If you ask me, I believe every little thing in our body isn’t just a coincidence, but rather meant to assure a natural and healthy working of our bodily processes. For instance, our saliva is meant to break our food down into smaller bits whilst our nasal hair is busy protecting us from smog. Likewise, our hair follicles contain natural oils, called sebum, which assures conditioning and maintenance of our hair.
While nature is at its best, frequent hair washing strips away these natural oils with harsh chemicals, leaving our scalp dry, and in many cases, flaky. To compensate for this, our hair follicles get an internal signal to produce an increased amount of sebum in order to maintain healthy hair. With regular washing, this process of producing more sebum continues till it upsets and worsens our natural sebum balance. This is probably the reason why most of us find our hair greasy again just after a day, or maybe even a few hours of washing.
Consequently, we’re left with the only choice of washing our hair daily and regularly. Insane right? So how can we stop our scalp from undergoing such hazardous, excess oil build up? Common sense would suggest: Go “No Poo”. Using absolutely no shampoo for a certain period of time will surely rebalance the natural sebum levels on our scalp. Yes, it can. Here’s a big BUT; how can we ever go on without any shampoo for months? That’s nuts!
Let me suggest an alternative. Go DIY before you decide to go “No Poo”. There are several methods of making your own, safe and herbal shampoo, that doesn’t contain any of the harmful chemicals used in commercial shampoos, and definitely doesn’t mess with your sebum levels. In fact, these shampoos are completely effortless, herbal, natural, and hey, they don’t just maintain healthy hair, but also promote hair growth!
So if you’re one of those people who are just completely done with shampoos full of SLS and parabens, and would love an alternative method of washing your hair, here’s a short recipe. It’s recognised as an ancient Asian ayurvedic recipe that has worked on beautifying hair for years.
1. Amla (you can use its powder form) because its protein and vitamin content is absolutely necessary to help the hair grow and prevent hair loss. It does this by using its antioxidant properties to strengthen the roots of your hair, making it an absolute 'must have'. It also serves as a great moisturiser for your hair and removes any dryness or untreatable dandruff you might be carrying on your scalp for years. You probably have noticed amla as one of the ingredients in your shampoos purchased over lifetime. Sadly, the SLS and parabens that are also held by these shampoos make your scalp prone to dryness and dandruff. So why don't you eliminate these no-no's from your shampoo and use amla in its purest form and see the difference?
2. Shikakai (you can use its powder form) because it ensures your hair remains lustrous and healthy by retaining its natural oils. Its efficient in achieving this as it's naturally very low on its pH value, and makes sure it leaves your hair conditioned and voluminous. Just like amla, shikakai works towards protecting the scalp from dandruff and, keeping it healthy.
3. Reetha (you can use its powder form) because its a born cleanser. And by that, I mean it cleanses anything unnatural on your scalp, be it dandruff, dirt, lice, cooties, absolutely anything! The good thing about reetha is that it's naturally good at doing this and so it causes less scalp irritation compared to the other chemical cleansers. This helps nourish the hair in keeping it strong and healthy, bringing back all the lost shine and lustre.
Combine the three ingredients together, one teaspoon each.
Add 500ml water to this mixture, stir well, and boil it.
When the water is reduced to half its level and you start seeing the foam, take it off boiling.
Let it cool, store it overnight and it will be ready to use the next day. You can store this shampoo for as long as a week and use it within that period.
Use it like a normal shampoo, apply it to your hair, massage the hair for about five minutes and wash it off.
As I always say, keep it natural! Seriously, if you can promote healthy hair growth using just three effortless ingredients, causing absolutely no side effects, hair loss or irritations, then why not? Your hair is important, keep it happy!
The author is a Indian-Belgian marketing grad turned blogger/Youtuber based in London. To know more, check out her YouTube channel @laughingananas and blog at www.laughingananas.com, and find her on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook @laughingananas.