Shikakai literally means ‘fruit for the hair.’ It has been used in India for centuries as a gentle cleansing and conditioning agent for hair and skin. Rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, and various plant acids, shikakai nourishes and strengthens hair roots to promote healthy hair growth. The low pH of shikakai matches with our hair’s pH, which is between 4.5 to 5.5, and is ideal to preserve the acid mantle, that helps to keep our scalp healthy and free from microbial attack. While its natural acids help to tighten the hair shaft and keep the moisture locked in, thereby improve the overall condition of hair.
Honey, a natural humectant, draws moisture from the atmosphere into your hair, and will add sheen, hydration, and luster. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of honey keep the scalp clean and may help with dandruff.
These two amazing ingredients together nourish and condition the hair, enhance volume to make hair feel thicker and fuller, and decrease damage and breakage while adding shine and luster. Here is how to make….
1 tablespoons Shikakai powder
1 teaspoon olive or almond oil (optional, recommended for dry hair)
1 cup filtered or distilled water
Bring the water to a boil. Place the shikakai powder and oil (if using) in a cup or mug and pour on boiling water. Leave to steep for 15-20 minutes, preferably covered to avoid the loss of volatile oils in the steam. Strain the infusion. Then, stir in the honey and use immediately.
I prefer the gritty rinse and don’t strain the shikakai infusion. The shikakai grit acts as an exfoliant and helps to get rid of dead scalp skin, leaving hair perfectly clean, refreshed, and silky soft. But, those with curly hair should probably strain the infusion, as the bits can remain stuck in the hair and create a messy look.
You can use it in two ways:
1. After shampooing as a final rinse to nourish and condition hair. Pour over your hair and catch the drippings in the mug/pot and keep pouring them through your hair until they are all used. Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair and leave in for up to 5 minutes and rinse out.
2. Just use it like normal shampoo. Shikakai contains natural saponins that gently cleans the hair without stripping it of natural oils. So, if your hair isn’t too greasy or dirty, especially post work out when it’s just sweaty, you can use this rinse in place of your normal shampoo.
Tip: For shiny, soft, and manageable hair, dry your hair in the sun or natural breeze. Do not use comb or finger comb your hair until completely dry. Then, gently pull hair strands apart with fingers, and comb your beautiful shiny tresses.
This rinse is one of my favorite, and I highly recommend you to try this at least once. And do share your experiences..