Dandruff, Itchy Scalp, Split Ends, Frizz? This Inexpensive Natural Shrub Is Magical

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Dandruff, Itchy Scalp, Split Ends, Frizz? This Inexpensive Natural Shrub Is Magical

Is dry scalp, premature graying, dandruff, split ends, and dull and frizzy hair a never-ending battle for you? Chances are you may have tried numerous chemical shampoos, conditioners, and treatments that most companies spend millions of dollars advertising to you. These may claim to resolve your hair problems but remember, every chemical you apply to your scalp seeps into your system and can do more damage than good in the long run.

You may have heard us constantly speak about the importance of going back to the roots and embracing ancient Indian wisdom. Today we want to draw your attention to a medicinal shrub that has been used traditionally for hair care in the Indian Subcontinent for centuries. You may remember your grandmother turning this into a paste and rubbing it into your scalp. From Ayurvedic shampoos to organic scrubs and conditioners, it is used extensively to nourish the scalp, remove impurities, fight fungal and bacterial infections, and promote silky and strong hair. Widely known as Shikakai, Senegalia rugata, or Acacia concinna, this climbing shrub is native to Asia. Shikakai literally translates to ‘fruit for the hair.’

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How is shikakai used?

The fruit pods or flowers, leaves, and bark of the plant are dried and ground into a powder. This powder mixed with water turns into a paste that can be used as a natural shampoo, mask, or conditioner. Massage it into your scalp and the lengths of your hair.

Does it lather as much as your sulfate-laden shampoos? No. But it is still an excellent gentle cleanser with a naturally low pH that does not strip your natural scalp oils. Shikakai bark is loaded with saponins (foaming agents) which is why ethical brands also manufacture shampoos or soaps out of it.

How does shikakai benefit your hair and scalp health?

Keeps your scalp clean

Dirt on the scalp can block its pores and restrict the smooth flow of blood. This weakens your hair follicles at their root causing hair fall. Keeping your scalp clean is of utmost importance for good hair health. Shikakai works as a natural cleanser without stripping away your natural oils. It is soothing and conditioning, keeps your hair soft and silky, and curbs hair fall. It keeps follicle-clogging at bay and boosts your scalp health.

Fights dry and itchy scalp

Do you struggle with a dry and itchy scalp? Shikakai has an incredible cooling effect. It is a natural surfactant that gently cleanses the grime and naturally induces sebum secretion, thus nipping all your dry scalp issues in the bud.

Combats dandruff

How many times have you tried to dust off stubborn white flakes in your hair and around your shoulder? These are not only embarrassing but when left unaddressed, can lead to can not acne on the shoulders, forehead, and even your back. Shikakai has antifungal and antibacterial properties that strike down on dandruff which is nothing but fungal growth on your scalp. Again it does so, without affecting essential oils from your scalp.

Try this anti-dandruff pack

Take 2 tablespoons each of shikaki powder, neem leaf powder, and reetha powder. Mix it with water to make a paste and apply it to your scalp and hair length. Once dry, wash.

Promotes hair growth by fighting free radicals and nourishing hair follicles

Most of us struggle with stagnant hair growth due to our faulty lifestyles. Nutritional deficiencies due to poor eating habits are one of the top causes of inflammation and hair fall. Shikakai is loaded with antioxidants that fight the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It is loaded with vitamins C, A, E, and K that nourish your hair follicles. Its Vitamin C content also boosts collagen production. Shikakai is highly anti-inflammatory and soothes an inflamed or infected scalp. It restores the pH balance of the scalp and creates an environment to nurture hair growth.

Detangles hair naturally and prevents split ends

Are you tired of constantly tangled hair? None of those expensive conditioners seem to work? Shikakai can help. It smoothes and detangles your hair naturally while also making it appear voluminous. Shikakai also nourishes your hair follicles at their root to prevent and reduce split ends, breakage, and hair fall.

Prevents or slows down premature graying

There is nothing wrong with healthy aging. But today, young people in their 20s and 30s are showing signs of graying faster than they should. Apart from genetic predisposition, some of the other lifestyle-related factors in premature graying are chronic stress, malnutrition, and nutritional deficiencies. The antioxidants in Shikakai fight free radical damage and slow down/prevent premature graying. The active ingredients in it help you retain a youthful shine. Using a hair pack that combines the powerhouse benefits of shikakai, amla powder, and reetha once a week can work wonders for you.

Strikes down on lice

The antimicrobial properties in shikakai keep the growth of hair lice at bay. Say goodbye to those stubborn and painful itches.


How to make shikakai powder at home?

  • Use ethically-sourced shikakai pods. Shop for them here.
  • You can also dry the leaves and bark if you have them.
  • Once these are fully dried, grind them into a fine powder. Your shikakai powder is ready for use.

(Some people also prefer adding dried reetha (soapnut), amla powder, hibiscus, and curry leaves to their homemade shikakai powder).

Inexpensive and easy to use, shop for shikakai and its natural products on our ethical platform here.

What does this teach us?

This natural remedy for your hair and scalp is something your parents, grandparents, and even your ancestors swore by. Yet, it is unfortunate to see, that so many of our simple and effective traditions lose their importance in the face of a capitalist economy focused on deceptive marketing. It is time for us to go back to our roots and spread this knowledge among those we meet.

All said, always remember that hair care is an inside-out approach. No natural remedy can work alone. The health of your hair depends on what you eat, how your body assimilates its nutrition, your activity levels, your sleep quality, and your emotional health.

Have a shikakai remedy that has worked for you? Share it in the comment section.

ALSO WATCH: A Natural Remedy for Your Hair & Scalp Health

Disclaimer: Make an informed choice. Avoid using an ingredient if you are allergic to it. Keep your doctor or dermatologist in the loop before trying something new. In case of a topical application, always do a patch test first.

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