Well it seems like years since I last wrote a post here. And guess what brings me back? Hair! Obviously! Always banging on about the hair! It could get boring, yet somehow there are always questions and answers arising through this hair journey.
I really thought that was it, water-only for the rest of my life. Maybe it would be possible for me as it has been, apparently for many other women (and men - but that's easier...) and yet I just can't do it. I went water-only for a good few months and eventually my hair needed a good wash. So I wondered what I could use. I didn't want to get into a bicarb routine again (baking soda - for Americans) so I remembered the delightfully light and natural Shikakai powder I used a while back. It's great for washing hair, it's completely natural and easy to use (it's a dried fruit from India - crushed into powder - buy it, mix it with water and massage into hair and scalp - rinse - done). What's especially great is that when your hair is already really natural then this will give it the most beautiful look. It makes my hair clean, soft and smells fresh. It looks as though I've done what every person does: shampoo and conditioner.
Only completely natural. But if your hair isn't fully natural yet then this might not work so well. I used it when I was still using the baking soda once and it didn't do much. The baking soda is still a strong alternative and it's too strong for the Shikakai to work with. But if you're water-only or maybe you use clays or something else that is lighter and more natural than baking soda then you can use/transition into shikakai very easily. Shikakai apparently means "hair fruit" and is widely used to wash hair in India. It has a very light, yet effective, natural saponification.
|THIS IS THE FRESH SHIKAKAI POD|
|THESE ARE THE DRIED PODS - AND THE CRUSHED POWDER|
|THIS IS THE BOXED VERSION I BUY IN ASDA UK|
So what I do now is go water only for about 3 or 4 weeks. I go as long as I can, and if I see my hair needs a little something more then I'll use shikakai powder.
How do I use it?
1 -Buy your box/bag of shikakai powder online or in stores (I get it in Asda, cheap and easy to find in the hair and beauty section where they have the Indian, African and other natural products. It's just over £1 for a box that'll last at least 10 washes - so a year for most of us LOL!)
-Open up your box, cut open the bag, get a jug and put 2 tablespoons of powder then add 1 cup of water.
2 -Get in the shower as you usually do.
-Wet your hair and massage your scalp under the running water as if you were washing your hair. Then turn the water off !
3 -Start pouring a little bit of shikakai liquid over the areas where the most grease accumulates (for me it's the crown of the head and the front roots above my forehead). Put the jug down, massage the areas well. Pick up the jug and carry one pouring over a little area at a time, put the jug down and massage. Do this again until you have no more liquid. If there is still some powder at the bottom of your jug, add some water to it and carry on.
-Massage your whole head and really wash it all over, it will start to feel clean under the gritty powder. Now scrub down the ends of your hair. Leave in for 1 minute or 2.
4 -Then rinse your head very well until all the powder is gone.
-Now you must rinse or wash your shower. This has made your bath or shower very brown, but no panic, it washes away completely with water. It does not stain at all! Just grab your shower head and rinse down the walls and curtain of your shower, you'll see it goes away easily.
AND NOW YOU HAVE A SUPER CLEAN SHOWER AND AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL NATURAL HAIR.
So here you have my alternative to being completely water-only, still with the satisfaction of your hair not being addicted to any chemicals (even baking soda). You can still be water-only and use Shikakai in extreme situations without having to go through any detox period after it. It's lovely, really, you should try it!
Another awesome thing - no denying - is that I get to pamper myself a bit, I was a bit bored with water-only. I wish it wasn't so but I guess I'm still a little materialistic...
Take good care of yourself and your lovely Earth xxx