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Herbal Hair Conditioning

herbal conditioning for natural hair

The Herbal Hair Conditioning powder is an elusive product but thanks to a lovely friend (Thanks Emma!) I was able to get my hands on it.  The package indicates the product is manufactured in northern India. This mix contains an impressive 18 herbs that are a mixture of strengthening, conditioning and cleansing. I really loved that the ingredients are named both in English and Latin which makes it much easier to look up the plants.  For the unfamiliar herbs it was easy to look them up quickly before using the product just to make sure there are no risks. 80% of the ingredients I have come across before and therefore I could tell how my hair would respond to this mix.

The ingredients in Herbal Hair Conditioning powder are made up of either dried and ground leaves, pods or flowers of:

  1. Amla – Embilica officinalis (a.k.a Phyllanthus embilica)
  2. Shikakai –  Acacia cocina
  3. Reetha (Aritha) – Sapindus mukorossi
  4. Henna –  Lawsonia inermis

These are the main herbs as the mix contains 55g of each, which makes this mostly cleansing and strengthening mix. It would also explain the intense drying effect the powder has on the hair strands. Reetha and Shikakai are meant to cleanse so they will pull out all the natural lipids from the strands. In my experience, even though Henna is a strengthener, its ability to absorb oil and moisture makes it a very drying strengthener. Amla is the only one of these top herbs that does not dry my hair out.

The ingredients continue with 20g each of the following herbs:

  1. Neem – Azadirachta indica
  2. Tulsi (Tulasi, Holy Basil) – Ocimum tenuiflorum (a.k.a Ocimum sanctum)
  3. Bhringraj (False Daisy) – Eclipta prostrata (a.k.a Eclipta alba)
  4. Lemon –  Citrus Llimon
  5. Sandalwood (presumably Indian Sandalwood) –  Santalum album
  6. Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri (a.k.a Bacopa monniera)
  7. Rose (there are hundreds of rose species, this one is presumably Indian) – Rosa bracteatae
  8. Turmeric – Curcuma longa
  9. Harad (Haritaki, Harada) –  Terminalia chebula
  10. Fenugreek – Trigonella foenum-graecum
  11. Baheda (Bibhitaki, Bahera, Bahira, Bilhitak) – Terminalia bellirica
  12. Tea –  Camellia  sinesis (a.k.a Sinensis assamica)
  13. Coffee – Coffea arabica (arabica) or Coffea canephora (robusta)
  14. Balchead – ?

herbal conditioning powder
Neem, Tulsi and Lemon also are herbs intended to absorb oil (and whatever toxins are in it) from the strands, which is removed as the muds are rinsed leaving the hair clean (and dry because they will remove all the oil). They also help normalize the scalp’s PH and are therefore useful for both dry and oily scalps.

Sandalwood, Tea and Coffee will make the hair darker. Black Tea and Coffee (PH 4) are also acidic which balances the mud. Also, coffee and tea are very helpful as rinses to curb excessive shedding. It’s safe to assume they play a similar role here.

Sandalwood, Fenugreek (contains mucilage), Amla, Rose and Turmeric are conditioning strengtheners, meaning they will strengthen the hair strands without drying out the hair (or at least they don’t dry mine out).

Since I’ve profiled most of these herbs individually I had  pretty good intelligence on how my hair would react to this mud. I decided to create a moisturizing mixing medium using a tea from the dry hair blend of herbs (see video here) There are no limits to a mixing medium. I have used everything from aloe vera, coconut milk, coconut water, yogurt, plain water, variations of herbal tea. Experiment and find what your hair responds to best.

herbal hair conditioning for natural hair

VERDICT: This is definitely not a weekly mud. I’ll probably use it once every three months (like I would a protein treatment) or when I want to completely strip my hair (clarify). It will simultaneously strengthen and cleanse the hair…A two for one deal…that’s impressive and why I love it.

PS: The Herbal Hair Conditioning powder is an elusive product. I couldn’t find it anywhere and the price online was laughable. Try your Indian grocery store and if that fails, I definitely recommend Gorej Napur (see review here). This mix has 10 herbs and it’s far less drying so can be used more frequently.