The best Ayurvedic cleansers you need in your regimen

Ayurvedic ingredients have been traditionally used as hair cleansers and conditioners for generations in Asia especially in India.

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These well-loved ingredients have provided strengthening, nourishing, cleansing, and health-supporting properties for many people, thus contributing to healthier and longer hair.

For those who want to use chemical-free products to care for their natural hair, Ayurvedic herbs are the best options as they do not have the side-effects caused by store-bought products that may contain harmful chemicals or ingredients.

Some Ayurvedic herbs that have the same effect as your shampoo because they contain saponins. 

What are saponins?

Saponins are surfactants which clean the hair like the surfactants that are found in your liquid shampoos. The saponins in these herbs gently cleanse your scalp, remove impurities and build-up while leaving your hair and scalp fresh and clean.

All natural Ayurvedic cleansers for hair

Aritha or reetha also know as Soap nuts

Sapindus mukorossi

The reetha or soapberry tree is native to India and can be found in the Himalayas. Since it can grow in a poor soil, it can be planted around farmers’ homes and produce about 30-35 kg of fruit.

It is a natural shampoo that cleanses the hair completely, works efficiently as a natural shampoo, gives the hair a natural gloss and bounce, cleans dirt accumulated on the scalp. It possesses natural antibacterial and antifungal properties as it fights lice and reduces dandruff. Aritha powder is best for extremely oily (dirty) hair. When in contact with water, this powder provides a gentle lather.

The saponins in Reetha soap are effective in getting rid of stubborn stains on fabrics as there are gentle even on delicate fabrics.


Acacia Concinna

The word ‘shikakai’ means “fruit for hair” and is a traditional variety of shampoo. The prickly, scandent (climbing) shrub, grows in tropical jungles throughout India. Shikakai Powder is used as a hair cleansing agent and conditioner. It helps control dandruff, promote hair growth and strengthen hair roots. This powder possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties. It makes hair shinier and helps moisturize hair.

Bhringraj/Bhringaraj  or False Daisy

Eclipta Alba

In Ayurveda, it is known as ‘the king of herbs’, as it carries amazing re-growth properties for your hair. It is also a hair and scalp cleanser and conditioner.
Bhringraj powder is effective in the treatment of hair loss and hair breakage. It promotes a healthy scalp, contributes to maintaining color in dyed hair, has soothing properties, is rich in nutrients and gives shine and fullness to hair.

Hibiscus powder

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Hisbicus powder derives from the dried flowers of Hibiscus known as Hibiscus Sabdariffa.

To use Hibiscus to cleanse your hair, create a paste and  gently massage into the hair. Hibiscus is a gentle cleanser and not as efficient as other saponin ingredients. It is therefore best to combine hibiscus with other herbs like Aritha and Shikakai to remove the excess oil from your hair.

Hibiscus powder can be added to shampoo and conditioner to thicken hair,  reduce hair loss, and to prevent dandruff. Hibiscus powder is frequently found in baby shampoo formulations and baby body washes since it is a gentle, natural cleanser.

Fullers earth or Multani Mitti

Fuller’s earth consists primarily of hydrous aluminum silicates (clay minerals) of varying composition.

It is a clay powder free of any harsh chemical substances and It contains aluminum magnesium silicate. It removes impurities from the skin and hair.

You can also create hair packs and hair masks with this clay or in combination with other clays.

Here is a video on how to make a homemade shampoo with Fuller’s earth

Ayurvedic herbs can be drying to the hair and scalp. It is important to add herbs that have conditioning properties to keep your hair from drying out and getting tangled. The following herbs can be added to your cleansing powders.

Brahmi powder to stimulate hair growth and works against dandruff, reduces split. ends, adds volume to your natural hair. 

Amla powder  works as a conditioner, helps in thickening hair and prevents frizzy hair.

Aloe Vera powder conditions hair, relieves dry and itchy scalp and promotes hair growth.


DIY herbal shampoo with Aritha, Shikakai, Moroccan red clay and Amla


This shampoo contains natural ingredients such as amla, reetha and shikakai, which are known as the best cleansers. It leaves hair extremely lustrous and healthy from within. The shampoo cleanses the scalp but also retains its natural oils. Ayurvedic extracts in it are good for conditioning that prevents split ends and brittle hair.

How to make it

  • 151 g of warm water
  • 30 g of Aritha powder
  • 25 g of Shikakai powder
  • 21g  of Moroccan Red clay
  • 25 g of Amla powder
  • 13 g of Rose water
  • 5 drops of Jojoba oil

In a glass bowl, add the aritha, Shikakai, Amla and Moroccan red clay and the warm water and mix well with a wooden spoon until you get a smooth paste. Then add the rose water and jojoba oil. You can proceed to add a few drops of tea tree or peppermint essential oil. Mix well and let the mixture sit for 24 hours.

Apply to dry hair in sections and massage into your scalp. Let sit for about 20 min, rinse off and proceed with the rinse- out conditioner or deep conditioner.

Watch the video below to know how I made this Ayurvedic shampoo

Have you tried these Ayurvedic cleansers on your natural hair. Share your tips and recipes with us.

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