So I've been using thisShikakai Ayurvedic shampoo powderfrom Akamuti for the past two weeks or so, although admittedly I've forgotton a few times and just grabbed my shampoo bottle! I have to say, though, it does work. I was skeptical about not needing conditioner afterwards, since I've always, always, used it, but it really is not needed.
This powder left my hair feeling soft, looking clean, shiny and conditioned. I was able to go about two days between uses, which is about the same amount of time I can usually withstand not shampooing my hair. The powder is easy to mix up in bowl (reminds me of henna), and it is important to make sure it is liquidy enough to easily pour through your hair. My hair is not that long, what- between my chin and shoulders somewhere, and it is straight, so the recommended two teaspoons, was enough for me.
Shikakai is a naturally astringent herb famed for its strengthening & conditioning properties on the hair. It is traditionally used in place of shampoo as it is a powerful cleanser without stripping away natural oils from the hair. Akamuti also have a variety of other hair powders for you to dabble in, Organic Amla Powder (£4.95 100g) which is particularly good for dandruff but also good for the skin as it is a good cleanser and brightens the skin- good for use as a face pack. I was going to try this one on my hair, but it says if you have colour-treated hair you should try a test patch first, so I passed on that. Aritha (soapnut powder) (£3.00 100g) is another one for your hair, derived from the Indian soapnut tree, it is also gentle and can be used in the same way as the other powders, I would imagine it can also be used to clean your clothing, as I've used soap nut pods in the laundry.
So why bother with powder? well, it only takes a moment to spoon it into a bowl and mix with water and apply to your hair. It might not be quite as convenient as shampoo in a bottle, but it is really good for your hair and scalp, is inexpensive as well as economical and completely chemical free.
*The beautiful pic is artwork by Sophie Anderson (French 1823-1903), titled Young Girl Fixing her Hair.