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

natural homemade 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 the natural shampoo.

I have suffered from an 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 the shampoo which claimed to contain all natural ingredients. My hair & scalp absolutely loved it; I used this for a 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 is 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:

Shikakai

Shikakai

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.

With its slightly acidic pH, shikakai gently cleans the hair without stripping it of its natural oils. It’s also a great conditioner, and helps to reduce scalp dryness and makes hair soft and bouncy.

Shikakai is rich in vitamin C 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 synthetic surfactants which may not be skin or environment-friendly.

Reetha is an excellent alternative for people who are allergic to sulfates and parabens in the commercial shampoo. The natural saponins in reetha not only cleans hair, they add shine and body and make hair look thicker and smoother. 

Shampoo Ingredients: Shikakai, Reetha, and Amla

Shampoo Ingredients: Shikakai, Reetha, and Amla

How to Make

You will need:

  • 10 grams (about 5-6) shikakai pods 
  • 10 grams (about 2) reetha berries

Optional add-ins:

  • 5 gram (about 5-6) amla pieces (strengthens and nourishes hair)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (soothes scalp and softens hair)
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseeds (conditions and detangles hair)

1. This is the basic ratio, you can adjust the ingredients as desired. 

2. Take all ingredients in a pan, add 750 ml of water and let them soak for about 8 hours. Or you can skip this step and straight away make the shampoo.

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

4. Remove from the heat, cover 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 for a couple of minutes and then rinse.  This mix hardly lathers. But it cleans your hair well.

This Shampoo 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.

Some Common FAQs Before Using the Ree-Shi Shampoo

1. If I have Oiled my Hair, will Ree-Shi Shampoo remove Oil?

It may or may not. So I would suggest you use homemade egg shampoo and it works great to remove the oil from your hair. 

2. What if My Hair/Scalp is on Dry Side?

You can add one or more of the following herbs when making this shampoo:

All of them are very moisturising and conditioning for hair, and will leave it soft, shiny and smooth.

Fullers Earth/ Multani Mitti

Fullers Earth/ Multani Mitti

3. Do I have to Use Conditioner after Shampoo?

No need.

If your hair is frizzy and dry, after shampooing pat dry your hair, then 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. 

4. Can I Use Ree-Shi Shampoo If I have 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

chamomile flower: adds highlights to blond hair; conditions and softens hair.

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

5. Where can I Buy the Shampoo Ingredients?

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

6. Can I Buy Herb Powders for Making the Shampoo?

 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.

To Sum Up: Why Use 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 shikakai is a natural softer and detangler.

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

Also, before buying any store-shampoo or any cosmetic products train yourself to read the labels. If you are unsure of any ingredient, then dig up info on it.

If you have used this, please share your experience. I would love to hear from you…

 

How to make natural shampoo at home

Leave a Comment:

484 comments
Kimberly Smith says

I’ve been looking for something to help regrow and thicken my hair. So Im going to give this a try thank you so much for sharing this information. One question how do you crush the ingredients with your hand after the 8 hrs and is cooled? Thank you!

Reply
    Minaz says

    You crush them after boiling and cooling. So they are already soft and easy to crush.

    Reply
Meeshtee says

Very helpful recipes and tips for hair care. Much appreciate it, have started using this and noticing changes. Is it possible to add peppermint essential oil to this mixture, before applying to hair? What are some other ways you would suggest to make peppermint essential oil a part of hair care regime? Thank you for the wonderful natural tips and great details that you share!

Reply
Neethu says

Thank you for this. I tried many of your hair masks and it worked wonders for my damaged hair. I recently shifted to your ree-shi shampoo mentioned here after damaging effects from sulphate shampoos. While I love that my damaged hair is recovering, this shampoo does not remove oil from my hair (I apply oil and leave it for 45-60 mins). Please suggest an alternative or extra ingredient to add to this shampoo which will help remove the oil. Also, when I use this shampoo after applying egg masks, it does not remove the pungent smell of the eggs. Please suggest something for this too.

Reply
    Smisantosh says

    You can rinse hair with 1 tbsp Apple cigar vinegar mixed in 2 cups water will remove egg smell, oil & also gives a shine to hair.Vinegar smell will go away after 1 hr or so 👍🏼

    Reply
Vijay says

We powder all ingredients and store it in a jar, no need for refrigeration. Soak a spoon of mix with water 30 mins before bath. Apply the paste on head and give a nice rub, works perfectly even for oil bath.

Reply
Komal Suryakamble says

Hey minaz , in how many days it gives good benefit ?? I have used it only one time but my hair oil is not removed by this shampoo .. I have very much hair fall from last month .. So , I prepared this shampoo but my hair looks very oily and sticky .. Does it happens for the 1st time use ??

Reply
    Minaz says

    I would suggest you use egg shampoo followed by ree-shi.

    Reply
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