I began using henna March 2010 and absolutely love the amazing results it has given me. My hair is shinier, smoother, stronger, and more manageable. I’ve experiences less hair breakage and hair shedding. I also love the burgundy red color it has given my hair although mainly noticeable only in natural sunlight.
I decided to increase my henna applications from once or twice a month to weekly to easily reach my healthy hair goals and length this year. I’ve already began this challenge on Hairlista, an online healthy hair community. I also wanted to share this challenge with my Minimalist Beauty community. This challenge if for anyone trying to achieve longer thicker healthier hair naturally.
How to apply henna:
Mix body art quality henna, such as Godrej Nupur (my favorite), Jamila, Reshma, or Karishma Henna, with coconut milk and a natural oil of your choice for a strengthening and conditioning treatment in one. Allow the henna and coconut milk to sit overnight for 8 hrs and add the oil before applying to the hair in four sections. Using coconut milk with henna creates a thick conditioner consistency for easy application and rinse out. Coconut milk naturally has lauric acid which gives good dye release to henna without it feeling heavy and hard on hair, or drying out hair.
Pre-condition your hair before you shampoo with a light oil such as coconut oil and leave on for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Wash your hair with a natural shampoo or shampoo bar before applying henna. I no longer do a pre-condition or shampoo this way. I simply apply henna on damp hair although I always deep condition afterwards. Cover hair with a plastic cap and leave in for 3 hours or more. (Leave in for 30 minutes to an hour for the conditioning properties of henna without extreme color results.) Rinse out henna, and use conditioner to remove the remaining henna while leaving some conditioner in for about 10-15 minutes before a final rinse. Now style as usual. Always use gloves to apply and rinse out. Freeze any unused henna for later.
My Hair Products:
Shikakai Amla Plus Conditioning Shampoo Bar
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup of coconut, olive oil, and/or grapeseed oil
Everyday Shea Unscented Moisturizing Conditioner
For those with light colored hair or those who do not want to change their hair color use cassia instead of henna. You can also switch between henna and cassia. Cassia, referred to as neutral henna, will give the hair golden highlights.
Use honey in your pre-shampoo treatment as a natural hair lightener and mix cassia powder with chamomile tea for even more highlights. You can add coconut milk after the initial mix if you like more conditioning properties. Honey will also naturally strip your hair of henna if the color becomes too intense.
You can also add indigo to your henna for a dark brown to black color instead of red, yet omit any oil to your henna mix as indigo and natural oils don’t work well together. When using indigo find the exact amount of indigo and henna needed for your hair because indigo does not freeze well to be used again later.
For best healthy hair results be gently while handling your hair, wear you hair up as much as possible to protect your ends from dryness, keep hair moisturized, always use a seamless wide tooth comb to detangle and style your hair, and sleep on a satin or silk pillow case to protect your hair at night.
Body Art Quality Hennas:
Jamila–the one in the shiny box with the date on the bottom of the box is the body art quality henna
Nupur 9–contains nine other ayurvedic herbs
Karishma–contains other ayurvedic herbs with a warm red brown color release
Reshma–auburn brown color release
Rajasthani–luscious brown for body art designs and less coppery than Jamila
Dulhan–coppery red dye release henna that is finely milled
Phase 1–1/15/2011 through 3/15/2011
Phase 2–3/15/2011 through 5/15/2011
Phase 3–5/15/2011 through 7/15/2011
Phase 4–7/15/2011 through 9/15/2011
Phase 5–9/15/2011 through 11/15/2011
Phase 6–11/15/2011 through 1/15/2012
To join just add a comment!
New Henna Users:
After coating hair consistently with henna for two months, continue using henna only once a month thereafter. If you are already a henna user once a month henna treatments are good. Remember to pay attention to how your hair responds to henna and also be sure to keep a good moisture balance for your hair. Although there are many ways to mix henna, by using coconut milk versus water will ensure that the henna does not dry hard on the hair making it difficult to rinse or dehydrate the hair.
For more detail and undated information on how I use henna read Henna For Hair 101! To read more articles on henna go here!
What has been your experience with using henna and consistent henna applications?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)