Grandma's hair wash recipe

This is the best shampoo , and contains the typical reetha, shikekai and amla in it. It makes my hair super soft, and keeps the dandruff away. What I love about this is that because it contains no SLES, I can leave this on my scalp for some time and wash it off. Knowing my scalp is clean and there are no side effect like excess drying.

Here I am using the actual ingredients in their dried form, and not their powdered form.

You will need
Reetha - 1 handful
Shikekai - 1/2 handful
Amla - 1 handful
Water - 2 cups (boiled and cooled)

In water that has been boiled and cooled (this was the old generation's way of using distilled water) add all the ingredients and boil the mix. When the mixture comes to a boil, keep it on simmer and let it boil for 10 more minutes. Remove it from heat. Strain the mixture and mash the ingredients as they will have softened by boiling. You do not have to make a pulp, but mash it just so it will release some more of the herbal goodness into the solution. Now take some of the same water, and reboil it with the mashed soapnuts and amla. Boil for 5 mins. Cool, strain and store in a bottle. This keeps for 10 - 15 days if you store it in the fridge. In those days this was made fresh everytime someone wanted to wash their hair.

Before use, just take some of this solution in a bowl, apply it into your roots. (Works on dry hair too) and do apply some to your hair ends as well. Leave this on for 10- 15 mins and wash it off.

Works wonders and the amla does condition your hair so well that you may skip conditioner too.


  1. wow! great tip! but did not understand the reboiling part. do i hav to add more amla and reetha in it and then reboil it? reetha is soapnut in english i think na?

  2. ya even i was a little confused about the boiling part.... btw do you think it will remove oil from hair ? because i tend to heavili oil my head before every shampoo.

  3. @shreya and kuheli - the reboiling part does two things, one it minimises chances of the solution spoiling soon, the more you boil, the lesser chances of fungal growth in the water and two it helps to draw out all the goodness of the dried ingredients. When you boil the first time and cool you will notice that all the ingredients will soften.they will turn to pulp when you mash them with a spoon. even shikekai and reetha do. The idea is to mash the herbs and boil it again so the pulp also becomes part of the mix. you will notice a change in thickness when you are done boiling. I would reccomend that you strain it with a slightly large holed sieve to allow some of that pulp in your shampoo.

    @shreya- sadly if you are oiling your hair heavily then this mix is not going to solve your problem. you can add some henna and multani mitti to this solution and use as a scalp cleansing pack. the clay and henna mix does remove oil, but i would not advise it on super oiled up hair.

    @kuheli - yes reetha is soapnut indeed. and you will be surprised at how soapy it really is. it actually gets super bubbly when you shake this mix in a bottle.

  4. good tip ! One can soak the reetha and shikakai overnight to soften them and boil it the next morning. those days ??? we still do it at home.though not frequently..

  5. @abc - the ideal thing would be to soak these herbs in super hot water, cover and leave, boil the next morning. i still do this too, but the only problem is there are days when i reach out for the shampoo bottle just coz i am feeling lazy, or it will take time that i just cant spare.


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