I bet you’ve never felt natural hair before. And I’m sorry for that.
Once my hair dries after using this shampoo it’s incredibly shiny, has more body, and feels stronger. Plus my hair has been growing faster, probably due to the soap nuts not having chemicals. The shampoo also has some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, this keeps the scalp super healthy.
Your hair will go through a detox phase once starting with a natural shampoo. Depending on how chemical laden the previous shampoo was, this can last a couple weeks. Our hair is used to having all the natural oils stripped out of it. In the beginning the scalp will overcompensate with sebum production until it reaches a natural equilibrium. This leads to reports of “greasy” hair for the detox phase. This is not uncommon, but stick with it, the result is so worth it.
When I was using store bought products I needed conditioner otherwise my hair would tangle and break. I had this thin breakable hair because of all the chemicals used. After switching to soap nuts for two months I have noticeably thicker and stronger hair. Even Mountain Man noticed!!! Not to mention no split ends, which was my biggest pet peeve- the noticeable white parts on the ends of my hair. Gross.
So many people have trouble finding the right shampoo for their hair because the shampoo’s pH is off from the natural pH levels of hair. Naturally, our hair has a pH of ~5. Luckily, soap nuts have a pH between 4 and 6 depending on how concentrated the berry is. Store-bought shampoo can range anywhere from a 3-9, it all depends on the brand.
If you live in a very hard water area, like myself, you’ll need to add citric acid to your soap nut shampoo. We don’t own a water softener so I have to counter the hardiness in the water for the shampoo to work. If you don’t add the acidity the shampoo will only form complexes with the minerals in the water and not with the dirt/oil from your hair. The only remedy here is to either soften the water or add citric acid.
I use about 5 nuts to 20oz or so of water in a sports bottle, or similar, with a teaspoon of citric acid. I then shake the mixture to produce a soapy foam. You can reuse the nuts around 3 times but you may need to leave them to soak a little longer as the nuts gets weaker.
In my experience you don’t need to cook soapnuts, just put a few in your bottle, add hot/warm water to the top and leave to soak for at least a few hours. I usually do this in the morning and then wash my hair at night. When you want to wash your hair, squirt about half the bottle over your hair, tipping your head back. Leave it on for a few minutes; you can massage your scalp with fingertips and use flat hands to work it in. Repeat with more shampoo if this is the first time you have used soap nut shampoo because there will be residue of old shampoo/conditioner to remove. You can use the soap nuts again for your next shampoo, or add more when needed.
When buying soap nuts make sure to buy deseeded husks and not whole soap nuts. Two reasons, one you are usually buying these by weight and the seed is heavy, and two there is more surface area with the deseeded soap nuts. The saponin is only located in the husks anyways. You can buy deseeded soap nuts here and citric acid here.
- 5 de-seeded soap nuts
- 1 teaspoon citric acid*
- 20oz of Water
- Place 5 soap nuts in a sports bottle or similar.
- Fill the container with hot water and let steep for at least 2 hours.
* add citric acid if you have hard water.