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DIY Shikakai Shampoo Recipe | Homemade Herbal Shampoo

DIY Shikakai Shampoo Recipe – This 100% herbal shampoo makes use of various herbs to make sure your hair is gently cleansed without stripping it of its natural oils.

In this article, you can find,

  • Video Instructions
  • Most asked questions
  • Ingredient benefits
  • Shikakai shampoo recipe for Oily hair and Dry hair
  • My Experience


How Do You Store Amla Reetha Shikakai Shampoo?

You can store this herbal shampoo in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Freeze the rest of the bottles for later use.

I actually let this rice water cleanser ferment for a couple of days before refrigerating it. But it is fine if you want to skip this.

Does Reetha OR Shikakai Make Hair Black?

When used by itself Shikakai or Soap nuts do not change your hair colour black. But, when used with herbs like Indian gooseberry(Amla) or Henna, it does help prevent premature greying.

Consistent use of this cleanser with herbal hair oils dedicated for premature greying will darken your hair to an extent.

shikakai reetha amla shampoo

Does Amla Reetha Shikakai Regrow Hair?

Yes, absolutely.

As long as you hair loss is not due to health issues, you should be able to see a difference within a couple of months. Address issues like Anaemia, hormone problems and stress to have healthy hair and skin.

You can see the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of each ingredient below. This will help you get a better understanding of why they are good for your hair.

Does Reetha Make Hair Dry?

Soap nuts or Reetha is a cleanser, It contains saponins which helps get rid of sweat and oils. Although it is a hypo allergic gentle cleanser, the effects may be different on every hair especially if the hair is already dry or damaged.

So start using a small amount like 4 soap nuts and see how it fares on your hair and scalp. There is no one recipe that will suit everyone. So work with it until you find the perfect combination for your hair.

Is Shikakai Shampoo Good For Hair?

Shikakai shampoo helps cleanse as well as nourish the hair and scalp. It keeps the scalp free of dandruff and other infections.

The vitamins, minerals and amino acids help soothe inflammation and dry scalp conditions. Regular use helps regrow hair, strengthen the roots and hair, reduces hair fall thus making it thicker and lustrous.

Shikakai shampoo helps add softness and shine to the hair. It is also easy to detangle hair even with your fingers.


Shikakai Benefits For Hair

Most of you might already be familiar with the cleansing properties of Shikakai. But shikakai contains Vitamins like A, C, D, E and Vitamin K which helps maintain a balance between cleansing and conditioning of your hair.

Shikakai has Antiseptic, Antibacterial and Anti fungal properties.

This helps treat and prevent dandruff and other scalp conditions like eczema, itching, scabies, and lice.

The antioxidants in shikakai helps promotes hair growth and reduce hair loss. Regular use ensures thicker frizz free hair.

It does repair dry, brittle and damaged hair and also prevents split ends.

Reetha Benefits For Hair (Soap Nuts)

Soap nuts does lather and cleanses the hair and scalp of oil, sweat and dirt.

It also helps prevent dandruff and dry scalp conditions.

Using soap nuts helps cool your body heat too.This cooling effect is especially beneficial in hot summers.

reetha for hair (Soap nuts))

Indian Gooseberry(Amla) For Hair

Indian Gooseberry is rich in Vitamin A, C and amino acids which helps promote hair growth, reduces hair loss and prevent baldness.

Amla helps strengthen the hair strands and roots. Regular use repairs hair and improves the hair texture.

Dried amla being Antibacterial and Anti fungal helps treat and prevent scalp infections from lice and other parasites.

The most important benefit is its ability to prevent premature greying of the hair. That is why we are using this in our shampoo and hair masks.

Amla (Indian gooseberry)

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera acts as a conditioner for both the hair and scalp. It helps repair dry, damaged hair and improves the overall appearance of the hair.

Using Aloe reduces itchy scalp and other inflammation. It hydrates the scalp and prevents dandruff.

Fenugreek Seeds For Hair

Fenugreek seeds contains Vitamin A, B, C and K and also minerals which helps nourish the scalp, prevent thinning of the hair and promote hair growth.

These seeds helps hydrate the hair and scalp. it does fight against hair fall and dandruff too.

This tiny herb prevents balding, hair fall and dandruff.

fenugreek seeds for hair

For Normal-Dry Hair Recipe

  • Shikakai – 8
  • Soap Nuts – 4
  • Amla – 4 0r 1 Tablespoon of amla powder
  • Aloe Vera – Gel from one leaf
  • Fenugreek seeds – 2 Tablespoon
  • Plain water – 5 cups

If this recipe makes your hair dry which it should not, Skip using soap nuts (Reetha) and try making a shampoo while keeping the rest of the ingredients the same.

For Oily Hair

  • Rice water or Plain water – 5 cups
  • Shikakai – 7-8
  • Soap nuts – 5-6
  • Amla – 4
  • Fenugreek – 2 tablespoon
  • Aloe Vera  – Gel of one big leaf
  • Neem Leaves – a handful(Optional)

If this shampoo does not remove oil from your scalp, try boiling it for 5 more minutes until the shampoo is a bit thicker and concentrated or increase the amount of soap nuts from 5 to 6 pods next time.

You can use normal water instead of using rice water. But, do not skip ACV rinse for best results.

homemade herbal shampoo

How To Make Shikakai Shampoo

Soak 1 cup of rice in 4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Then rub the rice between your palms until the water turns milky white.

Add 7 shikakai and 7 soap nut pods to it, followed by 3 tablespoon amla, 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds and finally, aloe vera juice of one aloe leaf to the rice water.

shikakai shampoo preparation

To treat dandruff and itching, add NEEM leaves or HOLY BASIL.

For dry damaged hair, add HIBISCUS leaves for extra conditioning.

Boil everything together for about 7-8 minutes.

Cover it with a lid and leave it overnight.

After 8-12 hours, squeeze the pulp between your fingers and palms to get most of it. You can see that the shampoo starts to foam as the saponins are released.

shikakai shampoo diy

Strain the shampoo and store it in a bottle.

Refrigerate up to one month. But it stays fresh for more than a month for me.

shikakai shampoo recipe


We can use it again to make another batch of shampoo like below pic.

You can blend it or not, that is entirely up to you.

Just boil it in 4 cups of water.

shikakai shampoo

Let it cool. Strain the shampoo and store it in the freezer until the first batch gets over.

My Experience

Hair Type – Normal Hair And Scalp

I am a huge fan of the YAO rice water recipe. It works and is a pretty simple recipe that anyone can prepare. Due to lock down, i couldn’t find the ingredients anywhere so i switched to this shikakai shampoo instead.

When i first applied this shampoo, my hair became rough within a couple of minutes. I massaged my scalp as usual and rinsed off the shampoo.

It does take away oil, sweat and dirt but my hair definitely felt rough and frizzy. 🙁 I poured apple cider vinegar all over my hair and scalp.

When i rinsed it off after 3-5 minutes, my hair felt softer but not as soft as the Yao rice water.

I certainly expected my to turn out frizzy and dry but fortunately,  it did not. As it air dried, i could de-tangle it easily with my fingers.

In Short, I cannot skip ACV rinse. 

This shampoo does cleanse my scalp thoroughly. It does not leave any kind of smell on my hair.

My hair was soft to touch and  frizz free. There was a cooling effect which felt good too. It did not make my hair poofy like when i used the rice water-clay shampoo.

What Suits My Hair

I do not use soap nuts these days as i feel that shikakai by itself is enough to cleanse my hair and scalp of sweat and dirt. So adding two cleansers is an overkill for my hair.

My point is every hair is unique and you may need to fine tune the recipe to suit the needs of your hair.




Leave a Reply
  1. I have the powdered form of shikakai and amla. What is the ratio of tablespoons I should use for it? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Shikakai – 1.5 Tablespoon
      Reetha – 3 Tablespoon
      Amla – 1.5 Tablespoon

      If you are using powders, then you can just mix the 3 powders with distilled water to make a paste, Leave it overnight or for at least 2 hours before applying it on your hair.

  2. Can I use this type of shampoo after applying oil? Will it be able to remove the applied oil from hair like commercial shampoos do?

    • Can we store it at room temperature? How long can we keep it at room temperature? If we store it for a long period of time, how we get to know is it good to use it not?

      • Hi Pragya, I always store it in the fridge so im not really sure but since we have not added any preservatives, the shampoo will spoil quickly in room temperature. As days go by, you can see that Fungus/mold starts to grow on top of it.

    • Take required amount of shampoo depending on your hair length in a cup or bottle.
      Mix with hand or shake the bottle until it foams.
      Wet your hair (If you want to apply directly to dry hair, you can add water to the shampoo while shaking/mixing). Both works well.
      Pour the shampoo all over your hair and scalp.
      Wait for at least 5 minutes and then rinse it out.

      Follow up with Apple cider vinegar conditioner or any conditioner of your choice.

  3. Hi dear

    Trying this from. Last 6-7 washes.
    Facing lot of hairfall issue dandruff and dryness.
    M using all. 3 ingredients in equal proportions.
    So do I need to change the proportion?
    I was not using rice water. Will. It b of help?
    I added flex seeds powder instead bof Fenugreek. So do I need to use of both or one of them?

    Ur video tutorial is of great help.
    Pls share some good video for conditioning too


  4. I have prepared this home made shampoo but after 10 days it stinks even after i have stored it in my refrigerator so should i use it on my hair or not?

    • Hi Payal, I am not sure what happened but if it stinks then do no this use it. Next time skip rice water and use normal water to make shikakai shampoo.

      If you leave the shampoo at room temperature for long, the rice water will ferment and thus the smell.(Similar to Yao rice water)
      Hope that helps.

    • Hi Leah, I have never tried this but, Adding an oil may reduce the foaming and cleansing ability of the shampoo. So add only 1 teaspoon per 250ml of shampoo, shake well before use and see how it works out for your hair. Hope that helps.

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Written by Peppy Blog

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