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Have you ever used henna for a hair treatment? As a new natural, I am about to try every and anything so come on this ride with me!
It’s really hard to believe I am only two and a half weeks post big chop! I have already done so much experimenting on this head it ain’t even funny. And, it’s already grown out a bit. Crazy.
I decided to henna my hair over the weekend after hearing rave reviews about its strengthening and conditioning properties on my favourite natural hair blog, Curly Nikki.
In this post you'll find:
Why Henna Is Good for Your Hair
Shortly after I big chopped I threw a box of red colour in my hair even though I really wanted to go back to blonde. I was trying to be different. Henna is supposed to give you a red tint as well so I was excited to see what it would do to my hair that was already coloured.
I read a million articles and did have some concerns, the main one being that some people reported henna would eventually loosen my curl pattern. This is not something I was welcoming. My hair is very new to me right now and I’d really like to get to know it before anything actually goes ahead and changes it! I decided I would still give it a try but not do it as religiously as I had planned, and maybe experiment with amla and zizyphus in my mix in hopes of combating this side effect.
How to Mix Henna As a Conditioning Treatment for Hair
So on to my mix. I did notice that most people used green tea or apple cider vinegar in their henna to release the dye. Most of those same people complain a lot about the messy application and the difficulties in rinsing, so I was already seeking a better alternative. My fave natural products blogger mentioned that she uses coconut milk in her mix and so I settled on that til I was ready to mix and realised I didn’t have any.
What I did have was full-fat yoghurt that someone commented on in the same post so I googled that and found a lot of other people praised it. The benefits of using coconut milk or yoghurt were that the mix was much creamier, therefore easier to rinse out and it helped to condition your hair during the process as henna can be drying. I took note that many people said the dye release with using yoghurt was less than usual, but thought I would be ok since my hair was already chemically coloured and I was more after the benefits of henna than the colour.
I used half of the 100g of the henna I picked up from House of Spice in Marketplace, an Indian grocery store, and enough yoghurt to make my mix. After mixing them together, I Ieft it out on the counter covered up for the entire day. That is supposed to let it marinate, release dyes and whatnot. Think about steeping a tea bag, you need 4 hours minimum they say.
How to Apply Henna to Hair
When I was about to hit the sack that night, I saturated my hair with the mix. This was way too much henna for my short hair, next time I’ll use less as I’m not sure the henna/yoghurt combination can be frozen like the green tea mix. (Update, yes it can)
I wrapped my head in saran wrap, put an old school nappy (cloth diaper) around the perimeter and tied it all down with my doo-rag. Then I threw a towel over my pillow and jumped into bed. They say the smell of henna is yucky and I can confirm. Mixed with the colour of the darn thing, I felt like I was applying poo all over my head.
Next morning I woke up and proceeded to rinse. Wasn’t so bad at all. You can see my drippies there on my shirt, next time I’ll add some cotton balls to the area behind my ears where there’s a gap. I rinsed 3 times hoping that would do the trick of washing it all out. I cowashed this morning though (3 days later) and my rinse water was still the colour of henna so I guess it does take a bit of time to rinse.
See any difference? I think it actually did away with my reddish/pinkish colour and has a more coppery sheen. Also, I do think my curls have been stretched just a tad. That may be mind over matter, but I do.
Anyway, when I was rinsing I could feel my hair, especially in the back, felt kinda dry and wiry so I whipped up my best DIY deep conditioner. I cannot sing the praises of this deep conditioner enough! I let that sit in my hair and do its magic for about 2 hours with about 20 minutes of that under the dryer for maximum penetration. Then I rinsed, added my leave-in, sprayed with my usual essential oil mix and sealed with my DIY whipped shea butter.
Munchkin in the back cheesing lol.
What do I think about henna for hair?
OMG I LOVEEEEEEE!!! I can’t say that I got the colour deposit that I was looking for, but my hair has never been this soft, this shiny, this strong!!! I am a henna head all the way and I’m only two and a half weeks into my journey. I plan on doing another treatment in two weeks to see if I get a better colour deposit.
I am on the lookout for hibiscus powder to add to my mix to get a better red. After that, I will limit myself to henna no more than once every two months. Why? I am afraid of the curl loosening effect. I don’t want life-less wavy hair, I want to be able to rock a voluminous fro when I want!
If you’ve never experimented with henna for hair, I’d suggest doing lots of research to see what the benefits are. The best advice I can give you is to ensure you’re buying pure, high-quality henna with no other ingredient.
Do you henna? Thinking of trying?
Related: see my results on henna with medium-length, blonde hair.
Related: Trying to colour my hair after a henna treatment. Is henna really permanent?