Finally, I’m going to share with you a brilliant new way to wash your hair without commercial products, shampoos, chemicals and all the other “poo” products. The first blogpost I ever wrote was about the no-poo method using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I’ve since been experimenting with lots of different methods, just to help those who aren’t huge fans of baking soda. And variety is good in life, isn’t it? So here you go, welcome the mighty soapnuts into your bathroom! Your hair (and your wallet) will thank you.
This topic has been highly requested since I posted my Ayurvedic Health and Beauty Haul. I promised to a couple of you that a video about soapnuts was going to be up last week, and indeed it was! You can watch it here:
But if you prefer written information, just keep reading!
How I came across using soapnuts for hair
I’ve been loving soapnuts for a while, but for different reasons. I use them as my laundry detergent, and they’re perfect for that! I’ve also heard that they’re great for washing up dishes. I think I might write a blogpost about all of the great things soapnuts can do.
But I never even considered using soapnuts for my hair until, one day, while googling natural hair washing methods, I came across this method! As I had a large bag of soapnuts hanging over my washing machine in the bathroom already, I simply had to give it a try.
I was even more convinced when I found out that soapnuts are often used in different ayurvedic treatments and they are added to most Indian herbal shampoos.
By the way, in Hindu soapnuts are called aritha or reetha. They can be whole or in powder form, but for this method you’ll need them whole.
Benefits of using soapnuts for washing your hair
- Your hair is going to become shinier and softer if you wash with soapnuts regularly.
- Soapnuts are also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, so they’re great if you have dandruff or any kind of scalp issues.
- They prevent hair loss.
- They also promote the growth of new hair
- They will save you lots of money: a kilo of soapnuts costs around 15-20 dollars and they will last you forever. For example, a bag like that lasts me for 2-3 years just for doing laundry. Not bad!
- The coolest thing is that they are completely natural and they are gentle enough to be used every day, unlike baking soda. Which means that you don’t have to go through a transition period and get your hair used to being washed every 5 or 7 days. You can use this every single day and your hair won’t get dry.
What you’ll need and how to make your DIY soapnut shampoo
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 15 soapnuts;
- 6 cups of water;
- A pot large enough to accomodate the soapnuts and the wate;
- A potato masher.
- Just put the soapnuts in a pot and add 6 cups of water.
- Bring it to a boil and then boil for around 10-15 minutes. The more you boil it, the more concentrated it’s going to be. I usually opt for around 10 minutes.
- Then switch off the fire and just leave the soapnuts soaking overnight.
- In the morning, take a potato masher and crush them a little – this will help you get all the saponins out of the nuts.
- Drain the liquid, transfer it to a bottle or wherever you’re planning to store it. Voila! Your shampoo is ready.
This kind of quantity will probably last for around 4 washes – at least for me it does. I usually reuse the same soapnuts a couple of times to save even more money. They will still work just as well. You can tell that it’s time to chuck them away when they stop producing foam and the size of the shells gets visibly reduced.
If you take the bottle with your soapnut shampoo and shake it, you’ll that it makes a lot of foam, just like a normal shampoo – that’s exactly what’s going to clean your hair.
Oil your hair before washing it with soapnuts
One more important thing to remember is that soapnuts alone can be quite drying for the hair (just like you wouldn’t use shampoo alone without a conditioner), so it’s important to use oil as a mask the night before before washing or, if you don’t like leaving oil in your hair overnight, you can apply some oil in the morning, at least 30 minutes before washing. It will work as a conditioner and will make your hair really soft.
You can use any oil that you like using for your hair. Popular choices are argan oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and sesame oil.I personally really like using sweet almond oil because it’s quite a light oil and it’s very easy to wash off. It makes my hair really soft as well.
Vinegar rinse after washing your hair with soapnuts
It’s optional, you really don’t have to do it but if you want, you can! I use a vinegar rinse after washing my hair with soapnuts. It’s totally not necessary because soapnuts are already naturally acidic, just like the hair, so you don’t have to bring it back to balance with the vinegar rinse like you would have to if you were using baking soda. I still like doing it because it makes my hair softer. Try it both ways (with and without vinegar rinse) and see which one you prefer more.
For the vinegar rinse, just mix 3 T of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar with around 2 – 2.5 cups of water, you can also add 3-4 drops of lavender oil (or any other essential oil you like). Pour it all over your roots and hair massaging gently. Then leave for 3-5 minutes and rinse. I also like combing my hair through with a wide-tooth comb while I’m waiting. The vinegar rinse makes it super easy to comb out any knots.
Don’t let the soapnuts get into your eyes
You know what happens when shampoo gets into your eyes? Yes, that’s right – it burns! 🙂 Well, soapnuts are the same but the burning is even more extreme. So be careful!
That’s why I always wash my hair bending over my bathtub rather than standing straight. That gives me a better control of what gets onto my face and into my eyes. Of course, I don’t have to stand there freezing, totally naked, while I wash my hair either. Try it! Just watch the video of me doing it if my description confused you a little. 🙂
I hope you’ve found this interesting, and of course let me know if you give soapnuts a try! Share this blogpost around if you know anyone else who would benefit from the mighty soapnuts.
More natural hair washing methods are coming in the future, so stay tuned!
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