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  5. How To Choose The Right Herbal Shampoo For Your Hair?

Are you giving up on your chemical-laden shampoos [1]? Considering all the damage they have caused your hair, if you're looking to reboot your hair care by switching to herbal shampoos, your hair definitely appreciates your decision!

"Natural cleansers are abundant in our bountiful nature and have been a part of Indian traditions for ages. Ayurveda has well-documented pharmacopeia suggesting the expert ways to employ them. Synthetic cleansers, though easier to use, take their due by damaging your hair and scalp in the long run,’’ says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.

Thus, we are here to help you choose the right herbal shampoo that your hair needs. Get ready to treat your various scalp and hair issues naturally with homemade Ayurvedic herbal shampoos.

What Is Herbal Shampoo? Is Herbal Shampoo Good For Hair?

Any hair cleansing solution, which is made from the extracts of Ayurvedic herbs and flowers, can be termed as a ‘herbal shampoo’.

Surfactants like sulfates and its derivatives used in chemical shampoos exploit your scalp's natural oils and damage its tissues and cuticles. On the other side, herbal shampoos are mild and natural. They help you in maintaining your scalp oils while promoting healthy and lustrous hair growth.

Ayurvedic Way To Choose The Right Kind Of Herbal Shampoo

According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, our body, mind, and soul are the composition of principle energies of life: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. And your holistic well being depends upon the equilibrium of these vital energies. [2]

When any of these doshas are elevated, it leads to the derangement of our bodily systems, resulting in various diseases. As per this Ayurvedic concept of human health, your hair and scalp problems too are the consequence of imbalance created in your dosha levels.

"Our Indian traditional science, Ayurveda, hands out exceptional herbal formulations to bring elevated doshas to a balanced state, while the medicinal elements in the herbs resolve your hair problems,’’ says Dr. Zeel.

This way, the ancient wisdom of our Indian sages laid us a way to treat the root cause of hair problems, rather than just focusing on the symptoms like modern-day health science. To choose your right herbal shampoo, you need to understand your imbalanced doshas based on your hair and scalp conditions.

Know Your Hair

  • If Vata dosha (Ether + Air) is in aggravated levels in your body, it leads to dehydration of your scalp and hair. Eventually, it results in thinning of hair, dry dandruff, tearing in scalp tissues, brittle and frizzy hair with split ends, hair fall, etc.
  • If Pitta (Fire + Water) dosha elevates in your body, it leads to overheating of your scalp. This results in scalp inflammation, premature greying, greasy dandruff, weaker hair roots with pain, and eventually hair fall.
  • If Kapha (Water + Earth) dosha spikes up in your body, it leads to the overproduction of sebum on your scalp. This results in oily dandruff, greasy hair, infections, and hair loss.

The pH of a normal scalp and hair shaft measures around 5.5 and 3.67 respectively. A shampoo with alkaline pH i.e, pH>=7 increases the net negative electrical charge [3] on the surface of hair fibers. This increases the friction between the hair fibers, which leads to fiber breakage and cuticle damage.

Ayurvedic Homemade Shampoos Based On Your Hair Needs

1. Shikakai (Soap pod)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Kapha and Pitta. With natural saponins, shikakai is an excellent cleanser of dirt and excess sebum while retaining the natural oils of your scalp and hair.

With its anti-fungal, anti-oxidant and coolant properties, it works best to resolve the conditions of dandruff, lice-infection, scalp inflammation, premature greying, etc. Shikakai strengthens your roots and detangles your hair naturally while promoting long and smooth hair growth.

How To Use

  • Soak 5-6 soap pods and 2-3 soap nuts in 2-3 cups of water overnight.
  • The following morning, boil these ingredients in the water that they were soaked in until they become soft.
  • If you have more oily hair, boil the solution until it forms a thick consistency.
  • After the solution gets cooled, strain out the remnants of the herbs and store it in a bottle.
  • Gently apply the shampoo to your scalp and hair. Massage your scalp and hair for a few minutes and rinse it off using normal water.
  • For Kapha and Pitta hair problems, you can use this herbal shampoo twice in a week for better results.
  • If you also have Vata dosha related issues, add 2 tsp of fenugreek seeds to the ingredients and use it.

2. Reetha (Soapnut)

reetha or soap nut

Effect On Tridoshas:

It balances all the three doshas. Reetha is best in relieving you from the conditions of dandruff and itchy scalp. It repairs the damaged cuticles and soothes your inflamed scalp with boils.

You can achieve thick, smooth, and bouncy hair while it treats your dry, frizzy hair and split ends. It is also one of the very good options to get rid of bacterial and fungal scalp infections.

How To Use

  • Soak 7-8 soap nuts in water overnight.
  • The next day, boil the soap nuts in the same water.
  • Strain the mixture after cooling down and you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil into it.
  • Wet your hair and apply the shampoo to your scalp and hair.
  • Slowly, exfoliate your scalp using your fingers for a few minutes.
  • Give a light massage to your hair strands by gently spreading the solution all over. Wait for 2-3 minutes and wash it off with normal water.
  • It can be used by all hair types at least twice a week.
  • Ensure you use this shampoo when it is freshly made.

3. Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances all the three doshas, especially Pitta. Amalaki is well known for controlling hair fall as it stimulates hair growth by producing collagen.

Collagen strengthens hair roots by replacing dead cells with new cells. Also, amalaki [4] moisturizes cuticles naturally and repairs split ends. It is best used to treat dry dandruff.

How To Use

  • Mix 2 tsp of amla powder and 2 tsp of shikakai powder.
  • Add water to form a smooth and consistent paste. Your amla shampoo is ready.
  • Apply the paste from the roots of your scalp to your hair tips.
  • Leave it for about 40 minutes and wash it off with water by giving a gentle massage to your scalp.
  • This hair cleanser is beneficial for any hair type and you can use it once in a week.

4. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Kapha and Vata. Brahmi is one of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs, which is well known for treating stress-related hair loss.

It accelerates hair growth by nourishing the roots well. Brahmi keeps your scalp cool and resolves the conditions like itchiness, dry scalp and dandruff. Also, it adds shine to your hair and boosts its volume.

How To Use

  • Mix brahmi powder, amla powder, and shikakai powder in equal parts.
  • Add water to make a paste with a liquid consistency.
  • Apply the paste on wet hair and leave it for a few minutes.
  • Wash it off with water by gently massaging your scalp.
  • While brahmi alone works best for Kapha and Vata hair types, the added shikakai and amla makes it ideal for any hair type.
  • For best results, cleanse your hair with brahmi shampoo once in a week.

5. Methika (Fenugreek)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Vata and Kapha. Methika or methi contains natural saponins and mucilaginous elements that aid you in controlling scalp dryness by balancing its pH levels.

It is very helpful in enhancing hair growth, natural hair-smoothening, and preserving your natural hair color. It provides great and fast relief from the conditions of dry dandruff, hair thinning while maintaining the adequate moisture levels on your scalp and hair. Your hair gets back its natural shine with methi.

How To Use

  • Soak 8-10 grams of fenugreek seeds in water overnight.
  • Grind the seeds into a fine paste the following morning.
  • Apply the paste thoroughly to your scalp and hair.
  • Leave it for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with normal water.
  • If you have dry and rough hair with split ends, using this fenugreek shampoo religiously thrice a week is highly recommended.

6. Nimbuka (Lemon)

lemon slices

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Vata and Kapha while it increases Pitta. Lemon acts as a natural antioxidant with rich vitamin C for your scalp and hair cells. While it is very efficient in unclogging your follicles and clearing off dandruff, it also boosts your hair growth with adequate collagen production.

How To Use

  • Squeez 1 full lemon into 2 small cups of water.
  • Give it a good stir and pour the solution slowly on your head.
  • Ensure it covers your full scalp and hair while you can spread it thoroughly by giving gentle massage with your fingers.
  • Leave it for 2-3 minutes to get absorbed well into your scalp and hair tissues.
  • Rinse off with cold water so that your cuticles get sealed.
  • You can rinse your hair with the lemon solution once in a week, which gives you a super rejuvenation feel.
  • While it can be used well by people with Vata and Kapha hair types, people with Pitta hair type should avoid this shampoo as it may lead to greying in their hair.

7. Nimba (Neem)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Pitta and Kapha while it increases Vata. Nimba contains stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid which leaves your scalp and hair well-nourished and conditioned. It is best known as a hair growth stimulator while it also helps you prevent scalp irritation, itchy dandruff, and scalp inflammation with its anti-fungal [5] and anti-inflammatory properties.

It also gives your hair a smooth and silky texture. Although it slightly increases Vata, it helps in treating split ends and frizzy hair due to its deep conditioning properties.

How To Use

  • Grind a few neem leaves with a splash of water until it forms into a fine and smooth paste.
  • Apply the paste to your scalp and hair from its roots to tips.
  • Exfoliate your scalp and hair for a few minutes and leave it for about 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off your scalp and hair thoroughly using cold water.
  • Neem paste can be used as a hair cleanser by people with any hair type once in a week.

8. Japa (Hibiscus)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Kapha and Pitta. Japa is one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs to treat premature greying and impart soft texture to your hair strands.

Japa [6] contains phytosterols and triterpenoids, which promotes longer and thicker hair growth by treating alopecia. It also promotes collagen synthesis and nourishes your hair roots thoroughly with essential nutrients. Japa repairs your damaged hair while it adds volume, shine and bounce to it.

How To Use

  • Put around 15 hibiscus leaves and 5 hibiscus flowers into a cup of water and boil them for 5 -10 minutes.
  • Add 1 tsp of gram flour into it after cooling down.
  • Blend this mixture thoroughly until you get a fine paste.
  • Apply this hibiscus paste to your scalp and hair.
  • Exfoliate your scalp and hair by giving gentle massage and leave it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Wash your scalp and hair thoroughly using normal water.
  • Ensure you use the hibiscus shampoo within 5 hours after it is made.
  • This shampoo is very beneficial for people having Kapha and Pitta hair problems, while it can also be used by people with Vata hair type.
  • For best results, use hibiscus shampoo thrice a week.

9. Kumari (Aloe Vera)

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances all the three doshas. Kumari boosts your hair growth tremendously and repairs your damaged hair with deep nourishment and conditioning.

Also, it provides deep cleansing to oily hair besides calming your scalp inflammation. Kumari also keeps the scalp infections away with its antimicrobial properties.

How To Use

  • Take out fresh aloe vera gel directly from the plant in a bowl.
  • Add 2 tsp of coconut milk and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar to it.
  • Blend the mixture well to form a consistent solution.
  • Use this solution as a hair rinse by pouring it directly over your scalp and hair.
  • Let the solution spread across thoroughly and leave it for about 1-2 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
  • It is best to use if you have dry and brittle hair as coconut milk nourishes and moisturizes your hair strands while apple cider vinegar provides a smooth and soft texture to your hair.
  • You can use aloe vera gel alone as a shampoo for any type of hair.

10. Bhringraj (Eclipta Alba)

organic maha bhringraj

Effect On Tridoshas:

Balances Vata and Kapha doshas. Also, it is very helpful in calming down agitated Pitta.

Well known as ‘Keshraja’, bhringraj is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for hair for its exceptionally nourishing and conditioning properties. It rejuvenates your dry and dull hair and aids in controlling baldness (alopecia areata) and premature greying.

How To Use

  • Just prepare a fine paste by mixing bhringraj powder with water. Your shampoo is ready.
  • Apply bhringraj paste thoroughly on your wet scalp and hair.
  • Massage your scalp gently using your fingers.
  • Keep it for about 30 minutes and wash it off with water.
  • This shampoo is best for people with any hair type.

Advantages Of Using A Herbal Shampoo

  • The herbal shampoos have the same efficacy of cleansing as chemical shampoos, while the natural herbs are risk-free of side effects caused by sulfates and parabens.
  • Most of the herbal shampoos come with natural conditioning and hair smoothening properties. You can consider skipping the usage of chemical conditioners post shampooing while using herbal shampoos.
  • Ayurvedic herbal shampoos maintain the balance of pH levels of your scalp and hair naturally while keeping the adequate levels of your scalp oils intact.
  • Apart from cleansing, herbal shampoos contribute to your healthy hair growth by providing natural nourishment with essential vitamins and minerals in herbs.
  • Herbal shampoos do not strip off your chemical hair dyes as chemical shampoos do. Rather, they help in the enhancement of the natural color and shine of your hair.
  • Herbal shampoos are environment friendly as the ingredients used are biodegradable.

Important Note:

Before the administration of herbal recipes mentioned in this article, please consult your Ayurvedic doctor to check if the ingredients are suitable for you based on your health history.

The Last Word

Now that you know some amazing and highly potential Indian recipes of DIY herbal shampoos, switch to these natural, eco friendly and cruelty free ingredients. You can also try ready-made herbal shampoos available in the market. Watch out carefully and choose the shampoos which are free of silicones, parabens, and sulfates.

At Vedix, we customize a holistic hair care regimen for you with highly balanced formulations that include Ayurvedic herbal shampoo, oil, and serum based on your dosha levels.

Know Your Dosha Now

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