Monday, November 22, 2010

Reetha, Amla & Shikakai Home Made Shampoo - Weekend Experiment

Good Morning Lovelies, I hope your weekend was fun. Mines was, well, ho-hum, but anyways, we are not talking about that here (let’s save that cribbing for twitter).

I have been suffering from quite a bit of hair fall since some time. I have tried changing products to using intensive conditioning and the works. It stops the hair fall for while, but then it rears its ugly head again.

So on lark, & for lack of better things to do, my best friend & I decided to make some Reetha – Amla – Shikakai shampoo at home. This century old ayurvedic herbal concoction is reputed to not only strengthen hair, but also darken it and stop hair fall.

I got the 3 biggies from a local kirana store. All 3 are priced at 15 Rs for 100gms.


Reetha
How to: Soak 5 pieces of Shikakai, 4 balls of Reetha  (Soapnut) & handful of Amla (Indian Gooseberry)  in about 500 ml of water overnight. In the morning, heat the mixture on gas till it just starts to boil. Let it cool, when lukewarm mash all the amla, reetha and Shikakai to a pulp to extract all the “goodness” (a lot of suds & froth is produced at this point).

Strain (don’t skip this or else you’ll end up with bits of shikakai & Amla mesh stuck in your hair – I talk from experience – Don’t ask) and use the liquid to wash your hair.  


Shikakai
The experience is a little different from using a shampoo. The moment the liquid touches your hair, it will seem to go all rough and entangled, the way to use this is to apply the liquid all over the hair and let it soak for 2-4 minutes before washing it all off with water. Don’t try and massage and lather like your shampoo – your hair will just get even more entangled than ever. Just apply the entire 500 ml generously all over wet hair hair and scalp. Let it soak, don’t disturb and wash off.

After 4 minutes, I rinsed very well with water and applied some conditioner to the hair ends.

Caution: Don’t let this enter your eyes – they will STING like nothing else has.

Amla

My experience: I loved it!

Generally when I wash my hair, I end up losing a lot of strands. I hardly lost any hair when I used this. It worked just as well as shampoo and removed all oil and dirt from my hair leaving it squeaky clean. My hair looks healthier, thicker and shiny. It also separates hair strands giving me a lot of volume which I am loving. I am planning to skip using regular shampoo & use only this for the next 2-3 months to see if it helps stop hair fall.


All 3 freshly soaked :)
You may not like this if: You like shampoos that lather, have nice perfumed scent. It also tends to stain a little bit – my hands were a light tinge of indigo after washing – nothing seriously though – a good hand wash will remove it in the first wash. Also it may cause some hair dryness.
 
Also if you are replicating this – please check for allergies by doing a patch test.

Have any of you ever used this? How was your experience?



85 comments:

  1. Hey Tanzzzz... I love this..I have used many home made shampoos..Especially during the days when I had grey hair ...I use to keep amla ,reetha and shikkai and soak them in water and use it every day in my hair ..with this i also made hisbiscus flower shampoo..both worked great for me..now i don have any hair fall infact my hair are getting better only :D:D

    but till the time you don get rid of hair fall stick to this one.i know quiet a task but it works naa:)

    Love
    Anamika

    ReplyDelete
  2. great post tanveer. and do a repost after the time period to tell us whether it really works with stopping the hair fall!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tanveer this thing works and so please stick to it until your hair fall stops. Increase the amount of reetha for a lil lather but not like shampoo ofcourse. Thanks a lot for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tanveer! I use this & it really works,but the only thing I don't like is the sting! As for the dryness what i do is , first I apply curd for 30 min before hair wash & then I wash with this reetha mix so this doesn't cause dryness!

    Uzma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uz, Try applying oil on your eyes before the bath. I use virgin coconut oil, and absolutely no complaints (of course, i keep my eyes closed!)

      Hope that helps :)

      Delete
  5. great Tanveer, it would surely help your hairfall problem

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have been using this throughout childhood and college only recently when i started working i switched to commercial shampoos. If reetha quantity is increased and if you are using large berries then each hair separates out.If amla is increased hair becomes incredibly smooth and if shikakai is increased hair will become brownish red and smooth. I don't know if u are an hair oil person but a little oil one hour before bath prevents dryness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hy Zee Bee,

      Since you have been using this from childhood, may be you can solve my problem..been a month since I quit my commercial shampoo with ARS..in first 3 weeks, it did wonder for may hairs..I was abs loving it but suddenly, my hairs became greasy after the use..I dont know what went wrong.Changes three shops but stil no sign of improvement..is it the amla thing that is creating prob???? Please guide me

      Hina

      Delete
    2. hey hina, do you use whole pods of reetha ,shikakai or market powder? i personally use only whole pods , for convenience i had tried market pwders but it did not work for me. also, there is a threshold point. remember reetha is a natural saponin it does not clean scalp on same principle like soap or shampoo. Also, if you have oily hair you might have to wash every day. Many ppl abandon reetha and shikakai because it doesnt remove oil at one go. for example when i started out i remember only a couple of large reetha berries and 2 shikai pods was sufficient for my waist long unoiled hair....but then when i use south indian reetha variety i have to use a handful. so try changing reetha quantity. try using reetha alone, see if it takes care of greasiness.

      Delete
    3. Hy

      I am using whole pods of Amla reetha and shikakai, I guess, its better since I know these three things are original while they can mix anything in powders..I tried increasing reetha and reducing the amount of Amla..coz someone told me my hairs a bit oily so try not to over condition your hairs with AMLA.. I dont have waist long hairs but still i have to use 7 to 8 reethas, 3 to 4 amlas and 3 to 4 shikakai..now with less amla, my hairs are less oily but somehow there are still traces..so I have decided to oil my hairs once a week..lets see if it works..thanks for the advice!

      Delete
  7. i oil my hair a lot.
    does it clean all the oil your hair off in the first application ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! How cool that u do these things on weekends T. I'm such a couch potato lol. I'm glad it worked for u after all the effort. I wish u lived nearby, so I can come take some haha

    ♥xx♥

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  9. Great that this worked for you. A few years ago, I had bought all these herbs in powder form & tried using them. It was awful. My hair fall actually increased! Maybe I should have bought the items whole & powdered them myself.

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  10. @Anamika: I love this too, it makes my hair so bouncy & it looks healthy too! So glad to know that it worked so well for you, I am hoping it works just as well for me :D.. Yea, I do have to plan in advance coz it takes so long to make, but I think it is totally worth it :)

    @IMW: Thanks! I will keep posting monthly updates on this goes :)

    @BeautyDiva: Hey, thanks for letting me know, I'll def use this now for a long time :)

    @Uz: Glad to know it works so well ya, but ya, one is gotta be careful to avoid the eyes :P

    Thanks for the curd tip - I'll try it out this weekend :)

    @Retnu: I am pretty sure it will after reading all the positive testimonies above :)

    @Zee Bee: hey, thanks for the info. I love the way Reetha separates my hair out - but it still feels smooth & silky! I do like oiling my hair, generally do it on the weekend - I'll do that before my next shampoo with this.

    @Ms. Gayathri: Hmmm, I haven't used this on oiled hair yet, so I can't say. But from what I read in the comments above - it seems like it does remove it.

    @CZ: I had no plans to make this - it was just all my plans for a fun weekend went bust & I was just sitting at home all weekend or else meeting unexpected guests. I have been ignoring this hair fall problem since long actually :P.. hehehhe, I wld have def made a batch for u too if u were closeby :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To avoid teh burning sensation in the eyes, try applying oil on the eyes before the bath; i use virgin coconut oil - absolutely no burning! (of course, i keep my eyes closed!)

      Hope that helps :)

      Delete
    2. To avoid teh burning sensation in the eyes, try applying oil on the eyes before the bath; i use virgin coconut oil - absolutely no burning! (of course, i keep my eyes closed!)

      Hope that helps :)

      Delete
  11. @Poohkie: I have seen those powders too, call me paranoid, but I could never get myself to trust them - they all looked the same - dusty brown powders & I got all suspicious. Why use powders when the actual whole herb is available so freely?

    ReplyDelete
  12. do u have to use this once every week or daily?could u also give me the english names of the 3 ingredients....:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just use it in place of shampoo, so I guess you cld use it whenever your hair feels like it needs cleaning.

      English names, I know that soapnut is either Shikakai or Reetha & Amla is Indian Gooseberry.

      Delete
  13. Is it safe to apply this amla-shikkakai-reetha shampoo daily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is Nisha, but you won't need to use this everyday :)

      Delete
  14. my experience was a little different from yours regarding the tangling...I used the reetha-shikakai mix and massaged my hair well...it looked as if it had tangled badly but while combing it took me less time to remove the tangles than with using any shampoo on the hair and I would suggest that you should increase reetha to 7-8 or may be 10....it will remove the oil also well...

    ReplyDelete
  15. hi Tanz, am reading this old post now...its very true to the core. I too had severe hair fall and was quite hesistant to do head bath......even shampoos cause hair fall you know. and my mom since young she has been using shikakai to clean her hair, trust me, she is in her mid 50's and her hair is so thick (i have very less than her) with no grey hairs, no hair fall...she used to warn me not to use shampoo...me so lazy and liked the lather..so stuck to shampoos.....and ever since i could not stop my hair loss....i myself decided to stick to herbal shikakai powder (we get this Meera herbal shikakai powder) am using this and my hairfall has stopped considerably and am quite happy about it....please let me know hw this remedy has been working on you and i will try to do this atelast a month when i get free!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used this as shampoo for 5 months - from November to April. Once my hair was decently healthy, I then got my hair relaxed and started to use special shampoos & conditioners meant for relaxed hair.

      I personally loved the experience of using this - it made my hair very healthy! :D

      Delete
  16. Hi Tanveer,

    Great Post....was looking for hair fall solution..
    just wondering, do we have to make this shampoo every-time b4 head bath or can we make a batch and keep it..

    Thanks fr the help and keep posting the results..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can make a batch & keep it. But store it in the fridge & warm it up in the microwave before use :)

      Delete
  17. Hey! I was going through some random posts and found this.I add mehendi to this concoction and use it as a hair mask.It makes my hair a lot smoother that way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really! Hmmm, that is a nice tip, Thanks!

      Delete
  18. Hii frnds..I have some queries..pls help me..
    may I use oil before apllying this pack?should I cut the amla in small piecec or just as it is?where from I can get shikakai?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, you can apply oil. Just add more reetha to ensure it cleans out completely. You can add the amla as it is. You will get shikakai from any general store :)

      Delete
  19. @ Tanveer

    can we use this in oil like instead of making shampoo we can put them in oil (mustard oil, almond oil or any other).
    do you have any idea of making it in oil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Mona, I have never made this in oil - no clue :P

      Delete
  20. A very useful Post..I will definitely try it
    I have one query- over a year now...Are you still on this amla-reetha-shikakai regime. any improvements you have done with this recipe?
    I was thinking of adding henna powder to it for the conditioning effect.what do you say

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Preeti, I followed this for about 5 months (nov - apr) and then since I got my hair chemically relaxed I decided to not do this. I found this to be prefect the way it is. I generally avoid henna as it dries out my hair. But I guess you cld add it, there is a comment above on henna.

      Delete
  21. @ Tasveer:
    i have bought amla, shikakai from the market but didn't find reetha in any store so i bought nutmeg instead of reetha. Is that okay to use nutmeg instead of reetha? will it effect same as sopanuts? I live in New York and i found reetha every where but didn't find it.do u know any place where i can find and if i can use nutmeg instead of reetha?

    thnkx in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mona! I don't know if nutmeg is safe for use in hair, as I have never heard about it neither have I used it.

      Reetha gives this mixture the cleansing power it needs, which I am not sure Nutmeg wld be able to provide. I have never even been to NY so I have no idea where you wld get it in NY.

      I wld suggest you don't use nutmeg & use Shikakai & Amla in the ratio 2:1 only.

      Delete
  22. @ Tanveer
    When we soak amla, reetha, and shikakai in water we have to open the reetha and shikakai and put seeds in water or just put them in water as it is. Because reetha and shikakai have seeds inside??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to just add them whole with the seeds. You can refer to this post for further details: http://addictedtoblush.blogspot.com/2010/11/reetha-amla-shikakai-home-made-shampoo.html

      Delete
  23. Hi - Im having hard time finding whole amla/ reetha/ shikaki in indian stores in NJ.
    Can I use the powder form ? Soak them night before, boil and strain, will that work or not ?
    Thanks in advance for any advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really don't know! I have never worked or used the powder forms :P

      Delete
  24. hey tanveer...i have prepared the same stuff to use tmrw morning...hope it works for me as well...and one more thing, wot kind of chemical relaxation have u done for ur hair? I also want to do it...is it smoothening and rebonding? And where did u get it done from?

    ReplyDelete
  25. hey tanveer...i have prepared the same stuff to use tmrw morning...hope it works for me as well...and one more thing, wot kind of chemical relaxation have u done for ur hair? I also want to do it...is it smoothening and rebonding? And where did u get it done from?

    ReplyDelete
  26. hi...im planning to use the same tmrw morning...all set wt the mixture...plz advise me about chemical relaxation also...what have u got done wt ur hair? is it rebonding or smoothening? I am also willing to do the same...have very dry curly hair..but it falling a lot now...can v use amla and all this after chemical relaxation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vina!

      I hope you like using this!

      I got my hair chemically relaxed, which is straightening. I think it is the same as what you are referring to as rebonding or smoothening. If you are already suffering from hairfall, please consult a hair expert before doing any treatment as it may get worse.

      I got my hair treatment from my regular hair stylist. You can go to any reputed salon like L'oreal for the same. Before you get any treatment, get a complete consultation done on your hair health. You may need some treatment before you can relax your hair.

      And no, you cannot use this amla shampoo once you have relaxed your hair. Relaxed hair is very fragile and needs a very gentle shampoo created specifically for that hair type.

      Delete
  27. I loved it Tanzzz...oiled my hair a night before and did exactly as mentioned in ur blog...washed it off and got a squeaky clean scalp...no oil at all...wow! Im ready with the second round for tmrw...i have started on vit b and zinc for my hair loss problem...hope to get beautiful hair within the next year... And i have postponed my plan for hair straightening... Thanx for the magical shampoo!

    ReplyDelete
  28. and yes one more thing....i love the smell of this shampoo...it gives a very natural and ayurvedic smell which is very reassuring as compared to other chemical based shampoos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vina. I'm glad you liked it! :)

      Delete
  29. Hi Tanveer,

    First I must thank you for sharing tips on how to make this lovely home-made shampoo. After reading your blog, I have been trying this for the last few weeks. The first time it worked great (i did use conditioner to make hair less dry), but the second time onward it wasn't helping much. That is, till I realised that I have not heated the concoction till boiling point as you had mentioned. So re-read it again today and then I felt like thanking you as it is a great saviour of hair. Thanks a ton...Malini

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Malini.. I'm glad you liked it :D

      Delete
  30. Can we use dry amla instead of fresh amla?

    ReplyDelete
  31. You said you would use this for 2-3 months. Just wanted to know your results, as even I am planning to try this out. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have done a separate post on that Humz, you can read that here: http://addictedtoblush.blogspot.in/2010/12/amla-reetha-shikakai-shampoo-update.html

      Delete
  32. hey Tanveer,
    i am trying this natural shampoo today after reading ur blog.
    after use this shampoo i feel more oily my hairs.
    like too much hair oil i used on my hair.
    so let me know

    ReplyDelete
  33. hey tanveer....

    thanks for describing this home made shampoo....well i prepared about half of pet bottle around 300ml ....hmmm on first apply...seems to be good.....some oil on my scalp which i dreaming for as being dry hair....

    well i was thinking for how much days i use this stock before replacing or preparing a new one...any ideas....

    Frustrating from anti-dandruff shampoos...i luckily find your remedy...and all my bet is on this shampoo...as i crossed second stage of hair loss pattern...being a male and a computer engineer you have to sacrifice your hair at around 24 age...which is now a days very common...

    so lets hope this miracle may cure my heredity problem......

    """Bus dua karo yaar....ki mere baal jiye hazaroo saal...."" :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edit... Tanveer 1 more thing you may add in this shampoo....and that is

      Neem leaves....and best in bulk....its good for clearing dandruff and white flakes on the scalp plus it remove irritation which cause hair fall also....

      same procedure...shikakai,reetha,amla and plus 30-40 neem leaves...and boil it up for about 15 minutes...extract , apply enjoy..... "maaza aa gaya..."

      tell other also.... seya!!

      Delete
    2. hello..
      In this line :- Just apply the entire 500 ml generously all over wet hair hair and scalp. Let it soak, don’t disturb and wash off.

      what does mean we have to apply all 500ml of mixture at one time ?? or what please explain . . .

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the neem tip Deepak, I hope this worked for you. Th shampoo is good for a week if stored in the fridge.

      @Incredible: Yes, use it just like you would use shampoo.

      Delete
  34. Hi
    I had bought Amla-Shikkai-reetha powders from a local store, tried washing my hair - but it didnt remove the oil, didnt lather at all, and the powder stayed on my hair. Had to then use shampoo/conditioner again. Am i doing it wrong - should i boil in water and use the water instead of putting the paste as-is? Came across your blog today - and thought it best to ask you,

    Thankyou!
    Archana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archana, the powders don't work according to me. If you can find the whole herbs that is best.

      Delete
  35. hello..
    In this line :- Just apply the entire 500 ml generously all over wet hair hair and scalp. Let it soak, don’t disturb and wash off.

    what does mean we have to apply all 500ml of mixture at one time ?? or what please explain . . .

    ReplyDelete
  36. hello..
    In this line :- Just apply the entire 500 ml generously all over wet hair hair and scalp. Let it soak, don’t disturb and wash off.

    what does mean we have to apply all 500ml of mixture at one time ?? or what please explain . . .

    ReplyDelete
  37. need help..help..help... :(
    i want to quit using harsh chemical shampoo on my hair.. So i decided to switch to this amla reetha shikakai shampoo... Today i washed my hair with this shampoo.. My hair feels gud but it stained my bath tub and my nails severly in a reddish black color... Dont know wher m going wrong.. Pls help me with the recipe again...i used 6 balls of reetha, 5 sticks of shikakai and a handful of amla.. Pls help me wht to reduce to get rid of this stained effect...:'(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The nails do get stained, but that goes away in a day. Did you prepare it in an Iron vessel? I'm not sure why your bath tub stained though, it'll go away with a cleaner.

      Delete
  38. need help..help..help... :(
    i want to quit using harsh chemical shampoo on my hair.. So i decided to switch to this amla reetha shikakai shampoo... Today i washed my hair with this shampoo.. My hair feels gud but it stained my bath tub and my nails severly in a reddish black color... Dont know wher m going wrong.. Pls help me with the recipe again...i used 6 balls of reetha, 5 sticks of shikakai and a handful of amla.. Pls help me wht to reduce to get rid of this stained effect...:'(

    ReplyDelete
  39. heu hi i am ashish from bangalore ,, because of water problem here (using borewell water ) my hairs started falling and i have white hair problem,, so can u solve ths problem?? is ths thng works on hard water

    ReplyDelete
  40. hey i am ashish from bangalore because of water problems my hairs are falling ,, i am using bore water (hard water),, nd because of ths hairs almost turned to white,, can u help me??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could try this, maybe it'll help.

      Delete
  41. hi i'm shree. i made this mixture and the result was i got nearly 2 liters of this mixture. how long does it stay gud? does it go bad very soon? i don want to waste this mixture please guide me. i'm also havin terrible hair fall all of sudden and my hair quality is going worse. i've not used the shampoo stil. please give me some important tips for making hair thick and strong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can keep it in the fridge, though I have never used more than a 7 day old mixture so I can't say.

      Delete
  42. Hi Tanveer...

    Its been almost a year since you posted this blog.. I am starting to experiment on this herbal shampoo, just wanted to ask you if you're still continuing it.. Also, have u completely stopped using chemical shampoos?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please read this post here: http://addictedtoblush.blogspot.in/2010/12/amla-reetha-shikakai-shampoo-update.html

      Delete
  43. Hi!

    Where do you get your ingredients?

    ReplyDelete
  44. I m defintly going to try this, my only concern is if it removes oil. Lets c .
    I lov oiling my hair

    ReplyDelete
  45. IN order to take care of dryness after using this shampoo, i think i have a better idea, where my recipe also includes 2 tb of sundal/ olive oil after the mixture has been boiled. and by the way other things that my recipe includes are poppy seeds and a handful of dried neem leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  46. hey... til now i had been using chmcl shampoos n last year u startd conditioning my hair with l'oreal products... its nyc no doubt bt a few days ago i found a grey hair ... which i had never seen before n m worried is this d bad effect of conditioner or wat??
    if i dont use conditioner i face d prblm of split ends .. also i have little problm of hair fall n rougj hair at the end tips.. pleasee suggwst .. should i use this amla shikakai n reetha paste.. also mentn d quantity .. i
    have hairs long as my shoulder .. m afraid it wud nt turn out to be allergic ?? plzz hlp me out..

    ReplyDelete
  47. hey... till date I have been using only chemical shampoos.. last year on d advice of my friends i switchd to conditioner.. l'oreal.. it works great my hair is good.. no doubt about it.. bt i have seen one or two of my hair turnd grey or i dont actually know if it was unnoticed before.. also i have a problm of hairfall n split ends.. so m afraid if il these are d bad effect of chemicals or watt... plzz help me.. i wanna use this amla rwwtha shikakai shampoo .. but i wud like u to ensure me first if it wont cause any allergy or so.. waiting for ur suggestns at the earliest..
    thankss

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hello dear, I have sued this concoction 4-5 times now but it does not remove oil from my hair. What to do?

    ReplyDelete
  49. My hair colour is brown. Not light but not dark either. I don't want my hair colour to darken. Will this darken my hair colour?

    ReplyDelete
  50. My hair colour is brown. Not light but not dark either. I don't want my hair colour to darken. Will this darken my hair colour?

    ReplyDelete
  51. I have these herbs in powder form so how so I make the paste? Is it a substitute for my shampoo? Should I make it all together or for each use separately? How long can it be preserved? Could you tell the amount of each thing in tablespoons please or small amount in grams? Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi Tanveer, I have tried this shampoo...it is wonderful. I wanted to know if you have any perfect (like the above shampoo) homemade remedy for straightening hair. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete

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