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Shikakai For Hair: Benefits & How To Use

Shikakai is a medicinal plant that has been used in hair care since ancient times. Remember our mothers and grandmothers used to swear by this ingredient. Well, they were absolutely right!.

Many of us know for a fact that shikakai is an ingredient that works wonders for our hair. But let's be honest, how many of us have actually used it in our hair care routine?

Maintaining healthy and strong hair has become a tedious feat, especially when we have to battle factors such as pollution, chemicals and lack of nutrition. We try so many things to deal with it. Maybe it's time to step back, go back to the basics and look at the natural ways.

Shikakai is one of the best natural ingredients to nourish your hair. Shikakai cleanses your hair and promotes hair growth. Furthermore, it is quite useful to handle hair issues such as hair fall, dandruff and helps to prevent premature greying of the hair. [1]

All these benefits make shikakai a natural remedy you must try. Keeping that in mind, in this article today we talk about the benefits of shikakai for hair and the various ways that you can use shikakai. Take a look!

Benefits Of Shikakai For Hair

  • It treats dandruff.
  • It strengthens the hair.
  • It prevents hair loss.
  • It helps to treat dry and itchy scalp.
  • It makes the hair soft and smooth.
  • It adds shine to the hair.
  • It prevents premature greying of hair.
  • It can heal the minor wounds in the scalp.
  • It cleanses the hair.
  • It promotes hair growth.

How To Use Shikakai For Hair

1. To promote hair growth

Shikakai and amla combined together make up for a powerhouse remedy to promote hair growth. Besides, combined together, they also help to tackle issues such as dandruff, hair fall etc. [1]

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp shikakai powder
  • 1 tbsp amla powder
  • A bowl of hot water

Method of use

  • In the bowl of hot water, add the shikakai powder and amla powder.
  • Continue to stir the solution until you get a smooth paste.
  • Allow the mixture to cool down at room temperature.
  • Take a generous amount of this paste on your fingers. Apply the paste evenly all over your scalp.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse it off thoroughly.

2. To treat dandruff

Curd contains lactic acid which has antibacterial properties [2] that nourish the scalp and keep the dandruff-causing bacteria at bay and thus helps to treat dandruff. [3] Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that protects the scalp from free radical damage and thus helps to maintain a healthy scalp.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp shikakai powder
  • 2 tbsp curd
  • 1 vitamin E capsule

Method of use

  • Take the shikakai powder in a bowl.
  • To this, add curd and give it a good mix. Continue to stir the mixture until it forms a paste. You can use a little water if you want to get the consistency to semi-thick.
  • Prick the vitamin E capsule and squeeze it into the above-obtained paste. Mix well.
  • Let it rest for a few seconds.
  • Using a brush, apply the paste on your scalp and hair. Ensure that you apply the paste from the roots to the ends.
  • Cover your head using a shower cap.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it off using a mild shampoo and conditioner.

3. To cleanse the hair

All the ingredients mentioned below, when blended together, work as a natural shampoo to cleanse the hair. Reetha contains saponins that create lather and cleanse the hair to leave you with soft and shiny hair. [4] Fenugreek seeds have proteins and nicotinic acid that benefit the hair and help to deal with many hair issues. Tulsi is a herb with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the scalp and keep it clean. [5]

Ingredients

  • 200 g shikakai powder
  • 100 g reetha
  • 100 g fenugreek seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • A handful of tulsi leaves

Method of use

  • Keep the ingredients in sunlight for about two days to dry.
  • Now grind all the ingredients together to get a fine powder. Store this powder in an air-tight container.
  • In a bowl, add a tablespoon of the above-obtained powder.
  • Add enough water to this so as to get a smooth paste.
  • Apply this paste on your scalp and hair.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it off thoroughly.
  • Use this remedy once a week for the desired result.

4. To prevent split ends

Coconut oil helps to prevent the loss of protein from the hair and hence prevents hair damage. [6] Shikakai mixed with coconut oil works effectively to nourish the hair and prevent split ends.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp shikakai powder
  • 3 tsp coconut oil

Method of use

  • Mix both the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Apply the mixture on your hair and scalp.
  • Leave it on for an hour.
  • Rinse it off using a mild shampoo and lukewarm water.

5. To treat dry hair

Shikakai and amla make up for an amazing combination to nourish your hair. Lactic acid present in curd works to keep your scalp moisturised and clean. Olive oil adds to the blend by nourishing the hair follicles and promoting healthy hair growth. [7]

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp shikakai powder
  • 1 tbsp amla powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup curd

Method of use

  • Take the shikakai powder in a bowl.
  • To this, add the amla powder, olive oil, and curd and mix everything together well.
  • Let the mixture sit for about an hour.
  • Apply the mixture on your scalp and hair.
  • Leave it on for an hour.
  • Rinse it off thoroughly.
  • Use this remedy once in a fortnight for the desired result.

6. To treat oily hair

Being an excellent hair cleanser, shikakai helps to remove the dirt, impurities and excess oil from your scalp. A rich source of protein and fibre, green gram helps to remove the dirt from the scalp and soothe your scalp at the same time. Methi or fenugreek contains vitamins A and C, and thus is very nourishing to the hair, while the proteins present in egg white repair and rejuvenate the damaged hair.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp shikakai powder
  • 1 tbsp green gram powder
  • ½ tbsp methi powder
  • 1 egg white

Method of use

  • In a bowl, add the shikakai powder.
  • To this, add the green gram and methi powder and give it a good stir.
  • Now add the egg white and mix everything together well.
  • Use this mixture as you would use shampoo to cleanse your hair.

7. To heal the scalp

Both turmeric and neem possess anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to soothe the scalp and keep it clean. [8] Besides, both turmeric and neem have healing properties that help to heal the scalp. [9]

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp shikakai powder
  • ½ tsp neem powder
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 5 drops of peppermint oil
  • Water (as required)

Method of use

  • Take the shikakai powder in a bowl.
  • Add the neem powder and turmeric to it and give it a good stir.
  • Lastly, add the peppermint oil and enough water so as to make a paste.
  • Apply the mixture on your scalp.
  • Leave it on for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it off gently.

8. To prevent hair fall

Yet again, the shikakai and amla work effectively to prevent hair fall. [1] Reetha makes the hair manageable. [4] Eggs contain protein that works well to prevent hair fall and lemon juice stimulates the hair follicles to prevent hair fall and promote hair growth.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp shikakai powder
  • 2 tbsp reetha powder
  • 2 tbsp amla powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons
  • 1 tsp lukewarm water

Method of use

  • In a bowl, add the shikakai powder.
  • Add reetha powder and amla powder to this and give it a good stir.
  • Next, crack open the eggs in the mixture.
  • Now add the lemon juice and lukewarm water and mix everything together well.
  • Apply the mixture on your scalp and hair.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it off later.
View Article References
  1. [1] Sharma, L., Agarwal, G., & Kumar, A. (2003). Medicinal plants for skin and hair care. Indian Journal Of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 2(1), 62-68.
  2. [2] Pasricha, A., Bhalla, P., & Sharma, K. B. (1979). Evaluation of Lactic Acid As an Antibacterial Agent. Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology, 45(3), 159-161.
  3. [3] Ruey, J. Y., & Van Scott, E. J. (1978). U.S. Patent No. 4,105,782. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  4. [4] D'Souza, P., & Rathi, S. K. (2015). Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?. Indian journal of dermatology, 60(3), 248–254. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.156355
  5. [5] Cohen M. M. (2014). Tulsi - Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 5(4), 251–259. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554
  6. [6] Rele, A. S., & Mohile, R. B. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of cosmetic science, 54(2), 175-192.
  7. [7] Tong, T., Kim, N., & Park, T. (2015). Topical Application of Oleuropein Induces Anagen Hair Growth in Telogen Mouse Skin. PloS one, 10(6), e0129578. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129578
  8. [8] Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 13.
  9. [9] Alzohairy M. A. (2016). Therapeutics Role of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2016, 7382506. doi:10.1155/2016/7382506

Story first published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 17:17 [IST]
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