Henna & Coconut Milk–The Perfect Combination For Healthy Hair


I’ve said many times before that henna treatments have truly been the best thing that I’ve ever done to my hair.  I started using henna March 2010 and haven’t stopped since.  When I first started I applied henna weekly and also used henna weekly for healthy hair growth boosts.  I’ve continued to apply a full henna treatment at least once a month or more when I have the time.  I honestly haven’t been deep conditioning my hair as often as I would like, yet every time I use henna and coconut milk I realize exactly why I love it so much!

I’ve shared my experience using henna over the years, and today wanted to share what I’ve noticed specifically about mixing henna with coconut milk for deep conditioning and for the gorgeous color henna provides hair naturally.  In general when using henna for hair, I initially researched to mix henna with tea or water then add lemon juice or another tarp (a dye releasing ingredient), and wait for eight hours before applying.  This process felt so tedious creating the mix, waiting forever before applying it, leaving it in your hair for three hours or more, and finally spending what felt like forever getting the dry gritty mess out of your hair for the beautiful benefits we all hear about.  When doing a henna hair treatment this way my hair felt dry and brittle.

For my second henna treatment, I tried adding sugar and honey to my henna mix which created a smoother consistency but still wasn’t right.  After that I tried henna with coconut milk (no water, tea, or lemon juice added) which is the combination I still use today.  I still waited eight hours to apply the mix to my hair, yet rinsing it was a breeze, and my hair felt strong and no longer dry or brittle.  Over the past few months I’ve been mixing up henna and coconut milk, and applying it directly to my hair without waiting.  The dye from the henna released instantly!  The reason I’m sure of it is because the first time I didn’t wear gloves and I thought that I could get away with it since waiting eight hours before the dye released was the norm.  I walked around with orange hands and nails for a few days because of it.


I’ve consistently had great results applying henna immediately to my hair after mixing it with coconut milk.  The red highlights have been extremely vibrant especially in sunlight, and the entire process takes less time.  During my most recent henna treatment which was last week, I forgot to add oil to my mix and it still came out wonderfully.  I used to believe that the reason that henna and coconut milk was the perfect combination for beautiful hair was because it conditioned and strengthened hair without the dry feeling while rinsing out with ease.  Now I have one more amazing quality to add, and that is that the dye releases instantly.

You can find my exact henna recipe here as well as my full minimal beauty regimen here!

What has been your experience with henna and coconut milk?  Do you have another henna mix you love?

***The winners for the SheaMoisture Body Scrubs GIVEAWAY are Syreeta, Kelly, Krystal, Darlene, and Gina!  I’ll be sending you an email.  <3

 (Images by Dawn Michelle)

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  1. karen says

    Hi! Great article! How much henna and coconut milk do you use? Also – the henna – is it in powder form? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try!

  2. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Karen,

    I usually use about 100 grams of body art quality henna (which is a powder) to one can of coconut milk which I buy from Trader Joe’s and a natural oil. My exact recipe is here. You can also see the brands of body art quality henna that I’ve used and their differences in that article as well. Happy Hennaing!

  3. rachael says

    What brand of henna do you use? I tried it for the second time last week (the first with cassia and the second with goorej nupur) and was not happy with the results. It seemed to dry my hair out and while I didn’t mind the red tones in the rest of my hair, in the small gray patch I have it turned in terrible orange color. Perhaps I’m just using the wrong brand. I’d really love it to work well because it’s so affordable. Can you post a link to what you buy?

  4. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Rachael,

    Did you use coconut milk with the Goorej Nupur henna? It definitely helps to have clean hair to start when applying henna over gray hair. Also henna will give gray hair a coppery tone the first application that gets darker with frequent applications. Henna’s dye release comes in various shades of red depending on the plant. You can also find pre-made henna, cassia, and indigo mixes for other shades other than red. One company that sells various shades of natural dye with cassia, henna, and indigo is Mountain Rose Herbs.

    I use Reshma henna, Nupur 9 henna, and Dulhan henna consistently, all bought from my local Indian grocery store. As long as you are using body art quality henna you will be avoiding any chemicals or metallic salts that are put in other henna products that are not 100% pure henna. I list a bunch of body art quality hennas that I’ve used and what I’ve noticed about them in this article.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Jean says

    I have been using henna for about a year after chemically dyeing my hair for many years. I bought my henna from Mehandi.com and found their website and staff to be very helpful in answering my questions. There is a learning curve with henna, and after my first application of straight henna, I started mixing indigo with my henna to achieve the color I wanted. I use the “Ancient Sunrise” in Auburn, which is specifically meant for gray hair. I am finding by trial and error that I need to leave the mixture on my gray roots for a longer time (some people leave it on overnight) in order for it to cover.

    I have found your tips on using henna to be very helpful, Dawn, especially mixing it with coconut milk, which leaves my dry, curly, frizzy hair very soft and shiny. What oil do you like to use in your henna mix?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with all of us. I have learned a ton about treating my hair from your blog, and my hair has never been in better shape!

  6. miriam says

    Hey Girl, you know I tried henna for the first time last weekend, and it was fine, yes a little messy but i’m really trying to be as natural as i can…I washed my hair before applying the henna to get all the “Stay-soft- fro” out of it, I didn’t think the henna would take with the pile up of grease on it. so this time I purchase the henna in the block form from “lush” which is suppose to have coconut oil in it already, do you think it matters weather I use this one or the lose power henna? either way the next time I apply it i’m going to use the coconut water instead of water to the mix and see how that works. anyway I’ll keep you posted.
    keep up the great work, my beautiful sister my sister. Miriam

  7. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jean,

    Thanks for your comment! I usually add hemp oil or another ceramide oil such as wheat germ oil to my henna mixes. If I don’t have either, I’ll just use what I have and sometimes I forget to add the oil like in my last henna treatment. Adding the oil really aids in the conditioning process as well as the henna rinsing out extremely well. I’m glad you are enjoying your henna treatments and found a method that works for you.

    Dawn Michelle

  8. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Miriam,

    I haven’t tried Lush Henna so wouldn’t know how to compare it to powdered body art quality henna. Let me know how it turns out compared to BAQ henna and coconut milk. Best wishes!

  9. Lynn says

    I just bought my Napur henna and coconut milk today. I will be trying this. I was getting pretty sick of the dry henna and tea water mix. My hair always feels like a brillo pad when I rinse it out. So hopeful for this new recipe. Thankyou for sharing!

  10. Sharon says

    Hi Dawn, your hair looks absolutely beautiful! What was your styling method for this session, how is process going for your product line? Thanks Sharon

  11. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lynn,
    Let me know how your new henna treatment turns out. I hope that it does work much better for you!

  12. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kim.,
    No worries this isn’t a silly question at all. When I first started using henna I applied it to wet clean hair. I don’t use heavy leave-ins in my hair anymore, usually just an oil blend. I now apply henna to dry hair to save time. If you are covering grays or know that your hair has product build up, apply henna to clean damp or wet hair. No matter whether your hair is wet or dry, it is always a pleasant experience if your hair is detangled prior. I prefer to keep my hair in braid or twist outs so that my hair is always somewhat detangled in general.

  13. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sharon,
    Thanks so much! My hair in this photo is a result of a braid out on wet hair with four braids. I will go into detail on how I’ve been doing my hair lately in another article. The product line is taking more time than I originally desired but I’m still sticking to it and pushing through. I am excited though.

  14. mangomadness says

    I love henna and coconut milk. It’s the best mix I’ve tried so I’m sticking with it.

    For my last henna I used 60 grams of Godrej Nupur Mehendi Powder and 1 cup of Goya Coconut Milk. In the future, I’ll use organic coconut milk.

    Henna makes my kinky coily hair smoother and stronger. I do a treatment once of twice a year.

  15. Tanya says

    Hi Dawn,
    I really enjoyed your your Henna 101. I am a newbie post relaxer 12 weeks. The time before I went for 6 months and it was a challenge. This time I have learned how to henna and moisturize moisturize moisturize, I am really loving the teas and acv rinses. And you have now know taught me how to use marshmallow root and fenugreek for Dc or leavein… I just wanted to thank you for all of this very informative information. I have been reading for hours on your page lol… I am in love with my hair and am enjoying my journey as I see you are too. Thanks again and keep it coming…. Many blessings, Tanya

  16. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tanya,
    It’s great that you have found a routine that is working for you. Transitioning can be very challenging, yet with strengthening and moisturizing products/ingredients you can do it with ease and grace. Best wishes!

  17. Shauntel says

    I love henna, green tea, honey and olive oil (or another carrier oil), but I would like my hair to be softer. I tried your mix with the coconut milk and realized that I’m allergic to coconut milk, my scalp was not a fan :(

  18. Shauntel says

    Quick question: When you are not buying your products like rhassoul clay, and other organic ingredients at Mountainroseherbs.com where else do you buy from? Although this post is about henna, I also love the benefits of rhassoul without the dryness and the website says not available :(

  19. Kris says

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you! I stopped using henna because it just took way too long and i could never seem to get all of the henna out. I made my mix and have it on my hair now. I have white sheets, so I won’t be sleeping with it in. I put the oil in at the same time as the coconut milk. I hope it will still come out ok. Fingers crossed!

  20. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Shauntel,
    Sorry to hear about your coconut milk allergy. You could always try yogurt instead. Best wishes!

  21. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Shauntel,
    I try to stay stocked up on the ingredients that I love, yet I have been lucky to find a few items at local natural grocery stores too. I have been starting to see green, bentonite and red clay at Sprouts or Erewhon’s yet not rhassoul. I’m hoping Mountain Rose Herbs will stock up soon on a few things to be honest. I guess high demand. I hope that you find it soon!

  22. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kris,
    I hope that your henna treatment came out well! Please keep me posted and glad to help!

  23. QueenEyeCee says

    I’ve reviewed and read your recipe which is in fact very similar to mines give or take an ingredient or two; for the most part I use Coconut Milk as well, but, there are times that I’ll replace it with Whole Greek Yogurt as well as the addition of Manuka or Raw African Honey to the blend for additional moisture & nutrients. Do you strictly use Hemp Oil or a Ceramide Oil in your blend and if so please educate me on the advantages of adding Hemp/Ceramide Oil/s as oppose to a non Ceramide Oil within a Henna Mix for dry hair types? Thanks in advance for your much appreciated insight and knowledge!

  24. QueenEyeCee says

    BTW…I love your blog and respect and appreciate your knowledge and extensive research & insight that you share!

  25. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi QueenEyeCee,
    Ceramide oils actually penetrate and strengthen hair. I wrote an article on ceramide oils here. Although my hair care regimen is most likely different than when I wrote the article, I still use ceramide oils, mainly hemp oil because of the benefits and that my hair loves hemp oil.
    Dawn Michelle

  26. Francesca says

    Love this combo,too. Been doing it every month since Feb of this year when I discovered this blog. One time i tried mixing henna with yogurt but it wasn’t the same. My hair felt dry. The coconut milk leaves my hair so soft. I once mixed a big batch and froze the extra. That saved me some time and works just as well. I also add wheatgerm oil and some nice smelling essential oils. I wash out after 2-3 hours..not very patient to leave longer. Still does an amazing job…love this treatment!

  27. Regine says

    OMG. This coming Friday (10/25) will be my 4th weekly Nupur9/Coconut Milk/EVOO application and it is spectacularly improving the feel and look of my 4a hair, as well as loosening my curls a bit. DM, you were right in saying that you really start seeing the benefits of Henna after the 3rd application. After my 4th application, I will maybe cut down to once or twice a month. What do you think? Or should I continue to do it every week? I think you wrote you did this for maybe 3 months, and then once or twice a month. At some point, I may experiment with a combination of Henna (maybe 2/3) and Indigo (1/3) but I am not sure. Again thanks for your wonderful advices regarding hair.

  28. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Regine,

    I’m so glad you are seeing the amazing benefits of henna for your hair! Woohoo! As for the consistency of use it, it really just depends on your own hair and its needs. You can cut back to once or twice a month since that was your initial thought. Trust yourself. You can always add an extra henna treatment in if you feel you need it. The one thing that I LOVE about using body art quality henna is that is completely natural and you can use it as much as you like and are loving it benefits for your hair. With every application the color (highlights if you have dark hair) will be enriched or deposited darker. I’m starting to do the roots of my hair only versus a root to tip application now that I’ve been using henna consistently since 2010.

    I haven’t used indigo myself but have read many times that it is very drying compared to henna. I’d suggest definitely using it with henna as you have planned and deep conditioning your hair afterwards.

    Best wishes!

  29. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Francesca,

    So glad this has worked so well for you too. Isn’t it funny that some of the best oils for hair such as wheat germ oil need “nice smelling essential oils” to help them out! Wheat germ oil really makes my hair soft too. The benefits of hemp oil match wheat germ oil as well, but it also has a strong scent.
    Best wishes!

  30. Sharon says

    Can u use coconut cream instead of the coconut milk.. Does the coconut have to by hot, cold or room temperature for the henna?

  31. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sharon,
    You can use coconut cream versus coconut milk. Also you can use coconut milk/cream room temperature with henna. If you try this keep me posted. Enjoy your day!

  32. Zena says

    Hi Dawn, I love henna mixed with coconut milk. It has done wonders for my 4a hair. I’ve been following your blog for a while and appreciate the advice you give. Thanks so much! My hair has stopped breaking and is much stronger since doing henna with coconut milk. I am do a henna treatment 2x a month. Im curious to know what do you do you put in your hair to style?

  33. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Zena,
    I’m glad that the henna and coconut milk combo has been so awesome for your hair care regimen. I absolutely love it too! I mainly use a shea butter/oil mix to style my hair and every once and awhile flax seed gel. I honestly love just the shea butter/oil mix the most though. It is easier to style and detangle my hair when it feels soft. I plan to do an updated skin and hair care regimen article soon too. Have a great weekend!

  34. doyin says

    Your hair is amazing. Started my natural journey about a year n half. My hair is about 4 and half long. Am really anxious about the growth, I heard hairfinity helps for growth. I’ll try the henna and coconut milk as well, am particularly having issues with styling, my hair is kinky, the twist out doesn’t come out nicely.what can I do as far as styling is concerned? I like your blog. Keep it up

  35. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Doyin,
    Thanks so much! My best advice to you is not to stress out about hair growth yet take care of your hair, exercise, and eat healthy. Just keep your hair as moisturized and soft as possible which will help with styling. When my hair was shorter one of my favorite styles was pinning the sides of my hair back to create a “faux hawk.” Other than that I never really did too many styles.
    Best wishes!

  36. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Doyin,
    Henna powder is green in color yet the dye release is red. If you have dark hair the natural red color will only appear as a tint. For those with blond to light brown hair, that is when the hair will literally be dyed a natural red/auburn tone. Most can only see the henna color in my hair in sunlight or very bright light.
    Happy Hennaing!

  37. Crystal says

    Hi Dawn! Have you found that Henna has loosened your curl pattern? I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile now but heard that it can loosen curls and with my hair already being thin and fine I’m scared to try!

  38. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Crystal,
    I have noticed some curl loosening but not enough to affect the ability to have a very curly wash and go style. Henna coats the hair strands and helps to seal the cuticle. It makes my fine hair strong and shiny. You can always begin with cassia (neutral henna yet a different plant) to see if you like the benefits and hair conditioning/strengthening that it provides. The benefits of cassia last a week and the benefits of henna last a month and accumulate over time. Hope this helps!

  39. Mochacurls says

    Great site! I’ve been using coconut milk and henna for awhile and I think I got the idea from your blog. I love it! Its easier to rinse and its slightly less drying. I started to mix aloe vera gel and shea butter to my mixes recently.

  40. Dawn Michelle says

    Thank you Mochacurls! How is adding aloe and shea butter to your henna mix working for you? That’s an interesting combo!

  41. Kendra says

    Hey, I have a quick question. I got your nupur henna online a few days ago. A friend said she mixes henna with coffee. Do you think that’s ok?

  42. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kendra,

    Coffee is usually mixed with henna to enhance a brown tone versus red alone. Mixing henna with coconut milk has been the only way to have a smooth and easy application and rinsing experience because it does not dry hard and grainy.

    Most people have a negative experience with henna mixing it with ingredients that allow it to dry hard or mixing with lemon juice which literally dries out the hair. I’ve seen lots of different henna mixes online. Mixing henna with coconut milk has been the best version that I have ever tried.

    Happy hennaing!

  43. Kish says


    If I were to buy the Cassia henna, and want to add neem & brahmi powder? What would be the ratio?

    I do not want to darken my hair, just moisturize so should I skip the brahmi?

    Thanks and I think I’m addicted to your blog!

  44. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kish,

    Brahmi can darken hair so if that’s not what you are going for opt for other hair loving herbs. As for how much neem or other herbs to add, I usually add from a teaspoon to a tablespoon too 100 grams based on how many herbs I may be adding to the mix. I personally don’t have a specific formula or ratio for adding herbs to henna or in your case cassia. I just do what I feel for the moment. I don’t always add herbs though unless I’m trying to use up some herbs I don’t always use or the mood strikes. I hope that this at least gives you a good place to start.

    Best wishes!

  45. lotusearth says

    Greetings, I just discovered your blog about a week ago and can’t stop reading it…I LOVE it! Your posts are so lovely and inspiring and you are a beautiful sista! I enjoy reading all the comments, too, and appreciate how you take the time to reply to everyone. I am very intrigued by this henna/coconut milk hair treatment, but am kinda scared to try it. Frontier Natural Products carries 1 lb. bag of organic red henna leaf powder…would that be okay to use? Since my local health food store orders from Frontier, I could have them order that for me but I wanted to know what you thought first. Also, could I use the bentonite/coconut milk hair conditioner after rinsing out the henna? Have you tried that yourself? BTW, I tried your bentonite/coconut milk cleanser/conditioner a few days ago…it just BLEW ME AWAY! My hair was so unbelievably soft. I can’t wait to try it again. Thank you so much!!

  46. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi lotusearth,

    Thank you so much for the compliments and your beautiful comment! Also I’m so glad that the bentonite/coconut milk combo worked so well for you! As for any henna treatment, you just want to make sure that the henna that you use is body art quality. I’m sure you could ask the health food store if it is or not. I list a bunch of body art quality hennas in this article.

    When I do henna treatments I use coconut milk alone to deep condition afterwards. There was also a time where I was using a herbal hair rinse afterwards as well. And there are now those times since my hair has been coated with henna for so many years that I just rinse thoroughly. When you are first starting to use henna I always suggest deep conditioning after.

    Best wishes!

  47. says

    I’ve learnt so much from this post.
    Never thought about mixing coconut milk with henna. Thanks for sharing.
    I used henna last Saturday and followed up with indigo as I desperately need ♍Ɣ hair to be black after bronzey tints from henna application over time.
    I want to do this on Friday again, since I’ll be on (Chinese new year) holiday after Cherry Lola Treatment (maybe it would help †ђξ indigo stick since †ђξ cuticles would be open by CLT).
    Learnt I shouldn’t use cones so that †ђξ indigo wouldn’t bleed.
    Please what other tip(s) do you have?


  48. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Julia,

    I’m so glad that this has helped you. Minimalist Beauty is loaded with natural beauty tips for skin and hair. If you are specifically interested in learning more about henna you can see those articles here. If you desire to read more on 100% natural hair care this series is a great place to start. You can also find tips on trimming/cutting hair here.

    You also mentioned the Cherry Lola Treatment which I know has baking soda as one of the ingredients. Baking soda is extremely alkaline. I know that those who have low porosity hair look to opening up the hair cuticle as a means for better conditioning and absorption of products. At the same time this can be achieved with hot oil treatments without affecting the pH of hair. I have two articles that are about pH. Here is the first one which talks about alkaline hair care and this one talks about the importance of pH in beauty products in general.

    Hope you are enjoying the week so far and best wishes!

  49. Jennifer says

    I’m loving your blog! My hair colour is black and the texture is similar to yours. I have never dyed my hair before. If I use the nupur 9 and coconut milk mixture on a regular basis I’m wondering how red my hair will turn out. I would like to keep my hair as close to its natural color as possible however my main goal is to achieve a softer, less kinky texture.

  50. Jennifer says


    Thank you so much for creating this blog! It is very helpful. I have a quick question about how red the mixture of Nupur 9 and coconut milk would make my hair if I apply it on say a weekly basis. I have dark black hair.


  51. Dawn Michelle says

    Thanks Jennifer!
    If your hair is black henna will only give it slight red highlights which you will only see in sunlight. If you continue to use henna regularly for years you may see more red highlights over time. You can always add indigo to your henna mix if you prefer not to have any red highlights at all and keep your hair very black.
    Hope this helps and happy hennaing!

  52. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jennifer,
    If you apply henna on a weekly basis to black hair your hair will have red highlights that you will mainly only see in sunlight and special lighting indoors. Let’s say that you like the red highlights that you are getting for the first three months, yet afterwards you prefer your hair to be black again without highlights. Then you could add indigo to your henna mix to cancel out the red. Once indigo is added to henna, leftovers can no longer be frozen to be reused again. Indigo doesn’t work in that same way as henna would.
    Hope this helps!

  53. Tonya B says

    Hi Dawn Michelle, I tried Jamila Henna with the coconut oil and the essential oil per my sister advice and I love it! My hair is thin because of previous damage but it was so soft I didn’t need to untangle it and the highlights are phenomenal. It also made my hair appear thicker. I will continue using henna to color and condition. Thank you soo much.

  54. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tonya B, I’m so happy that this worked so well for you! You are so welcome and hope you are having a great day!

  55. SimplyBeautifulSharon says

    Hello Dawn. I hope you are well. I tried your coconut milk and Jamila Henna recipe over the weekend. I addded warm coconut milk, Hibiscus Petal Powder, and Amla for added red color and conditioning. According to Henna Sooq’s instructions I was to let the paste sit for 4 hours. I let it sit for almost 6 hours. The top of the paste didn’t turn brown with the rest a green color underneath like it did when I used lemon juice and water before. Instead it was darker throughout. I added some coconut oil for a little additional slip and applied the paste thorougly. I slept with the paste in overnight and rinsed out in the morning (about 6 hours later). Even though my palm was orange (from the dye test I performed), I was not confident my hair absorbed anything. I guess I’ll have to see in a day or two when it oxidizes. Maybe next time, I’ll just use the coconut milk and Jamila. I don’t really know how long I should let it sit. The first time I used Jamila Henna, Lemon Juice, and water, I let it sit for 12 hours. I slept with it in and rinsed the next morning. I did not feel well the entire day afterwards. I guess too much was just that.

  56. says

    I logged on to rave about your coconut milk and henna mix, but I feel like I should also mention towards “SimplyBeautifulSharon”s post.

    Firstly, for the past million years I’ve been using jamila henna developed in green tea with a tsp of raw apple cider vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil to increase terp. I’ve had good color and conditioning with this mix for a long time, but got tired of all the shower in and out and in and out and in and out! This time, the coconut milk saved me ages and I loved the results and will never go back!

    To answer SBS’s concerns, perhaps simple is better, here’s exactly what I did and what I noticed:

    mix 1 box (100g) jamila henna from hennasooq with 1 full 15oz can of organic coconut milk. I added 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and 5 drops lavender (out of habit). I covered with a plastic bag and left on the counter top for 4 hours, after developing, I then stirred in 2 tbsp of honey, placed in containers and put it in the freezer (I feel freezing and then thawing gives me the best color).

    The next day before bed, I put this onto dry hair, wrapped and went to bed. I washed it out first thing and it rinsed immediately. Deep conditioned (again out of habit, I don’t think I needed it though) and went on with my day.

    The color release, shine and softness are fantastic!!! The only downside was my husband kept asking me why henna has to smell so badly all night long, funny since the smell doesn’t bother me, I guess because I know how awesome it is for my hair!!!

    SBS I hope I helped some, and Dawn Michelle you’re a genius!!! Thanks as always!

  57. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kim,
    I’m so glad this combo worked so well for you. It has definitely changed my experience with henna completely and makes it so much easier to enjoy the benefits of henna. Thanks for sharing your mix too!

  58. SimplyBeautifulSharon says

    Hi Kim! Thank you so much for your advice. I do truly want to continue to use the coconut milk/ Jamila Henna mix. I love the way coconut milk makes my hair feel. I am going to give your mix a try and see what happens. How long can you leave the mixture in the freezer? If I mix it today (Monday), can I leave it in until Friday?

  59. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi SimplyBeautifulSharon,

    If you store henna properly in the freezer I don’t personally feel there is an expiration date. I usually use up frozen henna in the next month or so. I love that Kim was able to contribute to the conversation too! I’m loving this community!

    Best wishes!

  60. SimplyBeautifulSharon says

    Hello Ladies! Dawn I too love this community. Everyone is so supportive and respectful. This past weekend I tried my second Henna/Coconut Milk mixture. I used more of my Jamila Henna within which I mixed, hibiscus petal powder, amla, and aloe vera. It was very easy to rinse out and left my hair feeling incredibly soft. The dye absorption was incredible. I am performing henna treatments twice a month for now until I feel I should move to once a month. This is definitely the best way to go.

    I love your blog so much. I am beginning to follow your skin care recipes as well. I’m sitting here now with raw honey/lemon juice/ amla powder on my face. Thank You for Blessing Us with your Wisdom and Information. God Bless You!

  61. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi SimplyBeautifulSharon,
    Thanks so much for the update! This is great news and I wish you the best as you continue on your all natural beauty journey!

  62. Mollika Doss says

    Dawn thanks a ton for Ur recipe of mixing henna.will definitely
    Try it out next week. Another tip for henna users- always put a shower
    Cap or plastic bag on the scalp after applying henna. If U don’t the henna
    Dries on the scalp which makes the hair dry & breaks off
    On washing leading to hairfall.

  63. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Mollika Doss,
    You are so welcome and I hope this combo works well for you too! It does help to use a covering for henna for sure. Just so you know, with this mix of henna and coconut milk the henna does not dry hard on hair or cause breakage. That is the main reason that I do not mix henna any other way. Once you try it you will know exactly what I am talking about. It also rinses so much easier that you can hardly believe it.
    Happy Hennaing!

  64. unomidou says


    I want to know what preservative can I add to increase the shelf life of henna paste (henna mixed with coconut milk) to at least a year or more.


  65. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Unomidou,
    I honestly don’t work with preservatives so can’t give you much info on that. Also henna has a dye release time window that usually isn’t more than a day. I find this dye release most potent immediately once mixed with coconut milk. Since henna has a dye release window, I have a feeling that is why it is usually sold in powder form. When it is in liquid form it usually has a bunch of other chemicals mixed in. Hope this info helps some.
    Best wishes!

  66. Mellew says

    Try grating the lush block of henna. I used it to cover my grey hair and was impressed.

    If you leave the henna to sit for a while before using it, I found the results were better for me. I left the henna in my hair for 3 hours. The result was a vibrant reddish, copper.

    Rinsed the henna out with warm water, until water ran clear. Washed with aloe and lemon shampoo. Finished with a cold rinse, my hair looked amazing.

  67. Tawny says

    Hi Dawn-
    Love your website, it has been so helpful to me in so many ways, thank you!

    I am in need of a little advice…I’ve never hennaed before and I would like to start. My issue is that I have some old light brown highlights (not blonde)that are halfway grown out. If I apply red henna (without indigo) what will happen to those highlights? Will they be fire engine red, lol, or will they be more of a red-brown? Not sure how I should start.

  68. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tawny,

    What color is the majority of your hair to begin with? The light brown highlights will definitely take more red than the rest of your hair if it is much darker. You may even want to try a henna that is already premixed with cassia and indigo like the Mountain Rose Herbs Henna or Light Mountain Natural Hair Color. Both provide a selection of colors that are only mixed with pure henna, cassia, and indigo and you could choose a lighter color.

    If you choose to use regular body art quality henna from a local Indian grocery store just know that the highlights will definitely be a rich red tone. With two or three applications the color will continue to darken and blend better with the rest of you hair. You have a few options but it will be wonderful for the health of your hair and your body to dye your hair with plant based dyes that actually condition and strengthen your hair versus only color your hair and contain chemicals. Also henna permanently deposits color and does not have the ability to lighten hair. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Happy Hennaing!

  69. Tawny says

    Thanks so much Dawn Michelle, that helps! My hair color is dark brown, so I think I will go with one of the premixed packages you suggested.I’m looking forward to all of the benefits of henna! Thanks again ;)!

  70. Ariel says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    First, I want to say that I absolutely love your blog. I have been trying to eliminate shampoo for about 6 months now and have used the baking soda and conifer regimen, which seemed to work well enough. I love all the other options you discuss though.
    So I must’ve done something wrong with my henna treatment because my hair has literally turned to straw and I cannot get a comb through without ripping it out. Saturday, I mixed Nepur Henna with beet juice (because I have naturally red hair) and coconut milk. I let it sit all day. That night I mixed it with about 1/4 c of warmed coconut oil and applied it all over my hair. Then went to sleep. I rinsed and rinsed, but am not sure I got it all out. I tried washing with besonite clay and coconut milk and rinsing with apple cider vinegar. I have oiled it with jajoba oil. Last night I tried the coconut milk and banana and left it in all night. Now it is Wednesday and my scalp is greasy and my hair still feels like straw.
    Help! Please!

  71. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Ariel,

    Baking soda is extremely alkaline and can possible damage the hair cuticle over time as well as irritate the scalp. You can read more about alkaline hair cleansers here and the importance of pH balance in beauty products here. When I’ve done henna treatments I’ve used both beet powder/hibiscus powder in my mixes so I’m not sure how using beet juice effects the consistency or overall treatment mixed with henna and coconut milk.

    It sounds like your hair’s cuticle may be ruffed up from baking soda washes and the clay wash with coconut milk was too much for your hair after the henna treatment. You could try using a diluted mix of apple cider vinegar and water (1 tbsp of acv to 1 cup of water) to remove residue while cleansing the hair and scalp, then follow with aloe vera to moisture and heal the hair and scalp. Aloe vera is really wonderful at moisturizing hair and closing the hair cuticle and soothing the scalp because it has the perfect pH for both skin and hair. You can add a few drops of oil to your hair as needed and to seal in moisture.

    It may take some time to correct the pH of your hair after using baking soda. Also try using coconut milk or a banana blended/strained with water by itself when deep conditioning your hair only for a few hours so that you are clear with what is working for you and what is not. Keep your hair moisturized as well and continually moisturize your hair with water daily until your hair balances out. Hope this helps and please keep us posted!

  72. Ariel says

    Thanks so much! I think the banana coconut really helped. By Friday, I was at least able to run a comb through. Still a lot of breakage though and static (my curly hair has never been staticky before). Today (Saturday), I rinsed it with the apple cider vinegar. I was able to braid it and calm it down. It is still very brittle but seems to be getting better. Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll do the banana again tomorrow. Do you think I should attempt henna again? I do love the color.

  73. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Ariel,
    I’m glad the conditioner mix worked for you. I would condition your hair a few more times before your next henna treatment. Keep me posted <3

  74. Anthonia says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    I’m so happy I came across your blog yesterday while researching henna, though a little bit late because I had just finished applying my henna (after only trying it once before, many years ago). I have African kinky coily hair (type 4c I gathered) that I’m trying to redeem from breakage, etc.

    I’m so grateful for sharing your methods and tips, and I’ve gone through quite a lot between yesterday and today, and I must confess I haven’t quite grabbed everything, but I gathered this much (in order)

    1. Rhassoul/bentonite clay for washing instead of shampoo. Which is better?
    2. Deep conditioner – henna, coco milk and oil.
    3. ACV-green tea-I think there’s something else rinse, can’t remember now.
    4. I currently use essential oils, can I put them in 1 and 2 above?

    I’m sorry for so many questions, I’m a beginner in caring for my natural hair with natural things.

    Thanks very much.

  75. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi a1sgrl,
    This is great news! I’m so glad this worked out for you. Have a beautiful day <3

  76. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anthonia,

    Welcome! Okay when learning to care for your natural hair there is a lot of trial and error. I’ve experienced a lot of things that worked and that didn’t especially using 100% natural products. To start you have options cleansing, conditioning, and for leave-ins. I wrote this series to share the info that I’ve learned using simple natural ingredients for hair care.

    A simple hair/scalp cleanser is with apple cider vinegar and water. I use 1 tablespoon of ACV to 1 cup of water. You can infuse the apple cider vinegar with herbs too. The DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse is also a simple hair/scalp cleanser to use in place of shampoo. You can also use bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar as a hair clarifier which has an ideal pH for hair with this combo mixed together. I like to use rhassoul clay with aloe vera juice which also brings the pH down for hair. Clays tend to be more alkaline so mixing them with ACV or aloe really helps. I honestly prefer to focus on maintaining a healthy scalp which is why I love using a ACV rinse for shampoo.

    Most importantly focus on conditioning. I’ve been using bananas as my DIY conditioner. I mention that in this article. Blend with some water and strain. I’m still in awe how incredible something so simple and moisturizing this DIY conditioner with bananas is. You can also use coconut milk as a deep conditioner or mix the two. Henna and coconut milk also makes a great deep conditioning/strengthening hair treatment.

    Lastly it’s your leave-in. Aloe vera juice is great for adding moisture to your hair and for closing the hair cuticle for shine. I mainly use unrefined shea butter as my leave-in, yet any butter or oil of your choice is perfect. If I need extra moisture I look to aloe vera juice to spritz my hair before adding oil/butter.

    And yes you can add essential oils to your DIY hair care. Just know that you really don’t need much as they are extremely potent. Be careful using citrus essential oils too as they can be irritating to sensitive skin.

    There’s a ton of info on natural hair care on Minimalist Beauty so I hope that you do find it helpful. Best wishes!

  77. Anthonia says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    Thanks very much for your response, it’s much clearer now.

    Take care.

  78. says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    I’m so happy, and excited that I came across your blog. I’m doing a HAPPY DANCE:) Your hair is AMAZING!! Thank you soo much for unselfishly sharing your knowledge and information about natural hair:).

    My hair has low porosity therefore, alot of products I’ve used have not worked due to this. I’ve notice heating my oils,conditioners ect. have made a difference, but my hair is still dry. Easter Sunday, I decided to try HENNA which I purchased from a my local beauty supply store in South Jersey. I let it stay on for an hour per the instructions. My grays did not cover completely however, the strength and texture of my hair feel GREAT!

    I’m confident after purchasing coconut milk and your suggested body art Henna, I will get better results. My question? HOW SOON CAN I REAPLY? Also, I’m a newbie transitioning since Jan. My hair is thick (3B ish / 4) also, WHAT IS A GREAT LEAVE IN.

    Sorry so long. I’m in desperate search for great products / DIY products and regiment.

    Have a blessed day and keep up the GREAT WORK!!:)

  79. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi GG,

    Welcome! I used to henna weekly and received amazing benefits using henna weekly especially when I first began using henna treatments. Now I use henna pretty much every month, yet I’ve been using henna since March 2010.

    As for leave-in products I have found that you can actually use much less of them once you start using gentle hair cleansers and stop stripping the hair of its natural oils completely. I offer suggestions for gentle hair cleansers here. Currently I have been LOVING using an herbal infused apple cider vinegar as a hair and scalp cleanser. I mix one tablespoon of ACV in 1 cup of water then apply with a spray bottle. I then follow with a DIY banana conditioner which I mention here and rinse after the “conditioner” has been in my hair for at least 20 minutes.

    I am also currently playing around with other natural leave-in options but also used organic unrefined shea butter as my only leave-in prior. You can also see more options for natural leave-ins previously linked above. It is actually a bit of trial and error finding what works best for you but you will better learn how to care for your hair in the process. Best wishes beginning a truly natural hair journey and let me know if you have other questions!

  80. says

    Thanks for the quick response and helpful information! I will try one tablespoon of ACV in 1 cup of water then apply with a spray bottle following with a DIY banana conditioner.

    Have a great evening:)

  81. Anthonia says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    I’ve done 2 henna treatments since my last mail to you and I believe my hair is improving already. However, I’ve been thinking about protein treatment because of the severe breakage in the middle part of my hair and I wonder if the henna treatment will make a difference, or if there something else?

    Forgive me if there’s a post about this already, I searched but didn’t see anything like that.


  82. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anthonia,

    I’m happy that you are experiencing the benefits of henna. The first thing that comes to me is deep conditioning your hair. I’ve been LOVING creating my own deep conditioner with bananas. Super inexpensive, super effective.

    Hair breakage can sometimes result from the strands being dehydrated therefore loosing elasticity. Also when our hair is dry and not flexible even combing or brushing our hair can create more breakage. You can blend an organic banana with some water and straining to create a simple hair deep conditioner. If you want to add honey or an oil that’s fine too.

    I deep condition my hair once or twice a week now. It makes a HUGE difference. Here are some simple 100% natural conditioner options. <3

  83. Anthonia says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    Thanks for your response. I did my first deep conditioning with organic banana, coconut milk and honey yesterday and thanks for the tips. I didn’t know I could deep condition after every wash.

    Hopefully my hair will improve with time. I’ve given it more care than in ever before in the past month.

    God bless

  84. poupee says

    Hi Michelle,
    I tried henna 3 times and the last 2 times, I had majour setbacks. I tought it was because I used too much henna, 100g. Last time I just use 2tbs of henna, 2 of amla, 1 of brahmi and conditioner. My hair still breaks into pieces. My hair is low porosity. Do you think that was it get brittle and breaks?

  85. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anthonia,
    Many blessings to you too and let me know how things work out for you. <3

  86. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Poupee,

    I’ve never tried henna with conditioner only with coconut milk. Also it sounds as if your hair needs more moisture than strengthening. When our hair breaks it is usually because it does not have enough elasticity.

    Henna strengthens the hair and for some can behave similarly to protein treatments. I’d focus for some time specifically on moisture. Low porosity hair usually needs heat to help the hair absorb moisture during the conditioning process so my suggestion is to use a heated bonnet dryer or even wrap your hair in a warm towel while deep conditioning your hair. I personally love deep conditioning my hair with bananas yet there are tons of simple DIY deep conditioners or even hot oil treatments that you can do.

    Best wishes and keep me posted <3

  87. ShivaD says

    Ummmm yeah your henna and coconut milk combo is the JAM!! I haven’t looked back since trying it. Soooo much smoother to apply and my hair doesn’t get dry. You proved that you don’t need a harsh acid like lemon juice to release the dye. I sing your praises from the rooftops and have recommended your method to anyone asking about henna. I have fine fragile hair and took up henna’ing for the strengthening (and to cover my grays). Its not as messy with the milk and I LOVE the pudding like consistency I get. I just use the milk and henna – no added powders or oils. I actually have some in my hair now lol.

  88. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi ShivaD,
    I’m thrilled that you’ve been enjoying this combo as much as I do! This has been the one consistent life changing hair treatment that I’ve been using in my hair for the past four+ years. <3

  89. kala says

    hai dawn,now i have to start hennatreatment and what can i do to get natural blackcolour

  90. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kaia,
    You will need to add indigo to your henna mix or do a two step henna and indigo treatment to achieve a natural black hair color. I have not used indigo myself so far so can’t provide a ratio of henna and indigo that I have used. Yet this article may be helpful to you for that. You can also purchase premade henna and indigo mixes from Mountain Rose Herbs and Light Mountain Hair Color.
    Happy Hennaing!

  91. Trisha says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,

    I have been using henna biweekly for about 4 months now. For the past 2 month I have been using Nupur 9 henna with Goya coconut milk and hemp oil. Although my hair is very strong and growing nicely, I can’t seem to shake the dryness. I’ve tried everything. Also, my hair is 4zz (if there is such a texture) I used henna a few years ago but stopped because of the drying. Can henna be too drying for some hair textures? Also, is there anything I can add to my henna treatment to loosen my extra tight coils? Thanks for your help.

  92. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Trisha,

    For extra moisture you can try a simple and inexpensive DIY conditioner with bananas and coconut milk. Blend a banana with a bit of water and strain before adding the coconut milk and then deep condition. Also wheat germ oil is an amazing oil to soften hair. It is a ceramide oil yet it does have a stronger smell than hemp oil but the benefits are unlike any oil that I’ve tried. You can see more DIY conditioners and leave-ins here. Please keep in mind also that if you are using shampoo or other hair cleansers that strip the hair it will be more difficult to retain moisture in your hair.

    As for henna and loosening your hair texture, henna in my opinion makes your hair a better version of itself. It isn’t going to alter your hair like any chemicals do. If your hair has fine strands henna will weigh the strands down with continued use. Henna will also smooth your hair cuticle and make your hair stronger, shinier, and more manageable though. Learn to rock your curls/coils in their glory.

    Best wishes!

  93. Trisha says

    Thank you for your quick response. I plan to do a henna treatment this weekend using 100% organic coconut milk and wheat germ oil. I will follow up with the banana and coconut milk deep conditioner. However, I do have one concern, what are you using to remove the henna from your hair? It sounds as if you are using only water, followed by your DIY herbal cleanser. Is that correct? I will let you know the results of my henna treatment. Thanks so much for your help.

  94. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Trisha,

    When doing henna treatments it is best to follow with a deep conditioning treatment. That is what I recommend especially if you have dry hair. Recently I’ve been water only hair washing and have full coverage of my natural oils on all of my hair. I will now either just rinse thoroughly with water or do an oil rinse. My hair is in a completely different state now then when I was using conditioners or herbal hair care. Do what’s best for you hair.
    Hope this helps!

  95. Trisha says

    Okay here is what I did. First I mixed up my Nupra 9 henna with 1 can of organic coconut milk. Since I only need half the package for my length hair I divided it into two bowls. I put one bowl in the freezer to use for my next henna treatment. I added 2 tablespoons of hemp seed oil to the other bowl and applied it immediately to my hair. I decided on the overnight treatment. When I awoke this morning, I rinsed the henna out completely using only water. My scalp was itchy so I added ½ cup of Braggs ACV to a gallon of distilled water, held my head over the tub and massaged my scalp as I poured on the water. I let my hair dry completely because I wanted to check to see if eliminating the shampoo/conditioner made a difference. It actually did – my hair did not look and feel like a brillo pad, which it usually does after washing regardless if the shampoo is natural are not. I then used a jar of Gerbers #3 bananas mixed with ¼ cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoons of wheat germ oil and blended it in my magic bullet. I sat under my steamer for 20 minutes and rinsed it out with warm then cool water. Girl – I could kiss you. My hair looks and feels likes a child’s hair; moisturized, with elasticity, and just a hint of oil.
    Since I started my natural hair journey two years ago, my hair has NEVER felt this good. What I think is so ironic is that I was always in search of a better product, but it appears the products were the problem. I also find it surprising that what worked on your hair could actually work on mine even though we have two totally different textures.
    Dawn Michelle – Thank you so much for taking the time to share, and making this natural hair journey a lot less arduous.

  96. Gia says

    Hi Dawn,
    Just stopping by to say thanks for such a transformative site. I will be cutting off my 8 year old locs in a couple of weeks, and am grateful for the hair care tips. I’ve been a henna head for years (actually importing it from Yemen and India) however, I’ve never mixed it with coconut oil. I’m looking forward to my new hair and minimalist lifestyle journey with your blog as my guide. God bless u, and thanks!

  97. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Trisha,

    Thank you so much for sharing what worked so well for your hair and your step by step process. I also found it very interesting that what my hair really needed had nothing to do with finding the right product. Sometimes what works is so simple that it is very surprising.

    Everything does not have to be complicated and I am finding that simple ways truly please me the most. This is how I am currently feeling about water only hair washing. I’ve watched so many YouTube videos and read so many blog posts about lengthy hair care regimens with tons of products and steps. I’ve tried them in the past and in the end get the results I truly desire with less steps and pretty much no products. It blows my mind.

    I am so glad that this simple hair care is working so well for you. And that despite the difference in our hair textures that you are having great results. Please keep sharing and I hope you have a great week!

  98. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Gia,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful compliment. I hope that the information here will be of great help to you. Wishing you only the best!

  99. Trisha says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    I noticed my scalp was very itchy using only water and ACV to remove the henna. I had to hop in the shower the following day to do another thorough rinse. Have you experienced this using water only to rinse out your henna? Do you think an herbal rinse would help to completely remove the henna?

  100. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Trisha,
    I’ve not had this experience. An herbal rinse would be a great options for soothing your scalp though especially with marshmallow root or any other soothing herb. Hope this helps <3

  101. Gayathri says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    I have already asked few doubts about henna coconut milk mix in another thread.. Will adding oil reduces the intensity of colour if am using henna to cover grey. Which oil is best olive oil/coconut oil/sesame oil? I am planning to mix henna and coconut milk and keep it overnight for dye release. Then before applying mix indigo separately and add it to this henna mix and apply. Do u think it works? I would like to know your thoughts on using Rosemary rinse for hair.thanks.

  102. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Gayathri,
    You do not need to use an oil in your henna mix if you do not have extremely dry/dehydrated hair. I no longer add any type of oil to my henna mix. I have had great results with color whether I’ve added oil or not though. I’ve recently used indigo for the first time and will write about it once I’ve finished moving. You can add indigo to your henna mix or do a two step henna then indigo treatment. Also you do not need to wait for the dye in henna to release when mixed with coconut milk as I explained in this article. Also rosemary rinses are wonderful for hair. You can read more on herbal hair rinses here.
    Best wishes!

  103. Darlene says

    Hi Dawn…I love your website, thank you for your dedication to providing wonderful tips.

    I did put henna on my hair utlizing the method you have suggested and it turned out great except for my grey hairs became an orange like tint. I did it twice using Nupur 9 and loved how my hair felt but that orange tint still lingered. So I decided to try a medium brown henna from the henna guys. It does not contain any chemicals or metallic salts and does contain henna, indigo powder, emblica and eclipta. I looked those herbs up and they seem to be fine to use. My question to you is: is it alright to use coconut creme instead of coconut milk or will that alter the henna?

  104. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Darlene,
    You can try coconut creme which is thicker than coconut milk, but I have just preferred coconut milk after having tried both. Indigo seems to work best without oils added, yet the color will still adhere with coconut milk. The color will most likely last longer without any added oils since coconut milk does naturally contain oils. I have not used indigo in my henna mixes at this point to share more information from experience as of yet. Here is the article that. I did write about indigo.

  105. Daniela says

    I just discovered your site and started reading it. I haven’t covered it entirely yet, so my answers could already be hiding somewhere around here, but I can’t wait until then, I am dying to make my treatment as soon as possible.

    My hair is thin, oily and not very voluminous. It is medium brown and shoulder length. I never dyed it. I want to make the so-called “henna conditioning” treatment, or “henna gloss”. I want to make a mask with henna which i can leave on my hair for long enough for it to make it thicker and leave it shiny, but not long enough for it to leave colour in my hair.

    I have been looking for a recipe for this kind of mask. Is it OK if I only use conditioner and henna in a 50/50 ratio? Can I replace the conditioner with hair oil? (coconut, avocado, olive, grapeseed, etc). I never use conditioner after I wash, because my hair is too oily even without it, but I have all kinds of hair oils at home that I use as a pre-poo treatment.

    I would like to know for how long I should leave the treatment in the hair until the dye is starting to release. If I spread it really quickly and wash it after 20 or 30 minutes, is it long enough to leave the hair thicker and shinier? Can I spread it on the hair with my bare hands (no gloves) without getting my hair stained? How do I prevent the skin around the head from being dye stained?

    I have read about your coconut milk + henna treatment. Would that be an alternative to the classical conditioner henna recipe? I am not worried about it getting dry, my hair is so greasy that I would rather treat it for dryness instead of greasiness.

    Please tell me what would be the simplest recipe for a henna gloss. Any other advice is welcome!

    p.s. I already tried a cassia obovata mask for a few hours, but it did nothing for me. I would really like to try henna, not cassia anymore.

  106. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Daniela,

    When I first started reading your comment I was thinking that you should try cassia instead of henna, yet I see now that you already have. With medium brown hair I can’t tell you for sure that the henna dye won’t release any color onto your hair for sure even if left on for a shorter amount of time. The porosity of your hair determines how long it takes for color to penetrate the hair strands.

    There are other deep conditioning and strengthening treatments that you can try instead if your concern is avoiding the color. For example coconut milk would be a great strengthening and conditioning pre-wash treatment as is. I hope this helps some.

  107. Jennie says

    Hi Dawn,

    I stopped using henna for some years because I get headaches if I leave it too long…..gave it a try today and thank you tons….I still felt heavy and I have started to get headache a bit…but who cares…the best part I didnt have to struggle to wash my and waste tomuch water like before…my hair is abosolutely gorgeous…the coconut milk oil is still on my hair which makes it look beautiful …by the way I have short hair and cant for it to grow long to show of the colour and shiny but using this henna mask…..I had to cut my hair for various reason because of my health and it looked so terrible… I had to cut it really shot but I am planning to grow my hair as I am finding couple of ways that I can keep my hair more healthy and nice…started going natural as much as possible…glad you have shared this secret of yours…

  108. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jennie,
    I’m so glad that this henna mix worked so much better for you. Also best wishes growing your hair out. I’m growing my hair now myself and the patience one must have is unbelievable! <3

  109. Marty says

    Thank you thank you! I have previously tried using henna mixed with apple cider vinegar or tea, and found that it left my wavy hair really dry and brittle. This method is amazing! I put it on last night and washed it out this morning, and my hair feels wonderfully soft. And my waves and defined and smooth. This will be my go-to henna method from now on. <3

  110. Rosh says

    I use Godrej Nupur henna… It has more ingredients than just henna.

    and the mix i love is 3 table spoons of nupur henna powder and 300ml of thick plain yoghurt.

    I soak it in an iron container for 3 hours and apply and leave for 3 hours and wash it off without using shampoo.

    I also occassionally whip in 1 egg’s white if i want deep conditioning.

    Adding lemon lets you get more color. But dries your hair. Also using shampoo after henna application might also dry your hair. If so mix in olive/badam/coconut oil in, but the hair color may not be strong.

    I would love to try your recipe for instant application.

  111. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Rosh,
    I love Nupur 9 Henna! Thanks for sharing your henna recipe too. Let me know what you think if you do try henna and coconut milk. Have a great weekend!

  112. Anon says

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your recipe :D! I also used Nupur 9 henna. The coconut milk made my rinsing out and detangling way easier than expected. I used cheap CG conditioners to aid the detangling and rinsing.
    However, for me it took a long time to rinse out all the henna residues so after some rinses I already applied the CG deep conditioner and let it in overnight. The next morning I rinsed out more remaining henna.
    So I was wondering: after how many washes had you removed all the henna residues?

  113. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anon,
    I get the bulk of the henna out the first time. I usually don’t have much of a residue though because I don’t use traditional store bought conditioners. I use a simple DIY deep conditioning treatment with coconut milk and a pureed banana following the henna which usually does the trick. <3

  114. QueenEyeCee says

    During the winter months Nupur 9 or Karishma Henna blended with Greek Yogurt, Wild African Honey and Ravensara EO is my weekly treatment. I apply the Henna mixture to pre-oiled (Amla Oil) unwashed hair, I do so because of the cleansing actions/properties of Henna!!!

  115. Liza says


    I love love loooove your website. So many tips and information!

    I’ve a question about the henna. I want to dye my hair with henna for the first time. So I bought some in the organic store and the discription says: Mixed it up with water. Now my question is. Can I just switch the water for coconut milk? Or do I need a specific henna for this combonation? Because I have no idea what kind of henna it is (also the packaging doesn’t say so). Only that it’s 100% pure.

    Hope you can answer my question and keep up the good work :)

    Greetings from Holland,

    Liza :)

  116. Dawn Michelle says

    Thanks Liza,
    Do you know if the henna is body art quality? You can definitely mix your henna with coconut milk instead of water. Most basic henna recipes suggest mixing with water or lemon juice. Both are drying. Hope this helps!

  117. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Andrea,
    Yes this henna mix will deposit a rich coppery red to grey hair. If the majority of your hair is dark brown to black it will give red highlights that are mainly seen in the sun to the rest of your hair. The color that henna provides is always red unless mixed with indigo or cassia. If you are looking for a quality pure henna mix for various natural hair colors check out the henna by Mountain Rose Herbs. I tried their darkest shade which I wrote about here but they have others various shades as well. <3

  118. jessie says

    Hi Dawn,
    Thank u so much for posting so much useful info on how to use henna.
    Now my problem is I have a tangled kind of hair and I would like to use nupur henna only for conditioning and not for dyeing.
    Could u pls whats the mix that I should follow for detangling my hair and to repair breakouts and only for conditioning.

  119. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jessie,
    If you are most interested in conditioning the hair without any tinting from henna or color release it is better to use cassia which is also called neutral henna. Cassia can also be mixed with coconut milk. You can also find ideas for natural conditioners/detanglers here. Best wishes!

  120. maliyah says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with henna. I tried henna for the first time yesterday using coconut milk and extra virgin olive oil in my mix after the dye released like you said. I have been interested in henna for the last year, but I have been to nervous to try it. I don’t see much tint of the color on my dark brown hair just yet. Hopefully over my next few applications I will see more color. My hair feels much stronger, I have thin strands but highly dense hair. I have only been completely natural for 14 months. My hair has already grown to shoulder length, I am excited to continue my journey with henna as my staple! Can’t wait to see how healthy and long my hair is this time next year. Thanks so much your blog is a life saver in more ways than one.


  121. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Maliyah,
    This is great to hear and I’m so glad that you have already noticed an improvement with the condition of your hair since adding henna and coconut milk into your hair regimen. Wishing you the best of everything!

  122. Kimberly says

    Hi Dawn Michelle!
    I have read so many posts on your site and I can honestly say, you are the Henna Bomb!! Love how you answer questions for us “Newbie Hennaer’s”. I purchased my henna from online, was told to use cranberry juice and freeze what I did not use. That’s exactly how I did it. Now I have a baggie of unused frozen henna to use up. I do have a couple of concerns, my hair is brittle in the back about midway down. When I did my first treatment it was extremely drying. Can I add coconut milk to the frozen henna (after it thaws of course)? Also have conditioned every time I wash and still my hair is dry in that one area. May be time for a trim! Hope you can help me! Thank you! :)

  123. Sonia says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with transitioning to a more natural hair and skin care regimen. Since finding your site a few months ago I have tried the Nupar henna, Mountain Rose Henna, and coconut and banana conditioner since, and I continue using apple cider vinegar to cleanse my hair as I had been before I found MB.

    I have a few questions. I love the feel of my hair after using Nupar Henna and coconut milk. Some of my hair is gray, though (my natural color is dark brown), so the henna on my gray roots was way too orange though I loved how the color turned out on the rest of the hair that had been colored.
    A few weeks ago I tried the black henna from Mountain Rose, which I mixed with yogurt and a little bit of apple cider vinegar (as told by Mountain Rose because of grays). What an experience it has been afterwards, though, to wash it out (it was in my nails for a long time too, and flaking too)! Please let me know if you have any ideas about how I can get the henna rinsed out. Should I add any oil to the Mountain Rose henna when I mix in the yogurt and vinegar. That was a the suggestion from Mountain Rose customer service, as well as buying the Moroccan Argan shampoo. (I’d like to stick with diy all natural though).

    When I tried the Nupar mixed with coconut milk it seemed to be easier to get the henna out.


  124. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sonia,
    When using MRH henna add more yogurt if needed to help the rinsing process. Also do a moisturizing conditioner treatment following the henna to help rid any particles. The banana/coconut milk mix works for that or any other DIY hair mask/deep conditioner. Never follow a henna treatment with shampoo or natural hair cleanser of any kind. That’s a tangling dry disaster ready to happen. Hope this helps!

  125. betsy says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,

    Did you completely stop using Napur and replace it with MRH henna? Just curious as to what’s working best for you now. Gonna do my treatment tomorrow!!! Thank you.

  126. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Betsy,
    I definitely haven’t stopped using my usual henna and coconut milk hair treatment because it is so good. I actually did a treatment this past weekend. This combinstion will always be a staple and regular monthly treatment. I used MRH henna to tone down the red highlights from years of henna use, but to be honest I don’t mind them at all right now. The conditioning and strengthening of henna and coconut milk is just too good!
    Happy Hennaing!

  127. sumian gupta says

    HI Dawn I read all found interested But my forehead is grey I want it in dark brown untreated red if I use indigo will it safe For my rest of natural hair with henna past formula please reply soon thankyou

  128. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sumian Gupta,
    I’m not sure if you are only interested in using henna/indigo on the gray areas of your hair or all of it. When I’ve used indigo in the past it did not work well when mixed with coconut milk. The henna and coconut milk combination work best alone. Indigo won’t work with any oils or fats added into the mix. You can read my successful experience with indigo here.

    I also don’t create my own henna indigo mixes to create different colors myself. I instead purchase premixed henna/indigo from organic retailers where I know no metallic salts or other harmful chemicals will be added. I also only use body art quality henna. I hope that this information will be helpful to you.

  129. Josephine says

    Hi Dawn,

    When mix henna with coconut milk, should I still wait 12 hours for dye release or I can apply the mix right away? If it needs to wait for 12 hours; would I leave the mix in room temperature or refrigerator. And also, can I frozen the unused henna mix for future use? Thank you.

  130. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Josephine,
    As I mentioned in this article I have actually done both methods. I realized when I wrote this that when mixing henna with coconut milk the dye released much quicker as my hands got stained since I didn’t use gloves at the time to apply it. You will know that your dye has released when the top of the henna paste turns a brownish color.
    Happy hennaing!

  131. Sonia says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    You may have answered this before so I am sorry if I have missed it somewhere but I just wanted to make sure that Nupur 9 henna is the exact brand name, or it refers to a formula of henna mixed with the 9 different herbs. I have bought a green package of henna from an Indian grocery store and the package says “natural” but this henna is so inexpensive I don’t know if it is “body art quality”. Is Nupur9 the actual brand name? Want to make sure I am using a safe blend of henna. Thanks!

  132. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sonia,
    Yes this is the henna that I am referring to and yes it is very reasonably priced too. I’ve been using Godrej Nupur 9 henna for years. Happy hennaing!

  133. says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    I absolutely love your site. I am readying myself for my “first” henna treatment. I say “first” because I tried it before but my experience was awful. I used the suggested lemon juice and my scalp did not like it. But I did experience some of the positive benefits. However, I was not willing to take my scalp through that experience again … until now.

    I want to try again after reading your posts since I want to include henna in my regular treatments. I have a few questions that I can’t seem to find the answers to despite reading your posts and comments.

    1. I will use the henna and coconut mix. After the first full treatment, do I only apply henna to my roots? Or to all of my hair?

    2. When you applied henna several times a week, what made you shift to weekly and then monthly?

    3. I’m not an all natural kind of girl…not yet…so after the henna treatment can I deep condition with a regular conditioner? I plan to use something light with heat (hooded dryer).

    4. Would you recommend treating the hair with henna back to back for a few treatments in the beginning?

    Also, to help you understand my situation I’m going to use Nupur 9 with alma powder and coconut milk. I plan to apply to clean, damp hair. I plan to deep condition with Shea Moisture and sit under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes or so. (I’m basically adding henna to my normal regimen.) I would like to eventually do a henna treatment monthly.

    Sorry for writing an entire paper. :) Thank you in advance.

  134. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Dana,

    I originally used henna multiple times in one week because I was in love with the results. Looking back once a week is fine. Because I was doing full henna treatments, I noticed that all of my hair did not need a full treatment every week so I then moved to only once a month. You will see a difference by the third application.

    Using a deep conditioner following your henna treatment is very recommended whether store bought or DIY. Also you can begin with full treatments then do roots only if that’s what works best for you. You must pay attention to your hair needs and make choices accordingly.

    Happy hennaing and glad you are enjoying the site!

  135. LOVE says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    I just found your website, and I’m already in love! Thank you first of all for providing such beautiful advice. I like to use the Colora Henna Powder, and I just read that you mix coconut milk with your henna coloring regime. The instructions say to mix the powder with water, but it is not specified if the water should be hot, lukewarm, or cold. I haven’t used the Lush Henna Bar yet, but their directions say to mix the henna with hot water. I would love to try the coconut milk recipe, and I was wondering if you have ever used the milk with a hot or warm temperature? Thank you very much. Be blessed and stand firm!

  136. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi LOVE,

    I mainly use body art quality henna from the Indian grocery store so I mix henna as I describe with coconut milk. I don’t warm the coconut milk and just use it as is. When I used Mountain Rose Herbs Henna which I wrote about here, it also contained indigo so I did not add oils or coconut milk because indigo won’t take with oil or oil based ingredients.

    Whatever henna you try read the ingredients so you know what is in it. I use coconut milk specifically so that my henna mix will ally and rinse easily without drying my hair. Thanks for the compliment about the site too!!!

    Happy Hennaing!

  137. paru says

    Hy..I have black hair..what color would I get if I use henna with coconut milk..wil it become brown? I want to maintain it in black ..what should I do..

  138. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Paru,
    Henna provides only red highlights to dark brown/black hair which is mainly noticeable in sunlight. With consistent use over time those highlights will increase. Some do a two part henna/indigo treatment to keep their hair jet black or you could try a premixed henna/indigo minus the coconut milk like this one. Hope this helps!

  139. Adriana says

    what a beautiful hair you have, girl!!!
    My hair is curly and brittle and gives me so much trouble.
    I’m definetely going to try your advices!!!

  140. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Adriana,
    Thank you so much! Keep us posted on how things work out for you. Best wishes!

  141. Isabel says

    I have done hennna a fe times, tried so many brands and mixture. Mixed with coffee, greent tea and not a good idea my hair was dry and broke then I tried coconut milk with some oil mix and I loved the feel of my hair and it Did rinse out well but I still wasn’t getting the results I wanted in terms of color.

    I recently started research and found the line and water mix. So one or two lime juice with a half cup of water and boil then pour into the henna let cool down for 20-30mins and the dye release was amazing left in my hair for 2hrs + and finally, yes! My hair colored. My stubborn very black 4c hair colored. I saw red in my hair. It was that simple and it rinsed out very easy. I did this on my dry hair. It’s a mixture worth trying ladies.

  142. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Isabel,
    I’m thrilled you found the perfect mix for you! I love just using henna and coconut milk with no oil now. The oil is perfect if your hair is extra dry, but it does limit the full amount of dye release.

  143. Shelia Reed says

    Hello, can henna help strengthen my hair and help my edges. How can I prevent my hair from turning a different color while using henna?

  144. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Shelia Reed,
    Henna will definitely strengthen your hair. If you want to avoid any color change use cassia also called “neutral henna” instead.

  145. latrinity williams says

    Where can I get henna. I’m 15 yrs old I started to go natural in my freshmen yr when I was 14. I’ve had 3 texturizer in this time period. & I hate putting chemicals on my head. Where can I get henna & how much does it cost.

  146. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Latrinity Williams,
    You can find henna at a local Indian grocery store or online. I shared different natural henna brands in this henna article as well as my favorite here. I hope this helps and happy hennaing!

  147. jennie says

    Hi! Wanting to try this coconut milk with henna mix and was wondering if the milk needs to be heated before mixing in with the dry henna. I’ve always mixed my henna with hot water and applied right away, with the hot water I did not need to wait for dye to release as it did it right away. But the Henna is making my fine hair break so wanting to add the mild instead….. also can I add honey to the milk mix too?

  148. jennie says

    Me again :)
    Wanted to note I’m using henna color lab wine red.
    Ingredients: natural henna, red clay, false daisy, centella leaves, myrobalan seeds

    Instructions say to use HOT tap water. So I’m thinking I should heat the milk but not sure. Also you use the canned coconut milk not the stuff from fridge section made by Silk brand coconut milk?
    Thanks again!

  149. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jennie,
    I have never heated the coconut milk before mixing it with henna. I have also found that it is a more gentle henna mix than using water or even tea. I haven’t tried mixing honey in the mix but I’m sure it would work fine. You will most likely have a completely different henna experience when you mix it with coconut milk though. I use canned coconut milk as it is thicker and contains more fat. Happy hennaing!