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Has anyone tried shikakai for hair washing?

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Masha
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Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 am      Reply with quote
They say it's an extremely mild cleanser with a low pH, it strengthens hair roots and conditions as well. I'd really like to try it but I don't know how to use it Question

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Molly
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Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:13 pm      Reply with quote
That sounds interesting Masha. I'm going to start DIYing my shampoos from scratch soon. Do you have any links to info on this stuff or where to buy it - TIA Molly
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Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:43 pm      Reply with quote
Sorry Masha....I never heard of it. How does it benefit the scalp?

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seattlegirl
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Tue May 01, 2007 12:35 am      Reply with quote
I am originally from India, and my mom only let me wash my hair using shikakai powder until I was about 16 yrs. After that, I discovered shampoos, and wanted none of the traditional stuff. But I got reintroduced to it in my 20's, I have used shikakai on and off.

First of all, shikakai (literally translates to fruit for hair)is a powder made from the pods of a nut tree that grows in India. It is a mild surfacant, and cleans your hair beautifully. Recently, I learnt that it is ph balanced, and also a good detangler.

The traditional hair washing routine in India goes roughly like this. The scalp is massaged with castor oil, or coconut oil, and allowed to soak in for an hour or two.

Shikakai powder is made into a paste with water, and worked into the hair to clean off the oil. Lots of other powders and pastes can also be added to the basic shikakai paste, like fenugreek powder, mung bean powder, hibiscus flowers, etc.

I have packets of shikakai sitting in my bathroom closet. My hair always looks great when i wash it with shikakai powder. Then why don't I do this more often?

1). It is time consuming.
2). It is messy.
3). It doesen't really lather well, since it is a mild (but ver effective)cleanser. Now,I am enlightened enough to know that lots of bubbles doesen't always mean good, but it is hard to break the lather habit.

Anyways, i am inspired enough to try shikakai again this weekend. Thanks for the revisit to childhood.

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Tue May 01, 2007 5:39 am      Reply with quote
I have washed my hair with rhassoul and caspinda, and agree it's very messy and odd, using mud/powders on the hair, and time consuming! Difficult to rinse out!

But wonderful from the itchy scalp point of view. My scalp is so reactive these days that I try these things , to calm it down.

I saw today an Avalon range of products for calming irritated scalps, containing beta glucans. I didnt know it was good for scalps.

Seattlegirl, when your mother washed your hair this traditional way, did she put anything on your hair for shine?

When I used rhassoul, my hair was very very very VOLUMISED by it ( which I really dont need) but not very shiny..
Masha
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Tue May 01, 2007 7:41 am      Reply with quote
Wow, thanks Seattle Girl that is so helpful to me.
How much powder to water do you recommend? I don't want to end up wasting any of it by using too much. I hear recipes that recommend boiling the water, do you think that's beneficial?

Hey Molly and Skincare! I found out about it from interest in Ayurvedic Medicines and just generally wanting to adopt a more natural routine. Also I suffered alot of hair loss recently and so I'm researching herbs and actives that may help with my hair growth. I've mixed alot of actives into my shampoo, and I sort of got carried away, now almost 1/3 of the bottle is actives and semi actives Anxious sort of embarrassing but my hair is INCREDIBLE, full of volume and soooo shiney and soft and I didn't need any conditioner either.

The other day I mixed together some skb, water, aloe vera juice, rosemary oil and a few caps of this http://www.iherb.com/store/ProductDetails.aspx?c=Herbs&pid=PAR-77723
it contains Activin Grape Seed Extract and Amla Fruit Extract which is another Ayurvedic herb and both are great for hair loss. It made a great paste like melted chocolate but smelt awful :-&

I put it on my scalp - wow, it felt so cooling and soothing. When the longer hairs dried they all stuck together but the little regrowth hairs are all fluffed and strangely there's no residue on them - they're just extremely soft

So anyway I like to try Shikakai next ..I just bought some from Markey at www.Gardenofwisdom.com it's under the Ayurvedic Herbs section Smile

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Masha
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Tue May 01, 2007 7:48 am      Reply with quote
okay, hopefully this link works better? http://allnutri.com/pid4567/super+activin+grape+seed+extract.aspx#detail

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28yrs, extremely fair neutral, light blue eyes, dark ash blonde; my skin (and my mood) is VERY sensitive to humidity and heat, grr; interested in natural and holistic products; german/slavic descent
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Tue May 01, 2007 9:02 am      Reply with quote
Catski, the shine (me thinks) happens due to the pre-conditioning with oil. My mom always used castor oil, and massaged my scalp with it, and also coated the rest of my hair with it. This was usually done on sundays, and we were woken up extra early so that the oil could sit it in for 2 hours.

Also, at our place, shikakai was never used alone. It was mixed with another powder called chigare(I don't have an english name for this powder, and sometimes with mung bean powder, or the paste of hibiscus flowers from my neighbor's garden.

The shine could also have been a cumulative thing; when your hair has never been exposed to chemicals, and has been treated with only the gentlest stuff, over time, it just shines with health.

My mom's maid has the best hair, and she only washes her hair with shikakai. I will ask her for tips the next time I go home.

Masha, i am not sure about the proportions, but just make a not too runny paste that you can work with.

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Tue May 01, 2007 10:30 am      Reply with quote
That is so interesting!

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mur
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Tue May 01, 2007 11:05 am      Reply with quote
Hi:

I also am Indian and I also use shikakai off and on to wash my hair. My mom also followed the coconut oil routine on my head when I was young.

However, my hair is fairly thin and fine -- I don't have the long thick black hair that some Indians have Crying or Very sad .

Shikakai powder should be available in any indian grocery store - it is very inexpensive. I'm in Vancouver & I get it from fruiticana.

It is a little messy, but what I do is empty it into a waterproof container and store it in the bathroom. Then right before i enter the shower I pour about a teaspoon full into a small dish, and mix it w/ a little water from the shower. It doesn't take long at all to do.

Also, I'm used to my shampoos not lathering much because I don't like to use SLS.

One thing to watch for though, is that many brands of shikakai powder are not pure shikakai. Often they are mixed with different additives including SLS, so make sure to check the back of the box - if there are no ingredients listed, then don't buy that brand.

I like to mix my shikakai powder w/ bhringraj powder - apparently that is supposed to make your hair thicker and prevent gray hair.

Also, YMMV with it - my cousin in India stopped using shikakai because she said that it dried out her hair and created dandruff!

I also think that the extremely shiny, thick hair that some Indians have is partly genetics, of course, but also because they oil their hair a lot. There are many Indians who continually oil their hair with (frequently) coconut oil - before and after they wash -their hair always has oil on it. That's my theory, anyway!
Masha
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Fri May 04, 2007 4:49 am      Reply with quote
mur wrote:
Hi:

I also am Indian and I also use shikakai off and on to wash my hair. My mom also followed the coconut oil routine on my head when I was young.

However, my hair is fairly thin and fine -- I don't have the long thick black hair that some Indians have Crying or Very sad .

Shikakai powder should be available in any indian grocery store - it is very inexpensive. I'm in Vancouver & I get it from fruiticana.

It is a little messy, but what I do is empty it into a waterproof container and store it in the bathroom. Then right before i enter the shower I pour about a teaspoon full into a small dish, and mix it w/ a little water from the shower. It doesn't take long at all to do.

Also, I'm used to my shampoos not lathering much because I don't like to use SLS.

One thing to watch for though, is that many brands of shikakai powder are not pure shikakai. Often they are mixed with different additives including SLS, so make sure to check the back of the box - if there are no ingredients listed, then don't buy that brand.

I like to mix my shikakai powder w/ bhringraj powder - apparently that is supposed to make your hair thicker and prevent gray hair.

Also, YMMV with it - my cousin in India stopped using shikakai because she said that it dried out her hair and created dandruff!

I also think that the extremely shiny, thick hair that some Indians have is partly genetics, of course, but also because they oil their hair a lot. There are many Indians who continually oil their hair with (frequently) coconut oil - before and after they wash -their hair always has oil on it. That's my theory, anyway!


Thank you Mur for the advice! Do you find that you get residue from the shikakai left in your hair when you wash? I use avocado oil in my hair before I wash it, but i'm inspired to try coconut oil, when I was young my father went to the Phillipines and he brought some home and it smelt sooo delicious. I think it was meant as a massage oil for back pain and i just remember it was supposed to be very therapeutic

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28yrs, extremely fair neutral, light blue eyes, dark ash blonde; my skin (and my mood) is VERY sensitive to humidity and heat, grr; interested in natural and holistic products; german/slavic descent
mur
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Fri May 04, 2007 11:59 am      Reply with quote
Hi:

No - I don't get any residue in it - it feels just like it does after I clean it using a regular shampoo!
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Fri May 04, 2007 2:17 pm      Reply with quote
o?!
this is my first time to hear shikakai, it sounds great, interesting.
inoro
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Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:50 am      Reply with quote
Has anyone tried Dr. Bronner's Organic Shikakai soap? It has the Shikakai powder in it as the 6th ingredient out of 11 ingredients and wondering if it contains enough of the powder to be as effective as the traditional concoctions of Shikakai with the other herbs Question

Thanks in advance for any feedback! Smile
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