Remember how your grandmother would coax you to use shikakai on your hair on weekends, and you’d balk at the idea of doing something so old-fashioned? You’d be amazed to know that this ancient hair beauty treatment is making a comeback. Well, it wasn’t really gone in the first place; just had lesser takers.
One of the most commonly-used natural ingredients, this plant has been used as a hair cleanser in most parts of India since time immemorial. Shikakai contains vitamin C and D, along with other properties that make it ideal for hair care.
How Does Shikakai Help Hair? 10 Benefits of Shikakai for Hair:
#1. Adds shine and softness
The natural ingredients of shikakai make your hair softer and add a beautiful shine to it.
#2. Fights dandruff
The anti-fungal properties of shikakai nourish your scalp and prevent itching and dryness. Used regularly, shikakai can cure dandruff.
#3. Gives you stronger, thicker hair
Shikakai strengthens hair roots. The result is stronger and healthier hair, with lesser hair fall.
#4. Prevents a dry scalp
Shikakai works its magic on a dry scalp by acting as a natural cleanser without washing away essential oils.
#5. Delays grey hair
Shikakai can actually slow down and delay the appearance of grey hair, letting you retain the natural youthfulness of your hair for long.
#6. Removes hair lice
We’re not saying you have any, but in the eventuality your children pick any at school, using shikakai can actually halt the growth and eliminate them altogether.
#7. Heals minor wounds
Shikakai is calm and soothing on an irritated head and can actually heal minor cuts and abrasions on your scalp.
#8. Soothes your head
A shikakai hair pack can offer relief on a hot day, relieve a headache or simply act like a soothing hair pack.
#9. Gently detangles hair
If you have curly hair, shikakai is a great way to detangle your locks after a shampoo. Gently run your fingers through your hair while rinsing.
#10. It is cheaper and better
Shikakai is a much cheaper and more natural alternative to chemical-laden shampoos.
Now that you know of the many advantages, learn how to use shikakai.
By itself shikakai doesn’t lather up much, but when mixed with reetha (soap nut) it is an excellent way to clean your hair and scalp. Here are the many ways you can use shikakai for your hair.
Different Ways to Use Shikakai in Your Hair Care Routine
#1 How to Use Shikakai as a Hair Wash:
You can either buy shikakai based shampoos in the market or add shikakai powder to your existing shampoo for the same results.
How to make shikakai shampoo:
- Soak a few dried shikakai pods, little reetha and dried amla overnight.
- Boil the water the next morning until the pods soften.
- Cool, mash and strain the liquid, and use it as your shampoo.
- Remember it will not lather as much as a readymade shampoo, but it does the job better.
- You can also boil dried shikakai or shikakai powder, neem leaves, fenugreek powder and some dried amla in a cup of water for 15-20 minutes.
- Cool, mash and strain the liquid.
- Use the water as a natural shampoo.
#2 How to Use It as a Soap:
The market offers you various brands of shikakai based soaps.
#3 How to Make Shikakai Oil:
- Add one tablespoon shikakai powder to half a cup basil / avocado / coconut oil.
- Put the mixture in a container and let it sit for a few weeks.
- Keep shaking it intermittently. Use the oil in your hair 2-3 times a week and shampoo well using Pantene Pro-V Lively Clean shampoo.
#4 Using Shikakai as a hair pack:
- You can mix shikakai powder with herbs like reetha and henna to make a nourishing hair pack.
How To Make Shikakai Hair Packs:
1. Shikakai Hair Pack for Dry Hair
- A blend of shikakai and yogurt is excellent for your hair.
- Massage in the blend and wash it off after 15-20 minutes.
- Do this every alternate day and see results within a week.
- Add half a cup shikakai and one cup amla powder to a cup of lukewarm water.
- Let this sit for 1-2 hours.
- Apply the paste to your hair and wash it off after 30 minutes.
- This is an excellent remedy for dry and dandruff affected hair.
2. Shikakai Hair Pack for Oily Hair
- Oily hair and scalp requires proper cleansing to remove grime and dirt and unclog hair follicles
- A cleansing shampoo made of shikakai is ideal in such a situation, as it isn’t as harsh as store bought shampoos and hence you can use it daily
- Take 2 tablespoons of shikakai powder, 1 tablespoon of green gram powder, and half a tablespoon of methi powder
- Mix this mixture with an egg white and use it as shampoo
- Note that it won’t lather like a normal shampoo, however, it will be as effective as a store bought shampoo!
3. Shikakai Hair Pack for Dandruff
- Shikakai is a miracle ingredient for scalp ailments
- You will need shikakai powder, neem leaves, methi powder and amla powder
- Mix all the ingredients together and boil them for at least 10-20 minutes
- Mash the lumps after it cools down and strain the water
- Massage your scalp with this water
- Wash it off after 30 minutes with cold water
4. Split ends Hair Pack
- Boil shikakai powder with coconut oil and store this concoction in a cool dry place
- Apply this oil twice a week
- The mixture of shikakai and coconut oil will nourish your hair and in turn prevent split ends
5. Grey Hair Reversal Pack
- Shikakai can be used to prevent premature greying of the hair
- Take half a cup of sour cup and mix in shikakai powder
- Apply this mixture to your hair and scalp
- Wash it off after 20 minutes with cold water
6. Glossy Hair Pack
- You need 20 grams of shikakai, 20 grams of reetha and 10 grams of dried amla
- Add 1.5 liters of water to these ingredients for at least 10 hours. You can even prolong this duration for a stronger shampoo
- Take this mixture and heat it till it starts boiling. At this point, let it boil for 5 minutes, then under low flame, let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- After it cools, crush all the ingredients with hand
- Strain it before you start using it
- The above hair pack also softens your hair is really a boon for women with frizzy hair! Yes ladies, you can get frizz-free hair with shikakai! And curly hair women, stop worrying about tangled hair. This concoction is going to act as a natural detangler as well.
7. How To Use Shikakai for Hair Growth
- Make shikakai hair oil for hair growth. This recipe is easy to make, but requires 2 weeks for the finished product to actually be ready.
- Take a few teaspoons of shikakai in coconut oil
- Store this mixture in plastic bottle, in a cool, dark place
- Let the mixture be for at least 2 weeks to help shikakai infusion in the oil
- Keep shaking the bottle once in a while for better infusion
- Use this oil to massage your scalp twice a week
Wondering how to make shikakai powder at home?
Shikakai Powder Recipe
- Take 1 kg of Shikakai
- Dry this in sunlight for 3-4 days, so that it is completely rid of moisture
- Blend it into a fine powder in the mixer or you can even give to the mill for fine powder!
Of course, after seeing so many benefits of shikakai, one is bound to think of the disadvantages and side effects of it!
Side Effects & Disadvantages of Using Shikakai for Hair:
As far as we know, it is safe to use Shikakai on hair. But doing a patch test before taking up any treatments is the safest way to go about things. Also, if you know of any drawbacks, we encourage you to kindly post those in our comments section!
Make shikakai a regular part of your hair care routine. And watch the results speak for themselves.