Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shampoo Blues

I feel the sharpest pangs of homesickness whenever I am buying a bottle of shampoo. This is what coming to America has reduced me to - using shampoo for my hair regularly. Back at home it was always soapnut for the rinse and the pulp of fresh hibiscus leaves for conditioning. That was the perfect combination for my hair.

The only time the regimen changed was while traveling - I would have to make do with Sunsilk. How I miss the abundance of soapnut shells stored in a large red container in the pantry and the verdant hibiscus trees in the garden. What used to be a very inexpensive hair-care routine in India costs too much here for one thing, besides what it takes is not readily available in my neck of the woods.

Having used shampoo only in emergency for most of my life, I tend it view it with a great deal of suspicion. The ingredients read like a list of reagents in a chemistry lab that you would handle with care and caution. Definitely not what you would want to bring in contact with your hair and scalp. But here I am doing just that every single day and wincing each time.

No Impact Man has a formula for soaps, shampoos and detergents that can be made at home from mostly natural stuff. Elsewhere there are other herbal shampoo recipes. The basis for most is castile soap and I have seen this sold at the local health food store. Maybe there is a cure for shampoo aisle triggered home-sickness after all.


ggop said...

Most commerical shampoos do tend to dry hair. Stick to the oil massage routine before shampoo.

Suchi said...

Off-topic comment:
The "Blogs by Women" link on your site is broken. It's got a yahoo login link prefixed to it.

Heartcrossings said...

Suchi - Thanks for the heads up ! Have fixed the link.

ggop - You are right. Besides commercial conditioners just don't work for me.

Anonymous said...


After oiling your hair wash it off with a not too thick paste of gram flour( bengal gram or whole moong).Quite effective. On your trip to India get a mix of soap nuts, amla, fenugreek, shikakai,dried hibiscus powdered in miller's shop and take it back. Will stay fresh for long in a dry moisture free atmosphere.