Shikakai for hair

Benefits of Shikakai for hair

Shikakai for hair

Shikakai is the common name for Senegalia rugata or Acacia concinna in scientific terminology. It is a shrub native to the Indian subcontinent, China, and tropical Asia. It has been used as a raw material for shampoo for many centuries. The plant pods used for shampoo and hair care in dried form become wrinkled, blackish, and very hard.

It is widely used as a natural shampoo and also in ayurvedic synthetic shampoos. Although natural Shikakai shampoo does not give much lather, synthetic shampoos with sulfate give lather, both are good cleansers. Shikaki has low pH, does not take away natural oils, and has anti-dandruff properties.

Properties of Shikakai

Shikakai or Acacia concinna or Senegalia rugata have many properties which are beneficial for hair.

  • Saponins: Works as lather when mixed with water. Although dried shikakai pods do not contain saponins, shikakai bark contains saponins. Many shikakai powders have some amount of shikakai bark in them to give lather.
  • Nutrients: Shikakai contains vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E. All of them provide nourishment to hair and improve hair growth.
  • Anti-oxidants: They protect the hair from free radical damage and prevent brittle hair.
  • Antifungal and antibacterial properties: Shikakai helps in getting rid of lice and infection. It helps in keeping microbial infections at bay.

Benefits of shikakai for hair

Here are some benefits of shikakai for hair

Soft and shiny

Shikakai makes hair soft and shiny due to the saponins, antioxidants, and vitamins present in it. It dramatically improves hair texture and makes it smooth. It is a good conditioner.

Prevents dandruff

Shikakai has anti-fungal and moisturizing properties, which helps in getting rid of dandruff for a long time.

Prevents scalp drying

Shikakai is a gentle cleanser and stimulates natural oil secretion, moisturizing the scalp and getting rid of dryness. The natural oils soothe dry and irritated skin. Shikakai also decreases itchiness and any scalp inflammation to heal your scalp.

Hair growth

Shikakai strengthens your tresses and boosts their growth. It is filled with antioxidants that help protect your hair and scalp from the damage caused by free radicals. Shikakai is also rich in many micronutrients which nourish your scalp and enhance hair growth.

Prevents split ends

Harsh chemical treatments, dry weather, straightening, UV radiation, and free radicals cause split ends. Shikakai neutralizes the effect of these extreme conditions, chemicals, treatments, and free radicals. It also moisturizes hair which prevents split ends from occurring.


Shikakai conditions hair, smoothens it, which helps in detangling your hair. It decreases hair breakage caused due to tangles and frizzy hair. Even if you have curly hair, shikakai will help get rid of tangles without any hair fall and rigorous brushing.

Delays grey hair

While some adore and flaunt salt and pepper look, it is not the same case for everyone. In the mechanical, busy, and stressful lives we live, premature greying has become more common. Shikakai helps in keeping premature grey hair at bay and heals the scalp to reverse greying.


Shikakai is not a harsh scalp cleanser, yet it is a mild cleanser that protects your scalp and keeps its natural oil. It cleanses all the dirt and impurities and makes hair frizz-free, and prevents dryness.

Gets rid of lice

Lice is a problem for everyone, whether you have it or not. You are most likely to get lice at some point if someone around you has it. Shikakai helps to get rid of hair lice and such scalp parasites.

Soothes scalp

Shikakai has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which keep away scalp problems like dandruff, eczema, and itchy scalp. It soothes skin and calms down any irritation or inflammation on the scalp.

How to use shikakai for hair

You can make your simple shikakai shampoo at home without much budget and effort. Soak a few shikakai pods, seedless reetha, fenugreek seeds, and dried amla together in a bowl of warm water overnight. The following morning, boil all of them together till they become soft. This would take somewhere around 10-20 minutes. Let it cool down completely and strain the water. Now use thighs water to wash your hair to see soft, conditioned, and nourished hair.

 You can alternatively make shikakai oil by mixing one cup of almond oil with two cups of coconut oil along with two or three spoons of shikakai powder. Pour the oil and shikakai powder mixture into a bottle, shake it well, and let it sit for 110-15 days before using this hair oil.

How to make shikakai powder?

Sundry 15-20 shikakai pods or more as per your requirement for 2-3 days. You can add leaves and bark to the shikakai plant if you have them. Once they are dry, grind everything together until it becomes a powder. Use them in your hair masks, natural shampoo, or even hair masks.

Shikakai hair masks

Here are some easy and straightforward shikakai hair masks for all your hair goals.

Mix shikakai powder and yogurt into a paste and massage it into your hair. Rinse it off after 20 minutes. It conditions and moisturizes hair leaving smooth and silky hair.

Mix shikakai powder, neem leaf powder, fenugreek seed powder, and amla powder, and add water to boil them. Let it boil for 20 minutes and strain the water. Use this water to massage your scalp and wash it off after 30 minutes. It is an excellent hair pack for treating dandruff.

Take Away 

Shikakai works wonders for hair. It has several benefits for hair, such as preventing dandruff, cleansing scalp and hair, getting rid of lice, conditioning hair, and many more. This article discusses shikakai, its benefits for hair, and how to use it for hair.