My First Henna Treatment

After hearing TONS of people talking about how great henna for you hair  is, I decided to try it myself a couple of months ago.  Why use henna? Because it’s much healthier for your hair than most over-the-counter hair dyes. With multiple uses it also conditions and softens the hair shaft. (I got this recipe from Curly Nikki) Here’s what I did:

Preparing the Henna:

  • Steep 4 green tea bags in 2 cups of water
  • Mix 200gms Jamila Henna in cooled tea (they come in 100gm boxes)and 1 squeezed lemon. I had a little left over, so next time I’ll mix a box and a half.
  • I stirred it by hand with a butter knife making sure all the powder was wet and absorbed into the mix. It should be thick like mashed potatoes and will look dark olive in color. (It kind of smells like hot wet leaves. Yum.)
  • Let it sit for 8 hours.
  • Then I washed, detangled and conditioned my hair following my regular routine.
  • At this point, the color of the henna mixture had deepend to a dark brown, and it has become much thicker….like…well…mud.
  • I wanted it a little but thinner so I added 2 tbsps of raw honey warmed up in the micro, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, and stirred that in until it was more the consistency of guacamole. I also added several drops each of peppermint oil and orange oil to make it smell a little better.
  • Applying the Henna:

    • I applied it to my hair section by section and when I reached the top of my head, I hand-parted it again all over making sure I didn’t miss anything.
    • Then I put a plastic shopping bag on my head, wrapped my head in a towel and went about my business for the next 3 hours.
    • Washing this stuff out is tricky. (Think of it as washing a mud pie out of your head.)
    • I filled my bathtub halfway and pulled my hair down into it. I luckily have a hand sprayer on my tub, so I dunked and used that to rinse it out…5 times.
    • Then I deep conditioned with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner mixed with castor oil for 30 mins (I should have done this for longer, probably overnight)
    • Then I rinsed it out and and used my trusty Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter as a leave-in, and two strand twisted my hair in medium-sized twists and then set the twists on rollers.
    Here’s the result:

    Next time I will reserve a whole weekend for this process. Whew! It did make my hair a little redder, but you can only see it in the sunlight, it’s really subtle. It did turn some of my little gray hairs into little red wires though! I definitely didn’t deep condition long enough though, because my hair was kind of dry I solved that by applying my spray leave-in conditioner daily. So next time I’ll DC for a few hours.

    • I also wonder what I could do to make the rinse out a little easier. Any suggestions?
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    28 thoughts on “My First Henna Treatment

    1. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

      I have been wanting to try henna for a long time, a la Curly Nikki, but I’m too chicken 🙂 Plus, I’m not really a fan of the color change. But I do really, really want to see if it will make my hair softer and more manageable, at least for a while. Thanks to you, I may now actually try it 🙂

    2. HennaRo22

      You made it a really good consistancy, nice and thick. That way you don’t have a mess all over yourself and the floor! Definitely leave in the DC for at least an hour. If the water is warm enough you really don’t need to let it sit for 8hrs. Sometimes the dye will release immediately or within 30 minutes, especially with Jamila henna.

      Since you already added oils and honey, which help the rinsing process, maybe next time add more or use a little conditioner. You can also add herbs such as marshmallow root and slippery elm. Or you could just do a henna gloss which is mostly conditioner and oils with a couple of tablespoons of henna.

      For other options if the dye isn’t your thing you can use cassia, it will only brighten blonde hair basically. Or Amla and it will actually darken your hair over time. Both of those have the same effect generally on your hair. Except henna can straighten your hair.

    3. Shones

      I’m so pleased to see this post because I just did my first Jamila henna last week. I’ve henna’ed before using an off-the-shelf brand from an Indian store in my area. It had little sticks in it, and was not the most pleasant experience.

      I really like the texture of Jamila. I mixed mine with 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp EVOO, 1 tbsp of Organic ACV, and about 6 oz of hot black tea. I let mine sit for 4 hours in the fridge, Vaseline’ed my face/hands/arms, and applied it to my hair. I then did saran-wrapped, shower-capped, and wrapped my head in a scarf, and went to bed on a towel. It was still kinda oozy and juicy in the morning. And my cat wouldn’t sleep next to me! LOL… that was the yucky part. Anyway…

      In the morning I hit the shower, and I actually don’t think I washed it all the way out. I think I underestimated its staying power by only using 4 big globs of Suave Coconut Conditioner to wash. As a result, I had serious dryness for several days. I DC’ed about 3 times using different things: Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol (I know, I know…), Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, and then a really old bottle of leftover Optimum Care conditioner (I’m not even sure if that stuff is in production anymore… I know, I know…). Anyway, my hair is now softer. I think the key next time will be washing it out thoroughly. I wonder if I should use a shampoo bar or Castile soap. I have to research this a little bit.

      In terms of color, my hair is naturally a little bit brown, especially at the ends, so at the tips of all my coils my hair took on a very rich red hue. I’ve gotten many compliments on it and luuuuv it! I plan to henna again in a couple months.

    4. Kinky Rhonnie

      Hey there,

      like others, I add green tea, lemon juice, honey (moisture) and olive oil to my mix.

      I don’t think there will ever be an easier way to rinse it out.

      Some people dunk there head in the tub a few times. I just rinse mine standing under the shower.

      In the past i’ve been shampooing. But I swear shampoo has become the devil for me. It dries my hair out so bad and I see so much breakage that I’m going to try cowashing only this weekend and see how it goes.

      I usually let my henna sit two to three hours for a good dye release.

      I leave it on my hair at least six hours.

      Sometimes i’ll sleep in in overnight instead of letting it consume my entire day.

      Try adding some oil to you DC and using heat. A 30 minute DC with heat should be sufficient, follow with a creamy leave-in, moisturizer, and seal with an oil.

    5. Savvy

      @Kinky Rhonnie thanks! So do you leave the henna in 2-3 hours or 6 hours? I only used Dr. Bronners castille soap mixed with water, or shampoo bars at this point to clean my hair.

    6. Savvy

      @HenneRo2 thanks for the tips. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to let the henna sit for that long. (anything to shorten this whole process would help). How do you add the marshmallow root and the slippery elm? are you using them in powder form? When do you add them to your mix? How do you do a henna gloss? I had no idea henna could straighten hair! 🙁 I like my curls! Does that happen over a long period of time or something?

    7. Savvy

      @jennae As long as you DC for at least an hour after, it will leave your hair nice and soft. Something else to try that leaves your hair soft without any color change is Bentonite clay. I’ll have a post on that soon.

    8. Mary grace

      Before, i used to make henna treatment but i’ve stopped because now i prefer my natural black hair colour.
      So, to wash it off easier, i mixed henna with conditioner or deep conditioner. let sit for 1 – 3 hours and then i applied it on my hair for 2 hours.
      You can check out the natural haven blog to know what henna really does to our hair.
      Hope it helps

    9. Andrea

      I’ve hennaed my hair using a brand called Rainbow Henna. They make a colorless version that is just for conditioning. They make several colors, but they do specify that while you can go darker with henna, you can’t really go lighter.

      I use black tea and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, for better gray coverage. I apply my henna mud hot and leave it in for about two hours, and that seems to do the trick. The grays do not match the rest of my hair, but they do take the color so I get a kind of highlight effect.

      I do apply vaseline to my face and neck to keep the henna from making odd patchy stains.

      As for rinsing out, well, I just figured the suffering was the price of the beauty later. Maybe I’ll try a few of the things you all suggested.

    10. Savvy

      Hi Andrea! I’ll have to check that brand out. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who had trouble rinsing this stuff out! 🙂

    11. HennaRo22

      I just saw all of your questions!

      When some women say henna ruined their hair it means it became straigther. For me it happened after the very first treatment, others over a period of treatments. Overtime though the curls will revert, but some women use it so much that their hair is pretty much straight. Amla will actually make your hair curlier(you can add it to the mix to stop the loosening affect), for me Cassia(aka the nuetral rainbow henna Andrea was referring to) has done the same thing.

      Marshmallow root and slippery elm both come in a powder leaf form. You will need an herbal tea ball if you buy the leaf and brew it like you would tea. You can this instead of just plain water. If you buy the powder I believe you can just add it to the mix. Not sure though which one will give the best results.

      Henna gloss is basically couple of ounces of conditioner, couple tablespoons of henna, and whatever you want to add to it. Just make sure you make enough to cover your hair. Some women use it this way because it’s just easier. Has the same effect…dyeing, strengthening, silkening etc, it just may not be as potent.

      Also if you want a stronger color, make you mix, make sure you cover it well, and stick in the freezer. When your ready to use just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw. Henna thawed dyes your hair in a much richer color. For me using it normally my color was a black cherry color, when I thawed a pre mixed batch it came about super bright auburn.

      Other mixes are here if you’d like to try them at one point. Also this is where I found out about henna glossing.

    12. Savvy

      @Handmade OH NO! Thanks for the compliment! Also read through the other comments in this post, because some other ladies here had some even BETTER ideas!

    13. Pingback: So I Tried Henna Again... | Savvy Brown

    14. MyTime

      I’ve just done my 2nd henna treatment and I love it!

      Since I was starting to get more greys, I decided to color my hair for the first time, and since I like red, I decided to go for it. Long story short, after a couple of traditional color treatments, my hair started breaking off.

      I loved the red, so I decided to try henna. It is amazing. I’m loving the condition of my hair! My greys now provide lighter highlights. And just after my latest treatment, my natural dark brown is starting to get the red/coppery look–but it’s very rich looking, not brassy.

      I’m definitely a henna user for life!

    15. Anonymous

      I did my first henna treatment last night! I loved it and will do it again.

      I detangled with aloe vera gel, washed with Shea Moisture ABS Shampoo, did an overnight henna gloss (Dulhan henna, AO HSR Conditioner, aloe vera gel, peppermint tea, EVOO, EVCO, JBCO and honey), co-washed with Yes to Carrots Conditioner, moisturized with aloe vera gel and shealoe and styled into a puff. My hair has a nice burgundy tint and feels soooo soft!

    16. ShelliDawn

      Did my first Henna today, thanks to this site and CurlyNikki, and I love it. I believe the key is definitely (1) rinsing the Henna OUT thoroughly, (2) rinsing the Henna-free hair with a light conditioner, and (3) Deep Conditioning. I can see the red highlights already and my hair is wet! My hair felt rough, (as it would had I done a protein treatment-although Henna is NOT one, but my hair is protein sensitive!) when I was dunked my hair in the water and loosened up the bits. It continued to feel rough until I did the conditioner rinse, and once I applied the Deep Conditioner, fuhgiddaboutit!! Hair is smooth like buttah, not butter, buttah! Thanks Savvy Brown for the posts and logging your trials, errors, and successes! They helped me tons! :o)

    17. Savvy

      @ShelliDawn Yaaay! *dances around* I’m glad it worked for you, and I’m glad I could help. Just curious, what kind of deep conditioner did you use?

    18. ShelliDawn

      @Savvy: I used the Organic Root Stimulator “Olive Oil” Replenishing Pack. I am an Aveda girl through and through, but I thought I would try this and since it was in a convenient one use pack, I went for it. Only thing is I ran just a tad short, just barely… But, I liked the results and would definitely use that brand again. :o) Again, thanks for your inspiration!!!!

    19. ChocolateKandy74

      Organic Root Stimulator “Olive Oil” Replenishing Condition is also sold as a 12.25 fl oz bottle for less than $5 so you don”t have to worry about running out next time.

    20. Savvy

      @ChocolateKAndy74 That’s a good size, but I don’t use any cones in my hair, so I don’t think I’ll be trying it.

    21. Pingback: My Henna Gloss Recipe | Savvy Brown

    22. Rose

      Hello to everyone. Can someone please help me? I want to use the Jamila Henna. I have gray hairs and my natural hair color is already dark brown/black.But basically darkest brown.

      Please tell me will the Jamila Henna straighten the hair?
      And besides having to add too many different things to it, what can I add or not add to it, to make the henna’s look to be a really dark color? I do not want red or burgundy hair as a color. I want my hair to be dark brown or black.

      Please help. —Rose

    23. Savvy

      @Rose Hi there! Jamil Henna will not straighten your hair. Depending on your hair type, it may loosen the curls a bit. There are some people who say that it took their hair from curly to wavy, but that’s never happened to me. The longer you let the henna sit and absorb before you use it and the longer you leave it in your hair the stronger the color. Now, that being said, henna will never look bright, bright burgundy on you unless your hair is naturally blonde. What it will do is tint your hair with a burgundy hue. the other thing that it did to my silver/grays was it runed them copper. So no, henna won’t cover grays by it self. If you want your grays covered and your hair a pretty dark black color, then you’ll need to do an Indigo Treatment on top of the henna. For more information about indigo and all things henna check out Henna For Hair. That site is a wealth of info about nautural henna products and Jamila. HTH!

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