Henna is a herb which has many benefits, it is popular for creating body art in some cultures and it has been used to strengthen and smoothen hair for centuries.
I noticed that the ends of my hair were dry and frizzy and even after a trim, the coloured ends had a rough texture, my wash and go didnt just look the same. I decided to research solutions and cane across henna.
I remember that when i was natural (from childhood to 17 years old) my mom used it to colour her hair and i joined her but my dark hair didnt really take the colour so i stopped. I never knew the other benefits henna had.
The other reason i took a henna hiatus was that i read it doesnt work well with coloured hair. After more research i found that henna can be applied on coloured hair but if you have hennaed hair, it is harmful to put any chemical colour on top of it. Its a commitment, if you start henna, say bye to chemical colour.
What henna does is that it coats the outer shaft of the hair. This coating does not pentrate the hair shaft ( hence no damage, unlike chemical colour) and the coating strengthens hair, reduces breakage and also smoothens the hair shaft. This makes the hair shinnier and sleeker. Some naturals say it loosens their hair texture too.
How to prepare Henna
Henna has to be mixed at least 12 to 24 hours in advance. Heres what you need:
Henna powder, A bowl, spoon to mix, two tea bags, a plastic bag, cling film/shower cap, hot water and apple cider vinegar.
Boil some water and put two tea bags (green tea or regular black tea) in it and leave to seep through. Allow the water to cool before use.
Put some henna powder in a bowl (50grams is ok for my short hair)
Pour in the tea and mix until it has a smooth consistency.
Add about two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to give the mixture some acidity which helps release the colour and benefits of henna.
Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and place it in a warm or room temperature part of the house (i just left mine in the bathroom). Leave it to sit for about 12-24 hours. I prefer to leave it for a full 24 hours.
The mixture should look like this
I prepped my hair by shampoing it thorougly. Its best to do so to allow the henna do its thing. I let it air dry just to prevent it from dripping after application.
Put on some plastic gloves (henna stains hands and nails) and wear an old t shirt (you can also wear your birthday suit hehe) because the application can be messy.
Put the henna just as you would a deep conditioner, make sure all the strands are thoroughly coated.Then wrap it with cling film (it works best for me to cover all of my hair) you can also use a shower cap.
Let the henna sit on the hair for 4-8 hours. If you can sleep with it, leave it overnight to reduce the time you have to walk around like a crazy person 😉
It is recommended that you rinse the hair as much as possible and then use a conditioner to get the henna out. The conditioner helps to do the trick.
Afterwards, deep condition the hair thoroughly because the hennaed hair can feel a little dry after rinsing out. The deep conditioner will penetrate the hair strand a lot better and will replace all the moisture and elsaticity of the hair.
I style my hair as usual after the treatment, cowash after a week and style again. After the second week it’s usually time to shampoo and deep condition.
The henna didnt really change my colour except for slight tinge but i noticed the hair became smoother and a lot shinnier after just one treatment.
This treatment can be done every month or every three months.
A dep conditioner can also be added to the henna mix for a more moisturising treatment , its called a henna gloss.
After the first undiluted treatment i will keep up the smoothness of the hair with a henna gloss.
Have you used henna before? What was your experience?