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Curly Nikki

F.A.Q.- The Henna Edition

By January 27th, 202123 Comments

It’s Monday already. Sad. I seriously live for the weekend.

I really enjoyed focusing on one topic for the’ Hair Tip of the Day’ last week (thanks Libra08!). So let’s keep it going…this time, with HENNA.

Submit your questions below, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Henna week will include all things mud, including cassia, indigo, and amla.

While browsing the other day, I ran across a thread about a woman who wants to use henna for conditioning purposes, but avoid the ‘loosening’ effect and red color. She wants to keep her dark shiny hair. Many of you have asked me this question as well.

Carrie, the resident of expert over at Hennaforhair, responded with what I thought was the best answer:

Adding a little amla (about 1/4 of your mix or less) instead of lemon or other acid (amla is plenty acidic) to the henna powder before dye release helps maintain curl. After 2-3 hours of henna, then you rinse and apply indigo paste for 1 hour for a true rich black.

If it’s conditioning you want, Cassia is also an option. The effects are shorter lived (compared to henna), but it does impart shine, and strength. Curlies with gray hair should be careful because Cassia, if mixed with acid, will leave behind a yellow tint. Like henna, it’s transparent, and while your color may remain unchanged indoors, it will be visible in the sun. For naturally dark haired curlies, cassia will not affect your color at all. For more information on Cassia, check out this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Later Gators,


  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki, can I use henna one day and then use the indigo about a week or two later? Thanks!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki! Love the blog! I used henna for the 1st time last week and my colored ends turned a deep orangish color. Reading multiple sites and other comments, I’ve noticed other curlies talking about a dark reddish color. Do different henna powders yield different colors? If so, is there a “color guide” anywhere online. I bought my henna from a local store and the henna didn’t have an expiration date so I’m also wondering if old henna yields a different color than a new crop of henna? Any advice/comment is appreciated!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, Nikki I have a henna question. I have done the Cassia treatment and I want to advance to henna. I colored my hair (did a 30 lift) in January 09 and I want to take better care of it and cease the coloring. My question is when is it safe to begin henna treatments on colored hair? I know that you had highlights so I was thinking you could give me some advice. I know that the henna will color my hair and that is not the problem. So again, when is it safe to henna your hair after a color treatment?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, Nikki. I have very dark hair and a few grays. I like my grays and want to keep them, but I also want to try henna. Can I use henna and kepp my gray hairs?

  • Khadija Dawn Carryl says:

    Jackie, henna with dates is VERY important. The fresher the crop of henna the better. A good supplier should be able to tell you those dates or they should be marked on their site or products. I stand by this strongly.

    You can do a henna/indigo treatment at least every 4-6 weeks. No need to spend more money too if you don’t HAVE to.

    Maria, you should be good to go!! No blue 🙂

    Dee, for a chocolate brown make sure your proportions are at least 60% indigo and 40% henna, and perhaps add amla powder too because that really pushes the darker results.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently transitioning. Would henna help the transitioning process or is it better to wait until all of the relaxer grows out before I do a henna treatment?


  • Anonymous says:

    I have 2 questions. One is why do some Henna packages have dates and others don’t?

    Also, how often should I do a full Henna/Indigo treatment? I like keeping my hair very dark however I do not have gray hair.


  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki,
    I followed your pictorial for my first henna treatment this wknd & I loved it. Just wondering why you use green tea in your mix. I've read the Hennaforhair e-book and have been browsing NC "Henna Experiences" thread and haven't located a reason. Oh and thank you for all the great info and hair care tips. Its greatly appreciated!

  • Maria says:

    Hey Nikki,
    I bought a bag of indigo to make my hair black. I got it from I have to henna first then do the indigo second. I’ll let you know how it went. Hopefully my hair didn’t turn blue LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    I would like to use Henna for color and conditiong.

    How do I get a deep chocolate brown color. I know Henna and then applying Indigo over it will make it black but I don’t know what mix to use for chocolate brown?
    Thanks and I love this blog!

  • Khadija Dawn Carryl says:

    Sometimes you lose a lot more henna powder when you have to sift it. More work, and more waste = money and time lost. Just in my opinion from trying to do that. But you can actually strain the henna paste after you’ve mixed it and it’s easier then sifting the powder and having that in the air and in your nose.

    Can you henna too much? Well, not exactly but you don’t want to dry our your hair and you want to give it time to balance itself out. Every 2-4 weeks is descent but the average is about every 4-6 weeks. Unless you need to cover grey and it grows quickly, then you can do a root touch up.

  • Khadija Dawn Carryl says:

    Hi there

    Nikki, I think that Carrie gave some really good advice concerning doing henna with some amla powder, and then applying indigo over it. Or if they wanted to deal with one herb, then cassia would be a good option except it is not as long term and they might need amla powder to maintain the curl once again.

    Kimmitri, the henna at full stregth will give you better results on the henna side, but the extra softenss and moisturizing you get from a henna gloss is benefical as well. It’s just that the conditoner you use dilutes the henna, which dilutes the henna’s strength some.

    I’d say yes, do the henna gloss, if you are happy with the results, unless you want more red tones in your hair (then you’d want more henna powder in your recipe).

    Lalapoo, you can leave henna in for at least 3-4 hours. You don’t have to leave it overnight.

    Taicm, just check to see what crop year the henna powder is. It might be cheaper because it is not the latest crop, and therefore the henna would not be as potent/fresh for giving a strong red dye content for your hair. But yemeni henna and indian are very good choices.

  • Tamandra says:

    Hey Nikki, How long did it take for your hair to notice the conditioning results of henna?

  • D_luv says:

    Taicm, I just did my first henna and I got my henna from I ordered the jamila henna and it was cheap and came in on time. All in all, I would order from them again. Very positive buying experience and the henna I got was quality product for less. HTH.

  • Twisted Kurlzz says:

    Hey Nikki,

    I was wanting to know, Is there a such thing as using henna too much?

  • Lteefaw says:

    Hey Nikki,

    This weekend I give myself a henna and indigo treatment and I love it. My hair looks so much healthier then it did when I was sporting this little brown highlight.

    Also, I used the less expensive brand of henna that you introduced to your readers a few weeks. This henna was not sifted as much as the Jamila or African henna was. I would suggest to anyone who using the less expensive brands of henna to sift it first. In order to remove any large chunks of material they it may contain.

    Thank you so much for sharing you natural hair experience.

  • Chardae says:

    Hi Nikki, I have 4a/4b hair and I’m wondering what will henna do for my hair. Will it just condition or loosen my curl pattern?

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t have a relaxer, but I do have color and highlights. I’m interested in Cassia for the conditioning and shine benefits. I notice when my hair is oily it is darker, which I don’t want. If I decide to use the Cassia should this be a concern?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki!

    I just wanted to know if you ever ordered your henna from I’m thinking about purchasing Yemen henna because of its higher dye content.

    Their henna is a tab bit cheaper than Catherine’s.

    Also, the cheapie henna that you used, was it Dulhan? If so, what are the things I should look for with purchasing henna from an Indian grocery store?


  • Anonymous says:

    What is your opinion on using henna on children’s hair?

  • Pat says:

    hi Nikki,

    I would like to henna my hair, but not sleep in it.. I have a twa, is it possible? how long shoulg I keep it in?

  • mskimmi says:

    I have a question about the henna treatment versus the henna gloss. I did my first henna last weekend, and this weekend made a henna gloss out of the leftovers a la recipe (henna + conditioner for an hour or so). My question is what is the difference between a henna gloss and a full henna treatment? I notice my color still changed a little with the gloss, but I did notice softer hair. Can I do just glosses to stretch the good quality henna? Why do one over the other?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki! Your hair is so gorgeous! Please could you tell me whether you used to leave the Cassia on overnight when you used it and if you have a regimen for Cassia anywhere?
    And out of curiousity, some people say that Henna makes hair “hang” down (as opposed to an afro)Do you think this applies to 4b/c-napp hair too?? Thanks for any help 🙂

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