Monday, October 8, 2012

Disinfecting with Reetha (Soap Nuts)

Reetha a.k.a Soap Nuts
Frequent cleansing of combs, brushes, hair clips and other styling utensils are a daily part of my duties as a stylist.  One of the state requirements is for all styling utensils to be disinfected by soaking in a solution known as Barbisol.  I was looking for natural ways to clean and disinfect my styling utensils and learned from visiting a YouTube channel called HennaSooq.  I watched a video on how to foam soap nuts and the person in the video stated they are very good for cleansing hair brushes.  I sent her a message asking if she thought using soap nuts instead of Barbisol would still provide the same disinfecting properties and she advised they would and since the soap is all natural using it makes it the better choice.  I'd seen Reetha a.k.a Aritha powder before when casing my local Indian markets on henna and ayurvedic powder hauls, and the henna brand I use has a small amount in it as well, I just never purchased any.  I decided on my last visit to buy a small bag of these ayurvedic soap nuts to see just how clean it would get my styling utensils. They were really inexpensive which was good. I purchased a 3.5 oz bag for $1.99.

The state of Texas mandates stylist must use this method to sterilize all styling utensils.  What alarms me about using the solution is the warning on the bottle:

 Barbisol is so potent you only need 2 oz. per 32oz of water.  Utensils must be immersed in the solution for 10 minutes and then allowed to air dry.

Styling utensils must soak in the Barbisol and water solution for no less then 10 minutes to make sure any blood borne diseases are removed or any other type of contamination is removed.  I hold consultations prior to booking clients so anyone with sores or open wounds would not be seen by me and would be referred to a dermatologist for help correcting the scalp issue. The back of the bottle also suggests gloves be worn and no direct contact with skin or eyes.  Any contact with eye's will lead to irreversible damage.  Now why would I want to use that?   Thank Goodness for soap nuts!!

Benefits and Uses of Reetha (Soap Nuts)*
Cleans and brightens jewelry and metals like gold and silver.
Shampoo for the hair for thickening and to control hair loss. Should be used in moderation for those with excessive dry hair issues.
Treats eczema, psoriasis and is noted for removing freckles.
Removes lice from the scalp with it's gentle insecticial properties.
Used in treating contaminated soil.

Cleanses and removes all fungus and infection from the scalp, or anything needing to be thoroughly cleaned without adverse side effects.
*Direct contact with eyes should be avoided
Laundry Soap

How to make Natural Liquid Soap

What you need:
1 bag of soap nuts- 15-20 for shampoo or laundry strength
nut cracker or small hammer
4 quart stainless steel pot
6-10 cups of water
Instructions: remove inner seed from nut by cracking the shell.  Place shells only into pan of water setting stove on high until water comes to a rolling boil.  Turn stove down to medium setting and allow to boil for 25-30 minutes.  Strain Reetha shells from the liquid soap.  

Shells begin to saponify on contact with water.

 Bring to boil and  turn stove eye down to a medium low setting; allow to simmer for 30 minutes or so.

 Strain shells from liquid. Shells will now feel very soft and flexibale in the inside, slightly firm on the outside shell.

 Allow pre-rinsed styling utensils that are free from shed hair and/or product so soak for 15-20 minutes.

 Store combs, brushes, clips, clamps etc. in plastic container with lid...that's it and that's all!! If you are a natural hair stylist and want to use an all natural cleansing agent for your styling utensils ...this gets the job done!!


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