Category Archives: Shikakai

DIY Natural Ayurvedic Cleanser

Hello Maicurlies,

I am back with my videos and blog posts (finally). Figured it was time to share what my current hair routines look like since a couple of things have changed since I last recorded a DIY hair post (which has been forever ago).

DSC03510

I will be doing a “mini series” and to start things off I am going to share my DIY Ayurvedic Hair Cleanser.

INGREDIENTS/TOOLS:

  • 0.75oz Shikakai Powder (Review)
  • 1oz Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 16oz Distilled water
  • (Optional) 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil/any other Essential Oil (if you are pregnant please do not use any Essential Oil).

DSC03503

INGREDIENT ALTERNATIVES:

You can replace the Shikakai with Aritha Powder (review here). Aritha is too “harsh” (cleanses my hair too well) leaving it feeling stripped and “squeaky clean”, which is why I do not use it personally.

MIXING INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all the ingredients together in a container and mix, that’s it!

APPLICATION:

I pour the mix over my scalp first and the roots of my hair and then slowly work down. Some of you might want to strain the mix with a cheese cloth however, it is not necessary. Once you rinse out the mix in the shower you should be left with clean, shiny hair.

 

You can read all about shikakai in this review.

Thanks

logo 2

Maicurls

DIY Henna Spray For Strength

Hello Maicurlies,

I am back with yet another DIY! Yes you read that right, a DIY Henna Spray!
This one is actually inspired by another Naturalista that has her on stash of DIY Goodies Curly Proverbz. She is GAAAWGEOUS btw! If you haven’t been following her you NEED TO!

So first off, Thank you Curly Proverbz for the inspiration!!!!

I modified her original recipe so it would fit my hair needs and I recommend you alter any ingredients you feel will not benefit your hair to fit your own needs too! (I have alternative suggestions a little lower down).

Henna Spray

Prior to you attempting to use Henna, Amla, Shikakai or any other Ayurvedic, herbs I HIGHLY SUGGEST that you do some research prior to application just so you are well informed about the ingredients & their benefits/disadvantages. I have a henna blog post where I also mention Shikakai and Amla in there since I regularly use them in my hair care.

Even if you know nothing about henna, amla, shikaikai and decide not to research (bad idea btw) PLEASE NOTE:

  • Ayurvedic, herbs can be drying on the hair therefore it is highly recommended that you thoroughly moisturize prior to/after using the spray.
  • Do not overdo the applications, it will cause your hair to feel dry and brittle due to the strength the herbs provide to the hair (lack of elasticity = breakage).
  • You might notice a colour change in your hair e.g. reddish/brown (henna & amla) therefore if you are not looking for this, DO NOT USE this recipe.
  • Use clothes & a towel you do not mind getting stained while spraying your hair!

Ingredients/Tools Use:

  • 0.1oz Amla
  • 0.1oz Shikakai
  • 0.25oz Henna
  • 4oz Water
  • 4oz Rose Water
  • 0.15oz Argan Oil
  • 2-3 drops Alcohol Free Rose Fragrance
  • Coffee Filter (or cheese cloth)
  • Cup
  • Spoon 
  • Spray Bottle
  • Gloves (optional)

Optional Ingredients/Ratios:

You can replace the Amla and Shikakai with any other Ayurvedic, herb such as Bhringaraj, Neem, Brahmi etc. In case you do not have Rose Water the amount can be replaced with more plain water. You can add some glycerin to the spray for added moisture (if necessary/desired). The fragrance oil can be replaced with Essential Oil. 

Mixing Instructions:

You want to put your herbs into a coffee filter or cheese cloth and let it soak in boiled water. I add rose water (without boiling it) and let the herbs sit overnight. The following morning I take out the herbs, add the oil and fragrance oil, pour into my spray bottle and presto! 

Application:

My two ways of application is: 1. after deep conditioning my hair (prior to moisturizing) I will spray the henna onto my hair and proceed with moisturizing and styling. 2. On occasion if I feel like I need to provide strength to my hair mid-week, I first spray a little henna onto my hair and then remoisturize. You can also do this as a rinse, without leaving the henna on your hair (which is what I do). 

Storage:

You must store the mix in your fridge (otherwise you plan on growing nasty mold!) 

Thanks! 

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Conditioning Bars with Cleansing Properties

Hello Maicurlies,

It has been a while (a little over a month) since I last shared a DIY and over the last few weeks I have been asked “when will you share a DIY again”, you request and I shall deliver 😉 

DIY Conditioning Bar With Cleansing Properties

DIY Conditioning Bar With Cleansing Properties

My “DIY Conditioning Bar with Cleansing Properties” is a mix that my hair LOVES! As the name indicates it helps to condition my hair while leaving my curls feeling clean (thanks to cleansing properties) but it does not result in dry or stripped clean hair thanks to the conditioning elements! 

Ingredients/Tools:

DIY Conditioning Bar With Cleansing Properties - Ingredients

  • 1.1 oz Amla
  • 1.5 oz Shikakai
  • 0.7 oz Water
  • 3 oz Unrefined Cocoa Butter (I got mine from SheaButter Cottage
  • 0.7 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 3 Capsules Vitamin E Oil (roughly 0.15 oz) 
  • 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (optional) – use any Essential Oil you like*
  • 0.2 oz Glycerin (optional)** 
  • Pot & Bowl for double broiler
  • Spoon 
  • Container
  • Silicon Moulds & Cling Film (if you choose to make blocks) 

Note: *If you are pregnant please do not use any Essential oil. Essential Oil needs to be sufficiently diluted & certain oils have more “strength”. ** If you hair does not like Glycerin skip this ingredient (see Alternative Suggestions for other options). 

Mixing Method:

I first combine the dry ingredients (powders) together and mix them well. I then add the water and stir before adding the butter and remaining ingredients. When I add the butter and oils etc it is done step-by-step (do not pour everything in one go since you want to make sure you are not adding more than you want and to make sure everything is mixed well). 

Storage/Setting:

DSC06357

If you are going to use this right after making the mix, then skip this step and move onto “Adding Your Mixing Liquid” (below). If you are making blocks, pour into silicon molds which will be covered with cling film in order for them to set (Once set, I store mine in a sandwich bag for future use).

Adding Your Mixing Liquid:

Depending on your preference you can basically add any liquid of choice (e.g. Flax Seed Water, Tea, Water, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream). First gently double broil the blocks (do not completely melt them down) you just want them to melt a little since you will be adding warm mixing liquid which will completely melt down the bars. My mixing liquid of choice is Flax Seed Water. I literally let the seeds (2 oz) just reach a gentle rolling boil in plain water (8.8 oz) for no more than 5 minutes on low heat. I immediately sieve the seeds (which I store for reuse) and pour the Flax Seed Water to my semi melted blocks and stir stir stir. 

Application:

Melted Conditioning Bars

Melted Conditioning Bars

Once the Flax Seed Water has been added it turns into this lovely consistency and I highly recommend applying on lightly damp hair (best on detangled hair to avoid tangles and to allow for easy application). I cover my hair with a shower cap and scarf for a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes and then rinse it out with a dab of conditioner (the conditioner is optional but I prefer using it to make sure I don’t have any “bits” in my hair). 

Ingredient Benefits:

  • Amla – holds conditioning properties, provides shine, strengthens the hair, helps slow down early on set greying/darkens the hair (subtly), helps keep a clean & healthy Scalp.
  • Shikakai – helps to cleanse the hair & scalp.
  • Water – best moisturizing ingredient.
  • Unrefined Cocoa Butter – helps moisturize the hair, reduces hair loss, reduces breakage & alleviates scalp itching and irritations.
  • Virgin Coconut Oil – provides shine and strength, penetrates into the hair shaft to strengthen from within, soothes an irritated scalp & helps elimate frizz.
  • Vitamin E Oil –  helps extend homemade products shelf life, rejuvenates and offers protection for the scalp & hair. 
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – helps to stimulate blood flow to the scalp which results in hair growth, soothes an irritated scalp, cleanses the scalp & also helps extend the shelf life of homemade products. 
  • Glycerin – a humectant that attracts water in the air (humidity) to the area applied. 

Alternative Ingredients: 

  • Unrefined Cocoa Butter – can be replaced with any other butter of choice e.g. Shea Butter, Mango Butter or a combination.
  • Virgin Coconut Oil – can be replaced with any carrier oil of choice.
  • Glycerin – can be replaced with Honey or Agave Nectar (if you hair likes Humectants).
  • Shikakai – can be replaced with Aritha (soap nut) which has even more cleansing abilities.
  • Water – can be used together with Rose Water e.g 0.35 oz Water & 0.35 oz Rose Water.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – you can replace this with any oil of choice or omit it completely.

When To Use:

There is no “time frame” for this, you can use it whenever you like. I do suggest that if your hair is in need of a little TLC and you want to switch between deep conditioning you can use this in place of a Deep Conditioner from time to time. 

I would love to hear what you think! If you use this recipe or change a few things please let me know, I would love to hear from you! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

DIY Ayurvedic Hair Mask – Amla Shikakai Rose

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I want to share a DIY Hair Mask (Masque) with you. I actually started using this as a alternative to a Clay Mask (Masque) since I can’t seem to get the Clay here locally so I will probably buy some at some point to try experiment with and write about.

But for now this is my baby! 

DSC00624

DIY Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Amla Shikakai Rose)

 I LOVE using this mix on my hair for several reasons:

  • Its strengthening property
  • Conditioning ability
  • The sheen provided by the mask
  • Light cleansing property
  • Detoxifying ability (due to its cleansing property) 
  • Darkening ability (I like my hair in a brown/red tone thanks to henna and amla) 
  • Curl popping power (my curls come back to life after this mask)

Now what is in this wonder mask I hear you asking right? Well the recipe is simple and as always is built around ingredients I use regularly on my hair. You should be able to find most of these in your grocery store (perhaps the “ethnic” section), your local Indian store or if all else fails you can find them all Online. Butters-n-Bars is a good place to check, as is Sheabutter Cottage and if you find a good reliable source Amazon is another alternative. I am able to find all the ingredients used locally.

(NOTE: I was not paid, compensated or requested to mention any company names these are just suggestions of places where you can purchase some of the ingredients. I bought my products locally and paid for them with my own money). 

DSC00625

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 oz Amla powder (I use the Hesh Brand) 
  • 0.5 oz Shikakai (I use the Hesh Brand)
  • 0.2 oz Amla Infused Coconut Oil (can be replaced with regular coconut oil or any other carrier oil)
  • 0.1 oz Glycerine (Optional)
  • 2.5 oz Rose Water
  • 5.5 oz Plain Water (I use bottled Water) 

Additional Ingredients/Replacements

  • Honey/Agave Nectar – In place of the Glycerine
  • Essential Oils (EO’s) – you can use any Essential Oil you like. I am currently always in the mood of Rose water so I am not adding any EO’s to mine. 
  • Cassia – in place of the Amla you can replace it with Cassia which will not darken your hair. It has conditioning properties just like Amla as well as strengthening abilities. 
  • Other Ayurvedic Herbs – you can actually replace the Shikakai with any other herb such as Aritha, Brahmi, Neem just to mention a few. 

Mixing Instructions:

I first combine the Ayurvedic Herbs together in a bowl and mix. Stir it carefully because they powders are really light and will fly around everywhere. Next I add the Oil, Glycerine and Rose water and stir again. The final step is adding the water. I like to add the water a little at a time and mix. You might want to add more/less water depending on how thick/thin you want the mask, I like mine to be a little thicker than pancake batter. 

Application

1. I first dampen my hair with a spray bottle, I like my hair to be damp but not sopping wet. 2. I apply the mask liberally all over my hair starting at the ends and make my way to my roots. (Do not comb or manipulate your hair once it is applied because otherwise you are asking for breakage!) 3. I wrap my hair around my head and cover with a shower cap and usually some material too to keep my head warm and leave it on for 30 – 60 minutes. 4. I rinse out the mask and *co-wash my hair. 

* For some the Amla might be a little acidic and therefore can leave your hair feeling a little rough and therefore a simple co-wash might not sufficient. If that is the case do a moisturising Deep Condition afterwards. 

Application process

Storage

I make a lot of this mask and use it all up because I like to coat my hair with it and my hair is a little long. You might need more/less depending on your hair length/density however if you have any leftovers you can cover and store it in the freezer just make sure to put a date on it to remember when it was made.

I would love to hear what you think if you try this mask/masque. I would also love to hear about your Clay Hair Masks so I can have a recipe list to follow when I try it 😀 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Shikakai Review Video Up on YouTube

Good Afternoon Maicurlies,

Shikakai

                                                            Hesh Shikakai

I just wanted to make a quick post that I recorded a video about my experiments and review of Shikakai Powder as an all natural Auverdic shampoo. I already wrote about Shikakai, where you can purchase it, my experiments and personal “verdict” of the  Auverdic shampoo here

You can watch the video below:

Please remember that this is my personal experience with the product and the review is based on the results I got after trying the product in different ways. I was not asked or compensated to mention or use the product. I bought the Shikakai with my own money and have provided my own honest opinion about it. 

I really would love to know if you have used Shikakai before or any other Ayurvedic powder as a shampoo. 

Thanks!

Maicurls

Maicurls

Shikakai – Ayurvedic all Natural Shampoo (Option 1)

Hi Maicurlies,

I hope all is well! 

Today I am coming to you with another Auyvedic product (yes I know) and as the title states, it can be used as a substitute for commercial Shampoo! Shikakai powder (which means “fruit for hair”) is predominantly found in Asia – most noticeably India and is derived from fruit pods of the Acacia Concinna tree. 

In Asia it is a popular alternative to shampoos which can contain harsh chemicals. Many of us natural curlies tend to stay away from shampoos that are not sulfate free due to the fact that shampoo can really dry out our hair. In some cases even sulfate free shampoos can sometimes dry out our hair (not all and not for everyone.)

Shikakai - Hesh

Shikakai – Hesh

The brand of Shikakai I used is Hesh and the box states it:

  • Acts as a natural astringent for hair 
  • Clears dandruff
  • Cleans dirt accumulated on the scalp
  • Conditions the hair
  • Strengthens hair roots
  • Promotes luxuriant growth
  • Acts as a coolant for the scalp

To use Shikakai you do not need any additional ingredients apart from water however, I know some people might add a little oil to the mix. Note: Shikakai only lathers up moderately. 

Box application instructions:

1. Take required quantity of powder, add a little water and mix to make a thick past. 2. Gently massage (scalp) using your fingertips. 3. Wait for 2 – 5 minute and 4. wash thoroughly with water.

Shikakai Powder

Shikakai Powder

My experiments: I tried two different methods

1. Box method – 6 tablespoons of Shikakai and 8 tablespoons of water. It made a really thick paste and I applied it to my damp scalp as instructed. I carefully and slowly massaged my scalp for a few minutes while in the shower, left it on for 5 minutes and then rinsed it off with lukewarm water. While I was rinsing it off I would glide my hands down the length of my hair so that there would be some contact but it was not concentrated.

Pros- My scalp felt and looked really clean! I had no buildup at all and although I only really concentrated on my scalp the length of my hair also felt clean. I did not get that “squeaky clean” feeling which normally happened when I used shampoo but it definitely removed buildup and oil.  

Con – My hair felt a little more dry afterwards and less “conditioned” and it took a couple of rinses till I felt like I got all the mix off my scalp and hair. I knew I needed a DC after rinsing it out because even while my hair was damp it felt a little dry. Using a “paste” was a little too thick/heavy to be massaged into my scalp.

2. Second Method – I prepped my hair by doing a hot oil treatment for 30 minutes before applying the Shikakai. I used less powder and a lot more water (3 tablespoons Shikakai and 3/4 cup of water). I put the mixture in an old (clean) squeeze container and liberally squirted the mixture over my scalp. (Do not get it in your eyes it will burn and feel uncomfortable!) Since it was a lot more liquid-based, the mixture ran down my hair as well. I gently massaged just my scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out with lukewarm water.

Pros – Again my scalp felt and looked really clean as did the length of my hair.  No buildup, no squeaky clean feeling and my hair did not feel overly dry. I think because I used more water, less powder and did a hot oil treatment beforehand I was happier with how my hair felt. Nevertheless I did follow up with a DC just for precaution.

Cons – It was a little difficult keep the mix on my scalp since it was very watery (it helps to apply this while in the shower.)  Apart from that I cannot complain. 

*UPDATE: I forgot to mention the scent of Shikakai. It does not have the most pleasant scent. I guess I would describe it as having a strong herbish smell. I really can not point my finger on anything to compare it to but it does have an “earthish-herbish” smell with a hint of spice  (sorry that probably doesn’t help.) After the rinses the scent dissipated a little and with the DC that followed I did not notice it anymore. 

Verdict

Would I buy this again? Yes, but I would use my second method because my hair felt better with that method.

Aritha powder is going to be my next experiment as a natural alternative to commercial shampoo and I will let you know how that goes in (part 2)

P.S. I was not asked/paid or compensated to mention the company or brand. The product was bought with my own money and the review was based on my own personal experience.

Have you tried Shikakai as a shampoo? If so, what did you think? If not, do you use any other Auyvedic powder as a natural shampoo? Let me know! 

Maicurls

Maicurls