Shikakai Homemade Shampoo

Result after washing with Shikakai mix, then deep conditioning with my usual commercial-brand deep conditioner and applying a pureed mix of shea butter and gel:

Shikakai Shampoo Mix


1.5 -2 cups water

1.5-2 tspns whole flaxseeds

1 tspn amla powder

¼ cup shikakai powder

½ tspn brahmi (gotu kola) powder

¼ tspn amla oil

½ tspn jojoba oil

1 tspn honey

¼ tspn neem oil (optional)

Fragrance oil (optional) (I used a Brown Sugar fragrance oil and it kind of cut the woody shikakai powder smell)

Note: The jojoba and amla oils are optional if your scalp tends to be oily. Mine is always dry and because I know the shikakai can be drying, the oils are a must for me.

Note: I have only used this recipe on hair that has been oiled overnight.  If I know I'm going to shampoo the next day, I apply my pre-shampoo hot oil treatment (see recipe here) the night before.  Then on the day of, I apply any oil that can be absorbed into hair (usually coconut oil, sometimes olive oil).  I don't recommend applying to hair that has not been pre-oiled even if you tend to have oily scalp but adjust recipe as needed.

Bring water to boil in a clean pot, once boiling, add flaxseeds.  Let boil 3-4 minutes then reduce heat to simmer.  Add amla powder and let simmer another 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes add shikakai powder and bring to boil again.  As soon as mixture begins to boil shut off heat and let cool for 4 hours or overnight.

When ready for use, bring mixture to boil again, and as soon as mixture begins to boil, add brahmi powder, stir and immediately shut off heat.  Cover and let mixture cool.  Once mixture is warm, strain mixture and discard solids (I strain twice to ensure all solids are removed).  Add the following remaining ingredients to the remaining liquid: amla oil, jojoba oil, neem oil (optional) and honey.  You may add a drop or two of tea tree or cajeput oil in place of neem oil for antibacterial properties. Mix well. Pour mixture into bottle or other sealable container.  This recipe will make enough for at least two uses depending on the length of your hair. Use and refrigerate the rest. Make sure to shake well before each use.

To use on hair:
Hair should be dry or mildly damp (except for pre-poo oils). Part hair into small sections and apply directly to scalp making sure to saturate scalp.  If hair is long, apply some directly to hair to coat as well.  Use as little as possible to saturate. Massage gently into scalp and let sit for about 5-10 minutes (I put on a shower cap to prevent dripping). After this time, gently massage scalp before rinsing the shikakai mix out of hair.  Rinse well to make sure there is no residue left in your hair. Apply conditioner.  If your hair tends to be dry, be sure to deep condition.
Warning: this treatment is messy! Be prepared to have a messy towel and possibly messy clothes, like I did. Next time I will use in the shower. :)
 The pics below might help:

Strain mixture

Strained solid and liquid portions

Mix in remaining ingredients

Pour liquid mixture into sealable container

Note soapy consistency after shaking