Ayurveda 102: My experience with Shikakai!

Hey everyone!

So I decided to use the rest of my ayurvedic powders separately so I can tell which ones I really really like cos’ I have actually been mixing some specific powders in moderate quantities to get the most out of the powders. Yes, it was part of the initial gragra of my ayurvedic phase.

Yea. Back to my story. After taking out my yarn twists after 6 weeks (missed my target by 2 weeks) and prolonging wash day by rocking a twist out, I finally decided to wash and specifically decided to start out my ayurvedic experiment with Shikaikai.

With the scientific name of Acacia concinna, this is a climbing shrub native to Asia. Shikakai is actually leaves, bark & ground soap nuts so I expected a lot from it. Shikakai is one of the ayurvedic medicinal plants which promises to cleanse the hair, detangles, strengthens the roots, prevents dandruff (which is a plus for me), increases bounciness, silkiness and is pH balanced. Even as it is powdered soapnuts, it doesn’t lather like a regular sulfate or sulfate-free shampoo. It’s mild and does not strip hair of the natural oils.

So after pre-pooing and washing, I decided to do an ayurvedic treatment with just Shikakai! And for me, it was not so exciting. The mixture was a messy affair, the powder is dark brown and I mixed it with melted cocoa butter, a teaspoon of acv, a teaspoon of aloe vera juice, black tea and some oils. I actually forgot to add some honey cos I was to busy trying not to puke while mixing it. Gosh, the smell left a very bitter taste in my throat. I was really tempted to toss the mixture cos of the smell and taste it left in my throat but I pressed on like a champ. LOL.

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SO what did I learn? Well, I would not advise anyone to use Shikakai alone if you do not have a strong gag reflex cos anyone would easily puke cos of the smell.

As a nice guinea-pig that I’m being, I would advise anyone to use Shikakai as an ‘accent’ Ayurvedic clay to be mixed with other powders in moderate proportions. It didn’t lather at all when I rinsed it out though probably because the powder I had didn’t include the bark of the plant which has a significant amount of saponins which causes it to lather a bit. Yes, that was me taking a wild scientific guess.

I loved the results on my hair though I had grit under my nails after application and washing out. My hair did feel cleansed but it was not hard to touch or dry. It was just right. I did have little particles from the powder though but that’s just fine with me. My scalp was happy. I love Shikakai but as I must have mentioned earlier in some of my posts, some of these powders have overlapping benefits.

I would not be repurchasing Shikakai cos’ I’m trying to cut back on the number of staple products I have. But it’s great for your hair despite the horrible smell when used alone. LOL.

After rinsing out the Shikakai, I proceeded to do a black tea/acv rinse and then let my hair absorb it before moisturizing my ends and prepping the hair for styling.

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What do you think about Shikakai?

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