Shikakai : Benefits, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Price

What Is Shikakai?

Shikakai, also known as Acacia Concinna, is a climbing shrub of Ayurvedic composition found in parts of Asia, and Central and South India. The preparation of Shikakai is done by drying its bark, fruit pods and leaves. After grinding, these are turned into a paste, which can then be used as a hair cleanser. Shikakai also has properties that help the hair become smooth and strong when used on a regular basis.

Check out Hindi translation of this article - Shikakai in Hindi
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Medicinal Properties Of Shikakai

Antifungal & Antibacterial

Shikakai helps in eliminating dandruff and can be conveniently used for the treatment of scalp.

Nutritional Properties

Shikakai is highly useful in maintaining healthy hair and promotes hair growth by releasing essential oils and vitamins into the scalp.


The application of Shikakai has proved successful in repairing damaged hair and preventing split ends. This natural herb is also effective in stopping the hair from getting brittle.

Therapeutic Indications Of Shikakai

  • Dandruff
  • Lice Treatment
  • Stress

Dosage Of Shikakai

Shikakai Shampoo

  • Soak Shikakai pods, Amla and Reetha nut in water overnight.
  • Boil the water the next day.
  • Mash the contents in the water.
  • Filter the water and use it as a shampoo.

Shikakai Oil

  • Add one spoon of powdered Shikakai to half a cup of coconut oil.
  • Mix it well and leave the mixture for a few hours.
  • Apply it to the scalp 2-3 times a week.

Benefits Of Shikakai

Works As A Hair Cleanser

Shikakai has great Ayurvedic properties that make it one of the best natural hair cleansers. This  herb acts as an amazing alternative to chemical-based shampoos. Being a mild cleanser, this herb does not make the scalp lose its natural oils. Although the formula does not work up a rich lather, it cleanses the hair effectively without causing any harsh effects to the hair or scalp.

Conditions Hair

As Shikakai has a low pH-level, it is one of the best natural treatments for detangling the hair to make them smooth and shiny. Shikakai not only cleanses the hair but also conditions them. The natural ingredients of this herb help to make the hair softer and add beautiful shine to them.

Treats Dandruff

Packed with abundant vitamins, Shikakai is a great Ayurvedic remedy to combat fungal infections that might cause dandruff. This medicine prevents issues like follicle-clogging and aggravation that cause unhindered hair growth. Shikakai also deals with dryness and itching effectively.

Makes Hair Shiny And Smooth

Holding a plethora of rich vitamins and minerals, Shikakai makes the hair shiny, smooth and bouncier than ever before. This Ayurvedic formula makes the hair much more manageable while adding an amazing shine. Shikakai releases essential oils and vitamins that soften and smoothen the hair and encourage hair growth.

Prevents Hair Loss

Shikakai consists of essential nutrients that help to promote and maintain healthy hair. This natural herb prevents hair breakage and allows the hair to regain lustrous thickness and length. It releases essential oils and vitamins that are useful in encouraging hair growth.

Helps To Remove Lice

Shikakai not only cleanses your hair but also eliminates lice. All you need to do is- mix a few lemon drops with Shikakai puree and apply the blend to your hair. With regular use, this herb not only curbs the problem of uncontrollable itchiness and scalp discomfort but also keeps the lice away for good.

Helps To Retain Hair Colour

Shikakai is an effective hair remedy that helps to maintain hair colour and prevents early graying of hair if applied regularly. You can use a hair pack made of Shikakai, soap nut and other herbal ingredients like Amla to prevent graying of hair.

Relieves Stress

Shikakai has a cooling effect. When it is applied to the head and used for massages, it helps to relieve stress and headache.  You can use Shikakai, Amla, yogurt and soap nut as a cooling pack to attain relief from headache, particularly during hot weather.

Used For Washing Clothes

A blend of reetha nut with Shikakai acts as a perfect home-made detergent. The mixture is known to remove solid stains and can be used to wash delicate materials like cashmere and lace. This use of Shikakai is largely due to the presence of saponins in the herb.

Works As An Insect Repellent

Shikakai has anti-bacterial properties that allow it to act as an insect repellent and larvicide.

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Shikakai As An Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic Treatment For Dandruff:

Dandruff is a skin and hair condition under which flakes of skin appear over the hair. This condition is often followed by itching. Certain genetic or environmental factors are the common causes of this problem. Shikakai as Ayurvedic medicine is packed with abundant vitamins and works as a natural hair conditioner. It can help fight fungal infections that might cause dandruff. This formula prevents problems like follicle-clogging and aggravation that cause unhindered hair growth. Shikakai also deals with dryness and itching effectively.

Ayurvedic Treatment For Lice:

Head lice are a common problem that majorly persists in school-aged children. They are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live in human hair. This problem can spread through head-to-head contact. Shikakai can be used for lice treatment as it not only cleanses the hair but also removes the head lice. For best results, you can mix some lemon drops with Shikakai puree and apply it in your hair. This Ayurvedic formula not only curbs the problem but also keeps the head lice away for good, if used on a regular basis.

Side Effects Of Shikakai

  • Excessive use of Shikakai may cause Asthma and Respiratory Disorders.
  • If applied constantly, it may make the scalp oily.

Buyer’s Guide: Price And Where To Buy

ProductPriceBrandsStores/Where To Buy
Organic Shikakai Powder (150 gm)Rs.225Khadi NaturalAmazon
Shikakai Powder (100 gm)Rs.70Kerala Naturals1MG
Kesh Kanti Shikakai Hair Cleanser (200ml)Rs.95PatanjaliAmazon



Shikakai is a natural herb that is widely used to bring tremendous results for the hair. The Ayurvedic remedy is being used for skin and hair care since the ancient times. It not only helps in strengthening the hair, but also helps fight against dandruff and hair loss. You can add Shikakai to your skin and hair care regimen in order to experience the incredible benefits of this Ayurvedic medicines.

9 Important Questions About Shikakai Answered

Can it be consumed during pregnancy?

Externally it can be used like in shampoo and oil for hair but it shoyld not be used for intake.

Is it safe to use for children?

Yes, it is safe, but only in moderate amounts.

What all parts of it can be used?

All parts above the ground, except for the seeds can be used.

Does it cause oiliness if used on a daily basis?

No, it does not cause oiliness if used in moderate amounts.

Is shikakai same as henna?

No, they are two different things.

Is Shikakai powder good for hair?

Shikakai is used as an active ingredient in many herbal shampoos and conditioners. It is a proven fact that Shikakai powder is an amazing food for your hair. It boosts hair growth, prevents hair fall, reduces thinning hairlines, conditions your hair and make them shiny and glossy. It boosts collagen in the scalp and the antioxidants in Shikakai scavenge free radicals. Vitamins like C, K and E nourish the hair follicle reducing frizz while making them soft.

Can Shikakai cause hair loss?

Shikakai is an excellent tonic for all hair problems. Although the use of Shikakai cannot lead to hair loss, too much of it can dry out the hair follicles and make them brittle.

Which Shikakai brand can I use?

Khadi Naturals, Indus Valley Bio Organic, Matru Ayurveda, Kama Ayurveda, Pureonly are a few brands that you can buy shikakai powder from. Most of them are 100% herbal and some of them are organic too.

How do I use Shikakai powder as shampoo?

For a simple herbal shikakai shampoo, all you need to do is mix two to three tablespoons of Shikakai powder to 4 to 5 tablespoons of plain water and blend thoroughly and leave the mixture overnight. The consistency should be runny. Next morning you can apply the mixture to your hair and scalp working with your fingers. Leave the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse your hair with water.

Disclaimer: Please use this Ayurvedic medicine under strict medical supervision only.

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