Shikakai has many benefits for our hair. Many people experience that their hair is dull, rough, gray and lacks shine. Do you have any such hair problems? If you suffer from any type of hair care malady, using shikakai is the solution for all your woes.
What is shikakai?
Shikakai is native to the countries of the Indian subcontinent. People belonging to central and southern parts of India have been using it for ages to make their healthy and shining. Shikakai is very easily available in these states of India. But, people from other parts of the world are not aware of this amazing plant.
Nowadays, many people in other countries are realizing the benefits of shikakai for hair and started using it. But, shikakai may not be available in raw or natural form over there. So, they are taking the help of shampoos and soaps containing shikakai which are available all around the world.
Scientific name of shikakai:
The scientific name of shikakai is Acacia concinna. It belongs to the family called Fabaceae.
Other names of shikakai:
Tamil: Siyakai, Shika, Sheekay, Chikaikkai
Hindi and Marathi: shikakai
Malayalam: Cheeyakayi, Chinik-kaya, Shikai chinikka
Telugu: Cheekaya, Gogu
Kannada: Sigeballi, Shige kayi, Sheegae
Assamese: Susi lewa, Pasoi tenga
Sanskrit: Charmakansa, Bahuphenarasa
Benefits of shikakai for hair:
1. Makes hair strong and thick:
Many of us suffer from problems like thinning of hair. Thin hair tends to break easily and reduces the volume of hair. If hair is very thin and doesn’t have any strength in it, it tends to break easily when combing our hair.
Whenever we see the hair of some girl with strong and thick hair, we envy her hair and always wonder what does she do to own such a lovely hair. The secret to strong and thick hair is using shikakai regularly.
You can add shikakai powder to your shampoo, hair pack or even hair oil.
2. Gets rid of dandruff:
Seeing white flakes of skin on your favorite dress can be very annoying. It might just put off your mood when you are getting ready for some important event of your life. You might have tried many different antidandruff shampoos and found them not very useful.
Dandruff is caused due to the accumulation of oily substances called sebum that clog the pores in your scalp. Also, many bacteria and fungi play a vital role in the formation of dandruff.
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties which are the main reason behind its ability to control dandruff efficiently.
3. Reduces tangles:
If we have dry, rough hair we are more likely to develop more tangles. Shikakai makes the hair very soft, smooth and easily manageable. Having a soft, slippery hair automatically reduces your tangles. It is a very good detangler when used as a hair mask or in shampoo to cleanse your hair.
If you have tangles, you will need to spend a lot of time to remove the tangles. It also hurts a lot when we try to detangle our hair. Tangle also cause the hair to break when combing. Now, get rid of all these hair woes with it.
4. Reduces hair loss:
Having a thin, weak hair makes hair break when combing, which leads to hair loss. Tangles in hair also make us lose a lot of hair while combing.
It makes our hair thick and strong. It also makes it very soft and removes all the tangles very easily. So, you will not lose hair anymore.
5. It’s completely natural:
We are continuously exposed to many advertisements on television which endorse various haircare products. Our favorite actors and actresses endorse them. We get tempted looking at our favorite actors and buy the products.
But, when we start using them, our hair remains the same like before. There will be no benefit to our hair. In fact, the chemicals in the hair products like hair oils and shampoos that we buy damage our hair, hair roots and follicles.
It is a completely naturally available ingredient. It helps our hair in many ways. But causes no harm at all as it has no chemicals and preservatives.
6. Controls head lice:
Many women suffer from head lice. They spread from one person to another and cause many irritating symptoms like itching. Women suffering from head lice scratch their head quite often. They can’t control their scratching even when in public.
People might even comment about you if you behave in such a way due to itching. Lice also spread to other people. So, they might start avoiding you.
Shikakai has many ingredients that control the growth of head lice by making the environment of hair and scalp non-conducive for their growth.
7. Makes hair black:
Many of us are getting gray hair at a young age. This is mainly due to the high levels of stress and due to the polluted water we use for washing our hair. Environmental pollution and chemicals in the hair care products also contribute to gray hair.
Using it regularly ensures that your hair remains black. It also adds a shining glow and luster to your dull and lack-luster hair.
Benefits of Shikakai for skin:
8. Treats cuts and abrasions on scalp:
We might develop cuts or small wounds on our scalp due to various reasons. Shikakai can prove to be beneficial in such cases.
Just roast some pieces of Shikakai and make a smooth paste and apply this over the cuts and wounds. Wait for some time and then rinse with water. You will notice that your wounds heal fast with this remedy. Also use shampoo made of Shikakai to avoid irritation of your skin of the scalp while having wounds.
9. Makes skin soft:
You can add some Shikakai powder to your herbal bath powder or to some besan or chickpea flour and use it daily for taking the bath.
Shikakai helps in making the skin soft and supple. It also helps in getting rid of any skin infections and diseases due to its antibacterial properties.
Uses of Shikakai:
Shikakai Hair oil:
- 200 ml of coconut oil
- 2 to 3 spoons of shikakai powder
- Boil the coconut oil in a pan.
- Add the shikakai powder to the boiling oil slowly. Ensure you mix it properly without forming any type of lumps.
- Boil the oil on a slow to medium flame for 15 minutes.
- Then turn off the stove.
- Strain the oil after it cools down and store it in an airtight container.
When to use:
- Use this shikakai hair oil to massage your scalp and hair before you take head bath.
- You need to use it half an hour before having the bath.
- You can use this hair oil weekly twice.
- Follow this regularly for maximum results.
Why this works:
- Shikakai is rich in many kinds of vitamins. It is rich in vitamin C which helps in proper absorption of iron and formation of hemoglobin.
- This ensures proper blood supply of hair helping in stimulating hair growth.
- Shikakai hair oil also makes your hair very soft and smooth.
- This is a hair oil made with all natural ingredients. So, make this hair oil in small quantities required for a month and store them.
- Don’t make it in very large amount as it might not retain all its properties which are beneficial for your hair.
Shikakai hair mask:
- 1 spoon of Shikakai powder
- 1 spoon of Amla or Gooseberry powder
- 1 cup of yogurt or curd
- Mix all the three ingredients into a nice paste.
- Apply this mixture over your scalp and hair.
- Then wait for some time about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Then rinse your hair with lukewarm water.
Why this works:
- Shikakai contains vitamin C and D which make your hair soft, black and detangle your hair.
- Gooseberry or Amla powder also contains vitamin C which nourishes your scalp and hair.
- Yogurt also makes your hair soft and smooth by moisturizing and hydrating it.
You have seen all the benefits of Shikakai and also the ways in which you can use them to make your hair and skin healthy. Share with us how have you used it for your hair and skin.