One of the many perks of working at Mountain Rose Herbs is that I am always being introduced to new ingredients. As a person who loves making sustainable and cost-effective DIY recipes, I was intrigued when I got a notification about a new product, organic soap pod powder. At first glance, I thought this was a powdered form of deseeded soap nuts, from which I make my semi-famous liquid laundry soap. But upon a closer look, I realized it was an entirely different plant.
Soap nuts come from Sapindus trifoliatus, which is a tall tree that grows in temperate and tropical regions of the world. (Fun fact: Soap nuts are not a nut at all, but rather a berry! It gets its namesake from its appearance after it is dried.) Soap pods on the other hand, come from Acacia concinna, which is a climbing shrub that grows in the warm plains of central and southern India. While completely different plants, both contain saponins, making them great ingredients for crafting pure and natural soaps.
I was really interested in learning more about these newly featured soap pods and after several cups of tea and Google-rabbit-holes, I learned that this prized ingredient is often used in traditional Indian haircare and is referred to as shikakai. Just as Koreans are famous for their incredible skincare routines, many cultures in India are known for their expert haircare routines. With this in mind, I set out to craft a recipe that would cleanse and nourish my hair in a sustainable way.
A few trials, errors, and bad hair days later, I came up with a waterless shampoo recipe that worked well. I will admit, I did not craft this recipe with a bouquet of intoxicating fragrances in mind. My goal was to formulate a natural and functional shampoo that worked well and would cut out a lot of wasteful packaging and cost associated with hair care. I also found that this recipe did not leave residue behind, which is especially important for those of us who do not wash our hair daily.
I hope this sustainable selfcare swap will help make your shower time as green as it is clean!
Waterless Shampoo Recipe with Shikakai
Makes about 1/2 cup. (About 8 washes)
- 4 Tbsp. organic soap pod powder (Also known as shikakai, Acacia concinna)
- 1 Tbsp. organic soap nut powder (Sapindus trifoliatus)
1 Tbsp. organic amla powder
- 2 tsp. organic fenugreek powder
2 tsp. organic rosemary powder
- Add all powders together.
- When ready to use, add about 2 tablespoons of powder and enough water to make a watery paste. Starting at roots and working your way down, massage into hair.
- Rinse completely and follow with conditioner of your choice.
- If you cannot find soap nut powder, you can blend the deseeded shells in a blender or food processor to make powder.
- This recipe does require a little extra rinsing after use. It's perfectly okay if a slight amount of the powder remains, as it helps to add bounce and body in a way similar to "dry shampoo".