Shikakai, also known as Acacia concinna in scientific terms, is a shrub-like tree native to Central India. Acacia concinna (Leguminosae), a climbing shrub with oblong-shaped dark brown pods, bipinnate leaves, and pink flowers. It is typically found in the Indian subcontinent’s tropical woods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The anti-bacterial nature of Shikakai holds high significance in preventing tooth and gum infections. It also prevents tooth decay and plaque build-up and cures gum problems like gingivitis.
The suppository and purgative nature of the Shikakai pods are extremely beneficial in treating constipation and relieving from indigestion, abdominal cramps and flatulence. It improves the assimilation of food and facilitates the movement of faeces through the body.
Being a potent anti-bacterial, shikakai is quite effective in treating various skin infections like scabies and also reduces signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines.
A mixture of shikakai, reetha and water has long been used to wash clothes made out of special and delicate fibers like cashmere, silk and pure cotton. It helps in providing long life to these fibers and cleans the stains without causing damage to the fragile cloth. It is also used as a detergent for cleaning dishes, countertops, etc.
How To Use
Shikakai Hair Pack for Dry Hair:
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.
Shikakai Hair Pack for Oily Hair:
Take 2 tablespoons of shikakai 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!
Shikakai Hair Pack for Dandruff:
Take one Tsp of 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
Glossy Hair Pack
Take 20 grams of shikakai, 20 grams of retha 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.