Shikakai means fruit for hair and it has been used as a hair cleanser for centuries in India. Traditionally, for our oil bath, after massaging our hair with this massage oil, we have our hair wash with a mixture of arappu powder and shikakai powder. We have arappu tree in the farm and we usually collect the leaves, sun dry and powder it for the whole year's use. Good quality arappu powder made with tender leaves, cleans well and it is easy to wash the hair only with it. But store bought arappu is usually not that good and it is getting increasingly hard to get good quality arappu. If we buy arappu from the shops, we usually mix it with home made shikakai powder. Even older people will find it easier to apply/ wash their hair with arappu, if it is mixed with shikakai powder, as arappu mixture is pasty. We never use shikakai powder alone, as it can be a bit drying, especially if it is used without the oil massage. It is always mixed with arappu powder. Shikakai cleans the hair well and produces good lather, though not like surfactant based shampoos. This shikakai blends prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth, if used regularly. Make shikakai powder for hair wash, during the hot summer months. It should be sun dried till crisp. If you are making it in small quantities, powder it in a dry mixer after sun drying it well.
1. Sun dry the shikakai till very crisp.
2. Powder the shikakai finely. If using a mixer, make sure it is completely dry.
3. Mix 2 tbsp of shikakai powder with 1 cup arappu powder. Add water and make it into paste.
Sun dry till crisp, else you will not be able to powder it finely.
The amount of shikakai powder to be mixed with arappu powder is individual choice.