Unlike henna powder and amla powder, shikakai powder does not require a lengthy preparation time. The mix can be prepared in a matter of seconds to create a thicker or thinner paste. The thicker mixer can be spread over the hair in sections and the thinner “tea” mixture can be poured over the hair. Either method, the mixture should be fairly thin so it does not dry out as it will become difficult to rinse out of your hair.
How To Mix Shikakai Paste:
Stir a few tablespoons of shikakai into enough cold or hot water, just enough to form a paste. (Keep mixture fairly thin so that it rinses out hair easily.) Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes before applying. Use your fingers, a spoon or a squeeze bottle to coat the hair with the mixture, paying particular attention to the scalp and roots. Shikakai is mild enough to use on the length of the hair as well.
How to Mix Shikakai "Tea":
Stir in a few tablespoons of shikakai powder to enough cold water to create a paste and slowly stir in about a cupful of water to create a thin tea like muddy mixture :) . After 10-15 minutes pour this mixture into a squeeze bottle, shake to increase the lather and apply by squirting over the hair, concentrating on the scalp and roots.
RINSE hair after a few minutes with warm or cool water massaging your scalp in the process, finishing with a cold rinse to seal your ends. I also do 1 co-wash or 1 shampoo wash along with this. If you oiled your hair the night before, and the purpose of your Shakakai cleanse is to remove the excess oil, you can let the mixture sit in your hair for 30 minutes. Also, I would recommend using the Paste instead of the Tea if you plan to let the mixture sit in your hair the longer period of time as the Tea will just run through and will drip. You will need to cover your hair with a plastic cap to prevent your hair and the mixture from drying out.
The shikakai should be gone when the hair feels smooth, not gritty, and the water runs clear. Most people report their hair feels shinier and softer after a shikakai wash.
I follow-up with a deep conditioner. OPTIONAL: Mix 1-2 teaspoons of amla powder with deep conditioner. I do this mix about once a month.
What's your hair cleansing method? Have you tried Shikakai Powder?