Washing hair with Ayurvedic herbs - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 12-11-2004, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I finally got to try this myself! I ordered a bunch of goodies from From Nature, With Love: powdered amla, shikakai, and bringhraj.

As per their instructions, and the recipes of herb-washers on the long hair board I visit, I mixed 1 tb. of each Ayurvedic herb, with 1 tb. powdered marshmallow root from my health food store (FNWL carries it, but it was cheaper locally) and 1c hot water (I used an infusion of sandalwood, for fragrance, although frankly the sandalwood didn't stand a chance against the smell of the herbs. It's not a foul smell, but it's very strong and ... different). I let it stand an hour. It was about as runny as commercial comditioner, not as gritty as I expected (the herbs are ground very fine).

I wet my hair down, squeezed the extra water out, and glopped in the herbal paste from scalp to ends, bent over the bathtub. Coiled it all into a big messy bun, wrapped a long flannel strip around my hairline to contain drippies, and put a plastic bag over it all. Went off to make lunch for ds and do my thing for an hour.

I rinsed it off upside down over the tub again; a few gritties were stubborn, but thorough scalp massage helped a lot. I did use some diluted cheapie conditioner to help kinda slick it out, but I'm not convinced it was necessary.

Unfortunately, I don't think I rinsed well enough. It takes a lot of rinsing and rinsing, and the kids were running around loose . My hair was very soft, but it was kind of lank like it still had some conditioner on it. It might have been the marshmallow root; I've had run-ins with marshmallow-root mucilage on my hair before, and it does tend to coat. Next time I'll leave that out.

Anyway, it was interesting, and I'm going to keep tweaking at least until what I bought runs out.
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#2 of 14 Old 01-14-2005, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#3 of 14 Old 01-15-2005, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since I made the first post in my thread I've kept experimenting with the Ayurvedic herbs and I'm very happy with them. The most economic & easiest way, I think, is to use only a teaspoon of each herb in a full cup of water, making a liquidy, runny solution. It's much easier to work into my hair, although harder to keep from dripping while it sits (that long flannel rag is my best friend).

Today I used 1 tsp each amla, shikakai, bringhraj, marshmallow, cassia obovata & nettle, 1/2 tsp lotus powder from Everyday Mehndi (I'm rationing that stuff, it's not cheap) and about a tsp honey.

I steeped these in 1c hot, not boiling, water for an hour, then wet my hair, applied the mix & left it on as above. I forgot to say that last night I oiled my hair generously from the chin down with a mix of virgin coconut oil, grapeseed oil & shea butter. I think without that heavy oiling I'd have to be a lot more careful not to overdry the ends of my hair when washing this way!

I rinsed a good long while, then used a short Tb. red vinegar in a pint of water, rinsed that off, & rinsed some more. I'm very happy with the results; the herbs always seem to leave my hair glossy, strong and healthy-feeling. (Adding the lotus powder and/or the cassia makes a big difference.)

I'm working my way through my stock of herbs very slowly, if I stick with the runny formula then I can see that it would last quite some time.

Next I'd like to try mixing nonfat yogurt into the herbal paste. This worked well when I used henna -- I expect the protein's good for my hair. I tried it once before with the ayurvedic herbs and my hair seemed to be limp & overconditioned, but there were a number of new ingredients in that batch so I can't blame the yogurt. I also might not have rinsed enough again. I'd be worried about how much water it takes to do all this rinsing, exept that I only wash my hair once a week now, so I probably still use less water than I used to.
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#4 of 14 Old 04-16-2005, 12:54 PM
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Hi Kristin,

I've just discovered henna and amla and was wondering whether you've continued experimenting with these Indian herbs. I'd love to find a replacement for my baking soda and lemon juice regimin, which I think is too time-consuming, expensive, and drying to my hair.

I wonder whether you could wash with soapnut and shikakai, and then condition with amla and cassia tea or oil infusion. I think I will order some of these herbs, but I'd like to know if you have any more thoughts about it.

My hair's pretty short, and I have to wash it more often. I'll bet your long hair's just gorgeous with all that conditioning!

backatcha,
Kam, mamamama! to Meg
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#5 of 14 Old 05-27-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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I am looking to do this myself now. Since you are the one to point me in the direction of the from nature with love, I was wondering if you wanted to give me your code so you could get credit? Also how has it been going? I know a lot of the herbs say that they help your hair grow, notcie anything? How much did you get at first and how has it lasted you?
Thanks!!!
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#6 of 14 Old 05-27-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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I love hair washing herbs. I used just shikakai for a while and liked it as it really calmed down my itchy scalp and I had a lot of hair regrowth but I switched to aritha as the shikakai altered the color of my henna red hair to a muddy color. I like to try my herbs one at a time so I can get a better idea of their individual effects. I talk more about this in my hair journal. Here it is. http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/...ad.php?t=23194
HTH
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#7 of 14 Old 05-30-2005, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey guys!

I haven't done any herbal washes for a long time, mostly because they're so time-intensive. Dd is a lot more active now so it's really difficult for me to have anything drippy on my hair for a whole hour and it takes a lot of rinsing -- I have to rinse a full 5 minutes for the conditioner-only washes I do, but the herbal washes take even more rinsing!

It's a shame though since I do get really nice results with them. About a week ago my scalp was kind of itchy and I steeped some amla and shikakai overnight in boiling water, strained it and used it as a rinse for my scalp & hair after I washed. It cleared the itch right up.

Maybe I'll set aside some time to relax and do another herbal wash soon.
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#8 of 14 Old 05-30-2005, 10:14 AM
 
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Girlndocs,
I keep my routine really simple and it still works. I mix two teaspoons of aritha with four ounces of water in a hair coloring bottle with a long pointed tip. Get in the shower and apply to my roots, leave on for about five minutes when I shower, then rinse out. I mix it up right before I use it. When I used shikakai and amla, I did the exact same thing. I had to quit using those two as they really dulled my henna red hair. I especially love the shikakai as it totally cleared up my itchy scalp.
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#9 of 14 Old 05-31-2005, 12:09 AM
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Was the amla dulling, too, prairiechild? I have been hoping that its high acidity would make my (also henna'ed red) hair more shiny between henna treatments.

I finally ordered amla and soapwort from FNWL yesterday. I'll report back once I've tried it. I decided against trying shikakai because so many say it made their hair muddy brown.

Thanks for the information. I'm reading with great interest.

warmly,
Kam, mamamama! to Meg
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#10 of 14 Old 05-31-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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Yes, the amla really made my hair browner. If you want shine you might try brocolli seed oil. I read about it on the long hair community forum. Supposedly acts like a silicone serum, just a drop or two really makes hair shine. I want to get some, it is at www.gardenofwisdom.com
HTH
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#11 of 14 Old 06-08-2005, 03:21 PM
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Well, I'm here to report that amla is officially the best thing there is with which to wash my face. Man, that brown gunk is miraculous! It shrinks pores, cleans but doesn't strip, and makes my skin glow. I've been toning with neroli hydrosol from From Nature with Love, and rubbing two drops of almond oil between my hands and patting that on my face afterward. Works great in the humidiy and heat. Yeay!

As for my hair, I tried the soapwort tea, but it made it frizzy and tangly, much more so than baking soda does, even with a citric rinse. Darn.

I looked for the broccoli seed oil, sort of halfheartedly as I was in a rush, but didn't see it there. Will you try it, PC?

I have been using citric acid powder (1/4 -1/2 tsp in 1.5 c or so of water) for a rinse, and that works pretty well. I don't have quite the shine as with fresh lemon juice, but I do have more curls, and it's much less expensive and easier to prepare. I think this is a routine I can live with forever. My big thing is not to consume plastic that can't be recycled, and also to keep things simple and easy. So one more product down, several more to go.

This is so fun. Now I have to learn how to use the dried nettles I bought, and to get my henna gloss and roots touch-up down. That's the tricky stuff.

warmly,
Kam, mamamama! to Meg
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#12 of 14 Old 06-08-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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Interesting thread! I've never heard of this before, I'm excited to get experementing
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#13 of 14 Old 06-08-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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Kam,
I'm loving the amla too. I've been using it to clean my face for the last several weeks and it has definitely improved my skin. My skin care routine is quite similar to yours. I wash with either amla powder or virgin coconut oil. I make a l-ascorbic (vitamin C) and hyaluronic acid serum and apply that after cleansing. Then I mix a drop of camellia oil with some green tea that I store in a spray bottle in the fridge. I pat that on my face and I'm done. The green tea and camellia oil both have UV protective properties. The vitamin C helps prevent and repair sun damage.

I'm eventually going to try the broccoli seed oil but for now I'm liking the camellia oil on my hair. FWIW, I use the Silkia camellia oil and bought it on Ebay.

I'm curious which other products you want to replace with natural stuff. Maybe I can give you some ideas, I'm trying to do the same thing.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-11-2005, 12:35 AM
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Hi everyone,
Your serum sounds so scientific, PC! I must confess, after reading about sunscreens on the Terressentials site, I am more inclined to just cover up and try to stay out of mid-day sun. But there are days when swinging just HAS to happen RIGHT NOW!
I have been washing with amla paste every night, and sometimes very lightly with only a tiny dusting in the morning. I realized that if I scrub even a little, my skin peels off, which might be nice once in a great while, but probably shouldn't happen every day. So I'm trying to go easy, even though my skin feels so soft and bright afterward.
Still experimenting with the citric acid. It definitely doesn't shine up my hair like the lemon juice did. Wonder if it's the amount I'm using, or just the nature of the stuff. Anybody else use it for a rinse?
And as for products I'm wanting to replace... First is contact solution. I'm probably out of luck there. I try to wear my glasses as I can, but they're sweaty and not cuddle-friendly, and I am vain and hate them, even the trendy ones I have now.
Next is the wonderful Alba cream I use to shave with. I'm sure oil would work just fine. Anyway, gotta look for a replacement for that one.
Then, hmmm. No more shampoo, conditioner, hair products, lotions, eye creams, cleansers, most of the makeup I use comes in boxes or tins now, use the Diva Cup. What else is there? Looking at that list of things I've gotten rid of in the last year, I feel pretty proud of myself. We should start a thread: The plastic I've saved from the landfill this year. : Brings a tear to my eye.
Well, I'm procrastinating badly on a paper, so best get to work. Hope all's well with you herbal types.
warmly,
Kam, mamamama! to Meg
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