Uses and Benefits of Shikakai for Hair
Healthy, beautiful and bouncy hair makes you look beautiful whereas shabby and poor hair ruins your look. Many haircare products promise for lustrous and healthy hair but nature itself imparted us many natural ingredients which can help to grow hair longer and thicker. Shikakai is one among them and is very popular and widely used since centuries for healthy and thick hair.
Shikakai is scientifically known as Acacia concinna is a shrub like tree grown in Central India. It has been used since centuries as cleanser for hair and body. Due to presence of saponins in its bark, it lathers moderately when shaken with water. It is rich in vitamin C and also Vitamins A, D, E and K and other antioxidants which are very essential for healthy and quick growth of hair naturally. These vitamins help in providing necessary micro-nutrients to the hair follicle to nourish hair and grow fast and healthy.
The leaves, barks and fruit pods of shikakai are dried, powdered and made into a paste at home to apply on hair. Regular use of shikakai will strengthen your hair strands and reduce hair fall. It also helps to get rid of dandruff and other hair and scalp problems. Besides, shikakai is used in many shampoos and hair medicines for its hair strengthening and conditioning properties.
How to Use Shikakai on Hair
1. Homemade Shikakai Shampoo
The procedure is simple and shikakai shampoo can be made at any time if all required ingredients are available. Soak few dried shikakai pods, reetha and dried amla overnight and in next morning boil that water till pods gets smooth and can be mashed with hands. Cool the mixture and strain the mixture. Use tthis water as shampoo to clean scalp. Visible results can be seen when used 2-3 times a week.
Alternatively you can use shikakai powder and amla powder for making this shampoo. Amla helps in conditioning hair and makes it soft and shine.
2. Shikakai Hair Pack
Hair packs of shikakai are very beneficial for treating dandruff and other scalp related problems. Take few shikakai pods or powder, neem leaves, fenugreek powder and amla depending on the length of your hair. Boil them for about 15-20 minutes and then allowed to cool. Mash little with hand and strain the water. Massage the hair and scalp with this water and rinse it off with water after 30 minutes.
Neem leaves helps in treating dandruff and lice problems and Fenugreek powder makes hair thicken and prevents premature greying.
3. Shikakai Hair Wash Powder
Good quality of arappu powder and shikakai make great combination to wash hair and scalp for smooth, bouncy and healthy hair. It also prevents hairfall.
Arappu powder is made with tender leaves of arappu tree is mixed with shikakai powder. Mix thoroughly and apply this paste to hair and rinse it off after 20 minutes with water.
4. Shikakai Conditioner
Add sufficient yogurt to shikakai powder to make it to thick paste. Mix well and apply the paste on to hair. Allow it stay for 20 minutes and then wash it off with water. Neem powder can also be added to the paste for additional benefits.
Yogurt acts as a natural conditioner and nourishes hair. (Also read yogurt for dandruff)
5. Shikakai with Oil
Take about one tablespoon of shikakai powder and add it to half cup of basil oil or avocado oil or coconut oil. Mix it well and allow to rest the container for few weeks in dark and cool place. Use the oil for thrice a week and shampoo hair after 2 hours for its effective absorption into scalp. Thick long hair is no more a dream with this oil when used regularly.
It is always preferable to use shikakai along with another conditioning agent as it can cause mild drying especially when used without oil.
Benefits of Shikakai for Hair
- Shikakai contains low levels of pH which makes it a good cleanser naturally. It also helps to restore moisture and prevents stripping of natural oils.
- Shikakai has a natural property to detangle your hair and leave them soft and smooth after your hair wash. So there is no need to use conditioner along with shikakai.
- Shikakai help to deal with dandruff and other scalp problems and infections.
- The decoction of nuts and pods which have been soaked overnight will help to remove dirt and extra oil from your hair providing immunity from fungal infections and lice problems.
- Shikakai nourishes the scalp with essential vitamins D and c and keeps moist in summers.
- Use of shikakai to wash hair before applying dye helps to soak it better and stay for long time.
- It is natural control against greying
- Shikakai acts as natural astringent for hair giving mass and bounce for hair.
- The acrid property of shikakai leaves helps in treatment of dandruff problems and acts as natural guard against all types of pollution
- Shikakai powder works as a natural shampoo and give natural shine without any damage
Where to Buy Shikakai?
Shikakai is available in form of dry power and paste in grocery or beauty stores. Store them in air tight container.