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Wash Your Hair with Botanicals


The lather that forms from commercial soaps, shampoos, and bubble baths is from an ingredient known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS, a common surfactant that traps oily residue and creates foam and is also used as a detergent to clean floors!

Many surfactants including SLS have been proven to irritate the skin, destroy hair follicles, impair hair growth,compromise the immune system by entering the blood stream, and may even increase the risk of cancer. Furthermore, many shampoos often contain ingredients including Coal Tar and Formaldehyde; both Coal Tar and Formaldehyde are recognized carcinogens as per the World Health Organization.

You may have noticed that your Forest Essentials Hair Cleansers do not lather as much as some of the readily available commercial shampoos in the market. This is because, the pure, natural ingredients used in these Ayurvedic shampoos, include Reetha or soap nut which has been used traditionally for cleansing hair, keeping it soft & shiny. It does not create the kind of lather or the harmful side effects that synthetically formulated cleansers are otherwise be prepared with.

Knowing which ingredients to avoid putting on your skin, let us turn to those that you should look for on the back labels of your Haircare.

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What Ingredients Should My Shampoo Contain?

1. Shikakai

A shrub that grows in the hot & humid parts of India and other parts of Southeast Asia, Shikakai’s fruit pod, bark and leaves are collected, dried, and ground to make Shikakai powder, which is renowned for its benefits to the hair.

Benefits of Shikakai for Hair:

  • Controls Dandruff: Shikakai is a natural astringent that protects the scalp from dandruff & soothes the scalp to prevent flaking.
  • Cools the Scalp & the Mind: Shikakai is cooling in nature, and is known to pacify the Pitta dosha. It is also known for inducing sweet sleep.
  • Nourishes Hair from the Roots: Shikakai contains vitamins C & D as well as other essential phytonutrients that nourish the hair follicles and promote hair growth.

2. Soap Nut

Known as Reetha in India, Soap Nut is a round nut like fruit that contains a natural surfactant called saponin. For thousands of years, Ayurveda has described the use of Reetha for washing hair, body as well as utensils – it is nature’s own detergent, and hence a natural soap substitute.

Benefits of Reetha for Cleansing:

  • A Natural Anti-Bacterial: Several studies have revealed that Soap Nut is highly effective not only for its emulsifying properties but also for its anti-microbial effect.
  • A Natural Hair Conditioner: Soap Nut is great for softening and detangling the hair.

3. Amalaki

Also known as Indian Gooseberry, Amalaki is classified as the most prestigious hair health promoting ingredients, known as Keshya in Sanskrit. Traditionally, fresh Amalaki would be collected and then shade dried. It would then be boiled in cold pressed Coconut Oil until the solid matter became charred. The oil was then filtered and used to condition the scalp before and after cleansing the hair. Alternatively, dried Amalaki leaves were soaked overnight in water, this would be used the next day to rinse hair with as a natural hair cleanser.

Hibiscus Flowers & Leaves

Hibiscus is another miracle ingredient recognized by Ayurveda, to nourish hair as well as prevent hair loss. The plant, when used as a Hair Cleanser and Conditioner, is known to add a beautiful luster to hair, prevent split ends, and balance pH of the scalp.

March 5, 2019 505 Views No comments