SHIKAKAI (Acacia concinna) has been used traditionally for hair care in the Indian Subcontinent since ancient times. It is one of the Ayurvedic medicinal plants. It is traditionally used as a shampoo. In order to prepare it the fruit pods, leaves and bark of the plant are dried, ground into a powder and then made into a paste. While this traditional shampoo does not produce the normal amount of lather that a sulfate-containing shampoo would, it is considered a good cleanser. It is mild, having a naturally low pH, and doesn’t strip hair of natural oils. Usually no conditioner is needed, for shikakai also acts as a detangler. An infusion of the leaves has been used in anti-dandruff preparations.
Benefits of Shikakai for Hair
- The natural ingredients of shikakai make your hair softer and add a beautiful shine to it.
- The anti-fungal properties of shikakai nourish your scalp and prevent itching and dryness. Used regularly, shikakai can cure dandruff.
- Shikakai strengthens hair roots. The result is stronger and healthier hair, with lesser hair fall.
- Shikakai works its magic on a dry scalp by acting as a natural cleanser without washing away essential oils.
- If you have curly hair, shikakai is a great way to detangle your locks after a shampoo. Gently run your fingers through your hair while rinsing.
1. Shikakai Hair Pack for Dry Hair
- A blend of shikakai and yogurt is excellent for your hair.
- Massage in the blend and wash it off after 15-20 minutes.
- Do this every alternate day and see results within a week.
- 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.
2. Shikakai Hair Pack for Oily Hair
- Oily hair and scalp requires proper cleansing to remove grime and dirt and unclog hair follicles
- A cleansing shampoo made of shikakai is ideal in such a situation, as it isn’t as harsh as store bought shampoos and hence you can use it daily
- Take 2 tablespoons of shikakai powder, 1 tablespoon of green gram 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!
3. Shikakai Hair Pack for Dandruff
- Shikakai is a miracle ingredient for scalp ailments
- You will need 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
4. Split ends Hair Pack
- Boil shikakai powder with coconut oil and store this concoction in a cool dry place
- Apply this oil twice a week
- The mixture of shikakai and coconut oil will nourish your hair and in turn prevent split ends
Benefits of Shikakai for Skin
- It may use the paste as body soap or face cleanser. It acts as a natural scrubber, and deep cleanses the skin.
- Its antimicrobial properties help protect the skin from fungal infections.
- It doesn’t remove natural oils from your skin. It doesn’t leave it dry, rather it keeps the skin moisturized.
1. Use shikakai to treat spots
- Take half a teaspoon of shikakai powder and mix it with a tablespoon each of cream, almond powder and turmeric.
- Add two tablespoons of honey and use it as a body scrub.
- This mixture helps in eliminating dead cells and gives your skin a natural glow.
2. Shikakai Body Wash
- To make the body wash, first collect rice kanji. Rice kanji is made by boiling rice with a little bit of excess water than needed.
- Once the rice is cooked, strain some the excess water, we call it rice kanji. Let the kanji cool and mix it with shikakai powder and use it as a body wash for your skin.
- If you want it to smell good, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to it. You will notice a nice difference in your skin.