As quoted from their website:
"Meera Hair Wash Powder is a healthy and traditional method of looking after your hair. The Powder is made from natural ingredients which nurture and protect the hair making it soft and healthy. Meera powder is a blend of flowers and herbs such as shikakai, green gram, tulsi, vetiver and reetha which cleanse the hair, leaving it fresh and shiny. The powder also contains Hibiscus and Fenugreek which act as deep conditioners and strengthen each strand of hair from the root to the tip. Meera Herbal Hairwash Powder promises its consumers ”Healthy Hair for Years”.
The instructions weren't detailed. It said to mix the powder with water to make a paste, apply to wet hair and wait a while and rinse thoroughly. I made a paste with 1 tablespoon of powder. Surprisingly it foamed as if it was a normal shampoo! The foam was so thick, I could feel it's resistance in my hair while massaging my scalp. There was more foam than I've ever had with a herbal shampoo so I figured there had to be surfactant in the powder. I didn't want to leave it in my hair so I rinsed it out straight away and used a light conditioner.
The powder smells like curry which I'm not a fan of. There was a faint scent lingering after I rinsed and dried my hair but it disappeared after a few hours. My hair was insanely shiny. OK, a misuse of the word "insanely" but I couldn't stop touching my hair and running my fingers through it. My hair was so soft and smooth. An amazing result for this cheap hair wash powder!
My hair was the softest I've ever felt and could only be compared with using a deep treatment conditioner with silicones. I'm pretty sure there are chemical additives besides surfactant because there was so much foam produced and my scalp felt itchy for days after. The ends of my hair felt dry (and formed ringlets-not sure what that means for the hair) so I'm sure the hair wash was stripping or maybe I used too much. There was a little dandruff but as promised by the product's claim online, I had less hairfall.
When I went to the gym and got warmed up, I noticed the curry scent returning. I was conscious of it. Thankfully after a wash with my own shikikai/alma/aritha/tulsi mix, the smell was gone for good.
I might have been mislead to believe that Meera powder is made with 100% natural ingredients. The list was prefaced with the word: "key ingredients" on the label. I added up the percentage of ingredients listed and there was a remaining 33% portion of unnamed ingredients. I tried looking for the official list of ingredients and could only find a list from an amazon review as:
Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Vigna Radiata, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Cyperus rotundus, Hedychium spicatum, Albizia amara, Vetiveria zizanioides, Madhuca longifolia, Acacia concinna, Ocimum sanctum, Guar hydroxy propyl tiammonium chloride, Hydrated aluminium silicate, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Eucalyptus globulus, Lippa nodiflora, Sapindus trifoliatus, Cinnamomum tamala, Hibiscua rosa sinnensis, Preciptated silica, Dimethicone, Glycerol.
So I've emailed the company to double check and will update this post when I receive a response. In the meantime I'll use 1 teaspoon of the powder once a week or two as a clarifying treatment. It certainly cleans and makes my hair super shiny and soft. Sulfates and dimethicone or not, it's still worth it if the itchiness goes away. I think it will also improve my hair loss. I'll just have to get over it's smell :P