14 Best Benefits Of Shikakai For Hair And 7 Ways To Use It

 

Shikakai, Shikakai Powder

Shikakai is taking the world of hair care and beauty by storm, and for very good reasons that too. This is why, today we are going to talk about shikakai, its wondrous effects on our hair and what it can do for us, along with sharing a few recipes with you too. Buckle up, read on and be well-informed. There is a reason why they say ‘OLD IS GOLD’! Shikakai proves the same!

What is Shikakai?

Know to promote long, strong and shiny hair, shikakai is an amazing hair care product that is commonly found across the tropical forests of India. The seeds when crushed, the powder can be used to treat various hair disorders and scalp issues, hair growth needs and more. Shikakai can be a little bit drying on the hair, which is why; we add other stuff to it to make it wholesome for hair care. If you have shikakai pods at home, they can be stored for a year without getting spoilt. However, before you store them, please sun dry them and then air tight store.

Herbal Properties Of Shikakai

Shikakai is also known to the botanical world as acacia concinna. For many centuries now, people have used shikakai to clean their hair and the skin. This is because of the various herbal properties it has.

  1. The bark of the tree has saponins in it which helps moderately lather the hair when water is mixed with it
  1. There is a lot of vitamins in it- C, D, A , E and K, which help nourish the hair
  1. The presence of antioxidants in shikakai is a boon for the hair. Free radicals are fought against, and the hair and scalp are kept in good stead too.
  1. The micro nutrients found in shikakai help with hair nourishment and hair growth
  1. Regular use of shikakai helps with hair longevity, lesser hairfall and breakage and also helps bring the bounce and shine to the hair, much needed.

Now that you have a fair idea on the wonders of shikakai and what all it can do for your hair, let us now take a deeper look into the benefits of shikakai for hair.

Benefits of Shikakai for Hair:

1. Mild Action

Shikakai is mild and has a low pH level, which can help maintain the pH levels of the hair and the scalp, and can be used regularly without a hitch. As a result, the scalp doesn’t get too dry, too oily or too sensitive, as the pH levels of shikahai matches up to balance the pH levels on our hair. Hence we have a healthy scalp and healthy hair too..

2. Adds shine and softness

If you are fed up of the promises made by commercial shampoo and conditioner brands, and find that the shine of the hair is further deteriorating than coming back, it is time for you to get shikakai. With shikakai, your hair will shine, there would be lesser tangles, and the hair gets softer and very manageable too.

3. Fights dandruff

Thanks to the anti fungal properties of shikakai, dandruff would be curbed when you use shikakai regularly as a hair wash powder. Now this is what most beauticians wouldn’t tell you, but the commercial medicated shampoos would make the natural pigment of the hair run away and turn it white or grey; using shikakai, this wouldn’t ever happen. And there wouldn’t be any dryness or itching as well.

Benefits Of Shikakai For Hair, Shikakai Shampoo

4. For Hair Growth

Our hair follicles need plenty of nourishment to come through or else it wouldn’t be able to grow longer and thicker hair; hair that we desire. Shikakai has plenty of vitamins in it, and this is why the fruit is known as HAIR FRUIT- the vitamin C content in it helps promote the growth of hair by providing a lot of nourishment to the hair. It also helps give collagen boost to the scalp, and the antioxidants in shikakai can help prevent the onslaught of free radicals too.

5. Gives you stronger, Thicker Hair

Thicker and longer hair is what we desire to have, and most commercial hair products cannot help us with the same. Shikakai is thus an inexpensive way to attain the hair length and bounce, thickness and strong hair you need. Much better than the shampoos bought, shikakai is natural. This means, no more harsh chemicals to attack your scalp and hair, and the nourishment factor is plenty, thanks to the presence of vitamins in shikakai.

6. Prevents a dry scalp/Nourishes the Scalp

If the scalp is unhealthy, don’t expect the hair to grow thick, long, strong and healthy. The foundation needs to be strong, which is why we should use shikakai. Shikakai can help grow the hair and soothe the scalp; prevents dryness and itching of the scalp and nourishes the scalp too. Shikakai also brings down any form of inflammation of the scalp, thanks to the optimizing of the pH levels of the scalp.

7. Delays Grey hair

These days and thanks to the chemicals and pollutants around, even youngsters are getting white and grey hair. While the salt and pepper look can work for some, it doesn’t work for all. If you want to be safe from premature greying, you should use shikakai. Shikakai can help reduce the natural greying process of the hair, deals with premature greying and also helps absorb into the hair better. What you get in the bargain would be thicker, darker and shinier hair. Why spend so much on chemical dyes, when shikakai can do the job better?

Shikakai Hair Benefits

8. Removes hair lice

It is but annoying and embarrassing to have head lice, and if you or your loved ones have head lice, it is time to use shikakai. Shikakai can help naturally heal the problem and also keeps the lice away from your tresses for good.

9. Heals minor wounds

Shikakai can come in very handy to heal cuts and wounds on the scalp, since it has medicinal properties in it too. It wouldn’t cause any pains even if you have sensitive skin on the scalp; commercial shampoos would.

10. Prevents Split Ends

When the hair has been chemically treated, it turns dry and coarse over a period of time. To hide this, you would tie and bun up the hair pretty much, which can lead to pressure and split ends. Shikakai can help prevent split ends by taking the cause away. Shikakai promotes sebum production on the scalp, which in turn moisturises the hair and the vitamins nourish the hair. Together it helps stop dryness of the hair, which means more hair growth promotion and lesser split ends to deal with.

11. Soothes your head

If you mix amla, curd and shikakai together, you can use it as a hair mask to deep condition the hair and to also soothe the head on a hot summer noon. Even if you have a migraine or a nagging headache, shikakai can be used in this way to cool the head and remove the pain too.

12. Gently detangles hair

Knots and tangles in the hair are frustrating and can lead to a lot of hair fall due to the tugging and pulling of the hair whilst combing is done. What you can do is to apply some paste of shikakai in the hair, and run your fingers through it. This can help the natural oils of the scalp come onto the hair and detangle the hair.

13. Removes Oil and Dirt

Shikakai powder is an excellent hair cleanser, and when used with curd and amla, can help soothe the scalp and suck out build up, dirt and grime from the hair within minutes. The vacuuming action of shikakai keeps the scalp clean and the hair bouncier.

14. It is cheaper and better

Why spend a bomb on commercial hair cleaners, shampoos and conditioners that have chemicals in them, which harm the hair in the long run? Wouldn’t it be nice for you to save your money and hair, and use the gift of nature- SHIKAKAI!

So here were the many benefits of using shikakai for the hair. Now let us take a look at the various recipes that we can use at home with shikakai, which would help promote hair growth and hair health.

Some Recipes with Shikakai:

1. Shikakai Shampoo

What all you need:

  • A tablespoon of reetha pods
  • A tablespoon of dried amla pods
  • A cup of shikakai pods
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Soak all the ingredients in a bowl of water overnight
  1. Boil the soaked ingredients in the same water till the pods soften up the next day
  1. Remove from flame and cool
  1. Strain the water and save it
  1. Mash and form a paste of the ingredients
  1. Apply the paste as you would apply shampoo on the hair
  1. Massage into the scalp and the hair
  1. Wash the hair with the strained water after five minutes
  1. Rinse with running cold water
  1. Towel dry

How it works:

Amla and reetha along with shikakai are formed into paste to soften and deep condition the hair, cleanse the hair and the scalp too.

Tip: Thrice a week for dry hair, twice a week for oily hair, once a week for thin hair

Shikakai Shampoo

2. Shikakai Oil

What all you need:

  • One tablespoon of shikakai powder
  • Half a cup of basil powder
  • Half a cup of avocado
  • Half a cup of coconut oil
  • A container

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a container
  1. Let it sit for a month in a cool and dry place
  1. The oil is ready to use after a month

How it works:

Coconut oil is a natural hair nourishment agent, moisturizer and a hair booster. Basil and avocado have essential antimicrobial and essential fats for hair growth and longevity. Shikakai powder softens the hair and promotes hair growth, and brings shine to the hair too.

Tip: Use this concoction thrice a week

3. Shikakai Hair Pack

What all you need:

  • A cup of curd
  • Half a cup of shikakai powder
  • A cup of amla powder
  • A container

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in the container
  1. Wait for half an hour
  1. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp
  1. Massage the scalp and emulsify the hair with your fingers
  1. Wait for twenty minutes
  1. Wash off with warm water
  1. Towel dry

How it works:

Curd is responsible for deep conditioning and collagen boost. It also helps with hair follicle stimulation too. Shikakai powder adds bounce, shine and detangles the hair, and helps prevent split ends too. Amla powder helps nourish the hair.

Tip: Use it twice a week for all hair types.

Shikakai Hair Pack

4. Shikakai Hair Wash Powder

What all you need:

  • 2 tbsps of shikakai powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • Half a cup of honey

Directions:

  1. Boil the powder in warm water for a minute
  1. Make the paste of the same
  1. Apply honey in it
  1. Mix well and apply on the hair
  1. Wait for half an hour
  1. Wash off with cold water
  1. Towel dry

How it works:

Shikakai helps with deep conditioning and relieving dry hair and scalp. Honey helps moisturize the hair and the scalp.

Tip: Best used for dry hair and chemically treated hair.

5. Shikakai Conditioner

What all you need:

  • Half a cup of curd
  • Half a cup of shikakai powder
  • Quart cup amla powder
  • A container

Directions:

  1. Begin by mixing all the powders with the curd in a container
  1. Make a paste and let it sit for half an hour
  1. Massage the paste into the scalp and the hair
  1. Wait for half an hour
  1. Wash off with cold water
  1. Towel dry

How it works:

The deep conditioning effect comes through with curd. Amla helps nourish the hair follicles and makes it strong. Shikakai helps strengthen the hair roots and brings a natural shine to the hair.

Tip: Can be used thrice a week for all hair types.

6. Shikakai Hair Rinse

What all you need:

  • 1 tbsp shikakai powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup filtered water

Directions:

  1. Begin by heating water in a pot and boiling it.
  1. Add to the boiling water the powder and the oil
  1. Boil and string after twenty minutes
  1. Let it cool
  1. Add honey to the mix
  1. Stir well
  1. Shampoo your hair normally
  1. Add this mix to the shampoo at the end and massage the hair and the scalp with it
  1. Wash off with cold water in ten minutes
  1. Towel dry

How it works:

Olive oil and honey are best forms of natural moisturizers for the hair and the scalp. Shikakai helps nourish the hair, cleanse the scalp and acts as a deep conditioner for the hair roots too.

Tip: Best for dry hair and curly African hair!

7. Shikakai Hair Pack for Lice

What all you need:

  • A few drops of neem oil
  • A pinch of camphor
  • Olive oil
  • Honey and
  • Shikakai hair powder

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to form a paste
  1. Apply the paste on the hair and the roots
  1. Massage deep into the scalp and wait for an hour
  1. Wash off with warm water
  1. Towel dry

How it works:

Neem oil is antimicrobial and kills the germs, lice and infection. Olive oil and honey are natural hair and scalp moisturizers that nourish the hair and make it soft. Camphor helps kill the lice.

Tip: Use only if the issue is a minor one!

Shikakai Hair Pack for Lice

These were thus the many benefits and recipes of using shikakai for your hair. Now lets take a final word on the tips and after care of using shikakai.

Tips, Prevention and After Care

With shikakai, there are no side-effects as such to deal with or worry about. This is why, we are convinced to share these benefits with you. Just remember to follow the directions and instructions to the T and the rest will be in place.

Disclaimer: The information given here is done through research only. If you have major hair and scalp issues, it would be wise to meet and speak with a trichologist for the same. Their words would take precedence over what is written here and elsewhere online!

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