12 Benefits of Shikakai Shampoo for Hair


So you’ve heard about shikakai, and now you’re probably wondering if it’s right for you. I’m here to help you make that decision! Shikakai is incredibly beneficial for your hair and skin, which is why I offer a shikakai shampoo containing lots of nourishing natural ingredients in my line of clean beauty products.

But what is shikakai exactly? And how does a shampoo with shikakai benefit your hair? Today, I will go over what shikakai is, how it can improve your hair, and what the best shikakai products to purchase are so you can add it to your routine. Let’s get started! 

What is shikakai?

Shikakai, also known as Acacia concinna or Senegalia rugata, is a spiny, climbing shrub that is native to China and tropical Asia. It has also been naturalized in many countries, including Brazil.  

The shikakai plant grows dark brown fruit pods that can be used to make oils and powders for skin, hair, and ayurvedic healing practices. 

Because shikakai is naturally a surfactant, and has a low pH, it makes a wonderful ingredient in shampoos. Of course, there are many other benefits of shikakai for hair, which is why it has been nicknamed the “hair fruit.”  

But just what are the benefits of shikakai shampoo? Let’s take a look at how adding shikakai to your hair routine can improve your tresses. 

12 surprising shikakai benefits for hair

Bars Over Bottles shampoo bar on a zigzag bar holder next to an intimate wash and hair mask bar

Here are 12 potential benefits of using a shampoo with shikakai: 

1. Shikakai can make your hair soft and shiny

Shikakai is rich with vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as antioxidants that will make your hair shiny and healthy. That’s what makes your hair so soft after using a shikakai shampoo.  

2. Shikakai can get rid of lice

Not only is shikakai full of nutrients for your hair, it’s also antimicrobial. That means it can keep lice and bacteria at bay to make your scalp healthy and itch-free. 

3. Shikakai can fight against dandruff

Shikakai is antifungal as well as antimicrobial, so its natural properties can help you get rid of dandruff for good.

4. Shikakai can make your hair thicker and stronger

Vitamin C plays a vital role in collagen synthesis, and collagen is the main structural protein found in your skin and hair follicles. Shikakai’s high vitamin C content can help to nourish your hair follicles and strengthen your strands from the roots. 

5. Shikakai may slow down hair graying

Oxidative stress is thought to be one of the main causes of premature hair graying. By getting enough antioxidants, you may be able to prevent gray hairs by protecting your follicles against free radicals. Because shikakai is so high in antioxidants, using a shampoo with shikakai can give your hair the protection it needs. 

6. Shikakai may reduce scalp irritation

Shikakai is a natural cooling agent, so it can provide much-needed relief for an irritated scalp. It can reduce itchiness and inflammation and help your skin to heal.

Woman with soapy hair holding a Bars Over Bottles shampoo bar that contains shikakai for hair

7. Shikakai can detangle your strands

Shikakai helps with moisture retention in your hair which, in turn, makes detangling easier - no matter your hair type. With easy to detangle hair, you’ll see less frizz and reduced hair breakage. A win-win!

8. Shikakai may reduce hair loss

The antioxidants and vitamins in shikakai shampoo can prevent your hair from becoming brittle and breaking. It can also prevent free radicals from damaging your hair follicles, which may protect against hair loss

9. Shikakai can give you a deep cleanse 

Because shikakai contains saponins that lather when combined with water, it makes the perfect addition to natural shampoos. (There is no need for harsh detergents when shikakai is involved!) 

Shikakai shampoo cleanses just as well as a soap, and will remove dirt and impurities without stripping the natural oils from your hair and scalp in the process. 

10. Shikakai can help prevent split ends

Once you have split ends, the only thing you can do is cut them off. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent split ends, and using shikakai for hair is one of them! Shikakai boosts sebum secretions in the scalp that retain moisture, making your hair stronger and preventing split ends.

11. Shikakai can improve hair growth

Shikakai oil naturally provides the vitamins and oils necessary for healthy hair follicles. When you have strong, healthy follicles, it will improve the growth of your hair.

12. Shikakai is approved for curls

Shikakai has been referred to as a “curl memorizer.” This means it naturally keeps your curls defined for a long period of time, and helps to control frizz. What’s more, shikakai is deeply moisturizing, so you don’t need to worry about it drying out or damaging curls. 

This makes shikakai one of the best ingredients in shampoo bars for curly hair

FAQs about shikakai shampoo

Woman reaching for a Bars Over Bottles shampoo with shikakai

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about shampoo with shikakai:

Is shikakai shampoo good for hair?

Absolutely! If you read through the list of shikakai benefits for hair above, you can see that shikakai has an extremely positive effect on your hair. It’s called the “hair fruit” for a reason!

All the vitamins and antioxidants in shikakai for hair can make your strands healthier, softer, and more defined - while protecting against microbes and oxidative stress. 

Can I use shikakai shampoo daily?

Using shampoo with shikakai daily is perfectly safe, but only a very small group of people really need to shampoo daily (like people with very fine hair or hyperhidrosis). 

Because shikakai contains natural saponins, it doesn’t need to use the harsh chemicals of many bottled shampoos. This means it won’t strip your hair the way a regular shampoo would, and you can use it with more frequency.

Does shikakai dry out hair?

No, shikakai will not dry out your hair. In fact, shikakai shampoo is moisturizing and will leave your strands soft, shiny, and frizz-free. It’s even touted as a moisturizing shampoo for curly hair, so you know shikakai can hydrate deeply!

Does shikakai grow hair?

One of the main reasons people use shikakai shampoo is for hair growth. Because shikakai contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, it promotes strong, healthy hair follicles that can make your hair grow fast naturally.  

Using natural shampoo bars or other hair products that contain shikakai can help you enjoy the enhanced hair growth, reduced hair loss, less frizz, better defined curls, and more. 

Shop my shikakai shampoo and hair mask bars

Friends holding a box of Bars Over Bottles shampoo bar that has shikakai benefits for hair

Now that you know some of the incredible benefits of shikakai for hair (and especially for curls), I’m sure you want to try it for yourself! Luckily, I have a shikakai shampoo in my line of plastic-free shampoo bars

If you’re looking for a truly hydrating shampoo with shikakai, why not try my Moisturizing Shampoo Bar? It not only contains shikakai, but also buriti oil for extra antioxidants, and phyto-keratin to strengthen your strands from the inside out. 

And, if you want an extra dose of shikakai for curls, my hair mask for curly hair is just the thing. It will give your curls the definition and moisture they crave!

Of course, I have a whole line of curly-approved products. If you’re looking to transform your routine and stock up on plastic-free, clean beauty products, I have the best shampoo and conditioner for curly hair waiting just for you! 

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