Myanmar traditional Tayaw-Kinbun shampoo is the bio-herbal, and there was a very effective fresh, natural shampoo that was always home made. It has no chemicals so that is can be used safely by all walks of life. The main ingredients of this shampoo consist of the bark of a shrub known as"Tayaw". The Tayaw is the kind of small tree or shrub of the Grewia species such as Grewia polygama. Then there is the soapy fruit of the "Kin-bun". The Kin-bun is the tree grown in dry region, and its botanical name is Acacia cocinna. The distribution of both plants is countrywide and they grow in the wild and thrive without tending. The shampoo is prepared in a quantity sufficient for all the females of the household, young and old. Both the bark of the Tayaw and the fruit of the Kin-bun is easily available at any bazaar year round.
Here is the method of making Tayaw-Kinbun shampoo.
The Kin-mun fruit is first washed thoroughly and boiled with water until soft and pulpy. While the Kin-mun is being boiled the Tayaw is shredded, washed and soaked in a bowl of cold water. Very soon the water becomes a thick viscous liquid. The amount of water used must be of equal parts for both. When the boiled Kin-mun water has cooled, it is passed through a sieve and the pulp removed. The same is done for the Tayaw though it is difficult to get rid of all the fibres. Both liquids are then mixed together and we have a shampoo with a faint elusive scent. Sometimes one or two limes are halved and soaked together with the Tayaw but this is optional.
To use this shampoo, one sluices the hair with water first. Then with a small cup or bowl the liquid shampoo is poured generously on the head and the scalp is scrubbed and massaged. Scrubbing produces some suds from the Kin-mun, but not much. This is done at least twice, after which the long hair is shampooed and scrubbed in manageable proportions until one reaches the tip. After this, many bowls of water are poured to wash away the Tayaw and Kin-mun and the hair is now squeaky clean. The soapy Kin-mun cleanses the hair, the lime prevents or cures dandruff and the Tayaw is the best natural hair conditioner making the hair soft and pliant and therefore easy to comb.
Myanmar people assume hair washing as auspiciousness. Tayaw-Kinmun shampoo is still used by Myanmar women today but in the cities where the pace of daily life has quickened, this shampoo is sold ready made in plastic bag. There are also small modern packets of Tayaw-Kinbun shampoo. Those have been made with modern machine and produced by local manufacturers and compete with other shampoos in quality, modern style and reasonable price.
On the Myanmar New Year Day, the young pay respects to the aged by washing their hair and cutting their nails. It is a delighted scene.