Dandruff, itching of the scalp and oily hair can sometimes be the result of the products we use, such as, for example, shampoos, hair masks or conditioners. In fact, aggressive surfactants, silicones, synthetic perfumes and some preservatives can irritate the skin and deplete the natural protective barrier. On the market there are different products with an INCI, the label that shows the ingredients of the cosmetic products, more natural and able to respect the skin and scalp. Alternatively, there are substances that are considered natural soaps, one is the soapwort, seen in a previous post, another example is given by Panama Wood.
Panama wood, what it is and properties
Panama wood, scientific name Quillaja saponaria, also called soap bark, is a tree of the Quillajaceae family native to South America. The inner part of the bark of this plant is used and appreciated as a natural soap. In fact, Panama wood contains saponins that give it antioxidant, antibacterial and detergent properties (Maier et al, J Agric Food Chem, Feb 2015). In the database dedicated to cosmetic ingredients compiled by the European Commission, Panama wood is considered a purifying, cleaning, moisturizing, emollient and anti-dandruff substance. This is why Panama wood is a natural remedy for dandruff, oily hair, as it acts by balancing sebum production and does not cause reactive seborrhea, but it helps also in case of itching of the scalp and hair loss (Fleck et al, Molecules, Jan 2019).
Panama wood shampoo
You can find products such as soaps and shampoos that offer, among the ingredients, Panama wood, or you can directly buy the bark of this precious plant and put it in infusion to get a hair cleanser. In about 200 ml of water add a handful of Panama wood bark. If desired, for a higher purifying action, you can also add a sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then filter and pour into a bottle. Leave to cool, close the bottle and keep in the fridge for no more than a week. To use this cleansing lotion put it on wet hair, massage and leave for a few minutes, then rinse. Be careful not to let the decoction get into your eyes. In addition, in case of light hair, do not overuse as Panama wood may lightly color your hair. In case of thinning hair you can also add 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil.