Benefits of Shikakai (Acacia concinna): Promote Hair Growth & Cleanse Hair

What is Shikakai?
Shikakai is a shrub-like tree that grows in central India. It has been used for a very long time as a cleanser for hair, body, and pretty much anywhere else where a cleanser might come in handy. What sets this plant apart from the rest is that Shikakai actually lathers moderately because its bark has saponins, which foam up when shaken in water, similar to soap.

Its Properties & Uses :
Rasa: Astringent
Virya: Cooling
Vipaka: Pungent
Guna: Heavy Dry

Shikakai is very high in vitamin C, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K, which act as antioxidants and are essential for healthy and rapid hair growth. The vitamins found in shikakai provide the hair follicles with the necessary micronutrients to help hair grow fast and healthy.

Benefits of Shikakai
  1. Shikakai has a very low pH levels, which means your hair won’t be stripped of its natural oils.
  2. It works as a shampoo and detangler at the same time. Since shikakai does not strip your hair of its natural oils, there's less chances of your hair getting all tangled up.
  3. Prevents and eliminates dandruff
  4. Nourishes hair, making it grow faster and stronger.
  5. Can be used as shampoo, face cleanser and body soap. This means there will be less bottles taking up precious shower space.
  6. Strengthens and conditions hair.
  7. Keeps hair moisturized and shiny.
  8. Protects the scalp from fungal infections and even hair lice.
  9. Helps delay the appearance of gray hairs.
  10. Strengthens hair roots.
  11. Delays the apparance of wrinkles.
  12. Shikakai Powder is a dirt buster for your scalp and has the following advantages:
  13. Provides new life to hair strands 
  14. Strengthens hair roots
  15. Increases bounciness and silkiness of hair 
  16. Clears dandruff 
  17. Keeps the scalp clean and cool. 
How to Use
As Herbal Shampoo
Make a paste of shikakai, soap nut and gooseberry powder. This would serve as an effective herbal shampoo.

As a Paste for a Hair Mask
You will need to buy the shikakai powder and add either water or herbal tea, until you end up with a mixture with the consistency of yogurt.

This paste can be used as a hair mask or as shampoo. Apply the paste to your hair and leave on for 30 minutes. If you find the shikakai hard to rinse, you an use diluted conditioner.

As an Hair Oil
You will need:
1 tbs. Shikakai powder
1/2 cup of your favorite base oil (almond, olive, avocado, coconut, etc...)

Instructions:

Mix the powder and the base oil and place in a closed container.
Shake (or stir) vigorously.
Place the container in a dark, fresh place.
Let the mixture rest for 3 weeks, shaking it occasionally to avoid the shikakai from settling.
After three weeks, your shakakai infused oil will be ready to use. The oil must be kept in a dry, cool, dark place for it to retain its properties.

You can use this oil on skin and hair.

If you feel doing this at home is tough, you can buy these products from any ayurvedic or organic product stores. Even these are available online.

Some of common Indian Ayurvedic brands are: Ayur, Khadi, Better Botanicals, Aloe Veda, Forest Essentials

You can buy this online also http://astore.amazon.com/shikakai-20

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