100% natural hair care with 5 ingredients
Updated: May 5
ALL NATURAL HAIR CARE : Water, Rice, Reetha, Flax + Oil
If you want to know why you should get chemicals off of your head and home, start here.
If you’re already on board, you must be wanting to know how to shampoo, condition and moisturize your hair with 5 real actual natural ingredients you can make with ease.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
We at The Odd Gumnut are in the beginning of a full switch over to all natural products for body, hair, dishes, clothes, cars, dogs, teeth, you name it. I mean actually natural - not in the bastardized sense it has come to mean today.
Besides all the logical wellness reasons, we are committed to being chemical free because we want to use all of our greywater. We aren’t hooked up to any town water; we're off the grid in that sense. After the monsoon rainwater collection runs out, we have to buy all of our water from the village water tanker. Every drop here counts. No one can afford to irrigate a farm on tanker water, so we want to use every damn drop of water from our house and send it to the farm. I’m confident the homestead goes through enough water each day to drip-irrigate every thing growing.
Now I’m hell-bent on turning all our household products into 100% natural, biodegradable, not-harmful & kick ass. So, lucky readers, natural cleaning will be a theme and these solutions will only continue to get better and more refined.
But I’m a ‘jump-right-in’ kind of person, so here is what I am doing right now. And IT'S WORKING.
‘soap nut’ en.
A lovely smelling tree “nutberry" found all over India.* Deep red in color and earthy-sweet smell, it contains natural saponins - the characteristic foaming agent in soaps - and those suds allow things to get clean. You can wash your hair simply with boiled reetha water. It even suds. (note: there are countless optional additions, ie. shikakai, amla, fenugreek, licorice, etc which can be found on this awesome website, along with all the benefits of using reetha for hair.) As of now, I am just shampooing with Reetha water.
Best part about reetha is that it's as diverse as castille soap, and can be used as a base for all around cleaning of body, clothing, floors etc.
Simply boil Reetha in water. 15 reetha / soapnuts per 1 litre water. Start with 2 litres and 30 reetha.
Boil until it reduces by have. Cool. Squeeze out reetha seed with your fingers, discard, and smush around the pulp a little bit. You will get to see the soapiness when you do this step. Strain and use.
This is your SHAMPOO baby! Get rockin’
Massage into wet hair, expect some lather but nothing like chemical shampoos. Then rinse.
*Don’t live in the tropics? Not finding access to Soapnut? I can almost guarantee you the worldwidemegablob of Amazon would have it in powdered form. Both are great. Powdered you simply mix with a little warm water and use the same way. Search ’soapnuts’, ’soapnut powder’ or ‘reetha powder'
Yup, just rice water, with all that starchy + mineral goodness. Ancient Chinese hair care. We cook rice pretty much every day. ..Hmm delicious native Marathi varieties.. I’m a very bad rice cooker so I like the fail proof boil-like-pasta method which means you strain the rice when its ready and have all this starchy water leftover. Save that water, people! And take it up to your bathroom!
After you shampoo and rinse your hair, cover it root to tip with this thick rice water. Leave for 15-20 minutes - go do something else naked in your bathroom, maybe brush with natural toothpaste or shave or call your mates. Then rinse and towel dry.
Leave-In Conditioner :
Flax / Lin / Linseed / Alsi
Do you know why vegans use this as an egg substitute in cakes? You dang sure will once you make this. It becomes an egg-white-textured gel, just from 1 boil.
1 C. Water : 1/4 C flax seed : 1 tsp oil.
Process: Give it one good boil. Strain immediately and let cool. Stir in olive oil / jojoba oil / coconut oil (use the one your hair likes). Best to make this quick concoction in small batches as it has a shelf life - 1 week in room or up to 1 month in fridge. Save the flax seed in your freezer to use up to 5 times.
After shampooing, conditioning and towel drying, apply this gel like any leave-in conditioner.
People, friends, you're done! Happy, healthy, shiny, all natural, super cheap, DIY hair care, Simple as that. Thanks for reading and thanks for making one more small step towards bettering the future of humanity. Don't forget that every small of making your own natural products is a radical and rebellious act that helps unshackle us from corporate-mainstream-wasteful-harmful-consumerism. It matters! Don't ever forget that every little act matters.