How to Make your Own Shampoo using 2 Radico Herbs
Written by Cathy Calzar, RPh
Most of us might be used to seeing a few hair strands fall off whenever we comb our hair but what I experienced last year was enough to worry my parents.
Around the months of July to August 2020, I started to experience extreme hair shedding or hair fall. I wasn't going bald, but my hair was falling off almost in handfuls. I think I've been under a lot of stress during last year's Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and that caused the extreme hair shedding episode I had.
"Change your shampoo already. Your hair is all over the house," my mother told me because she thought my hair fall was being caused by not being "hiyang" to the shampoo I was using. I was actually using an organic shampoo months before, but when it ran out during the lockdown, I only had access to (and budget for) regular shampoos from the grocery store near us. Maybe using a different shampoo was indeed a factor that contributed to my excessive hair fall in addition to stress.
So of course, I listened to my mom and decided to change my shampoo.
I thought if I was going to switch, I better get one that's gentler and contains less harsh ingredients. I decided to create a DIY herb shampoo using two of Radico's organic products: Ritha and Shikakai Herb Powders.
When I used this shampoo, I noticed that after a few days, I have less hair fall.
Around a week and a half later, my excessive hair fall was gone, and there's just a very few strands that were falling off. My hair was back to normal.
I was so happy with the results that I couldn't stop talking about it with my family and friends.
Now, I'd like to share it to you!
Here's my recipe for DIY Ritha and Shikakai Herbal Shampoo:
2 tbsp Ritha powder
2 tbsp Shikakai powder
3 cups water (It's best to use distilled or purified water)
Optional (you can add any of these herbs for additional benefits!):
1 tbsp Amla powder (for added antioxidants)
1 tbsp Neem powder (if you have dandruff and itchy scalp)
2 tbsp Methi/Fenugreek powder (for extra moisture and conditioning)
clean washcloth / towel / handkerchief (for filtering)
container (you can use a squeeze bottle or reuse a clean shampoo bottle)
There are 2 ways of making this herb shampoo. One is the simmering method, and the second is the tea method (this was the one I used for the photos here!).
The simmering method is the faster way of preparing the herbal shampoo but due to the high temperature, it might reduce the amount of antioxidants present in the mixture.
I'll be sharing a different set of instructions for each method. Note that since everyone's hair is different, you might need to adjust the amount of ingredients to use. Please read my notes after the instructions for more information.
1. Mix the herb powders in a pot.
2. Add the water, and mix until there are no lumps.
3. Bring the mixture to a simmer. You'll notice that the mixture will start to foam. Don't cover the pot. Keep an eye on the mixture, and don't let it boil over.
4. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and cool the mixture, until it is a bit warm.
6. Place the funnel on your container
7. Soak the cloth filter you'll be using in water, and wring it out first before placing it on the funnel. This way, it won't soak up much of your shampoo.
8. Pour the herbal shampoo mixture into the lined funnel and filter it.
9. Once you've filtered out the herbal shampoo, pour an additional amount of water into the pulp and let it filter again.
10. Once done filtering, close your container, and shake it up a bit to let the concentrated and diluted portions mix.
11. Your shampoo is ready!
1. Boil 3 cups of water.
2. Mix the herb powders in a huge bowl.
3. Once the water has boiled, add it immediately to the herb powder mixture, and mix until there are no lumps.
4. Let the mixture sit for 2 hours.
5. Follow Steps 6 to 11 of the Simmering Method.
How to Use the Herbal Shampoo:
1. First, don't wet your hair. Apply a suitable amount of the shampoo focusing on the scalp first. (A squeeze bottle makes this easier; that's why I suggest using it.)
2. Gently massage the mixture onto your scalp. After this, rinse your hair well, until it's thoroughly wet.
3. Apply more of the shampoo on both the scalp and the hair. If you have long hair, you can make use of a dipper. Simply pour some of the herbal shampoo into the dipper. Add a bit of water and stir it until it foams. Dip your hair in the diluted shampoo and gently massage it. (Doing this can actually create more foam.)
4. Rinse well.
5. (Optional Step) After rinsing off the herb shampoo, follow up with a gentle acidic rinse (usually made with apple cider vinegar and water), especially if you're in an area with really hard water. This makes your hair a lot softer!
6. Comb with a wide-toothed comb, and allow your hair to air-dry.
1. The resulting mixture is enough for 3-4 washes if you have thick, medium-length hair.
2. Straining the mixture is a very important step since it will save you the hassle of having to remove all the powders that will stick to your wet hair.
3. You can still use the pulp left behind as a body scrub! What's great about it is that, it's 100% biodegradable and won't pollute our waterways and oceans like microbeads
4. If your hair is on the dryer side, reduce the amount of Reetha powder to 1 tbsp and add Methi to the recipe. (You can also add hibiscus flower powder or aloe vera gel).
5. If your hair is on the oilier side, use this herb shampoo in a more concentrated form.
6. This is a no-poo shampoo, so it's best for hair without heavy oils and styling agents. Due to this herb shampoo's gentle cleansing abilities, it won't be able to remove those so well. For those cases, you may opt to use a clarifying shampoo that's gentle but powerful enough to remove heavy oils and ingredients from styling products. If you shampoo every day, you can use the herb shampoo alternately with a clarifying shampoo.
7. Remember that this is so different from shampoos with chemical surfactants like sulfates. IT WILL FEEL WEIRD the first time you use it. It will make your hair abit stiff while the shampoo is on your hair. But after rinsing, it'll feel much softer. Based on my personal experience, after using the herb shampoo for the first time, my hair was detangled, and it was so easy to comb my hair despite not using any conditioner.
8. You can store this mixture up to a month in the refrigerator. You can create a bigger batch but I recommend finding the best proportion of ingredients that work for your hair condition before doing so.
9. You can use this shampoo if you're doing a no-poo hair care routine.
10. Be careful not to let the shampoo get into your eyes. Just like other shampoos, it will sting a lot if it gets into your eyes.
I hope you enjoy making and using this herb shampoo—it really helped me a lot! It didn't just help reduce my hair fall, it also cleansed my scalp and gave my hair more volume and shine.
Adding different herbs can give additional benefits too! Check out these 11 herbs that restore hair health, so you'll know what herbs you can add to this lovely herbal shampoo recipe.