Sulphates are detergents used in shampoos to get rid of dirt and grease. But, they can be harsh and strip away the natural protective oils from your scalp and hair, resulting in dry flaky scalp, and lusterless hair.
And beware of term ‘plant derived’. Claims such as ‘sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) derived from coconut’ are nothing but a cute way to detracts the buyers from really knowing what they are using. All SLS is derived from vegetable oil, usually coconut, but it undergoes lots of processing involving one of the harshest chemicals – sulfuric acid – and is therefore classed as synthetic ingredient. So, there is nothing coconut-y about it.
It’s pretty simple. Make your own shampoo!
When the word ‘shampoo’ comes to your mind you think of soap and lather. In fact the word shampoo comes from Hindi (Indian) word ‘champoo’, which itself is derived from the Sanskrit root capayati, which means to press, knead or rub. In India the term champoo was used for head massage, usually with some form of herb infused oil. And only after thorough oiling and massaging the hair would be washed. Ancient hair cleansers were made by mixing powdered herbs, medicated flowers, and water. Sometimes floral and herbal infusions were used.
Today the most important ritual of champoo or champi is nearly extinct, even from the place where it all started — India — and hair washing, using detergent based cleansers, is what people choose. Convenience for quality is the price you pay for a busy life.
There are some amazing ingredients in nature that make super hair cleanser and leave our hair clean, healthy, and smelling awesome. But be prepared to wash your hair with some atypical looking potions. These potions, though, will give you gorgeous hair, so they are worth trying out.
The shampoo recipe that I am going to share with you needs no pre-preparation. Most of the ingredients are not difficult to find – can be brought online or from an Indian shop.
To make this shampoo you will need – chickpea flour, orange peel powder, henna powder, and some honey.
Chickpea flour (Besan): Indian women have used chickpea flour and other lentil flours in hair care and beauty preparation for thousands of years. Rich in protein, chickpea flour will make your hair shiny and strong. It also cleans the hair very well.
Orange peel powder: The orange and other citrus peels help to gently exfoliate the dead skin and flakes on the scalp. It also balances your scalp pH and the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties may help with dandruff. Plus it smells uplifting and refreshing.
Henna: Henna coats the hair shaft, and adds body and luster and makes hair silky soft. Regular application will add reddish or brownish tinge (henna colour varies depending on where it was grown) to the hair. Also if you have grey hair then this shampoo is an easy answer to cover them.
Note: Those of you with lighter hair or coloured hair should avoid henna, as it will alter the colour.
Honey: Honey is very moisturizing and nourishing for your scalp and hair. It’s also a humectant – meaning it attracts and retains moisture – and therefore helps to condition the hair. Plus, its antiseptic effects will keep your scalp healthy and dandruff free.
To make this shampoo you will need (These amounts are for mid-length hair):
To use: Wet the hair. Massage into scalp and hair just like your normal shampoo, but don’t expect it to lather. Make sure all areas are covered. And be gentle, as a rough or rapid application may disturb the roots of your hair. Leave on for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly.
Note: Even after you have rinsed well, there may be some shampoo bits remaining in your hair. But, do not worry as they will fall off as your hair dries and when you comb your hair. And Always use a wide tooth comb to untangle.
If you hair feels clean and soft, then you do not need a conditioner. But if it doesn’t, then use a conditioning hair rinse.
I love using green tea conditioning rinse along with besan shampoo. Green it helps add extra shine and strength to your hair. Plus, some people claim that it helps to reduce hair loss. (Here’s how to make green tea rinse.)
You can also use any of your favorite herbal teas such as rosemary, lavender, chamomile, mint, marshmallow root and hibiscus to condition and add shine. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for your hair.
You may also like: Ditch Conditioner, Use a Hair Rinse
Chickpea flour substitute: You can replace chickpea flour with mung flour (green gram), flax seeds flour or rye flour.
Make your own orange peel powder: Wash, dry, and peel orange. Eat the orange! Save the peel. Cut the peels into thin slices so they can dry faster. Spread all the peels on a tray and place under the sun to dry. You can also place them somewhere dry and warm. Turn daily until dry and crisp to touch. Grind into a fine powder. And your homemade orange peel powder is ready!
Enjoy your gorgeous hair!