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.