shikakai for hair, how to use shikakai for hair, hair growth

how to use shikakai for hair? best 3 ways, benefits & more

Shikakai is a medicinal herb that has been used in Ayurveda for ages. This incredible herb has curative properties that effectively help with diseases. Apart from these, it has many skin and hair benefits.

This incredible herb is widely known as shikakai, and in English, it is known as soap pod.
Shikakai has immense benefits when it comes to hair. People in Southern Asia, especially India, have been using shikaki for ages. It has all the hair-supporting nutrients essential for maintaining healthy hair. Shikakai is generally used as a natural hair cleanser that gently cleanses the hair without making it dry. Besides cleansing, it has other hair health-supporting properties, which will be discussed in this blog.

We can use shikakai in various forms for treating different hair concerns. So, read this blog till the end to get the complete insight.

Why use shikakai for hair?

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Shikakai is a natural cleanser that effectively cleanses the hair without stripping its natural oils. It has several hair-supporting nutrients that strengthen hair follicles and arrest excessive hair loss. Shikakai reduces dandruff and relieves itchiness. It is a natural conditioner that conditions hair and makes it manageable. Shikakai is a potent herb that may delay the greying process of hair.

Benefits of shikakai for hair

Gentle cleansing:

Shikakai is a natural cleanser that gently cleanses the scalp without stripping away the natural oils, unlike regular shampoo. Additionally, it nourishes hair follicles and makes them resistant.

Nutrient supply:

Shikakai is rich in vital nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. Those nutrients are very crucial for supporting healthy hair.

Anti-inflammatory property:

One of the reasons for hair fall is scalp inflammation. Shikakai has incredible antifungal and antibacterial property that reduces scalp inflammation and soothes it. Regular use of shikakai reduces dandruff and makes the scalp healthy for proper hair growth activity.
Also, if you are someone dealing with headlice, then this is something you must try. Shikakai effectively removes headlice and gives you a clear, healthy scalp.

Balances the scalp:

Shikakai helps balance the scalp’s oil production, which helps people with both dry and oily scalps. Moreover, it maintains the scalp’s pH balance, promoting a healthy scalp for hair growth activity.

Maintains hair pigment:

Shikakai is also a great source of antioxidants. The role of antioxidants is to protect hair from free radicles. Thus, it prevents hair damage and maintains hair pigment. Using shikakai regularly to the hair may delay the greying process.

Adds natural shine:

This miraculous herb gives a shiny effect to the hair, giving it a lustrous and healthy appearance.

Natural detangler:

Shikakai is a natural conditioner that conditions the hair effectively, which helps with detangling. Thus, this conditioning effect makes hair manageable and reduces hair breakage.

Hair growth:

All the above benefits of shikakai help maintain the scalp environment and nourish the hair follicles. Thus, it fastens the hair growth activity and controls excessive hair fall. According to experts, shikakai has the potency to reduce hair fall.

Where to buy shikakai for hair?

Shikakai can easily be found at local stores or any pharmacy. If you cannot find it anywhere, purchase it from online platforms. Shikakai is available in various forms like dry pods, powder, infusion, etc.

3 best homemade ways to use shikakai for hair

Homemade shikakai oil for hair

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This homemade shikakai oil is simple to prepare. For additional benefits, you can use other ingredients like fenugreek seed, black seed, or amla, or you can use it alone. (I prefer using it shikakai only).

Ingredients: Shikakai powder and any carrier oil


Take a pan and heat up some carrier oil. Make sure the flame is low.
Once the oil warms up, put shikakai powder into the oil and let it simmer for 20-25 in low flame.
Stir the mixture occasionally to avoid the mixture sticking at the bottom of the pan.
Once the infusion is complete, turn down the flame and wait until the temperature returns to normal.
Strain the oil into an air-tight container using a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
Store it in a cool, dark place.


Always warm up the oil using before using. Using warm oil on the scalp helps absorb the nutrients better. Moreover, it has a very relaxing effect on the whole body.
Detangle hair, apply the oil evenly on the scalp and apply the leftover oil to the ends.
Now, gently massage the scalp for 15-20 minutes and tie the hair with a loose hairstyle.
Keep the oil in the hair for a few hours or overnight, and wash in the morning with regular shampoo.
Use this oil 2-3 times every week for good results.

Homemade shikakai hair mask

Ingredients: Amla powder, shikakai powder, hibiscus powder and water


Take an iron pan or any iron bowl and put amla, shikakai, and hibiscus powder into it, then add water to adjust the consistency. Keep the mixture in an iron bowl for a few hours or overnight, and use this mixture as a hair mask.
Keeping amla, shikakai, and hibiscus in a cast iron bowl increases its nutritional value and helps maintain hair pigment.


Detangle hair and slightly dampen your hair with water so that you can apply the hair mask easily.
Apply the hair mask evenly to the entire hair length and keep it for 40-45 minutes.
Always cover your head with a shower cap or plastic wrap to prevent the mask from dying.
Rinse off regular shampoo or water.
Use this incredible hair mask once or twice a week for visible results.

Homemade shikakai shampoo

Ingredients: dried amla, reetha, shikakai, water, essential oil(optional)


Soak dried amla, reetha, and shikakai for at least 7-8 hours or overnight.
The next day, put the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Allow the mixture to cool, and strain the pulp properly into a bottle.
Shake the bottle before use to form a lather.
You can also store it in the freexer for longer self-life.


Slowly pour the mixture onto the hair, covering the entire length.
Massage the scalp gently and keep this shampoo on the hair for 5-10 minutes to remove all the build-up.
Rinse the hair with normal water.

Additional tip:

If you apply oil before shampooing, add coin-size regular shampoo with the mixture while shampooing.

How effective is shikakai for hair?

Shikakai is a traditional practice used by ancestors for centuries due to its gentle cleansing and nourishing properties. The result may vary for every individual as we all are unique with diverse hair types, textures, and concerns. But consistency matters! Using shikakai in any mentioned forms regularly for a few weeks could make a difference.

Side effects of shikakai for hair

Although shikakai is safe to use with no such side effects. But perform a patch test before applying it to the hair to avoid irritation.
However, People with extremely dry hair may feel a little uncomfortable after using shikakai, as it is slightly drying for some individuals.
Try this ingredient out and see how it reacts with your hair.

How to use shikakai for hair: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use shikakai powder for hair washing?

Shikakai is a gentle cleanser that effectively cleanses the scalp, leaving hair shiny, soft and manageable.
Additionally, you can add reetha with shikakai for a lathery effect and more effective cleansing.

Can shikakai be used for all hair types?

Shikakai is a natural herb that suits all hair types. Whether you have a dry, normal or oily scalp, shikakai is safe to use.

Can shikakai reduce dandruff?

Shikakai has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties in it. Those properties reduce scalp inflammation, help manage dandruff, kill head lice and maintain a healthy scalp.

How often should one use shikakai on hair?

The usage of shikakai depends on which form you are using it.
For shikakai hair oil, use it 2-3 times every week
For shikakai hair mask, apply it 1-2 times a week.
For shikakai shampoo, use it whenever you feel necessary.

Can I use shikakai on colour-treated hair?

You may use shikakai on colour-treated hair, but always consult your hair stylist before applying it to check the compatibility.

Can shikakai replace regular shampoo?

Yes, you can use Shikakai to replace your regular shampoo.
It is a gentle cleanser that not only nourishes your hair but also conditions it, making it soft, shiny, and manageable.
Use shikakai along with retha and amla for doubling the benefits

I have shared a magical herbal shampoo recipe. You can check it out.


Shikakai is one of the incredible herbs that our mother nature has gifted us. It is a “must include” ingredient in a hair care regime, as it is a gentle cleanser that nourishes hair, prevents excessive hair loss, encourages hair growth activity, maintains hair pigment, and reduces dandruff, head lice and inflammation. It is a natural conditioner that gives hair a soft, shiny effect and helps with easy detangling.
Co-operate shikakai in your hair care regime and share the experience with us.

Your valuable feedback is always appreciated.

Hope! You found this blog helpful.

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