There a few things in life more spectacular than finding a new way to care about your hair. Hair care tips and tools are plenty, but nothing beats finding natural products and creating an at-home inexpensive DIY project! Henna for your hair is just that type of product, with very real results.
Henna is mostly commonly known as the intricate designs that grace the hands and feet of women from South Asia, the Middle East, as well as Northern Africa. This plant-based dye emits an earthy smell and leaves behind a dark orange brown temporary tattoo used to celebrate holidays, weddings, and special occasions. However, this multi-tasking dye isn’t just for skin. For centuries, it is used as a natural hair dye, and a moisturizing coating for the hair.
The dye that comes from the henna is a variety of red, from bright orange to dark auburn, all depending on your natural hair color.
If you do not want to color your hair, use Cassia henna; the most “neutral” henna dye that you can get! Also, when using henna, you can not chemically color your hair for around 6-8 weeks, because of the henna coating the shaft of the hair. For those with curly hair, although henna is a great way to moisturize and condition your hair, one “downside” is that your curls will loosen over time. Not to the point of frizziness, but rather of soft voluminous curls.
If you’re not scared and ready to get going, here’s what you’ll need to proceed!
- 1-2 cups of oil (coconut, olive oil, whatever you prefer)
- Non-metal mixing bowl
- Non-metal mixing utensil
- Plastic saran wrap
- Multiple clips
- Plastic gloves (not pictured)
-Plastic garbage bag or shower cap
- Thick headband or tape to keep the saran wrap down
- Heat wrap (if available)
Combine the henna and the oil in your non-metal bowl using your non-metal utensil overnight. If you can’t leave it overnight, let it sit for at least 4 hours. Consistency is the most important factor in your henna dye. Too watery or thin and you will have henna running down your head! The best consistency is toothpaste-like, thick, malleable and able to stay in your hair.
The henna is ready to use when you see the dye release, the dark green color that emerges as you puncture the skin of the paste.
Once the dye has released, you are ready to apply!
Making sure you are wearing your oldest tee and pants, and in your bathroom with newspaper covering the ground, apply the henna as you would at-home hair color. I personally like to start from front to back, clipping my hair up and away as I finish each section. Once the henna is applied all over, cover your hair in your choice of wrap, I used the saran wrap with tape on the edges to keep it together.
If you have any leftover henna, pour it into a freezer bag and pop it into your freezer for your next henna treatment! With the henna in your hair, let it sit in your hair for 4 hours, minimum. You can even keep it in your hair all day, amplifying the color and conditioning properties.
When ready to wash, rinse the henna out with warm water until the water runs clear. Bear in mind, this will take some time! Afterwards, shampoo and condition your hair as normal. Your hair will feel dry, coarse, and even straw-like, for a couple of days. Don’t worry, it will soften up!
Repeat this treatment after 4-6 weeks.
And that’s it! With a little effort and time, you will have an all-natural deep conditioning treatment at your fingertips, complete with a color boost!
Have you ever tried henna on your hair? We want to know what you think of the treatment. Leave us a comment below or tweet us a pic of your results at @mzmahoganychic !
Photos Courtesy of Hafsa Siddiqi, Pinterest, mehandi.com