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Shampoo - Hesh Shikakai Powder

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rated 4.5(11 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.5
  • 90% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.2
  • Price: $$

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/9/2014 4:58:00 PM More reviews by prettypollyperkins

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

I've never been tempted to use Shikakai as a paste - I find rinsing with it in place of conventional shampoo is far easier, quicker (you only work it in/leave it for five minutes before rinsing) and less messy to apply, once you've actually made the shampoo solution. The only reason I don't use it to shampoo with at the moment is because I already have a plethora of bottles with various homemade concoctions taking up space in my bathroom and fridge. But once I need some more shampoo I'll make up a batch of this baby, either with or without Aritha/Reetha and decant into 500ml bottles to use once or twice a week after oiling (I stand the bottle in very warm water before using it). If you have particularly greasy hair or a problematic scalp this is a tried and tested remedy and Hesh is a good brand and very good value. I still use conventional shampoos if I'm absolutely pushed for time but I find using my homemade potion in conjunction with oils leaves my hair a lot softer, less tangled and therefore in less need of conditioner. It also has bounce and shine that I usually need to use product to achieve. I'm not sure about build-up or scalp itch as I rotate my shampoos slightly so I don't get any, so I think alternating it with other shampoos would avoid these problems. Try the extremely pungent Ancient Formulae Shikakai oil too if you want your hair to grow extremely fast and don't mind mineral oil.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/6/2013 1:19:00 PM More reviews by angelina7777

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Hi everyone! I would like to review this herb, which I've been using for two months now for cleaning my hair and scalp. I must say I've tried many different shampoos and I was never completely satisfied with how my hair looked after washing. I have medium long, dark blonde, dry, thick hair with split ends. I try to avoid using silicones to treat split ends because I believe that they just make hair look silky, but do not repair damaged hair and do not solve the problem. Ok, recently I started using Shikakai powder in combination with Brahmi and Amla powders from Hesh. I soak them in Hibiscus 'tea', which is a great cleaner and conditioner for hair (dont worry it doesnt colour blond hair, at least it didn't do it on mine) and I don't make a paste, but rather a solution, which I then rub on my scalp and spread over my entire head and hair. Then I cover my hair with plastic wrap and a towel and leave for at least half an hour, max. 1 hour. Then I wash the powder off and my hair feel immediately silky and smooth. The Brahmi powder has a cooling effect on my scalp and in the same time it stimmulated hair follicles, my hair grow much faster now, like 2cm per month. This mixture cleans really well, even if I apply oils on the ends (I prefer almond and avocado oils mix). In addition, these herbs treat split ends problem! I dont need to use oil masks anymore, my hair do not feel dry, the became denser and more controllable :) I am really happy with how my hair look now. I even feel that I dont need to wash them so often, my scalp doesnt get oily do fast. Great results and I dont even mind to spend time applying it and washing the bathroom after the application, because it works for me.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/21/2012 6:26:00 AM More reviews by raghus8y

Age: 30-35 Skin: Oily, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Hi, Shikakai powder is really great alternative. For non-messy use, you can boil it (preferably along with amla and ritha powder), drain, and use that water to wash your hair. Amla gives strength and ritha gives lather like shampoo.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 9/21/2011 2:20:00 PM More reviews by Kalya

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I love shikakai.
The only shikakai we get here is Hesh at the Indian grocery store. It is sort of expensive for the quantity but the end result is good, not wonderful. The hair is left shiny and with an earthy scent. The shower needs to be cleaned to remove the shikakai remnants, but that is a quick task.

Now that I have brought shikakai (1 lb) which has rose petals, vetiver powder, sandalwood and harsingar, amongst a zillion other ingredients, I won't be needing to use Hesh shikakai again. A shikakai hair bath is a treat...on weekends!

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 3/9/2011 12:09:00 PM More reviews by bluestar21

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

To use shikakai powder, you can mix it with enough water to make a paste. Then work it through your hair and rinse. My results were beautiful. Soft, smooth, and clean hair. The powder didn't affect my blonde hair.

I picked this stuff up at an Indian grocery for $2.99. My first box only lasted 4 washings! But I've learned to ration it and it now lasts a few weeks. I typically wash my hair every 2-3 days.

However, I seem to have a reaction to this stuff now, which is strange because I'm not allergic to anything. It is painful to get in your eyes. Please take care when rinsing. My eyes turn red and itchy. My scalp feels itchy and my nose is runny after using it. I used to love shikakai, but now I am not sure if I would use it again because it seems to irritate me. continued >>

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/12/2010 10:06:00 PM More reviews by sdr95

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Neutral Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse Eyes: Black

I love this stuff! just oil your hair about an hour before hand, then you can mix a bit of this powder to the consistency of a normal shampoo then distribute on a wetted scalp. i actually mix my powder with some henna to make it last longer since in the u.s. it's like 2 dollars for so little. it works very well and adds tremendous shine. i use neha herbal henna powder. anyways, i dont use any shampoo anymore. my mother used to use shikakai when she was a kid in india and she had a marvelous mane! this is good pure quality stuff, some sketchy shikakai powders aren't worries here!

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/12/2009 5:25:00 PM More reviews by sunshine824

Age: Unknown Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

Update 1/28/10:
I am SUCH and IDJIT!!!! My hair was doing GREAT using the shikakai powder & coconut oil. I had some little breakage on the ends. I thought it was the powder & oil, or maybe not using conditioner & commercial products. So I went back to them and tried a bunch of stuff in all price ranges. About 1/2 - 1 inch of my ends continued to break no matter what I did. Now I'm realizing that it's probably due to an old hair dye that I had in and hennaed over(you're not supposed to do that).

I spent soooo much money chasing all these commercial products that didn't work and left my hair less silky & healthy, and more dry, fly-away, staticy, and frizzy. I also had A LOT more shedding using the commercial products. :-( After trying new products I kept comparing how my hair looked and felt to an image I had in my head of how it was after using just shikakai & coconut oil, but it was never as good. So now I'm back to just using the powder & oil to wash and only use conditioner when I rinse out my henna. My hair is very happy again.
:-D Shikakai FOREVER!!!! <3

Original review:

Woot!!! I can't believe this is on here!


I'm slowly going all natural with my hair care - not on purpose. It's just what my hair likes. I use a dye applicator bottle for easy measuring, mixing, and application. Using the bottle measurements as my guide - I add 1oz. of shikakai for washing out light oiling, and 2oz. for heavy oiling. I fill it 3/4 of the way with warm tap water, cover the nozzle opening with my finger & shake vigorously to mix. Then I let it sit for about 30 - 60 minutes to thicken. While it's thickening, I oil my hair and scalp with coconut oil and massage my scalp. When ready, I bend over the bathtub and pour the mixture into my hair focusing on my scalp and massage it through my hair. I massage it in for a few minutes then rinse using the water from the bathtub faucet. If my hair still feels oily then I add a bit more water to what's left of the mixture(there's usually some left) and repeat my wash/massage/rinse cycle. Sometimes while rinsing I'll comb or brush through my hair to get all the little particles out. I never get them 100% out, but I don't really care. In the winter if my hair is extra dry I may condition afterwards. Otherwise, I just let it dry most of the way and then add some more coconut oil and put it up to dry. I try to do this at least once a week, sometimes 2 or 3 times.

My scalp is not dry or dirty/oily, just perfect(and I used to have dandruff). My hair is *SILKY* smooth, shiny, clean, and feels strong and moisturized(but not coated). I can't tell if it's just the shikakai or the combo of shikakai and henna, but my hair is stronger than it's ever been and I'm pretty sure it's growing faster than usual. I also only lose about 10 hairs a day max(down from 50-100 when using regular shampoo). It also cuts WAY down on my frizz and makes it virtually non existant.

Will repurchase forever and ever. :-)

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/23/2008 12:41:00 PM More reviews by similittleone

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Black

I had been using shampoo and conditioners with silicones forever and my hair and become coated and stiff. I tried clarifying shampoos to get rid of the coatings and they over-stripped my hair and left it dry and coarse so I ended up using more conditioner. That was a vicious and expensive cycle of abuse! Anyway, I was looking for a natural hair and scalp detox product. I tries rhassoul clay, then I tried dead sea mud and then castile soap. All stripped my hair to pieces. Then I decided to try a different strategy which was to use oil to break up the silicones and then shampoo off the oil. So I went to my local Indian shop to see if they has some cheap coconut oil. They did, and on a nearby shelf they had all these little cardboard packs of stuff I'd never heard of with pics of Indian women with gorgeous long hair on them. Curiosity stimulated, I picked up one of the packs and read the back. Really great sales spiel about how you mix this stuff into a paste, apply it to your scalp and hair and it will clean your hair and give you long and lustrous locks all for 1. Yeah, ok, sure. But what did I have to lose except a buck and 20 minutes? Well it was the best buck and 20 minutes I spent. Shikakai has saved not only my hair but my wallet! Yes it is an awful pain to apply (like henna in fact) and it stinks funny and it stings like a good 'un if it gets in your eye, but this stuff works. My hair is better, longer, thicker and happier than ever before. I don't look like the girl on the packet yet but give me a couple more years and I'll give her a run for her money.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 4/12/2008 3:31:00 PM More reviews by fundercat55

Age: 25-29 Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I use this a few times a week (mixed with powdered amla) in place of a regular shampoo. It's a bit messy, but it works. I keep the powdered herbs in a little shaker bottle, so I can then get in the shower, wet my hair and shake the shikakai/amla mixture into my scalp. I work it in with my fingertips, then I pull my hair into a bun and let the mixture sit in my hair for the rest of my shower and rinse it out just before I get out. I find this method a little easier than premixing the powder into a paste and trying to apply it that way. As I said, it is messy and more time consuming than a traditional shampoo, but it is worth it to me. It leaves my hair very shiny and soft, and prevents me from having to abuse my hair with a traditional shampoo every day. I can imagine this method of cleaning your hair would be more difficult for someone with very curly or light colored hair than it is for someone like me (very straight, black hair). Otherwise, if you are looking to get away from using so much traditional shampoo- shikakai is a good alternative. It's cheap and easily found at Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores.

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rated 4 of 5 on 3/3/2008 10:55:00 PM More reviews by gorgeous86

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Dark, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

Great alternative to regular shampoo. I use this once a week, and only use a clarifying shampoo once a month. I love the fact that this makes my hair darker and shiny. Great in combination with oil rinses.

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