Shikakai – simply grandmother’s beauty treatment or something more? What was once considered traditional and old fashioned is now getting a boost. Are you in?
Remember how your grandmother would coax you to use shikakai on your hair on weekends, and you’d balk at the idea of doing something so old-fashioned? You’d be amazed to know that this ancient hair beauty treatment is making a comeback. Well, it wasn’t really gone in the first place; just had lesser takers.
One of the most commonly-used natural ingredients, this plant has been used as a hair cleanser in most parts of India since time immemorial. Shikakai contains vitamin C and D, along with other properties that make it ideal for hair care.
10 Benefits of Shikakai for Hair:
#1. Adds shine and softness
The natural ingredients of shikakai make your hair softer and add a beautiful shine to it.
#2. Fights dandruff
The anti-fungal properties of shikakai nourish your scalp and prevent itching and dryness. Used regularly, shikakai can cure dandruff.
#3. Gives you stronger, thicker hair
Shikakai strengthens hair roots. The result is stronger and healthier hair, with lesser hair fall.
#4. Prevents a dry scalp
Shikakai works its magic on a dry scalp by acting as a natural cleanser without washing away essential oils.
#5. Delays grey hair
Shikakai can actually slow down and delay the appearance of grey hair, letting you retain the natural youthfulness of your hair for long.
#6. Removes hair lice
We’re not saying you have any, but in the eventuality your children pick any at school, using shikakai can actually halt the growth and eliminate them altogether.
#7. Heals minor wounds
Shikakai is calm and soothing on an irritated head and can actually heal minor cuts and abrasions on your scalp.
#8. Soothes your head
A shikakai hair pack can offer relief on a hot day, relieve a headache or simply act like a soothing hair pack.
#9. Gently detangles hair
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.
#10. It is cheaper and better
Shikakai is a much cheaper and more natural alternative to chemical-laden shampoos.
Now that you know of the many advantages, learn how to use shikakai.
By itself shikakai doesn’t lather up much, but when mixed with reetha (soap nut) it is an excellent way to clean your hair and scalp. Here are the many ways you can use shikakai for your hair.
As a shampoo: You can either buy shikakai based shampoos in the market or add shikakai powder to your existing shampoo for the same results.
As a soap: The market offers you various brands of shikakai based soaps.
As a hair pack: You can mix shikakai powder with herbs like reetha and henna to make a nourishing hair pack.
How to make shikakai shampoo:
- Soak a few dried shikakai pods, little reetha and dried amla overnight.
- Boil the water the next morning until the pods soften.
- Cool, mash and strain the liquid, and use it as your shampoo.
- Remember it will not lather as much as a readymade shampoo, but it does the job better.
- You can also boil dried shikakai or shikakai powder, neem leaves, fenugreek powder and some dried amla in a cup of water for 15-20 minutes.
- Cool, mash and strain the liquid.
- Use the water as a natural shampoo.
How to make shikakai oil:
- Add one tablespoon shikakai powder to half a cup basil / avocado / coconut oil.
- Put the mixture in a container and let it sit for a few weeks.
- Keep shaking it intermittently. Use the oil in your hair 2-3 times a week and shampoo well using Pantene Pro-V Lively Clean shampoo.
How to make shikakai hair pack:
- 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.
Make shikakai a regular part of your hair care routine. And watch the results speak for themselves.