caring for each hair strand, ditching the commercial hair care

Acacia Concinna is the scientific name of an Indian shrub. It’s fruit is popular in India as Shikakai. Its literal translation means ‘fruit of tresses’ in Tamil.

That makes me wonder why did I not get to know about this trivia before. I admit that I knew about Shikakai right from my childhood years. My mother and her mother updated me on its hair cleansing properties. But I swear, that I never had any idea to its alias.

During my kiddie days, my mother would make me and my sister wash hair with Shikakai soap bars. Those days there was a popular one made by a consumer goods giant of that era.

The bar used to be a big block pink in color. We both girls would scour hurriedly our hair with it. That would suffice our weekly shampoo regime in a jiffy. The aftermath of the activity would render us shiny, bouncy and fragrant smelling hair. The effect of which would last for a week long.

That soap as I understand today, was a product of simple saponification. It was a conglomerate of some vegetable oil along with the shikakai.

These days I do not get to see that soap anywhere in the malls in my neighbourhood. So, I drifted my no-poo energies to using Shikakai in its powder form itself. I make a concoction of shikakai along with thick curds or honey to wash my hair.

I use it more as a non-drippy hair pack that works as a shampoo. The product does not lather, but its lack of foam is no way a barometer to its cleansing merits. My hair become squeaky clean and full of life after the shikakai wash. They do not even require any separate conditioning treatment after that. Each hair strand detangles on its own and smells fragrant for days.

I must say, the ‘fruit of tresses’ does live up to its name. Though I feel that phenomenon of using it would be more prevalent if the word Shikakai gets a rename. The english translation of its name in Tamil language would do an excellent job in getting attention towards it.

I wonder how amazing is the product as well its name. The entire value proposition gets delivered in its name itself. If only I could get it in a pure castile soap form with some vegetable oil combination. The way I used to have aeons ago.

I wish someday I could discover that pink soap in a shelf of some grocery mall somewhere. I wish that fmcg company that used to manufacture it erstwhile starts re-manufacturing it.

But then the reality daunts upon me which makes me sad. I then do nothing much else than pacifying myself in admiring the sheen of my beautiful hair. You know they look more beautiful under the effulgence of the CFL bulbs that that FMCG company now sells.

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