

    During the boiling stage, I added a small handful of dried sage leaves – sage is good for the hair as well, and over time has a darkening effect, I am told (as does rosemary). Thanks again so much, this is wonderful – and thanks to your mother as well ! 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Seattle, USA

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hello Lisa, I am glad your hair likes ree-shi shampoo. I will pass on your regards to my mother 🙂
      Rosemary and sage are excellent for your hair, I use rosemary and black tea infusion as a last rinse. It adds beautiful gloss and reddish tint to my hair.
      Thanks for your feedback and I Look forward to hearing more from you.
      Regards, Minaz

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  • shameel

    Dear sir/madam
    I am just commenting to say thank you for such a wonderful description of making natural shampoo. I will try it a.s.a.p in.sha.Allah

    • Minaz Aslam

      Thanks Shameel!!

  • Laura Casado

    Hey Minaz,

    I have been looking for anything to help with my hair. My current hair situation is that it is very oily, thin and has no volume. I came across your website and I’m really excited to try this natural shampoo. However, all I want to know is if this shampoo can work for me? is it going to make my hair more oily than it already is.? Or if you have any suggestions on what I can try. I look forward to your response. Thank you so much in advance.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Laura, try the chickpea flour shampoo – this should help with oily hair.
      Also, use herbal hair rinse post shampoo. It will add volume and texture to your hair.
      Do post your experience on how this works.
      Best wishes.

  • Claudia Pollio

    Hello! I bought some powders (shikakai and all the others) to make my own natural shampoo online, and I stumbled upon your website while I was looking if there is any proper indian shop where I can buy the actual ingredients and all the oil etc. Great blog and this post with the actual shampoo made with the proper fruits made me wanting to try your version too. Since I saw you live in London, and clearly an expert on the topic, maybe you could help me with some advice where to find all the original Indian fruits and proper amla oil too. I checked out the indian shop around my house but their amla oil is full of chemicals! Thanks a lot for sharing your hair knowledge on the blog!

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Claudia, where do you live in London? Most of the places usually sell powders. You can find the shikakai pods and reetha berry on green street, Upton park (on district line).
      Amla Oil – I would suggest you make your own as it’s difficult to find pure amla oil. Here is the amla oil recipe
      Hope this helps.

  • Muhsi

    Hi Minaz,
    You have recommended me to use amla powder, fenugreek seed and coconut milk mixed hair pack. The problem is to blend the fenugreek seed. Can i use the fenugreek seed powder, which is roasted before grinding the seed. Which type of fenu greek powder is available in Indian market. I’ll be so helpful if you give reply as soon as possible.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Muhsi, You can use fenugreek seed powder, but do not roast it.
      Best wishes.

  • Deepthi

    Hi Minaz,
    I really like your site and feel that you might be the best person to help my problem. I have been having dandruff issues for a few months, so decided to try the herbal way. I got hold of shikakai powder and amla powder and whole reetha. I made a concoction of reetha and mixed the shi and amla powders and used for shampooing. The hair felt good and no trace of dandruff, but i see lot of verytiny particles like sand left on my hair(not on the scalp, they are stuck on the hair near my roots) which mostly can be seen if we look close. So i used the commercial shampoo to remove them in my next wash, but they are stuck on the hair still. Iam in a fix now.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Deepthi, thanks for your kind words.

      You can use rice water rinse to get rid of the tiny bits.

      Or Use a honey rinse: Mix 250 ml water, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Use this after ree-shi shampoo

      Hope this helps.

      • Deepthi

        Hi Minaz,
        Thanks for your response:)
        The white tiny particle stuff on the hair turned out due to dryness( I have hard water also) , so i started oil massages left the oil for a day and used ree shi shampoo , But iam seeing more dandruff now than ever before. Its been a month of trying oil on my hair and dandruff is worse than ever. Is this a transition phase or like many people say oiling is not for people who are prone to dandruff.
        I understand that you have had dandruff, how was your experience? I really look forward to your reply.

        • Minaz Aslam

          Deepthi, What oil do you use?

  • Lily

    Hi. Your site is soooo great. I love it. Please explain how I can use the Fuller’s earth power to remove the cocnut oil hair mask. Is it difficult to wash the Fuller’s Earth power away? Does it leave any residulas on hair? I am so keen on trying your Ree-shi homemade shampoo with Fuller’Earth power to wash my hair after the coconut oil hair mask. May thanks in advance.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Lily, thanks for your kind words.

      Depending on your hair type – oily or dry – you can use fullers earth two ways:
      1. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tsp fullers earth powder on your scalp and hair (should not be wet), spread it evenly using your fingers or a comb. Let it sit from 3 to 4 minutes, then wash your hair using ree-shi shampoo.
      2. Dissolve the fuller earth in ree-shi shampoo, and use.

      If you are using coconut oil mask then use the first method.

      You can also try using this shampoo:

      Let us know how it works. Cheers, Minaz

      • Lily

        Many thanks Minaz for your quick reply. I have ordered the shikakai, reetha and amla powders, also the fullers earth from Amazon Uk – hope they will soon be delivered. I have suffered from itchy scalp and dandruff the last many weeks (i thibk, it is because I do not use coconut oil often – due to the fact that l have tried not using commercial shampoo to wash the coconut oil off). I have tried all tips to treat dandruff without anti-dandruff shampoo but without success. Your coconut oil hair pack, ree-shi shampoo with fullers earth is my last natural resort. I will update the result with you in probably a month’s time. Wish me luck :).

        Your hair looks BTW awesome!

        And many thanks again for your tips!

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hi Lily, Thanks for the compliment. I too have suffered from sever dandruff and I can understand your state.
          Hopefully this will work. If not we will find something that works 🙂
          Best wishes, Minaz

          • dhara

            Thank you so much for ur reply. BT can this shampoo take away oil from the hair. And can orange and lemon juice be used as shampoo or conditioner .

            • Minaz Aslam

              Hi Dhara, To get rid of the oil, you will have to use multani milli or some flour (rice, mung, rye).

              Sprinkle 1 to 2 tsp multani mitti or mung flour on your scalp and hair (should not be wet), spread it evenly using your fingers or a comb. Let it sit from 3 to 4 minutes, then wash your hair using ree-shi shampoo.

              Alternatively, use this shampoo.

              You can use orange and lemon rinse as a conditioner but don’t use more than once a week. Also, try rice water to condition hair.

              Please feedback on how this works.

          • Lily

            Hi Minaz. My order of reetha, shikakai and amla powder are just arrived (could not find the dried fruits online). Could you please help with how much l should use for a single hair wash? And how can I prepare the powder shampoo? (FYI: l have oily, thin hair generally, not much due to hair loss problem). Many thanks in advance. Lily

          • Lily

            Hi Minaz,

            I still have had severe dandruff and itchy problem with my scalp in the last couple of months. These falkes are so stubborn and difficult to get rid off :(: I have read somewhere that one should not applied oil to the scalp before hair wash during the dandruff treatment period. I wish to hear your opinion based on your own experience of having had dandruff before. Can the ree-shi shampoo help treating the dandruff after let’s say 4 washes? or did you have to make use of other commercial anti-dandruff shampoo? Many thanks for your reply. have a nice day. Lily

            • Minaz Aslam

              Hi Lily, these powders should definitely help with dandruff. To make the shampoo: take shikakai, reetha and amla in ratio of 2:1:1. Add hot water to make a runny paste. Let this cool and use.

              And oiling hair pre-wash is in fact good to get rid of dandruff. Massaging helps remove dead skin and flakes and increases scalp circulation to promote healthy growth. Here is a recipe for amla oil

              Best wishes.

              • Lily

                Thanks a lot for your quick replies Minaz. You made my day :). I keep my hope up with the ree-shi shampoo. Best wishes.

  • H

    Hi, am glad to come across this wonderful website! I’ve so far used soapnut shampoo twice – I was surprised at how clean my hair felt at first, but second time my hair felt stiff and I could see some dandruff looking white stuff near the root.(could be residue of soapnut?? I don’t usually have dandruff) I wonder what could have gone wrong?

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hello H, I have couple of questions for you.
      1. Do you have hard water?
      2. Did you make the shampoo using just soap nut or also added shikakai and amla.
      Let me know and hopefully I will be able to help.
      Regards, Minaz

      • H

        Hi minaz, yes it’s hard water(I’m in London) and I only use soapnut.

        • Minaz Aslam

          I think it’s the hard water residue – cal and other minerals- that’s depositing on your scalp and hair. To the soap nut shampoo, add chelating agents like shikakai, amla, orange (peel or juice), and lime peel.
          You can also try using fermented rice rinse
          Let us know how it works.

          • H

            Hi minaz, I’ve made few changes: I reduced the number of soapnuts, I stopped rubbing my scalp, and I added on shikakai and amla. My hair is now much less waxy/stiff and I don’t see any white bits. I feel like my hair is now settling in!
            Thanks for your suggestion – I will try the rice water too.

            • Minaz Aslam

              Glad to know that your scalp and hair is better now.
              Look forward to hearing more from you.

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  • Muhsi

    Hi Minaz,
    I read and love your site. Iam male 23 years old. My hair size is 3-4 inch. I have decided to apply onion juice to my hair because some of my hair are gray and have dandruff. 50% of my hair is gone. So my doubt is that is it a good idea to wash with ree-shi shampoo after applying onion juice for 30 minutes. If yes how much shampoo should i take for best result.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Muhsi, Thanks for appreciating.
      I would suggest that you apply amla juice or amla powder along with coconut oil (ratio 1:4), instead of onion juice. Leave it on for 1 hour before washing it off with ree-shi shampoo. Use about 1 cup of shampoo to wash your hair.
      Also include amla – fresh or dried – in your diet.
      Let us know how this works.
      Best wishes, Minaz

      • Muhsi

        I cannot use any type of oils in my scalp because of pimples. Is there any other method to bring my hair back .Right now iam using minoxidil which is recommended by a dermatologist. My hair is coming back, but because of Dandruff the hair is falling after two weeks, it means new hair cant stay on my scalp for long time. So i need to stop the english medicine and want to start natural treatment. So please help me by giving valuable info
        Any way thankyou for replying

        • Minaz Aslam

          Muhsi, Try this hair pack: 2 tsp amla powder, 2 tsp fenugreek seeds (soaked over night), 1/4 cup home made yoghurt or coconut milk (freshly extracted). Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Apply to your scalp, leave it for 1 hours and rinse off. Use 2 to 3 times a week.
          Best wishes.

          • Muhsi

            Hi Minaz,
            Sorry for disturbing you.I liked the above mask with amla, fenugreek,yogurt. For me coconut milk and yogurt is so easy to get. Which is better yogurt or coconut milk. And i have read about a shampoo with chick pea, orange flour, honey etc.. from your site Can i use this shampoo. If yes how much should i add each ingredient. My hair size is approx 3 inches.
            There is no doubt that this site is an active one. Thankyou somuch for providing such an informative site.

            • Minaz Aslam

              Muhsi, use coconut milk.
              Alternate between ree-shi shampoo and chick pea flour shampoo. For your hair you will need half the suggested measures.
              Best wishes.

  • Esther

    Hi Minaz! I’ve read about your post and I am very interested in making my own shampoo! =D However I live in Singapore and I can’t find Amla, Reetha & Shikakai online that can ship to my country. Are the ingredients only available in India? Do you know other alternatives where I can get all these pure ingredients?

    Please help…… T_T

    Thanks a lot!

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Esther, have you checked out at little India in Singapore? May be you should be able to find them there.
      If not try this homemade shampoo
      Hope this helps, Minaz

      • Esther

        Hi Minaz, I managed to find them on ebay! Thanks for the another alternative for homemade shampoo! ^_^ Cheers! Esther

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hi Esther, Glad you found them.
          Do let us know your experience.
          Cheers, Minaz

  • siya

    hi minaz…

    hope u are pink in health and ur hair health is also supreme and luxuriant… 🙂 so..its almost a month now,that i have completely gone organic for my hair..i have seen less shedding i can say …but the days when i oil my hair,it seems as if all my efforts are being reverted and nullified.:-/ the hair fall during oil champi makes me cry . as u had specifically mentioned, i use parachute coconut oil with olive and castor,infused with coffee,bhringraj,triphala,amla and lauh bhasm…to make it even more nourishing. i am being a regular at alsi seeds and amla,triphala taking orally…

    am i again being impatient? i so moon over ur great golden brown hair in one of the piccha..:) the care and efforts are so visible…touch wood! and yeah… happy hair days!!

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Siya, So good to hear back from you.
      Glad your hair is shedding less.
      And I exactly know when you say you lose more hair when massaging. I have gone through that phase and I use to wonder if the oil massage was helping or not. But trust me, don’t stop. The hair that fall out are weak hair and its good that they fall out, and you will soon have new hair growing to replace them. And while doing head massage use some affirmations: how to use

      I have few suggestion to your oil infusion: Skip coffee, instead add henna (get good quality henna), and also skip lahu bhasma. Add some brahmi, it will help relax your scalp and strengthen your hair.

      Continue your hard work and you will soon have shiny, gorgeous hair.

      • siya

        hi minaz…

        i always remember ur affirmation advice while i brush my hair…i do that… 🙂 and i had added henna as well,got it plucked from the shrub itself and made a paste of freshly plucked henna leaves,have already added brahmi,also a few more herbs which i dont remember…i guess red sanders wood and mulhathi also….

        i just dread that my hair are quite long,so till the time a hair would regrow…my scalp would be visible.. 🙁 i have checked self for thyroid,the test reports are normal… patience is the key word i believe… and i read somewhere about walnut shell can be boiled to extract stunning brown colour and is useful as a dye…is it? i never coloured my hair other than using henna at times…. n now i feel that atleast i shud have sinned a bit, wat was the point…i anyways landed up in a land of ghastly hair :-/

        hope u are doing great now…. and great u shud be untill next time…

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hi Siya, Congrats for doing hair affirmations, do implement them in your life too.

          I would say look at this way, you are learning to be closer to nature and the hair that will regrow will be much more healthy and strong. And if you continue this practice, you will have thick and beautiful hair for many many years, as oppose to people who start seeing thinning as they get older.
          And the result of staying natural will keep you healthy over all – you will have good skin, good body, and good internal health.

          Continue oil massage and hennaing, and don’t overdo things as that will also irritate the roots. Walnut does add darker tint, but I would say leave it for later.

          Just last thing do eat amla every day – few pieces (dried or fresh).

          Stay happy and Wish you beautiful hair

          • siya

            hello wonderful!

            i have been taking gooseberries and triphala in powdered form everyday. thanks a tonne minaz… i was extremely low about my intensive hair fall. but ur blog gave me hope. today, my mother noticed the right side of my scalp visible due to thinning of my hair and she outrightly asked me to get my tresses trimed to mid back length. 🙁 i just wish to be patient and be all natural. if hair fall would occur at hip length,then it would happen at mid back length as well no. u had lots of guts to hold it out there and wait for an year or so..bravo! wish i can also reinstste the crowning glory… ahh… i am sounding like a chic in distress now.. 🙂

            stay gorgeous!

            • Minaz Aslam

              Hi Siya,

              Well done for taking amla and triphala ever day.

              But why are you doing what you should not be doing – stressing out. Stress is one of the major cause for hair loss. Join some yoga class, it will help you relax. And please divert your attention away from hair – I am not saying to stop caring for it. Continue looking after it but with minimal expectations – karam kar fal ki chinta mat kar 🙂

      • dhara

        Hi.i read about ur this home made shampoo. I am also suffering from severe hair fall .I have tried every shampoo b t no use. I have heard backing ssoda also works as shampoo is it true .

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hi Dhara, Yes there is this no poo movement going on. These people are against commercial shampoo, so they use baking soda to wash their hair.

          I too am not for commercial shampoos, but using baking soda to wash hair is questionable. Baking soda is very alkaline, and isn’t good for our hair.

          Nature has given us some effective and nourishing cleansers like reetha, shikakai, amla, fullers earth (multani mitti), besan etc and I would rather use them.

  • Vicky

    Hi. I have soap nuts but powdered shikakai and powdered amla. Can you give me a recipe using these ingredients. I have very dry hair with some frizz. Thank you

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Vicky, take 2 tablespoon Soapnut powder, 1 tablespoon shikakai powder, 1 teaspoon amla powder, 2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds powder, and 1 tablespoon honey. Mix all the ingredients except honey. Add hot water to make a runny paste, cover the bowl and let it rest for 10 mins. Stir in honey just before application.

      Let me know how it works.

      Cheers, Minaz

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  • jennifer

    Very Very good and helpful article Minaz!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing !!! Many thanks!!! Enjoy your shampoo!!!Good luck! Wish you the best !!! Have Fun!!!!!!!!!!!11

    • Minaz Aslam

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂

  • Sheetal

    Hi Minaz,

    I have grey hair and I apply hair colour but after washing scalp itches too much.

    Can you please suggest some remedy for grey hair to avoid this hair colour sometimes it’s drives me crazy.


    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Sheetal, Opt for natural, plant based dyes like henna, coffee, hibiscus (gudhal, jaswandh), and bhringraj. Also eat amla (fresh or dried ) – its rich in vit C, antioxidants and other important minerals that promotes healthy and shiny hair.

  • siya

    hello minaz…

    great post… took me back to my childhood days when i used this conccoction… i have had a real bad hair fall hair are way below waist but have grown very thin…i have tried a grinded mixture of these three, which is readily available in the market….somehow,my hair fall has increased..:( the greasiness makes my hair sticky and this results in more hairfall…. the hair brush starts from the top and till the time it reaches the ends….the hair comes off…:( am i wrong in believing in thereadymade ingredients? where am i fumbling? my assessment is that this shampoo cannot go wrong! any ideas?

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Siya, glad you liked hair buddha 🙂

      The powdered ingredients that you are using are probably fine; it’s very important how you use them. To get the grease off add besan (chickpea flour) to the reetha shikakai mix.
      To make the shampoo you’ll need:
      2 to 3 tablespoon besan, 1 tablespoon reetha powder, 1 table spoon shikakai powder, 1/2 tablespoon amla powder, and 2 or 3 crushed hibiscus flowers or leaves (helps to detangle and condition your hair). Add hot water to make a thin paste. Use in place of regular shampoo. Before using make sure that the mixture is lukewarm.

      Let me know how this works.

      • siya

        hello minaz..

        i tried the hibiscus leaves but the paste made was extremely slippery and it was a difficulty to apply it…i guess,if leaves are also soaked with reetha ,amla and boiled as well,that would still be easier… and no minaz,it didnot help the number of hair falling 🙁 proly,i need to be patient… i have always oiled my hair religiously,never curled them/coloured them/bleached them…i am a tee totaller and i dont eat junk.. i am particular bout healthy food.. uhh..! its a tragedy ! but as i started working,i roamed to places and didnt have time to even brush my hair gently… and i was falling sick very frequently…was on medications for almost two months! am sharing this ,as all the lovely ppl out there…its not just that if u arent into chemicals you wont lose hair…u have to ensure that u take care of urselves,if u dont…that also adversely affects ur health and ur hair health!

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hey Siya, thanks for sharing. I would suggest adding a teaspoon of flax seeds (also called linseeds or alsi or jawas) instead of hibiscus and do not make a very strong decocotion as that may be the resaon it is difficult to apply.

          Also eat a tablespoon of flax seeds (coarsaely ground) every day – they promote healthy hair growth. Read more on flax seeds:

          Continue with the oil massage- Make sure that the oil you apply is free from mineral oil, artcifcal fragrance, and other unwanted additives.

          And do give it some time -at least 3 to 4 months- you are not going see any results overnight.

          Stay healthy, exercise, and stress less. Also get yourself checked for any vitamins or mineral deficiencies.

          All the best, Minaz

  • anu

    hello minaz…

    i have used the ree shi shampoo in my childhood and now again i have reverted back to it,as i was having a real real bad hair fall….my hair are quite long,well below my waist but have grown very thin…. the issue using the shampoo is that it does leave the oil in hair..(and i dont mind it at all) but the greasiness results in even worse hair breakage…. as the brush goes from the scalp towards the lower ends of my hair….it gets tangled,resulting in far more hair fall.. 🙁 i dont know if its just the already weak ,fall prone hair or is it not suiting me at all..i oil my hair with coconut oil,in which i have added amla,bhringraj,coffee,henna leaves and triphala and brahmi as well….i have been using lemon rinse since forever…. but cud never get highlights..:( but it helps in washing off all the remains of chemicals… ur blog is very informative and helps ppl revert back to their good old basics…:) looovvveeeedddd the content!

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  • bhavika

    Hye…. i have been trying with many shampoos nd stuff to increase the volume of my hair bt my hair r still thin. …. very very thin…. is the ree shi shampoo helpful for thickness. … plzzz help

  • neha

    I am trying to use this shampoo…bt its nt working.. i am confused..what to do??? i have mix sort of hair…they become dry in winters and oily in summers… am i using it in wrong way???
    1 thing more…on other site i read that we can store this shampoo for minimum 2 months….is it right???

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Neha, I need more information on what is not working? Does it not clean properly, or does it make your hair dry?

      During winter humidity is low, therefore we experience dry skin and hair. I will suggest that you add hibiscus flowers (during boiling), which are conditioning. Also reduce the amount of shikakai and amla to half.

      In summers, use lemon rinse post shampoo. It removes excess oil and makes hair bouncier How to use –>>

      Shampoo expiry: You can store this shampoo for couple of months if you freeze it. But if you refrigerate, then it won’t stay for more than a week.

      • NEHA

        thanks for ur suggestion…
        problem with my new organic (amla, shikakai and reetha) shampoo is dat its nt cleaning out oil from my hairs….actually i do oil champi a night before cleaning my hair…bt because of this shampoo its nt going properly….m hairs are still oily..

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hi Neha, You are welcome.

          As mentioned in the post: if you have oiled your hair then add either multani mitti (fuller earth) or besan (chickpea flour) or mung flour to the shikakai and reetha concoction. This will get rid of the oil.

          Hope this helps.

  • Bhavya

    Great article…I was planning to switch to natural shampoos n found your article really very helpful…especially where we can store them into ice cubes for longer time…

    • Minaz Aslam

      Bhavya, glad you found it useful 🙂

  • Alysia

    Thank you so much for your post! I’ve been trying to find these ingredients where I live but, aside from the reetha, I can only find them powdered. Would powdered shikakai and alma work? If so, would I prepare it the same way, or differently?

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Alysia, I see no reason why the powdered shikakai and amla should not work. Try making it in similar way, and just remember to double filter it (don’t want the powdered herbs to stick to your hair). Let me know if your have any other hair related worries.
      All the best, Minaz

      • Alysia

        Thank you! I was able to find whole dried soap nuts and amla but only powdered shikakai. How much would you recommend using of the powder? Also, if I wanted to add the multani mitti or besan, how much would I add and when in the process? Thanks again!

        • Minaz Aslam

          Hi Alysia,

          Use slightly less shikakai (if powdered), about 6 or 7 grams as the powdered form is likely to make the mix more concentrated.
          Add multani mitti/ besan after you de-freeze shampoo cubes (let them melt naturally). You can take about 2 tablespoon for shoulder length hair (more or less depending on length). Add water if using more than 2 tablespoons.

          After shampoo, rinse you hair with lemon rinse if your hair is oily

          or orange rinse if normal or dry

          Lemon/ orange rinse add extra shine and body to your hair.

  • Hello,

    Please freeze the reetha shikakai shampoo (otherwise it will go bad within 3 days). For 750ml of shampoo you can fill apprx. 3 to 4 ice cube trays. Use 5 cubes for waist length hair. And this should last for 10 to 12 washes.

    Hope this helps!

  • ADI

    the quantity you mentioned is to be used for how many washes as 750 ml is prepared. i have about waist length hair and i oi it overnight. please let me know

  • aslam

    Nice and very informative article

  • Hi Minaz!! Congratulations on this very well presented informative article!! This reminded me of my Ajji ( grandmother) who never used a bit of chemical on her skin or hair. She was a firm follower of natural products and believed in regular skin and hair massages. She used to ‘cook’ a similar concoction for her head bath days. 🙂

    Result: she hadn’t looong lustrous silvery and shiny mane till the very end. She even had some hair that was still jet black and by this time she was 70!!( that’s old age in India)

    Thanks again for inspiring me to return to ancient wisdom with a modern twist:) the Ree-Shi freeze idea is fab!! Had given up using this formula cause it became too time consuming as priorities changed. Had tried the ‘make a mix and store in bottle ‘ way but it was a dead end! Now I can see my self making my way for a hair wash with my frozen goody bag

    • Thanks Archana, I am glad you found it useful. Enjoy the Ree-Shi shampoo!!

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