It’s amazing how so many of our traditional Indian beauty regimes are making a come-back in this day and age. Take a look at Shikakai or Acacia concinna, a climbing shrub that is native to Asia. Shikakai is commonly found in India and has been traditionally used as a hair cleanser in several parts of our country. Remember the brown paste that our grandmas washed their hair with? Well it has numerous fabulous hair care benefits!
You would be surprised to know how many hair ailments this natural hair cleanser can cure!
Let’s look at 10 of these reasons why shikakai absolutely needs to become a part of your hair care routine:
- Benefits of shikakai for hair
- 1. Shikakai can make your hair soft and shiny
- 2. Heals your scalp and prevents the agony of a dry scalp
- 3. Fight that stubborn dandruff with shikakai
- 4. Shikakai boosts hair growth
- 5. Is a gentle detangler
- 6. Shikakai prevents dreadful split ends
- 7. Delays greying of hair!
- 8. Works on hair lice
- 9. Works as a natural hair cleanser
- 10. Soothes an itchy scalp
- How to use shikakai in daily hair care routine
- How to make shikakai powder
- Frequently asked questions about benefits of shikakai for hair
Benefits of shikakai for hair
1. Shikakai can make your hair soft and shiny
Shikakai is rich with saponins, vitamins and antioxidants that make your hair shiny. Moreover, this natural cleanser lathers mildly and thus cleanses your scalp and hair gently while improving your hair’s texture.
2. Heals your scalp and prevents the agony of a dry scalp
Shikakai is a cooling agent and thus helps soothe your scalp. When you have an unhealthy, dry scalp, it affects your hair growth. Shikakai cleanses your scalp gently and induces sebum secretion which helps reverse the dryness of your scalp. Shikakai also helps reduce the itchiness and inflammation of your scalp, thus helping your scalp heal.
3. Fight that stubborn dandruff with shikakai
Fighting dandruff is an old and painful hair concern. Shikakai has antifungal properties that help get rid of dandruff for good. To give your hair a dose of shikakai, rely on the Lever Ayush Thick and Long Growth Shikakai Shampoo that’ll strengthen your tresses and help growth.
4. Shikakai boosts hair growth
Is hair loss freaking you out and making you lose sleep? Are you perhaps on the verge of buying that expensive cold-pressed hair oil that promises to reduce hair loss? Pause, before you get there. Shikakai, an all-natural hair cleanser, easily available at local grocery stores and online helps boost hair growth. It is replete with antioxidants, which help fight free-radicals damaging your hair and scalp. Its gentle cleansing action helps detangle your hair softly, thus reducing hair breakage and consequent hair fall. Shikakai is also rich in vitamins like C, A, E and K and other micronutrients that nourish your scalp and boost hair growth.
5. Is a gentle detangler
Because of its silky cleansing nature, shikakai detangles your hair gently. This reduces hair breakage and hair loss. This also helps reduce damage to the hair resulting from too many chemicals. If you have unruly, curly hair and are trying to go all-natural with your hair products, shikakai will be a boon that helps detangle your tangled mop of hair
6. Shikakai prevents dreadful split ends
All the chemical hair treatment, straightening, and free-radical generation causes terrible split ends in our hair. Once you get split ends, there is no way to heal that except to get a hair-cut and hope that the split ends don't reappear when you hair grows out. This is where shikakai comes in as your saviour. This simple hair cleanser is rich in antioxidants which neutralize the damage-causing free radicals. Shikakai also promotes sebum secretion in your scalp which moisturizes your hair and helps prevent split ends
7. Delays greying of hair!
While we totally dig the salt and pepper look that some of our sport, it doesn’t work for everyone. Thanks to the stressful lives that we all lead, many experiences premature greying of hair. Add to that chemical hair treatment and a deluge of harsh hair care products, premature greying is a given. Shikakai helps stall the greying of hair, again because of the antioxidants that it carries. Shikakai nourishes your hair, heals the scalp and ensures that premature greying is reversed. Isn’t that fabulous?
8. Works on hair lice
Even if it’s not you who suffers from hair lice, if a loved one or the ones you live with have this problem, it is sure to spread. Yes, it’s icky and gross, but hair lice can be gotten rid of using shikakai. This awesome hair cleanser naturally arrests the growth of hair lice and helps deal with this hair concern.
9. Works as a natural hair cleanser
Even though shikakai is free of any harsh soap or detergent properties, it still acts an excellent natural hair cleanser. Using shikakai to wash your hair helps to cleanse away all the dirt and other impurities without your stripping your hair and scalp of natural oils and does not leave them dry and frizzy post washing. Shikakai is also a great hair care ingredient if you want soft and shiny hair without indulging in expensive salon treatments.
10. Soothes an itchy scalp
The antifungal and antimicrobial properties of shikakai work like a charm to keep problems such as dandruff, scalp eczema, psoriasis and itchy scalp, lice, inflammation and other issues at bay. Additionally, the cleansing properties of shikakai prevent your follicles from getting blocked, which is really helpful to prevent breakage and promote healthy hair growth.
One little fruit with so many hair care benefits! Go order some shikakai online or pay a visit to the local grocery store to stock up on some. This holy-grail natural hair cleanser is sure to help you have beautiful, lustrous, healthy hair.
How to use shikakai in daily hair care routine
01. As a shampoo –
Shikakai works as an excellent natural cleanser that eliminates dirt, oil, sweat and other impurities from your scalp without stripping it of natural moisture. A simple way to reap these benefits is to make a shikakai shampoo at home. All you need to is soak together a few shikakai pods, a few seedless reetha, some dried amla and fenugreek seeds in a big bowl of water overnight. In the morning, boil everything together until the ingredients become soft and then allow it to cool down completely. Strain the water and use it to wash your hair to reveal soft, conditioned and nourished hair.
02. As a hair oil –
Making your own shikakai hair oil at home with other essential hair-loving ingredients is a simple way to nourish, condition, add shine and lustre to your hair. To make this shikakai hair oil at home, all you need to do is mix together a cup of almond oil, two cups of coconut oil along with two to three tablespoons of shikakai powder. Transfer these ingredients to a glass bottle, shake it thoroughly several times and allow it to sit for about seven to 10 days.
How to make shikakai powder
Shikakai powder is an excellent ingredient to have at home. You can add them to your shampoos, conditioners and even make a number of hair masks for different hair concerns with shikakai powder as the main ingredient. But you don't have to buy expensive store-bought shikakai powder because it is possible to make your own shikakai powder at home. Yes, really! This is how it is done -
Step 01: Sun dry at least 10 to 15 shikakai pods until all the moisture from the pods has been dried up. You could even add the bark and leaves of the shikakai plant if you happen to have them.
Step 02: Once it is completely dried, grind everything together in a mixture until it completely turns to powder.
Frequently asked questions about benefits of shikakai for hair
Q. Does shikakai dry out hair?
A. No, it does not. Shikakai has excellent moisturizing, conditioning and hydrating properties that help to eliminate hair dryness and leave it soft, shiny and frizz-free. Therefore, shikakai does not dry out your hair at all.
Q. Does shikakai change hair colour?
A. Shikakai is an excellent natural shampoo, conditioner and hair mask ingredient. Shikakai improves the moisture-retaining capacity of your hair follicles, which makes ensures that it prevents premature greying as well as prevents your hair colour from fading very quickly.
Q. Can I use shikakai daily?
A. Yes, definitely. Shikakai is extremely gentle on your hair and does not strip it off it's natural oils. This ensures that washing your hair with shikakai will leave your hair super soft and conditioned. This is much better than the detergent-laden shampoos, as they end up stripping and damaging your hair.
Q. Can I use conditioner after washing my hair with shikakai?
A. The best part about using shikakai to wash your hair is that it does not strip your hair of the moisture or the essential natural oils present. which means that washing your hair with shikakai does not leave them dry and damaged, as with traditional shampoo. Therefore, it is not exactly mandatory to use a conditioner post washing with shikakai. But if you have super dry and damaged hair, and have started using shikakai shampoos only recently, then you may need to apply a conditioner initially.
Written by Swathi Iyer on Sep 25, 2017