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Buy Your Shampoo in the Produce Aisle?

September 3, 2010

A while ago, I was on the internet looking for information about natural shampoos.  I stumbled upon a story on about the Navajo’s use of the root vegetable  yucca as a shampoo and I found it very interesting.  The story was actually an excerpt, titled “Yucca Shampoo“,  from the book  Time Among the Navajo by Kathy Eckles Hooker.  It describes a family working together to find fresh yucca  on their land which was to  be used by the matriarch to wash her granddaughter’s hair.  What peaked my interest was this vegetable being used as shampoo, but even more so the family affair that it had become.  Everyone had a job to do and did it with passion.

Photo: Helen Lau Running

Having your mother, grandmother or auntie wash or style your hair is a very intimate affair.  Many of us have a few fond memories of getting their hair done by our mothers or “gran-grans”.  Kathy Eckles Hooker’s warm description of this shampooing event (I call it an event because it really feels like so much more than just a shampoo.) drew me and in and moved me.

Only recently have I noticed shampoos on the market containing yucca such as Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Thickening Shampoo and Aubrey Organics J.A.Y. Desert Herb Revitalizing Shampoo to name a couple.  Am I saying run to the supermarket and grab some yucca?  Of course not.  But , it may make an interesting experiment that I just  might test out (no promises).




Bonus: I also found this video on YouTube of a man washing his hands with a small piece of yucca root.  (FYI: He doesn’t get to the yucca soap until the 2:54 mark.)  Check it out.


Disclaimer: I have not yet tested this use of yucca.  Try at your own risk.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2010 9:57 am

    This is intriguing. I wonder what is in the yucca that makes it a shampoo. Very interesting…off to find out!

    • Regina permalink*
      September 3, 2010 10:39 am

      Thanks JC. I knew you would be the one to get down to the (scientific) bottom of it! I’d be interested to know what you find.

    • September 4, 2010 11:42 am

      Yucca and many other roots, oils and herbs have high saponification=suds, lather, etc.

  2. September 4, 2010 10:05 am

    I’ve experimented with various fresh roots and herbs to make natural shampoos, and this is a decent one but many natural roots and herbs do the same thing. But, I was dismayed to see the Shea Moisture shampoo advertised. Similar to the argan tree, the baobab tree also is on the endangered species list so I’d never use that shampoo. As a natural, I can’t condone using products culled from vegetation on the endangered species list.

    • Regina permalink*
      September 4, 2010 10:31 pm

      Thanks napfrocurlzgirl. I didn’t know that about the Baobab tree. I’ve never used it. Good to know.

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