Far and wide have people heard about the beauty of Indian women. Often described with flawless skin and beautiful almond shaped eyes, Indian women have conquered the hearts of many. The queens and princesses have from time immemorial placed their trust in the lap of nature. Their knowledge and practices were impeccable and time-tested. The ingredients used by them were simple and all natural including aromatic herbs, spices, therapeutic oils and various flowers and fruits. Even the modern day cosmetics have incorporated these age old secrets for providing one with radiant and mesmerising beauty. In the earlier times the women had to master certain kalas some of which included kesa-marjana-kausala (art of combing hair), sekharapida-yojana (art of practically setting the coronet on the head), karnapatra-bhanga (art of decorating the tragus of the ear), sugandha-yukti (art of practical application of aromatics), bhushana-yojana (art of applying or setting ornaments) and utsadana (art of healing or cleaning a person with perfumes). Earlier the character of a person was determined by their various features one of them being hair. Thick black hair was considered a sign of fortune and wealth and was considered while fixing a marriage.
Combs made of bone, wood, ivory or fish bones, horns and antlers are some of the earliest excavations found by the archaeologists. These antiquities testify the interest of people in grooming their hair. For keeping the hair silky, soft and strong the following recipe has been used since ancient times:
Amla – consists of a number of essential fatty acids that nourish and moisturize the hair. It has for long been used as an effective hair growth remedy. Its antioxidant properties are effective in strengthening the roots of the hair. It also acts as a conditioner and gives the hair a natural shine and bounce.
Reetha – comprises various components which nourish the hair and keep it healthy and smooth. It adds shine to the hair and brings back the natural texture. Because of its cleansing properties, it also helps in getting rid of dandruff and lice.
Shikakai – means fruit for the hair. It has a naturally low pH value that helps in retaining the natural oils of the hair keeping it lustrous and healthy. It is also effective in strengthening the hair and conditioning it due to which it reduces hair loss and adds volume to the hair.
- Soak 5-6 reetha pods, 6-7 pieces of shikakai and a few amla fruits overnight in 500 ml of water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn off the flame and let it cool.
- Blend the cooled mixture in a blender till it transforms into a paste.