Awesome Benefits of Shikakai for Hair – How to Use – Shikakai is a magical herb for our hair. It has been used since centuries for long, strong and beautiful hair. Today, however, the chemical filled shampoos have taken over. But if you want to grow healthy and gorgeous hair, look no further than shikakai. Why? Well, check out the amazing benefits of shikakai for hair here in this article. Plus, we are going to share few simple ways to incorporate the same to your hair care regime. Shikakai, in itself, can be a little drying for our hair, hence, one must use this herb in combination with other natural ingredients to enjoy all the benefits of shikakai for hair. To know more, keep on reading.
Check – How to Use Olive Oil for Hair Growth – 13 Best Natural Remedies
What is Shikakai?
Scientifically known as Acacia concinna, shikakai is a herb native to Asia. The word ‘shikakai’ literally translates into ‘fruit for hair’ in English. This is used as an alternative for shampoo, specially in combination with ‘reetha’ or soapnut. The main reason that shikakai is used as a natural hair cleanser is because it contains saponin, which works as a great cleansing agent. It helps in cleansing the hair thoroughly but without being harsh. Along with this, shikakai also contains vitamins, including vitamin A, C, D, E, K and also other antioxidants which make it extremely beneficial for hair care.
Shikakai powder is what we normally use for hair care. The leaves of the plant, as well as the bark and the fruit pods are dried and then grind into powder, which is known as Shikakai powder. So, what are the benefits of shikakai for hair? Well, find out below.
Benefits of Shikakai for Hair
1. Good for Scalp
Its not a secret that a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair. Shikakai not only offers awesome benefits for hair, but it is equally good for our scalp health as well. This herb comes with antiseptic properties, which help in calming down an irritated scalp. It also helps to maintain the ideal pH balance of the scalp, which is essential for a healthy scalp.
2. Natural Hair Cleanser
Since ages, shikakai has been used as a natural hair cleanser. Still now, many women prefer to wash their hair with shikakai rather than using any store-bought shampoos. Shikakai contains ‘saponin’, which is a natural cleansing agent and it provides deep cleansing effect to the scalp as well as hair. However, the best part of using shikakai for hair cleansing is that it is not at all harsh on the hair and doesn’t strip hair off its natural oils in the process of cleansing.
3. Fights off Dandruff
Dandruff is a common hair problem, but it can get severe for those suffering from chronic dandruff. If not treated on time, dandruff not only damages the scalp, but leads to uncontrollable hair fall. If nothing seems to work for you, do try shikakai. It comes with anti fungal as well as anti septic properties, which work together to combat dandruff. Moreover, the amazing cleansing benefits of shikakai for hair help to unclog the hair follicles and remove the white flakes completely.
4. Nourishes Hair Follicles
Shikakai contains a number of nutrients, such as vitamin A, C, D, E, K, etc. When used on the hair regularly, shikakai provides a boost of nourishment to the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. The vitamin C content of shikakai boosts collagen production and aids in hair growth. Moreover, shikakai comes with anti oxidants, which prevent free radical damages and improve hair health.
5. Gets Rid of Head Lice
Many of us are not aware of this benefit of Shikakai for Hair. Head lice can cause lot of discomfort on the scalp and if not treated on time, it can damage our scalp severely. One of the best natural remedy for head lice is shikakai. It has low pH value, which makes it difficult for the head lice to survive. Moreover, shikakai comes with anti bacterial and anti fungal properties, which work together to prevent the growth of head lice.
6. Conditioning Properties of Shikakai for Hair
Shikakai works exceptionally well to condition dry hair. It comes with vitamins and other nutrients, which work effectively to nourish dry and brittle hair and make them soft and shiny once again. Shikakai contains vitamin E, which is known for its moisturizing properties and it helps in adding softness to the dry locks.
7. Prevents Gray Hair
If you are suffering from premature graying of hair, then try shikakai. Shikakai comes with anti oxidant benefits, which help in reversing the damage done by free radicals and treats hair problems like premature gray hair.
8. Gives Stronger and Thicker Hair
If you wish to have longer, stronger and thicker hair, then do replace all your commercial hair products with shikakai. Regular use of shikakai helps in promoting hair growth and adds bounce, thickness as well as strength to our hair. This herb comes packed with essential nutrients, which effectively repair hair damage and prevent brittle hair.
9. Reduces Hair Fall
Free radical damage is one of the main reasons behind hair fall. Shikakai, being rich in anti oxidants, prevent the activities of free radicals and reduce the oxidative stress, which in turn help in curbing hair fall. Along with anti oxidants, shikakai contains a number of vitamins, which further provide additional nutrition to the hair follicles, rejuvenate them and stop hair fall.
10. Repairs Split Ends
Split ends is one of the main signs that our hair is damaged. Excessive dry hair can cause split ends. And free radicals present in our body are often responsible for the dryness of hair. The anti oxidants present in shikakai help to neutralize the free radical activities and repair split ends over time.
So here are the major benefits of shikakai for hair. Below we are going to discuss how we can use shikakai in combination with other ingredients for our hair care.
How to use Shikakai for Hair
1. Homemade Shikakai Shampoo
How to prepare?
Soak 100 gm each of amla, reetha and shikakai in some water overnight. The next morning, heat the mixture and keep on blending the herbs till the water reduces down to half. After that, remove from heat and let the mixture reach room temperature. Mash the herbs together and strain the liquid. Collect it in another container and use this liquid to wash your hair. First wet your hair and then apply this shampoo. Lather up and let it stay on the hair for 5 minutes. Wash off and follow up with a conditioner. Use this remedy with shikakai for hair 2-3 times in a week.
Why this works?
Reetha or soapnut is one of the ancient hair care ingredients. Like shikakai, reetha also contains saponin, which makes it a great natural cleanser for our hair. Also it comes with vitamin A,D,E and K which nourish the scalp and hair. Reetha also helps in making hair smooth and shiny. Reetha is anti bacterial in nature, which helps in treating scalp infections and combat hair loss due to the same. Furthermore, reetha, with its insecticidal properties, help to get rid of head lice effectively.
Amla contains various minerals, nutrients, amino acids as well as anti oxidants. No wonder, it is regarded as one of the best natural hair care ingredients. Amla is particularly high in vitamin C, which has anti inflammatory, anti oxidant and anti bacterial properties. Vitamin C helps with hair growth as well as it can treat dandruff and hair loss. The anti oxidants present in amla help protect the hair and scalp from free radical damages. Amla helps with better blood circulation in the scalp, which in turn rejuvenate the hair follicles and induce new hair growth. Using amla regularly for hair also prevents hair breakage, premature graying as well as split ends. Amla or Indian gooseberry also helps to restore ideal pH level of the scalp, which is essential for healthy scalp and hair.
2. Shikakai and Neem Hair Pack for Dandruff Control
How to use neem and shikakai for hair?
Take some water in a container and add a handful of neem leaves. Further add equal amounts of shikakai powder, methi powder as well as amla powder there. Mix all the ingredients together and boil for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the ingredients together with your hand. Using a strainer, separate the water and use the same to massage your scalp. Keep it on for 20-30 minutes before washing off with plain water. Repeat once or twice in a week. This is a great way to use shikakai for hair care.
Why it works?
Neem comes with anti fungal properties, which play a vital role in dandruff removal. Also, it has anti inflammatory benefits, which soothe the scalp inflammation and gives relief from constant scratching. Furthermore, the natural oils present in neem has moisturizing properties which help to moisturize the scalp and driving away dandruff. Regular use of neem ensures that dandruff doesn’t come back and both the scalp and hair stays healthy.
Methi helps in dandruff removal due to its anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. It destroys the dandruff causing fungus and gives relief from the itching and dryness. Furthermore methi comes packed with various nutrients such as, vitamin C, iron, protein, potassium, lecithin, nicotinic acid, etc. which work together to repair the damage and restore the scalp health.
Amla has vitamin C in it, which comes with anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties. It not only prevents dandruff but also combats hair loss caused by dandruff. Amla has the ability to restore the pH balance of the scalp which further help with dandruff treatment. Also amla is a powerhouse of various minerals, nutrients, amino acids and anti oxidants, which play vital roles in treating dandruff.
3. Use Yogurt and Shikakai for Hair
How to use yogurt and shikakai for hair?
Take two tbsp shikakai powder and add enough amount of yogurt there to prepare a smooth paste. Also add few drops of vitamin E oil for extra benefits. Apply this on the hair from roots to the tips and massage gently. Wear a shower cap and cover your hair for 20-30 minutes. Use cool water and a mild shampoo to wash it off and repeat this remedy with shikakai for hair once or twice in a week.
Why it works?
Yogurt comes with amazing moisturizing qualities. It helps in conditioning the hair and smoothen dry hair effectively. Also it adds a beautiful shine to the hair. It has lactic acid which exfoliates the scalp and unblock the clogged hair follicles. The proteins and nutrient present in yogurt nourish the hair follicles and strengthen them. Also, yogurt can restore scalp’s natural pH balance and treats any fungal or bacterial infection on the scalp. Yogurt further nourishes the scalp and keeps it hydrated as well as aids in better hair growth.
Yogurt is extremely beneficial in treating dandruff as well. The probiotics present in yogurt help to give relief from dandruff as well as other scalp conditions. Also the anti inflammatory benefits of yogurt help to soothe the irritation and inflammation of the scalp caused by dandruff.
4. Homemade Oil with Shikakai for Hair
How to prepare?
Take a tbsp shikakai powder and add it to half cup of coconut oil. Store this in a bottle and keep it in a cool dark place for couple of weeks. Shake the bottle daily to ensure that the shikakai powder gets mixed with the oil. After two weeks, once the oil is ready, take 2-3 tbsp of the same and massage your scalp with this oil. Keep it on for 15-20 minutes. After that wash off with shampoo and cool water. You can use this remedy with shikakai for hair as an overnight treatment.
Why it works?
Coconut oil has the ability to penetrate hair shafts much better than other oils would do, which makes it much more effective to treat hair damages. The medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil help to strengthen the hair roots by preventing protein loss. This way, coconut oil helps to get rid of hair fall problem effectively. Being rich in several nutrients as well as anti oxidants, coconut oil is able to nourish the hair roots and make hair stronger and more resistant to damage. The emollient properties of coconut oil moisturize the hair strands and prevent moisture loss as well. The medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil comes with anti bacterial benefits and they help in keeping the scalp healthy as well as infection free. In fact, coconut oil is extremely effective in getting rid of dandruff.
Furthermore, the fatty acids present in coconut oil help in adding moisture to dry and rough hair strands. And all the nutrients present in this natural oil rejuvenate the scalp and stimulate the hair follicles to induce new hair growth, resulting in bouncier and thicker hair.
5. Use Honey and Shikakai for Hair Care
How to prepare honey and shikakai hair mask?
Take a cup of water and bring it to boil. To this, add one tbsp shikakai powder and two tbsp of honey. Let it stay for 15-20 minutes, post which you can remove the water from the heat. Strain the mixture and add some honey to the same. Mix the honey with the solution and keep it aside. Shampoo your hair as usual and then pour the honey-shikakai mixture on the hair. Massage your hair and scalp for about 3-5 minutes and then rinse it off with plain water. For those with dry hair, this solution can actually replace your store bought shampoo, which often makes the hair even drier.
Why it works?
Honey works amazingly well for our hair, specially if you have dry hair. It is a natural hair conditioner that helps in repairing the rough texture of your hair and make it soft and smooth once again. The natural humectant properties of honey help in locking moisture into the hair strands as well as prevent moisture loss, to protect your hair from getting dehydrated and brittle. Honey is a rich source of vitamins such as vitamin B1, B2, B3 B5 as well as B6. It also contains minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc etc, which work together to add nourishment and strength to the hair strands. Furthermore, honey comes with multiple anti oxidants, such as chrysin, pinobanksin, catalase, pinocembrin etc which help to neutralize the free radicals and protect our hair and scalp from various damages.
Honey helps to treat dandruff as well, thanks to its antiseptic and anti bacterial properties. Also honey offers exfoliating benefits for our hair and removes all the impurities from the scalp to unclog hair follicles. Being rich in vitamins, minerals as well as anti oxidants, honey can rejuvenate even the dormant hair follicles and induce new hair growth, thus adding thickness to the hair.
6. Almond Oil and Shikakai for Hair Dryness
How to use almond oil and shikakai to treat dry hair?
Here comes another excellent use of shikakai for hair. Mix together 2-3 tbsp olive oil and a tbsp of fresh, plain yogurt. Add two tbsp shikakai powder to that and again, give it a good mix to prepare a smooth paste. Apply that all over the hair and scalp and massage gently for couple of minutes. Wear a shower cap and let the mask sit on the hair for 40 minutes to an hour. Wash off with a mild shampoo and repeat at least once or twice in a week.
Why this works?
Almond oil is loaded with fatty acids and vitamin E, which help with moisturizing the hair strands as well as the scalp. Being hypoallergenic in nature, almond oil is safe to be used on scalp as well. The anti oxidant properties of almond oil also work effectively to reduce the free radical damages and protect our hair and scalp from a number of problems, including premature graying of hair, hair fall, dry scalp, as well as dry hair. Since almond oil is extremely moisturizing, it helps to get rid of dandruff, when caused by dry scalp. Being a rich source of Vitamin E, almond oil also promotes hair growth, when used on regular basis. Regular use of almond oil is also beneficial to make hair shiny and soft.
7. Camphor Oil and Shikakai for Hair Lice
How to use camphor oil and shikakai to get rid of head lice?
Take about half a cup of camphor oil. You can grab a bottle of camphor oil easily in the market. Add two tsp neem leaves powder, and a tsp each of sesame oil and shikakai powder. Mix together, and if the mixture turns out too thick, add few more drops of sesame oil. Apply it all over the scalp with special attention given to the hair roots. Wait for 20-30 minutes and then comb the hair with a nit comb to remove the dead lice and nits. Wash off the hair afterwards with mild shampoo and cool water. Repeat Twice or thrice until the lice go off.
Why this works?
We have already discussed that one of the main benefits of shikakai for hair is its ability to get rid of head lice. Just like shikakai, camphor and neem leaves are also very effective to kill head lice, thanks to their anti septic and anti bacterial properties. The neem leaves contain neem oil which comes with a special compound known as ‘azadirachtin’. Azadirachtin is an organic tetranortriterpenoid molecule similar to an insect molting hormone, which disrupt the life cycle of the head lice, and destroy them finally.
So, here we have discussed the benefits of shikakai for hair and different ways to use the same. Tell us how this article has helped you.