Have you ever heard of soap nuts before? Have you ever used soapnut shampoo on your hair?
If so, what is your experience as far as how well it cleans your hair?
Soapnut Shampoo: A Fruity Hair Cleanser
Soap nuts are fruits that grow on shrubs in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas (i.e., Western Hemisphere).
Once the fruits are picked from the plants, they are dried and boiled. This process releases an all natural detergent that can be used for washing the hair. This detergent can also be used as a heavy-duty laundry detergent.
The sapindus is one genus of up to a dozen small trees and shrubs in the Lychee family. This genus includes the evergreen and deciduous family.
Species of this genus are referred to as soapnuts, or soapberries, mainly because the pulp of their fruit is used to make the soapnut shampoo.
The name soapnuts is derived from the Latin sapo and indicus. Sapo, as you might have guessed, means soap. Indicus, which isn’t as obvious as sapo, means “of India” or from India.
These soap nuts naturally contain a detergent-like chemical called saponin that is amphiphilic. Amphiphilic simply means that one single molecule is attracted in part to water and oil.
So Why Is This So Important?
The simple answer is that water and oil do not mix. For oil to be successfully removed, or for deep cleansing to occur, there must be a molecule that attaches to the oil, while at the same time mixing with water so it is effectively rinsed off.
The molecule must have a water-loving and oil-loving component Amphiphilic (amphiphatic) to be effective.
These soap nuts are also utilized to create psoriasis and eczema soothing body washes, in addition to deep-cleaning natural shampoos. These products are not only natural, but they are also very inexpensive to produce.
If you are going to make a large batch of soapnut shampoo bars, you can store the solution in ice cube trays. Then freeze them, so you have individual sizes ready when you’re ready to use them.
Homemade Soapnut Shampoo Bar Recipe
Soap nut shampoos are available in many retail outlets or you can make use of the following soapnut shampoo recipe:
Ingredients Needed for SoapNut Shampoo
3 Cups of Water
5 Drops of Lavender Oil
How to Make Your Own Soap Nuts Shampoo
1. Place the five soapnuts into a small muslin bag.
2. Place the small muslin bag in a medium saucepan with two cups of water on high heat and bring to boil.
3. Once the water boils, reduce the heat and allow the saucepan to simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add one cup of water to the simmering saucepan and let the saucepan stand 10 minutes.
5. Remove the muslin bag from the saucepan.
6. Squeeze the muslin bag over the saucepan until you see suds. Rinse the muslin bag with cold water and squeeze over the saucepan again.
7. Place the solution and three drops of lavender oil in a glass mason jar. Put the glass mason jar in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use the soapnut shampoo.
When you are in the shower, massage a small amount of the homemade soapnut shampoo into your hair and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.