Shikakai Powder - How to make Shikakai powder for hair wash at home

Shikakai Powder | Acacia Concinna Powder - A mild cleanser with less pH naturally. Unlike chemical shampoos, shikakai powder does not remove natural oils from your hair. Shikakai is a natural detangler too. That is the reason we do not need conditioner to condition our hair after treating it with this natural cleanser. It has been used for generations to maintain the hair especially by people in Tamil Nadu and some South Indian people.

Shikakai powder for hair

Shikakai is called as fruit for hair. Shikakai is also called as Sikakai, Sikaikai, Sigaikaay and in many other different ways. Sikai means tresses/hair. Fruit is the early stage of Kaay. It is believed that this is how Shikakai got its name.

I am going to share you all how to prepare perfect Shikakai powder at home to clean your hair effectively. My mom used to prepare the shikakai(in Tamil) at home and she packs and gives me every time she comes here. Thanks to her. I used to have Shikakai powder from a famous brand in my stock. I use the branded Shikakai powder when I want to go outside or if I want a smooth hair wash or whenever I feel lazy :-)

The shikakai powder made at home will not be a super fine powder and will not lather so much like the branded Shikakai powder or shampoos available in the market. My beautician friend asked me one day which one I use frequently for hair wash. I told her the brand. She asked me why don't you prepare the Shikakai powder at home and use it. It is really better for your hair in long term rather than the other brands available in the market. Then, I realised and started using the homemade Shikakai powder more frequently. What I noted down the line was, the hair growth was faster and totally free from any kind of damage. Nowadays, I prefer going for layer cut for my hair. By this quick hair growth, it is hard to find out the layers in few days :-) So, I am using homemade one for regular usage and shampoo or Shikakai powder from other brands(Meera Shikakai powder or Karthika Shikakai Powder) when I have to go outside immediately after I take bath. When you use homemade shikakai powder you need sometime to clean the hair with towel to remove the shikakai powder completely from the hair. I used Amway Persona Amla Hair oil for oiling my hair in the past. Now, I am using Kottakkal Neelibringadhi thailam.

Sharing you how to prepare the Shikakai powder at home. All you need to do is, buy out the ingredients whenever you see and find out a grinding mill in your neighborhood.

Ingredients to make shikakai powder:

Shikakai - 1/2 kg
Reetha - 100 g
Fenugreek seeds - 100 g


Tulsi leaves - Handful
Hibiscus flower petals - Handful
Curry leaves - Few

Preparation of Shikakai Powder for hair:

1. Dry the ingredients including optional items well under the sun for at least 2 days.
2. Grind it to a fine powder. My mom goes to a grinding mill to make a fine powder.

Different ways to use Shikakai Powder:

Shikakai Powder: You can make it on your own as instructed above. You can also buy it from shops or online shopping sites too. It can be used in many ways to get the full benefits from it. You can use it in different ways like hair pack, pimple mask, hair wash powder.

Shikakai Shampoo:

Shikakai can be used to make homemade shikakai shampoo also. You can make shikakai shampoo easily at home. Soak shikakai and deseeded reetha(soap nut) in water overnight. Boil them with the same water in the next day morning. Foam will be formed. Strain the liquid and use it as your regular shampoo. Unlike sulphate based commercial shampoos, it will not lather much but it can clean the hair effectively. You can wash your hair with shikakai shampoo twice a week. You can use amla, hibiscus, neem leaves, curry leaves, rose petals, tulsi leaves also while boiling. They will add more medicinal properties to the shikakai shampoo.

Shikakai tends to give a dry feeling for the hair. So, use it with sufficient amount of reetha(soap nut) to lather easily. You can do oil massage before you use shikakai on your hair to reduce the drying effect. You can also use shikakai powder with yogurt/curd to reduce the dryness. People also mix it with arappu powder.

Though shikakai has a lot of benefits for hair and skin, you must use good quality shikakai powder to reap the benefits and to avoid the side effects. Homemade Shikakai powder is the best in this case.

Benefits of Shikakai Powder for Hair:

  • Although you cannot expect a good amount of lather like the other shampoos available in the market with Sulphate, it cleanses the hair effectively. Reetha added in Shikakai will give you the required lathering to clean the hair
  • Applying the water used for boiling the neem leaves followed by Shikakai hair wash will remove the lice and keep your hair lice free. 
  • It prevents and treats dandruff problems effectively. Use it with the neem leaves as mentioned in the above point. It is more effective.
  • Homemade shikakai powder is free from all harmful chemicals.
  • Shikakai powder promotes hair growth and reduces hair problems like hair fall, hair loss.
  • Cools down the whole body and the scalp will get sufficient moisture. 
  • Maintains the overall good health for your hair.
  • Using the homemade shikakai for hair wash once or twice a week will keep your hair damage free. 

Benefits of Shikakai Powder for Skin:

Shikakai powder is very good for skin disorders, infections, itching, pimples and psoriasis. It has anti fungal properties too. Take a tablespoon of shikakai powder with required amount of water to make a waste. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse with clean water and pat dry the skin. This is the simplest way to use shikakai powder on your skin.

In my grandmother's place, they mix the shikakai powder with rice kanji(the water in which rice is cooked). They keep it aside for sometime after mixing both. You can close it with a lid and leave it for 15 minutes. Apply it on the affected area and allow it work on your skin for 20 minutes. Rinse with clean water. Pat dry your skin. 

Shikakai in different languages:

Scientific Name - Acacia Concinna
In Hindi - Hikakai, Shika, Shikaikai, Shikakai
Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi - Shikakai or Sikakai or Sikaikai
English: Shikakai(In India), Soap pod
Malayalam - Chikaka
Telugu - Chikaya, Seekaya

Hope you enjoyed the recipe for Homemade Shikakai powder. Please share your comments if you have experience with shikakai powder.

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  1. Hello sundari,
    Can you tell me the brand of shikakai that u purchased from outside? I live in delhi but i have doubts whether the local atta chakkiwala will grind me shikaikai powder in small amounts....

    Also tell me how to use shikakai powder to wash hair which have been oiled overnight or a few hours before?
    Plz I want your help in this matter as i want to switch to herbal remedies to wash my hair..
    Love and regards


    1. Hi Kirti, We got it from a local whole sale shop in my native. There is no such brand name. It was simply packed in a cover. Few brands are available nowadays in Chennai too but nothing is from prominent brand. I used to apply oil overnight. If I forget to do so, I apply oil in the morning as soon as I get up and wash after few hours. Just mix the shikakai powder with small quantity of water to make a paste and apply it directly on the hair. Apply on the scalp too to remove the dirts. Then rinse well with water. Detangle your hair after the wash.

    2. hi sundari, really its nice to here that modern girls still love shikakai paste. small doubts without the lather how it can clean the hair?

    3. Hi Sri Prakash, even though lot of brands continue to coming up with several shampoos, we are little skeptical about the chemicals used. So, I use homemade shikakaifor weekly wash and shampoo rarely.

      Reeta added to the shikakai gives you required lather to clean the hair well. If you want you can add more reeta than the mentioned quantity. Or else, you can soak reeta in water on the day before you use shikakai. You can grind it to a paste and use for lathering.

  2. Hello Sundari,
    Hope you are doing good.... and sorry for the long reply......
    I tried doing as you said, oiled my hair with coconut oil left it for a few hours then made a thick paste of shikakai powder wet my hair applied it on the scalp and hair, rinsed it and reapplied but what i found was that my hair were still greasy and maybe oily too....

    Can you please help me resolve my issue....?
    With love and best wishes

    1. Hi Kirti, thanks for coming .. If you have oily hair, apply oil the previous night and wash you hair next day. Since your hair is oily, do not apply more oil than required. All products even if they are homemade might not work for all types of hair and the results might vary from one person to other. So, try any mild branded shampoo designed for oily hair.

  3. hai sundari
    i used have long silky smooth hair with nice volume but from last one year my hair is falling rapidly and the volume of my hair has been redused very much so can u plz suggest me some tips which can increase the volume of my hair also reduce hairfall...........................i use vatika hair oil n clinic plus between i thought of using some new brand shampoo so i tried loreal anti hair fall der was no also suggest a shampoo for me plz

  4. hii sundari,
    i used have silky smooth hair with nice volume but from last one year my hair is falling rapidly n the volume of my hair has redused very much so can u suggest me some tips which increases the volume of my hair.............i use vatika hair oil and clinic plus between i thought of using a new brand shampoo so i tried for loreal anti hair fall shampoo bt der was no use instead hair fall was more so i am continuinf with clinic plus shampoo

    1. Hi Anisha, the same thing happened to me when I studied 12th standard :) I checked with so many doctors and had so many medications and tried so many oils. Finally, I understood that it is just because of the stress. Hormonal changes and stress can be the reasons for hair fall. If you feel that it is the reason, try to stay relaxed and keep yourself free from stress. Eat nutritious food like spinach(twice a week) and 2 dates daily. Make sure you do proper hair wash, oil application and combing. If you are using vatika oil and clinic plus shampoo for a long time when you had good volume, continue using them. They might not be the reason. Pollution can also damage your hair.

  5. Replies
    1. Reeta added to the shikakai gives you required lather to clean the hair well. If you want you can add more reeta than the mentioned quantity. Or else, you can soak reeta in water on the day before you use shikakai. You can grind it to a paste and use for lathering.

  6. thanku fr ur response...i would really try this powder

  7. Sundari,

    It was wonderful recepie :)

    I'm sufferring from grey & dry hairs, hair fall, scalp itching issues for past 2 years (once after mmoving from my home town), I tried out with different shampoos & oils, till now couldn't find out the root cause for these issues. Kindly help me on this problem.

    1. Hello Siva Ranjani,.. Thanks for visiting.. Most of the people face hair fall and other hair related problems after moving from native place because of lifetsyle and environmental changes. We miss the homemade and well balanced nutritious food which we get in our native place. We also miss the soft and pure water. The air is also polluted. We also suffer from different kind of stress as we become old. For itchy scalp, neem is the best remedy. You can try this Homemade Natural Neem Pack for hair. For grey hairs, try henna and indigo. I will do a separate post. Henna helps to protect the natural hair color. You can apply henna once in 15 days. With henna, you can add amla powder, brahmi powder too. They too help to protect the natural color. Try to avoid chemical things on your hair as far as possible. Try to give nutrition to your hair and also eat nutritious food. You can add sesame(sesame laddu are available in small packs. You can take 2 small laddus), amla with honey mixture(2 tsp) and 2-3dates daily. Try to add keerai 1-2 times every week.

      Try to use homemade brahmi oil, curry leaves hair oil or amla oil. You can also make a mixture oil.

      Whatever you take, continue it for 6 months to see visible results. We cannot expect a drastic change in just 1 or 2 months.

  8. Hi Sundari,

    Can you please let me know how can we make mixture oil for hair fall prevention and regrowth of my hair

    1. Hi.. sorry for late reply. Please check my homemade amla hair oil recipe, homemade curry leaves hair oil, homemade amla and curry leaves hair oil recipes.

  9. can i blowdry or flatiron my hair if i use shikakai and reetha as a shampoo?

  10. Yes u can use. There s no relation betwen shikakai and these products. Frequent blow drying and hair straightening are not recommended generally.

  11. Hi Sundari, This is Rajesh here...I see that you are using Kottakkal Neelibringadhi thailam after you wash your with shikakai. Pls. temme about your experience with that. Is it natural that initial use of bringadhi tailam will cause hairfall? and over the period of time will it be good to use?Also I wash my hair alternative days with shikakai since oil secretion is more in my case and pollution is more in chennai, so is it good to use shikakai alternative days? your reply will much benefited to me. Thank you in advance :)

  12. Shikakai wash with 2 days a week will be ideal. Other days, you can cleanse your hair normally without using any products if you feel it is more oily. I did not face hair fall while using it initially. If you are seriously looking for good hair care, you can consider taking one amla and few curry leaves daily. It is very good for hair. Just take one amla and few curry leaves. Grind them with little water. Add buttermilk and salt. It will be easy to drink. You can also add little pepper powder for extra flavor.

    1. Thank you very much for your response..yeah I am already having amla juice daily and eating curry leaves too as my mom gives me. BTW you forgot to provide feedback to my ques on neelibringadhi:-)also I am applying onion juice on and off weekly once. I guess it is good apply at least once and I happened to read ur opinion on the other thread in this blog.

    2. Neelibringadhi is good. I usually keep the oil overnight. It has a strong fragrance. Even my kid asked me to change it as he felt it is too strong:) So, I switched to Parachute Ayurvedic Hair oil. I am happy with it too. The fragrance is comparatively less strong.

  13. i have oily hair .how can Applying the water used for boiling the neem leaves followed by Shikakai hair wash will remove the lice and keep your hair lice free.