From sweaty pig to guinea pig.
I've been trying out some Indian hair and body care products these last 2 weeks. This experiment all started with an online purchase of inexpensive ($.67) Chandrika herbal soap. This soap smelled so good, it filled up my whole apartment with a fresh incense-y scent. The hunt was on for some more, more, more. I couldn't afford to hop on a plane to India so instead I hopped on a train to "Curry Hill" located around 28th street and Lexington Ave. in Manhattan.
Here are some items I purchased to try out along with some info about the ingredients that I gathered from the internet:
1. Herbal shampoo - Amla & Shikakai with Reetha. Amla(Indian gooseberry) is known to nourish the hair and scalp and prevent premature grey hair, Reetha (Soapnut) is known to fight dandruff and keep hair tangle-free, and Shikakai (Acacia concinna) is an herb known to strengthen roots and detoxify the scalp.
2. Vatika - olive enriched hair oil with almond, cactus and lemon extracts. Massaged into the scalp and left in for a few hours it functions as a deep conditioner.
3. Aloe Vera soap - already finished this bar of soap (too small), made my skin feel nice and smooth while it lasted.
4. Mahabhringraj Oil - herbs in a base of sesame oil. This was recommended by the clerk to help with thinning hair. You massage it in your hair and leave it in overnight. The label says it encourages healthy hair growth and better sleep. zzzzz
5. Shikakai shampoo soap- this is the first bar soap I've ever used for my hair, it lathers up extremely well but it smells kinda funky, a bit like urine... lovely, right? It is known to strengthen hair and promote hair growth. You'll smell like pee-pee but your hair will look FANTABULOUS! Just joking, after you wash it out it smells fine. In theory you don't need to use conditioner with this because it doesn't strip your hair's natural oils like traditional shampoos.
6. Chandrika ayurvedic soap - smells like herbal awesomeness, like that hippie guy with the dreads and his dog begging for money on St. Mark's Place in the 90's. You know what I'm sayin'? Recommended!
7. Coconut shampoo- smells like the beach! From the label, "increases blood circulation of the scalp, ensures fast and luxuriant hair growth (ooh la la), checks falling of hair, prevents premature greying of hair". Sounds good to me.
Next month I'm sure I will have long, thick, fortified, lustrous, non-greying, dandruff-free, detoxified, luxurious hair and be the envy of the town. But seriously, if these work well this would be an excellent replacement for the chemical-filled shampoo and conditioners I've been using.
How awesome would it be to just use bar shampoo for your hair and be able to save all those plastic bottles from going into the landfill?