Want to clean your hair effectively, but without using shampoos with synthetic chemicals?
Ayurveda has an answer for you with Shikakai: a hair shampoo invented by nature. Ayurveda recognizes three main ingredients for effective and long term hair care, a so-called “holy hair trinity”: Shikakai, Brahmi and Amla. These ingredients have been used in India in daily life for millennia and no matter who you meet from India, they will either know or at least have heard about this holy hair trinity. In this guide, we are focusing on shikakai, also known as Acacia.
Shikakai or literally “hair fruit” is a tree that resembles a bush and grows in India. What differentiates shikakai from other regular trees is its bark, which contains saponins. These chemical compounds are similar to soap in their composition. Within the shikakai tree’s pods we can find tiny seeds, which are dried and mixed with leaves and bark, then ground to form shikakai powder. This powder is what we use in Ayurvedic hair care.
The benefits of Shikakai:
- an all-natural cosmetic, without risk of skin damage from chemical toxins.
- rich in vitamin C, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K. These effective antioxidants stimulate hair growth.
- has a low pH value which protects natural oils on the surface of our hair, ensuring tangle-free hair after washing that is easier to brush.
- helps eliminate dandruff.
- nourishes hair and fights premature graying
- strengthens roots and makes your hair soft and shiny.
- protects the scalp from infections.
- is multifunctional: due to its foaming properties, it can be used as a hair shampoo or a body wash.
- will never foam as much as chemical shampoos, but is a perfect natural solution for foam lovers
Making and using Shikakai shampoo
Shikakai is typically available on the market in a powdered form. For the most basic DIY solution, simply mix the powder with water until you have a thick consistent paste.
Gently massage the shikakai shampoo into your scalp, leave it in for around 10-15 minutes, and wash it off. You can also find ready-made pastes with additional ingredients like hibiscus extract. Just mix the paste with water and apply it just like any other hair shampoo. Remember that Shikakai is a powder and can get a bit messy. The best practice is to apply shikakai in the bathroom and roll up your hair in a towel for about 10 minutes to allow the paste to be properly absorbed.
If you are looking for a natural solution for hair care, shikakai is a great solution. Who knows, maybe after using shikakai you may completely drop chemical shampoos and cross-over full time to this natural Ayurvedic hair care product. Would you be willing to try it for yourself? Let me know about your experiences in the comments below.