If a fruit is popularly called ‘hair-fruit,’ can there really be any doubt about the benefits it has for your hair?
Meet shikakai, aka hair fruit. You’ve probably seen its name listed on a variety of hair care products, and for good reason! Shikakai has been used since ancient times as a natural cleanser that cleanses the scalp and strengthens the hair, as well as for treating gum infections, skin infections, leprosy, and malaria.
As it is rich in vitamins A, C, K, and D, and antioxidants, we at Zemé Fresh also use it in our hair cleansers for effective cleansing and long lasting results. The potency of shikakai is made apparent by the number of hair care products in the market that contain shikakai, but what does that really mean for your hair?
Read on to find out!
What Is Shikakai?
Shikakai, or Senegalia rugata, is a small shrub-like tree, which is native to China, and also grows in the warm, dry plains of central India. The fruit pods of this shrub are widely used for hair care practices — in fact, evidence shows that shikakai was used for hair care even in the pre-Harappan times around 4500- 4300 years ago! The fruit pod is ground into a powder which is used as a natural alternative to chemical shampoos and cleansers, while its leaves and shoots are often consumed as food.
Benefits Of Shikakai For Hair
Reduces Hair Loss
Hair loss can occur if the hair follicles get clogged due to oil and dust deposits. This clogging causes the oxygen supply to the scalp to be reduced due to improper blood circulation, which in turn makes the roots weak and causes it to fall off. As a natural cleanser, shikakai helps to exfoliate the pores, thereby unclogging the hair follicles and promoting hair regrowth.
Helps Hair Growth
The vitamin C in shikakai can help promote hair growth by helping the synthesis and maintenance of collagen in the scalp. The amino acids in collagen in turn help in the synthesis of hair protein, helping generate new hair strands.
Shikakai has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help cure dandruff. It soothes and calms the inflamed and infected scalp by maintaining its pH level and thus restores hair health, leaving the scalp infection-free for proper, uninhibited hair growth.
Prevents Grey Hair
The antioxidants in shikakai prevent free radical damage and slow down ageing of the hair, preventing the premature greying of hair. The vitamin C that boosts collagen production is also helpful in this regard, leaving your hair looking youthful for longer
How to Use Shikakai Powder for Hair Growth?
Shikakai powder is easily available in the market, and can be used at home in a variety of ways. The benefits of shikakai powder are tremendous and must be taken advantage of by using it in a variety of ways::
Shikakai Hair Oil
Mixing shikakai powder with coconut or almond oil can work wonders for your hair, as it provides your hair with both nourishment and hydration, making hair shiny and lustrous. Add 2-3 tablespoons of shikakai powder to coconut and almond oil, mix well, and then leave it for 7-10 days. Use as and when required. This shikakai herbal oil is a must-have for your hair care routine, and is guaranteed to give you lasting results.
Shikakai Hair Shampoo
The saponin present in shikakai makes it a very effective cleanser. It not only acts as a gentle astringent, but also leaves behind a cool sensation that feels refreshing and leaves your scalp and hair feeling clean. By combining shikakai with amla, reetha, and fenugreek, you can make an effective hair cleanser at home that is full of antioxidants, micronutrients and vitamins.
Soak all the ingredients in a bowl overnight, and then boil the mixture. Once the ingredients become soft, switch off the stove and leave it to cool. Strain the liquid and use it to wash your hair. Using shikakai shampoo for hair growth can prove to be extremely beneficial over time.
Shikakai Hair Soap
Using shikakai soap for hair wash can also help you achieve healthy hair as they are often enriched with other herbs such as bhringraj and amla. These soaps are generally more environmentally friendly than shampoo, and can not only help your hair but also have multiple benefits for your skin.
Mandatory Precautions for Using Shikakai for Hair
Care must be taken to prevent any allergic reactions before using shikakai for hair. A spot test must be undertaken 24 hours before the application of the product.
Excess of anything is bad, and this is no exception. Overuse of shikakai can result in dryness, which in turn can throw off the balance of oil in the hair, making it greasy. Thus, care must be taken to use shikakai hair soap and shampoo in moderation.
Products with Shikakai
Why go through the hassle of making shikakai products at home when Zemé Fresh can give you top quality natural hair care products with no trouble?
The Zemé Hair Cleanser uses shikakai, green tea, amla, curry leaves, neem and methis to create an effective product using only those ingredients that nature meant for you to use to clean your hair & scalp. Its no lather formula thoroughly cleanses your hair, and, with regular use, addresses all your hair problems.
Each Zemé cleanser is made using traditional Indian wisdom to suit the hair needs of every customer. There are no artificial ingredients or chemicals added, so the Zemé Cleanser needs refrigeration, just like fresh food.
Use in conjunction with the Zemé Hair Oil and Zemé Hair Conditioner for better, long lasting results that are visible.
So, the final question — is shikakai good for hair? The answer is yes!
There are multiple benefits of shikakai for hair, from treating dandruff, to helping hair growth. It also provides a chemical free alternative to commercial shampoos. As we know, using chemical products can cause a vicious cycle of dependence on them, and using all natural alternatives is the only way to break free of this cycle. Using products with herbs like shikakai for hair can thus greatly help you improve the quality of your hair.
Your grandmother was right— nature does indeed have the solutions to all your hair problems. Incorporate shikakai in your hair care routine, and see the difference for yourself!