• Henna & Coconut Milk–The Perfect Combination For Healthy Hair

    Posted on October 1, 2013 by in Hair

    10-1-13 (3)-minimalistbeauty.comI’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.

    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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91 Responses so far.

  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. Tracee says:

    I will be trying…love your blog so much

  4. 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?

  5. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Tracee, Definitely keep me posted on how it works out for you and read Henna For Hair 101 for tips and how-to. Best wishes!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. kim says:

    At the risk of sounding silly do you apply the mix to dry or wet hair? Thanks!

  13. 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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi mangomadness,
    This combination is phenomenal! Glad you are enjoying it too!

  20. 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!

  21. 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 :(

  22. 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 :(

  23. 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!

  24. Dawn Michelle says:

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

  25. 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!

  26. Dawn Michelle says:

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

  27. 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!

  28. QueenEyeCee says:

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

  29. 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

  30. Dawn Michelle says:

    Thanks so much QueenEyeCee!!! Enjoy your weekend <3

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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!

  35. 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?

  36. 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!

  37. 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?

  38. 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!

  39. emma says:

    Wow Your hair is beautiful!

  40. Dawn Michelle says:

    Thank you Emma :)

  41. 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

  42. doyin says:

    Hi. The color of my henna powder is green, not red like you said. Is that ok?

  43. 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!

  44. 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!

  45. 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!

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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?

  50. 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!

  51. 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!

  52. 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!

  53. 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!!

  54. 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!

  55. Julia 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?


  56. 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!

  57. 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.

  58. 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.


  59. 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!

  60. 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!

  61. 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.

  62. 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!

  63. 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.

  64. Kim 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!

  65. 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!

  66. 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?

  67. 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!

  68. 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!

  69. 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!

  70. 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.

  71. 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!

  72. 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.


  73. 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!

  74. 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.

  75. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Mellew,
    Thanks for sharing and hope you are having a beautiful day!

  76. 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.

  77. 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!

  78. 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 ;)!

  79. Dawn Michelle says:

    You’re so welcome Tawny! <3

  80. 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!

  81. 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!

  82. 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.

  83. 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

  84. a1sgrl says:

    I tried this last night and it worked like a charm. Thanks Dawn Marie!

  85. a1sgrl says:

    ***sorry; Dawn Michelle :”)

  86. 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.

  87. Dawn Michelle says:

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

  88. Dawn Michelle says:

    No worries a1sgrl!

  89. 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!

  90. Anthonia says:

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

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

    Take care.

  91. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Anthonia,
    You are so welcome! Enjoy your weekend!