Shikakai for Hair: 16 Benefits and 11 Ways to Use it


Like the strands of your hair, the benefits of Shikakai (Acacia Concinna) are impossible to count. Along with several benefits, Shikakai has various uses too. One such use is ‘Hair Care’. You can use Shikakai to take care of your daily hair needs. For example- At the time of washing hair, to preserve the natural hair oils that are stolen by harsh chemical shampoos. In its place, you can make yourself homemade shikakai shampoo. Don’t know how? Fret not, we’ll tell you how.

Along with telling you how to DIY hair shampoos of Shikakai, we’ll also tell you ways to make different types of Shikakai hair masques, right at home. Even before, bohemian style flower tiaras and gypsy-like head chains, the most loved hair accessories of Indian women were- Plucked Roses and Hair garlands made of Jasmine flowers (speaking in pure Hindi, ‘Mogray ka Gajra’). They are still our favorites.

But we both know that these flowers beautify our hair outward only. Hence to make your hair attractive inside out, to make you confident with a robust hair and to give you back, your hairs’ lost glory. We couldn’t find anything better than Shikakai a.k.a. the hair fruit of India.

Benefits of Shikakai

Shikakai contains essential scalp nutrients like-

Tannins, Flavonoids, Saponins, Alkaloids, Vitamin A, C, E, and K, etc

With the assistance of these hair nutrients, you can better your hair in the following ways:

1) To get Shiny & Soft Hair

For getting twinkling hair as well as soft furry hair, Shikakai’s Vitamin E can be of your great help. Vitamin E is essential to moisturize hair as it’s one of the ways to keep one’s hair cuticles closed.

You know that many face moisturizers are made of laboratory synthesized Vitamin E only. But you should know that artificially made vitamins, are less efficient than plant-based vitamins.

2) For Treating Dandruff

Shikakai along with being a rich source of various antioxidants is also anti-dandruff in nature. This is possible, mainly due to the presence of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in its chemical composition. Shikakai’s leaves are also used for removing dandruff scalps.

In our easy-to-make hair recipe below, you will see how shikakai powder benefits people whose hair and scalp are covered with sticky dandruff flakes.

3) Conditioning Dry Hair


If you have dry hair then you might be suffering from occasional scalp itching problem too. And this itching stops only after applying any kind of, hair oil, hair moisturizer or hair conditioner.

On scratching your dry scalp, you would witness shedding of some white flakes. And if you think it to be dandruff, then you are mistaken.

You should know that people who have rough hair don’t suffer from dandruff.  In reality, you are afflicted with ‘Dry Scalp’ a.k.a. ‘Flaky Scalp’ problem, where you see dandruff-like flakes on your head and hair.

If you DON’T experience any scalp itchiness, even after having dry hair. Then probably the chemical based hair shampoo that you use, is stealing your hair’s natural oils.

Even Shikakai can be hair drying, ONLY WHEN your hair’s NOT oiled properly, before AND after applying any of its hair protective packs. Hearing this instead of getting scared or skeptical, you should instead be happy, because…

By living in the terror of shikakai high porosity, you would at least care to oil your hair daily.

For both these types of dry hair, Shikakai works the best. The itchiness can be eradicated with anti-inflammatory abilities of Shikakai. While the hair’s dryness can be treated by making your hair cells porous, i.e. by increasing their moisture retaining capacity.

4) For Oily Scalp

Like we said above, Shikakai’s highly porous in nature. Taking advantage of this feature, you can use it for getting rid of the excess hair oil too.


You should see our ‘Ways to Use Shikakai for hair at Home’ below. We will tell you how without losing one’s hair moisture, you can take away unwanted sebum from your scalp.

5) Hair Fall Control

Shikakai is an herbal fruit that is said to be used in most of the organic hair care products. So what makes it special? It’s the antioxidants. They are of different types and Shikakai has all such necessary antioxidants inside it, which can improve your hair’s condition.

It has got Tannins, Alkaloids, Flavonoids and all those Vitamins that are antioxidative in nature. Antioxidants lessen the rate of hair thinning, by removing harmful free radicals, which surrounds our hair bulbs.

Yes, we know that there can be tons of reasons behind hair fall. But free radicals are the most common culprit. It’s because they are formed and found inside everybody. To know, how using shikakai with reetha and gooseberry/amla, you can reduce your falling hair. Scroll down.

6) Helps in Removing Hair Lice

Even if you would sprinkle few drops of water on a bread slice, you will see that after some time it will easily get green fungi on it. That’s because microbes are able to breathe life, with the help of oxygen present in water.

With Shikakai’s less moisture content, you can deal with hair lice. Since it has less or no moisture in it, a negligible amount of oxygen can be found in Shikakai. This is good, as then the growth of lice, bacteria, fungi and other microbes on head’s scalp, gets retarded.

7) Helps in Healing Scalp Wounds

Suppose you injure your scalp due to some reason, then in case of minor scare wounds, you can-

Apply the healing shikakai powder paste, by plainly mixing the shikakai powder with water.

Here shikakai acting as an antiseptic, which would prevent germs from getting inside the body through scalp’s wound.

8) Dealing with Scalp Problems

Besides scalp injuries, you might even face certain scalp problems as hair/scalp diseases.

For instance- patterned hair baldness, psoriasis, and eczema etc. as a quick fix, you can first try your hands on shikakai.  If the problem still persists, you should visit your doctor.

One more thing for curing scalp problems, we can’t give credit to only one or two elements in Shikakai. It’s the mixed contribution of all its acids, minerals and vitamins, with which scalp diseases can be cured at its initial stage itself.

9) Repairing and Preventing Spilt Ends


Like we said, free radicals are formed and found inside everybody. They in turn damage our cell’s structure. This change in the structure of our hair cells results in split ends. So the main root cause of getting split-ends is the presence of free radicals inside our hair cells.

Free radicals can only be removed with help of antioxidants. And in order to tame, repair and eliminate hair with split ends, the anti-oxidative Shikakai seems to be suitable for you.

10) Detangling Hair

Whether you have curly hair, semi-curly hair or straight hair, detangling hair after shampooing is risk-taking. But many take this for granted.

To detangle hair when you would roughly comb or brush your hair, you might damage your hair cuticles in this process.

Hence easy detangling of hair is important, for protecting it. In this case, Shikakai’s Saponins can come to your rescue.

Saponins are soapy like substance, with help of which we use Shikakai as an ingredient to wash hair. It naturally disjoints hair, which gets all twisted and bunched at the time of shampooing.

11) Hair Nourishment

Hair strengthening of both grown and growing hair can be done by Acacia Concinna. To help hair strengthen, you need to give it requisite nutrients.

Without having a nutritive diet even body builders and wrestlers cannot increase their strength and power.

70 percent of your health depends upon what you eat. Similarly your hair’s health also depends majorly on what you feed it. Its health depends mainly on the type of hair products you use.

Remember that, “Only healthy trees yields the most fruits”. Applying the same rule here, complete hair revival is not possible, if your hair is deprived of proper nutrients.

For instance: Nicotinic Acid in Shikakai increase hair growth.

Lactone present in it will reduce hair loss. Vitamin K in it increases hair volume and weight.

12) Low PH Value

Your hair sebum along with moisturizing hair also makes you immune from various contagious microbes. But this sebum gets washed away ruthlessly, by the chemical infused hair products.

Hence, low pH value ingredients are much needed for protecting one’s hair sebum, which in turn protects us from outside’s germs.

13) Prevents Pre-Aging of Hair:

Premature hair graying is a type of pre-aging of hair. There can be various intrinsic and non-intrinsic factors behind this problem of yours. But the most common factor is the presence of free radicals in hair cells.

The way, iron gets rusted when it comes in contact with moisture’s oxygen. The same way, free radicals rusts (degrades) our hair cells on coming in contact with moisture of our hair. This result in various hair problems, one of such an example is graying of hair at a young age or before aging.  Shikakai being an antioxidant prevents oxidation of free radicals.

14) Long Lasting Hair Color:

Shikakai has less moisture content in its chemical composition; this is why it works like a dry sponge that soaks in most of the hairs’ moisture. This is good for you as….

The porous shikakai improves our hair follicles’ moisture retaining capacity. With moisture, hair dyes made of Shikakai also won’t fade or lose its color very soon.

15) Natural Hair Straightening:


Since the hair fruit contains natural glucose (sugar). With its help, you can iron out your hair at home itself. Don’t believe us? Then you must have forgotten that with the help of sugar granules only, cotton candies are made and are given ‘shape’.

16) Hair Growth in Less Time

Thank goodness that we aren’t the manufacturers of some profit-driven hair product company. Otherwise, you would have thought Shikakai’s ability to invoke quick hair growth as one of our product’s claims and not one of its genuine features.

Before telling you the role of shikakai, in improving hair growth, we want to know YOUR definition of ‘healthy hair’? Usually people think that to make hair healthy, means to eliminate one’s hair problems. You even forget that every good-looking hair cannot be possibly healthy.

A healthy hair is the one that never stops growing. This is how healthy hair and hair growth are interrelated. If you can take care of your hair growth, you will indirectly be caring about your hair’s overall health. Growing hair would be an indication of this fact that your hair cells are working healthily.

Sadly, the importance of hair growth is not recognized by many. Hence if you want thick bouncy hair, if you want to see your prolonged hair hanging down haughtily from your head, then your aim should be to grow hair first.

When hair cells will work well, your efforts to solve all your hair dilemmas like hair thinning, hair breaks, sticky scalp, and dandruffy scalp etc. will start giving positive results.

Remember in the first paragraph, we promised to tell you about the recipe of made-at-home, Shikakai Shampoo. Now as per hair types, we have numerous kind of shampoo too in the market, right. But for using our shampoo recipe, what type of hair you have hardly matters.

Whether you have short hair, flowy hair or any hair, you can use our secretive hair growth encouraging, shampoo- “The ‘No Poo’ home shampoo’”. You will find its recipe at our Post’s end.

How to Use Shikakai for Hair

As a dominant ingredient dry fruit of shikakai pods and/or shikakai powder for hair can be put to use, in the following ways:

1) Shikakai for Slippery Hair


Things Needed: Dried Reetha Pods + Amla Powder + Dry Shikakai Pods

Ratio= 1 : 2 : 1

Steps to Follow:

  • Take dry shikakai shells and other ingredients in a saucepan, and soak it overnight, at room temperature.
  • Boil this concoction for about 20 minutes, in low heat.
  • This is to make the fruits tender.
  • Before straining the water from last night, know that you can use its juice to rinse your hair.
  • Make a pulp of the fruits by mashing it.
  • Then wash hair with it, by using our ‘No Poo’ Shikakai recipe. (See our post’s last)

How Often to Use= Two-three times a week

Related Article: Amla for Hair: 11 Benefits and 12 Ways to Use it

2) Shikakai for Dandruff Treatment


Things Needed: Neem Powder + Yogurt + Shikakai Powder + Any of your favorite Volatile Oils

Ratio= 1 : 1 : 2

Steps to Follow:

  • Take a note that, addition of volatile oil is not necessary. Use it only if you think that, you won’t be able to withstand the smell of neem. The fragrancing oil can be used to lessen neem’s strong pungent odor.
  • Some of such oils that are fit for dandruff removal are lavender oil, rosemary oil, chamomile oil, and tea tree oil.
  • Mix all the things in a bowl. See that, the mixture’s texture should be like a sticky thick paste.
  • Apply it on your scalp mainly.
  • Leave the same for 20 minutes.
  • Then wash your hair, with plain water.

How often to Use= Mandatorily twice or thrice a week

3) Shikakai for Dry Scalp


Things Needed: Almond/Olive Hair Oil + Curd + Shikakai Powder

Ratio= 2 : 1 : 2

Steps to Follow:

  • Gather all the ingredients and combine them in the aforementioned proportion.
  • Mix them up to make a paste.
  • Massage your scalp with it.
  • Then leave your hair as it is for 60 minutes.
  • After this wash your hair with our ‘No Poo’ Shikakai recipe. (About which we have mentioned in our Post’s ‘Bonus’ section)

How often to Use= Whenever you plan to wash your hair, massage your hair with it before washing hair.

4) Shikakai for Greasy Scalp


Things Needed: Egg Whites + Methi Powder + Green Gram Flour + Shikakai Powder

Ratio= 1 : 1 : 1 : 2

Steps to Follow:

  • Form a thick paste, by stirring together all the ingredients above.
  • Apply it on your scalp. Then leave it for 60 minutes.
  • After completion of the stipulated time, wash your hair with our exclusive Shikakai based ‘No Poo’ recipe.

How often to Use= 2-3 times a week

5) Shikakai for Controlling Hair Fall


Things Needed: Gooseberry Powder + Soapnut Powder + 2 Whole Eggs + Shikakai Powder

Ratio= 1 : 1 : 2 : 2

Steps to Follow:

  • While blending all these ingredients, if needed add a bit hot water too.
  • Mix them to form a smooth paste. Remember not to form a runny paste. Otherwise, you will just dilute the power of egg whites and yolk.
  • Apply this lotion on your scalp first and then on your hair.
  • After 25 minutes, rinse the same with plain water.
  • Then to remove the egg’s smell, wash your hair with our exclusive homemade ‘No Poo’ hair cleaning recipe.

How often to Use= At least 2 times a week.

6) Shikakai for Hair Lice’ End


Things Needed: Camphor Oil + Neem Leaves Powder + Sesame Oil + Shikakai Powder

Ratio= ½ : 2 : 1 : 1

Steps to Follow:

  • Camphor Oil can be directly bought from the market. If you do not get one, make it at your home.
  • Take some camphor tablets and melt it in a flat pan.
  • One very important thing, camphor if heated excessively can catch fire too.
  • Hence, soon as the camphor melts, turn off the gas.
  • Let the oil cool. Then unify all the above ingredients in a bowl and stir well the mixture.
  • We need a liquid texture here.
  • But for this, don’t add water. If need be, add extra sesame oil instead.
  • Apply the solution to your scalp and hair as well, wait for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile spread a plain white paper on the floor. After completion of 20 minutes use a fine teeth hair comb and get done away with hair lice.
  • Put an end to lice life by using the nail of your thumb, just crush them. You will have to do this! If you think that’s gross, prefer wearing a plastic glove. But kill them anyway.

How often to Use= Three times a week until your hair lice gets extinct.

7) Shikakai for Split Ends


Things Needed: Dry shells of Shikakai + Coconut Oil

Ratio= 2 : 1

Steps to Follow:

  • All you need to do is slight crush and then boil the pods in a pan filled with coconut oil.
  • Boil it for about 20 minutes.
  • Strain the oil then massage your hair with it.

How often to Use= Before washing hair we oil our hair, right? Instead of a regular oil, you should use the above-prepared oil.

8) Shikakai for Nurturing Hair


Things Needed: Coconut Milk + Gram Flour + Shikakai Powder

Ratio= 2 : 1 : 1

Steps to Follow:

  • Pouring all the ingredients in a bowl, as per the mentioned proportions.
  • Stir well the solution.
  • Take a note that the texture of the mixture should be in semi-liquid form.
  • e. not too gooey and not too runny.
  • Apply the protein-rich mixture on our scalp and hair.
  • Then leave it for an hour.
  • Then wash your hair with plain water.

How often to Use= One time in a week, two times if your hair’s weak.

9) Shikakai for Premature Hair Graying


Things Needed: Curd + Curry Leaves Paste + Shikakai Powder

Ratio= 1 : 1/3 : 1

Steps to Follow:

  • Crushing 8-10 curry leaves in a mortar and pestle make its paste and curd in it.
  • After this pour shikakai powder and whip all the ingredients together.
  • Keep of whipping them until you get a liquid texture.
  • Apply the prepared mixture and then apply it on your scalp.
  • Then wash your hair with a mild shampoo after 20 minutes.

How often to Use= Twice a week

10) Shikakai for Gray and White Hair

Things Needed: Reetha powder + Henna powder + Amla Powder + Shikakai Powder + Bhringraj/Fenugreek Powder + Coconut Oil + Water

Ratio= 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 : 2 : 1

Steps to Follow:

  • For making your Shikakai hair coloring mixture, after adding reetha and other ingredients, in a bowl. Pour coconut oil and water, mix well.
  • See that no lumps are formed. Leave it, overnight.
  • Apply it on your scalp and hair, preferably using a hair brush.
  • Leave it for 30 minutes and then rinse with plain water.

How often to Use= One time a week would suffice.

11) Shikakai for Naturally Straight Hair


Things Needed: Amla Powder + Rice Flour + Shikakai Powder + Egg Whites

Ratio= ½ : ½ : ½ : 2

Steps to Follow:

  • In a bowl, create a smooth paste by whipping all the ingredients very well.
  • Apply it and leave it to dry for about an hour.
  • Wash the Mixture with a shampoo and rinse it with mildly warm water (so that smell of egg, doesn’t come from your hair).

How often to Use=  2 times a week would do.

BONUS: How to make ‘No Poo’ Shikakai Hair Wash Pack?

Suitability: For all hair types


  • For boosting hair growth rate and;
  • For cleaning scalp by safeguarding hair oils.

The fable of shikakai benefits got even more popular outside India when it was first used in one of ‘No Poo’ hair treating recipes.

What is ‘No Poo’?

‘No Poo’ is not a name of any manufactured hair product. In reality, it is more like a trend, a custom which has become a matter of discussion among many beauty bloggers.

We know the Name sounds funny, but you would stop laughing soon as you would know that…

‘No Poo’ means saying ‘Yes’ to ORGANIC shampoos. And saying ‘No’ to CHEMICAL sham (poo) s, in entirety.

Below you will find an Indian version of ‘No Poo’ recipe. No Poo(s) are commonly made for triggering the growth of hair, both in volume, diameter and in length terms. And for an ideal healthy hair, we have already discussed that growth of hair is vital.

This is how you can use shikakai powder for hair growth…

Things Needed: Amla powder + Reetha Powder + Shikakai Powder + Rose Water + Glycerin

Ratio= 1:1:1:2: 1

Steps to Follow:

  • Keeping in mind that thick liquid is what we want; add rose water and other powders into a bowl.
  • Mix them well then use it as shampoo.
  • Being carefree you can massage your scalp with it.
  • Then wash off the shampoo with water.

How Often to Use: Just a reminder, good girls make sure to wash their hair twice a week.

This is trending too…

People are now trying to making shikakai based hair soaps at their home itself. And we know you are thinking that, the soap can be stored and can be used anytime you want. Your laziness will even tempt you to make it or buy it but…

Weekly hair cleaning with made-at-home shikakai shampoo is convenient and better than shikakai soaps for hair. Because-

  • If you are thinking of buying Shikakai hair soap, you should know that-

The effectiveness of manufactured organic hair cleansers is not reliable. They are ‘manufactured’ after all. And in each of such products, certain chemicals are surely added to increase their shelf life.

Hence, it’s better to use and wash hair with freshly made herbal shampoos.

  • If you are thinking of making its soap, then please be informed that-

Soap-making is not candle-making. We mean it is not as easy as candle-making. One silly mistake and everything can turn into pure waste.

Also, ‘Lye’ that is needed to make proper hair soaps is hard to find too.

We understand that on seeing big heavy phrases like ‘Dermatologically tested’, ‘Clinically approved’ and other such medical terms, you start trusting the commercially manufactured hair products, don’t you? But think for yourself why herbal hair products, made with organic ingredients are expensive than non-organic (chemical) products.

With the rise in awareness, ‘Getting Organic’ has now become a fad for solving hair problems too. That’s good. But instead of buying those sophistically packaged hair products, you can save lots of your bucks by simply making them on your own. For this, you can follow our effective and easy-to-make Shikakai for hair recipes.

All you need is a handful of dry shikakai pods, few tbsp of shikakai powder, a firm belief instead of patience and a habit of giving yourself weekly hair appointments, instead of bragging about your daily busy schedule. If you are among the one who has her own ways to prepare Acacia Concinna based hair shampoos, hair pastes, hair serums and other such things. Know that we are waiting for you below, Senorita.

Still have any doubts related to shikakai?? Feel free to ask your question in the comment box given below. And if you like this article, please share it with your friends and family via social media buttons given below.

Related Article: How Neem Leaves can improve your Hair’s Health


6 Replies to “Shikakai for Hair: 16 Benefits and 11 Ways to Use it

  1. Hi. I am interested in trying some of the ingredients and formulas described in the article as well as ,Bhringraj oil, however, I am not at all familiar with the ingredients. I have very blonde hair, will any of the ingredients mentioned above leave a tint or color in my hair?

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