Washing Coconut Oil from Hair and Scalp With Soapnut Decoction

Sooo, you've applied a pre-shampoo coconut oil treatment to your hair and let nourish and condition your scalp and hair for 15 minutes. 

You're ready to remove it, but don't want to use shampoo.

You'd much rather use your soapnut decoction because you've fallen in love with what it does for your hair.


You're not inclined to spend an hour and use a barrelful of product just to remove a bit of coconut oil. 

A quandry to be sure.

Luckily, there is a way.

I know there is a way, because for the better part of the past 6 months, I've been trying different methods to see if it was possible to get soapnut decoction to behave enough like a shampoo to remove coconut oil from hair with max. 2 applications.

And the following method has proved a winner for my (fine, short, straight) hair.

How to Remove Pre-Shampoo Coconut Oil With Soapnut (or Soaproot) Decoction

Important Coconut-oil Applying Tip:
When applying coconut oil to your (dry!) hair, use only just enough to 'saturate' the hair, but not so much that there is oil dripping off of your scalp and hair. You want the hair to look 'slightly wet' (like the hair above). Let the oil sit for 10-30 minutes (the longer the better).

And to remove it again:
  1. Apply soapnut decoction directly to the scalp and hair WITHOUT WETTING IT FIRST. Apply enough decoction to amply cover the hair/scalp. This cannot be done without a bit of dripping, so this step is best done in the bath/shower. (Tip: do not let the soapnut get into your eyes - at all)
  2. Distribute by massaging lightly.
  3. Let sit for 5-7 minutes. This is a good time to do all the other bathing stuff that you normally do while in the bath/shower)
  4. Rinse hair thoroughly
  5. Repeat step 1 and 2 (if necessary). If a second application is desired, you do not need to let it sit for more than a minute.
  6. Dry and style hair as usual
  7. Rejoice

Give it a Go

Find the how to with soapnuts right here.
Find the how to with soaproot right here
How to use to cleanse the hair
How to do a Coconut Oil hair treatment (removing with normal shampoo)
Coconut oil for skin and hair


María said…
Oh, lucky you! For my hair soapnut decoction I'd not really "powerful" enough to remove the oil bath. And I only apply on the length and tips because of my oily hair.
I've found my perfect companion in my solid shampoo with clay.
However, I have to say that soapnut decoction and/or aritha work beautifully for face. It makes gorgeous micellar water and face cleanser ;)
María said…
I realize that aritha actually IS soapnut xD. I meant to say also soapwort (Saponaria). Sorry!
LisaLise said…
HI María - sorry about this delayed reply - your comment got somehow buried- I'm SO curious to hear more about your solid shampoo bar with clay. Is this a DIY? Please do tell me more!
Unknown said…
Hi, for waist length hair how nany soap nuts to use? And how much should be concoction around 2 litres?
LisaLise said…
HI Namrata - I would probably use about 10- 15 soapnuts for a liter but you know, you can adjust this to suit your need. More soapnuts to water will give a stronger concentration.
Johanna said…
Hi Lise, This is an old post, but here we go. I allways thought that this soapnut thing is a bit "too green" for me, to be honest. Thank you for sharing your oil applying and removing tips, I totally agree! I use them the same way all the time. :D Shower cap is also handy.

My super sensitive scalp is in better condition after following three step ayurvedic hair rutine for 6 months. My pre wash oil blend + diy reetha shikakai amla mask (powdered) work wonders, used them 1-4/month or when needed.

I still use surfactant based shampoo regularly, even after hair oil+ soapnut. It cont similar ingredients that should work synergistically! I usually just double cleanse with it. Has hair oil + soapnut changed your hair texture and/or color? I'm just curious, 'couse mine is thicker and darker these days. :o Many thanks! :)
LisaLise said…
H Johanna - thanks for your comment (I get notifications on every comment - even on even old posts). You are spot on about the texture and condition of the hair changing with these ayurvedic ingredients. This is one of the reasons I really haven't looked back to 'traditional' shampoos at all. I'm finding a pre-shampoo chili-infused oil does wonders for my scalp and hair as well. :)
Johanna said…
Thanks for that tip. I has curious about chili for pain experiment, a doctor here in Finland have recommended it. Great to hear that you've experienced the great results of ayurvedic hair care. I still can't understand how soapnut can perform on their own! No quats or anything! I don't think I'm going Back to non-ayrvedic hair wash, either.
Richa Singh said…
Hi Lise, I m curious to know about this chilli-infused oil...can you tell me more about this.
P.s. I am an Indian and it is so weird that I am learning about aritha shampoo and stuff for foreigners but nevertheless feeling pretty proud about indians✌️
LisaLise said…
Hi Richa - Thanks for your comment. If you do a search on this blog for chili you'll find several posts I have done about it and how it is used. And I am a huge fan of soapiest but only relatively recently discovered our own horse chestnuts have similar properties and can be used much like soapnuts :)
Sylvia said…
Hi I read the comments I looked up how to remove oil in hair with soap nuts came across your blog Can you please tell me how are you think at horse chestnut could have the same or almost the same results as soapnuts would greatly appreciate if you had the time to answer
LisaLise said…
HI Sylvia - in theory a decoction of horse chestnut should work too but I haven't tried it. If you do give it a go, I'd love to hear what you think :)
Anonim said…
Hi Lisa! I was wondering about why we appyly decoction to dry hair? I am trying to wash my hair with soapnut decoction.I am wetting my hair first and apply decoction and wait.But it didn't clean my scalp even if i tried.I always end with oily disturbing scalp and i had to use traditional shampoo for get it rid of.What could be the problem?
LisaLise said…
HI Anonim -- not knowing your hair type or how much coconut oil you applied, it's hard for me to advise. You might need to apply and rinse the decoction a few times if you have trouble removing all the oil. Many think they have to slather on a lot of oil but this is not necessary-- only a small amount is needed.