How To Use Shikakai For Hair Growth

by Anjali Sayee
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There is nothing that tests your patience more than trying to grow out your hair. The constant upkeep with regular trims, hair masks, and deep conditioning treatments is not something that everyone can sign up for. Let alone trying to figure out what to and what not to put in your hair. One thing that can make this task easier is using natural ingredients that won’t chemically damage your hair.

Shikakai, also known as the hair fruit, has been used as a hair care ingredient for centuries now. The Ayurvedic herb is often used as a shampoo replacement because of its excellent cleansing properties.

Shikakai is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, K, and D, which help nourish hair and keep it healthy. The fruit is easily available, especially in powdered form. Here’s how it can help boost hair growth.

Benefits Of Shikakai For Hair Growth

1. Induces Hair Growth

Research shows that shikakai exhibits hair growth-promoting activity (1).

2. Soothes Your Scalp

A healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair growth. Shikakai has antibacterial and antifungal properties (2). It can soothe an inflamed scalp and restore its health (3). It also helps maintain the optimum pH level of your scalp.

2. Fights Dandruff

Shikakai has antifungal properties that help curb dandruff (1), (2). This prevents issues like follicle clogging and aggravation, leading to unhindered hair growth. It can also help reduce dryness and itching.

3. Nourishes Your Follicles

Shikakai is a great source of essential vitamins. Its vitamin C content can help promote hair growth by giving your scalp a collagen boost (4). It is also a great source of antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage.

4. Cleanses Your Hair

Shikakai is a natural mild cleanser, which means that it cleanses your hair without stripping away the natural oils from it. This keeps your hair clean and conditioned.

5. Adds Shine

Shikakai helps add shine to your hair while also making it much more manageable. If you have a tangle problem, it would be a good idea to include this ingredient in your hair care routine.

6. Prevents Grays

Using shikakai can help put off your hair’s natural graying process. It can also effectively deal with issues like premature graying. Washing your hair with shikakai before you dye it will also allow your hair to absorb the dye better.

7. Curbs Hair Loss

Shikakai can help curb hair loss by restoring scalp health. It effectively deals with issues like an aggravated scalp, follicle clogging, dandruff, and itching  (1), (2), (3). In many cases, curbing hair fall is as simple as restoring scalp health.

8. Prevents Lice

There is nothing more annoying than head lice. Anecdotal evidence suggests that shikakai may be a natural solution to a head lice problem. Not only does it curb the problem, but it also keeps the head lice away for good with regular use. However, there are no scientific studies to prove these effects.

Here’s how you can use shikakai to reap its benefits.

How To Use Shikakai For Hair Growth

1. Shikakai Shampoo With Amla And Reetha

Shikakai is an inexpensive and healthier alternative to store-bought shampoos that are laden with harsh chemicals. Studies show that amla may promote hair growth by prolonging the anagen phase of hair growth (5). Reetha can help cleanse the scalp and remove dirt and oil build-up (6). This natural shampoo helps nourish the scalp with nutrients while also cleansing it.

You Will Need
  • 10 g shikakai pods
  • 10 g reetha
  • 5 g amla
  • 750 mL water

(You can also use the powdered forms of these ingredients.)

Prep Time

8 hours+20 minutes

Processing Time

5 minutes

Process
  1. Soak the ingredients in 750 mL of water overnight.
  2. In the morning, boil the water with the ingredients in it until the pods soften completely.
  3. Let the water cool and then mash the ingredients together. Strain the liquid and store it in a shampoo bottle.
  4. Rinse your hair with water and use the shikakai solution in place of your regular shampoo.
  5. You may have to wash your hair twice with the shampoo for it to lather. (Unlike store-bought shampoos, this will not lather much.)
  6. When a slight lather appears, it means your hair is clean and can be rinsed.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

2. Shikakai And Curd Hair Mask

Curd can help soothe the scalp and condition your hair. It can also effectively deal with issues like dandruff and flaking while making your hair soft and healthy (7).

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons shikakai powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons curd
  • 2-3 drops vitamin E oil (optional)
  • Shower cap
Prep Time

5 minutes

Processing Time

20 minutes

Process
  1. Combine the two ingredients to get a smooth paste with a thick consistency. Optionally, you can add a couple of drops of vitamin E oil to the blend for extra conditioning and damage protection.
  2. Apply this mask to your hair, working it in from the roots to the tips of your hair.
  3. Once your scalp and hair are completely covered in the mask, cover your hair with a shower cap to avoid a mess. Wait for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes have passed, proceed to rinse out the hair mask with cool water and a mild sulfate-free shampoo. If you have oily hair, you may skip conditioning.
How Often?

1-2 times a week.

3. Shikakai And Egg

This is one of the most nourishing hair packs you could use. It is packed with egg proteins and Ayurvedic ingredients that improve hair health (8). Using this pack once a week will ensure that your hair grows out to be strong and healthy. This is also a brilliant remedy for hair fall.

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons amla powder
  • 2 teaspoons shikakai powder
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek powder
  • 2 teaspoons triphala powder
  • 2 teaspoons brahmi powder
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Shower cap
Prep Time

5 minutes

Processing Time

40 minutes

Process
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until you get a smooth mixture.
  2. Apply this mask to your hair, working it in from the roots to the tips of your hair.
  3. Once your scalp and hair are completely covered in the mask, cover your hair with a shower cap to avoid a mess. Wait for 40 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes have passed, proceed to rinse out the hair mask with cool water and a mild sulfate-free shampoo. Do not use warm water as this may “cook” the egg.
  5. Finish with conditioner.
How Often?

Once a week.

4. Shikakai Oil For Hair Growth

Shikakai hair oil helps boost hair growth by improving the circulation of blood in your scalp. It also keeps your follicles nourished and hair conditioned.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon shikakai powder
  • 1/2 cup basil/coconut/avocado oil
Prep Time

2 weeks

Processing Time

45 minutes-overnight

Process
  1. Combine the shikakai powder with half a cup of oil in a jar. You can use basil, avocado, or coconut oil for this recipe.
  2. Store this mixture in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks. Keep shaking the jar every now and then to ensure that the oil is well-infused with shikakai. The oil will be ready to use after about two weeks.
  3. Once the oil is ready, take about two tablespoons of it and massage it into your scalp.
  4. Massage your scalp for about 10-15 minutes and then work the oil into your hair, from the roots to the tips. Leave it in for an additional 30 minutes. Optionally, you can leave the oil in your hair overnight.
  5. In the morning, wash the oil out with shampoo and cool water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

5. Shikakai And Honey Hair Rinse

Use this rinse to add instant shine to your hair. Honey is an emollient and can condition your hair and enhance its luster (9). If you have dry hair, this rinse also makes for a good shampoo replacement. With regular use, it makes your hair shiny and soft while also strengthening your roots and hair shafts.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon shikakai powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup filtered water
Prep Time

20 minutes

Processing Time

5 minutes

Process
  1. Heat the water in a pot until it comes to a boil. Add the shikakai powder and oil to the boiling water.
  2. Let the mixture steep for about 15-20 minutes with a lid on the pot. Strain the mixture and add the honey to it. Let it cool.
  3. Optionally, you can skip Step 2 and directly add honey to the mixture if you want an exfoliating, gritty rinse. (This is not recommended for people with curly or dry hair.)
  4. Shampoo your hair as you normally would and then pour the shikakai solution through your hair.
  5. Massage it into your scalp and hair for about 5 minutes and then rinse it out with some cool water.
  6. Alternatively, you can replace your normal shampoo with this rinse.
How Often?

Once a week.

The advent of shampoo has not been able to eradicate the use of hair soaps altogether, and for a good reason. With how busy our lives have gotten, it can be hard to give your hair the care and attention that it deserves. Here is a list of the top shikakai soaps you can use for the days when you cannot seem to catch a minute for yourself. These shikakai hair soaps are definitely among the best cleansing products you could use for your hair.

Top Shikakai Hair Soaps

1. Neev Amla Reetha Shikakai Hair Wash Soap

Neev Amla Reetha Shikakai Hair Wash Soap

This herbal soap contains ingredients like amla, reetha, neem, bhringraj, and brahmi, which help nourish your hair. This soap can be used for both your body and your hair. It not only cleanses your hair but also conditions it with its oil content. This product also helps curb hair fall.

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2. Morvin Shikakai Hair Care Soap

Morvin Shikakai Hair Care Soap

This soap has been specially formulated to treat issues like dandruff and scalp irritation. It is perfect for people with dry hair and a dandruff problem.

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3. Indus Valley Amla, Reetha, And Shikakai Soap

Indus Valley Amla, Reetha, And Shikakai Soap

This soap is known for its ability to both cleanse and condition your hair. It is 100% organic and is a mild hair cleanser suitable for people with dry hair. It maintains the pH balance of your scalp and defines curly hair, adding some bounce.

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4. Earthy Sapo Shikakai And Multani Shampoo Bar

Earthy Sapo Shikakai And Multani Shampoo Bar

This shampoo bar is completely vegan and free of chemicals and preservatives. You can use the soap directly on your hair or make liquid shampoo for your hair with it. The soap comes with a leaflet that contains instructions for making the liquid shampoo. It also contains multani mitti, which also has excellent cleansing properties. Apart from this, the ingredients include brahmi, neem, bhringraj, methi, amla, hibiscus flower, and rosemary.

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Trying to grow your hair can be a bit tricky, but with patience and shikakai at your disposal, you can have gorgeous locks in no time. If your hair problems persist, consult a doctor to identify the underlying cause of your hair issues and avail the appropriate treatment.

9 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Anjali Sayee

Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.

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