I have fine but slightly wavy, coloured hair and I've started using Amla powder in addition to my pre-shampoo, overnight oil treatments which I do several times a week. I've been oiling mainly just my scalp religiously for over a year now to encourage re-growth where I've had thinning (it's working) but I now want to also encourage my waves as they are a bit on the weak side. I've been using the powder boiled up and strained as a rinse, applying it just to my roots and allowing it to trickle down the length of my hair. I leave it on up to 5 or 10 minutes after shampooing and conditioning just my ends. I rinse out with lukewarm water, comb through gently and leave my hair to air-dry. My hair is not at all dry after this treatment; it looks and feels almost the same as usual but with a slightly more defined wave and more volume. No change to my hair colour if used once a week as it's dark anyway, but I've noticed it darkens it if I step it up to twice a week, probably because I also use an Amla oil blend - and more recently I've also introduced Shikakai oil - for my pre-shampoo treatments. Using 100g gives me approx. three litres of strained amla rinse that's concentrated enough for my needs and lasts me about six weeks providing its refrigerated. The fact the amla is in powder form doesn't mean it's dead and useless as countless Indian women use it with great results. Aside from amla, my favourite 'homemade' rinses are ACV and rosemary and mint. I will update this review in a few months but I would say if you are finding your hair too dry after using amla, you really need to know how much to use which is often less than you think (experimenting will tell you), the best way to apply it to your particular hair type i.e. mask or rinse, and if you don't get on with it, just try something else. Oh, and I hope you're oiling first, even if it's just for half an hour, otherwise it's likely you WILL find it drying. It's cheap so it's no biggie. UPDATE: I love this rinse; it's so conditioning on my hair and leaves it really shiny. It doesn't leave my hair stiff or drier on the ends (they were dry before I started using it) and it complements my oiling regime perfectly.
Let me just start by saying that I am relaxed and color treated. I mix my amla powder with castor and grapeseed oil in a squeeze bottle. The amla powder tends to stick at bottom so I have to shake for a good 5 mins before using.
I put my mix on my scalp and all over my hair, then put a plastic cap on my hair, then my bonnet and go to bed. In the am, I cowash out. My hair is left feeling strong, but not dried out.
I bought the powder because I was afraid of the smell of the amla oil. I'm glad I went with the powder because it was so inexpensive.
Amla is great. I used it with Henna and Indigo mixed and it turned my grey hair to pretty brownish golden red, my natural hair color was a brown black, with light brownish tint in natural lighting, My hair loves Amla Powder. It conditions it and makes it very soft. I like to mix it with Brahmi Powder on deep condition days. I have different receipes that works for me. I use Skakaia powder only on cowash days. I use all of these powders as well with just water only with know other products on some routine days. These powders are helping my hair with strength, thickness and growth. I love using Skakaia to cowash with Tresmenne Naturals. My hair texture is 3C and 4A. These powders I purchased from Hesh. I bought my first 200 grams of Amla from Mehandi. Once opened I had to put each podwer in seperate plastic ziplock bags with labels and store them in the refrig, as the the powders has an expiration date of 2015. I love the India hair products. //(*-*)\\
This product works wonderfully on my dry, color-treated hair. I do as I was advised by practitioners of ayurveda and oil my hair and scalp prior to application and then apply the paste containing the amla powder to my hair and scalp, let it sit, then rinse and proceed with the rest of my routine. It leaves me with strong, conditioned hair with a nice sheen. I swear it keeps my hair color from oxidizing. I rarely have to re-color my whole head. I just do the roots and there is no line of demarcation. I take off one lippie only because it can get messy sometimes.
WARNING: DO NOT USED ON CHEMICALLY TREATED (ESPECIALLY BLEACHED) HAIR!
I figured I'd put that out there first, since no where did I find this warning in my online research of amla powder. I have about 4 inches of roots and 20 inches of chemically dyed hair.
I did a pre-shampoo oil before using this. My roots are beautiful and shiny while the chemically processed hair got dry and fizzy, and the very ends where there is just a little bit of bleach left over from my ombre phase was like straw! I had to add more oil to the ends and then wash and condition to get the ends to feel normal
I used this on my acne and it really helped. I only left it on 2 minutes but next time I'll leave it on longer.
OVERAL: use on virgin hair, or roots only if you are not coloring anymore. It is very drying on chemially process hair. It is good if you know how to use it. Also good on skin
Because I've developed an allergy to the ingredients in the Amla Oil, I've started using Amla powder in my oil and/or leave in conditioner. Because it can be a little drying, I prefer to use it in a carrier oil that I put on my scalp. I still receive the great benefits I did from the Amla oil, just without the adverse effects of the chemicals. The brand I use is by Hesh and can be used for hair or as a paste for a face mask. I have mixed it with a little lemon juice and some Neem powder for a detoxifying mask and have seen fantastic results. The base oil I use as a carrier is 'Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil'. It can be used for hair and body and I use this oil for everything! It soaks right in an makes an excellent carrier oil for my various recipes. The Amla Powder is an excellent alternative for anyone looking to avoid the chemicals in the Amla oil. EDIT: 10-19-11 This causes frizz and it makes my hair dry. I won't be adding it to my conditioner any longer. I've decided to switch to an unscented Amla oil. It's more expensive, but it's worth it.
I use amla powder in my henna/indigo mix to keep the henna from loosening my curly hair too much. I usually use at least 25g but amount varies on how much henna/indigo I'm using. I will not henna my hair without amla anymore.
Update 8/21/09: I'm trying to use up the boxes of Hesh Amla and noticed on the back that you can use it on your face. I used it similar to how I use other Indian/Ayurvedic herbs: oil first then use the herb mixed with water. Using it on skin it works nicely to clean without stripping and makes my face very soft. It's ok enough to use up what I have, but it's not so amazing that I would repurchase. However, it does make me want to try the herbal powders for face - Multanimitti, rose powder face pack, skin tone up, etc.
I don't know what this is supposed to do for my hair, but all it does is make my hair frizzy. I've used Shikakai and ***LOVE IT***!!! But the Amla sucks for me. I've tried it on its own, mixed with Shikakai, w/ Shikakai and Aritha, mixed with Henna - in every variation it makes my hair frizzy when both the Henna and Shikakai get rid of frizz.
Would not repurchase.
Ok, so I raved about Shikakai, another Indian herb that is good for hair, but this stuff did nothing for me. It did not condition my hair at all.
I read on an Ayurvedic website how Amla, which is an Indian gooseberry, is very rich in vitamin C and great for hair, skin and your inside, but however true that may be, I think this powdered stuff is dead and useless.
I am going to look for the actual fresh Amla fruit when I am next in London just to see if the real McCoy is better than the dead McCoy.