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DIY Herbal Shampoo

Hair care for healthier hair

01 Jun '24
4 min read


In 2018, I started going plastic free. I didn't want to buy any more plastic bottles. Some companies offer to refill bottles for you at your doorstep but I found the whole affair quite expensive. Plus I was sure I will break all the glass bottles. So I started making shampoo at home. 

I have been sharing the recipe for this concoction with a lot of friends. I finally decided to put it online so that it can reach more people. 

  • 100 gm Dry Amla (gooseberry)
  • 100 gm Dry Reetha (soapnut)
  • 50 gm Shikakai (Acacia concinna) (reduce if you have oily hair, increase if you have
    dry hair)
  • 2 tbsp of Methi dana (fenugreek seeds)

Amla will make your hair darker so if you have light streaks, they will go away soon. Shikakai is for oil. Methi dana will make your hair softer. Reetha is for cleansing. 


Mix together and soak overnight. About one litre of water will do when you first begin. Use a large vessel as everything will
increase in size when soaked for a few hours.

Heat the mixture on the following day. If you feel the need, you can add about half a litre of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about ten minutes after that. 

Let the mixture cool. You can now squeeze the ingredients so that the seeds are removed from the pulp and the mixture is thicker. Strain the mixture. Ideally, a muslin cloth should be used but if you want, you can use a strainer with large holes. 

Do not throw away anything. Put the strained out ingredients back in the vessel and add a litre of water and repeat the process two more times. In the end, you will get about two litres of shampoo. The consistency is almost like water. 

It will be consumed a little more than regular shampoo as it is thinner. Store in referigerator. If you are short of space in your fridge, you can make ice cubes out of the concoction and store in a large bag in the freezer.  

More tips:

You can blend the whole mixture instead of squeezing by hand. It will save you time and effort. The draw back is that it will be difficult to strain. The powder that is strained will stay in your hair even after two-three rinses. Some residue may remain in your hair anyway, but with time, you will be able to control the process better. 

You can use similar proportions of powder available in the market but I do not recommend it. The results are better if you do it with dry pods and also, the powder available in the market often has chemicals added to it. 

Other ingredients you can add are essential oils for fragrance, petals of marigold, rose, hibiscus for colour. You can also add used coffee powder (filter), tea leaves. If you want to add used tea leaves, I suggest you rinse them thoroughly to get rid of milk and sugar.  

You can also add beer but I haven't tried it myself. 

With regular usage, you will not need to oil your hair. Your hair will retain its natural oil. You will also not need to use a conditioner. But if you colour your hair, then you may need to oil them a little. In the end it is a lot of hit and trial. You will have to keep varying the quantities to see what suits you best. 

It does not lather as much as a regular shampoo so be patient with yourself while you get used to the new process.

Positives- less hair fall, hair grows faster, no plastic bottles bought.

Negatives- hair loses bounce. You may not be able to try different hair styles for parties.

Initially, your hair will feel funny. But you will see the results. Be patient. 

(Credits Photo by Adrian Fernández on Unsplash)

Category:Personal Experience


Written by Toolika Wadhwa

Teacher. Reader. Sustainability Enthusiast.