Question 1: Where. do. i. begin?! You mentioned that you use the jamila brand of henna. Is there anything you mix with yours, or should the packaged product be used just as is. I’m super dumb with henna, is there mixing involved or o you just dump it on. Also, what precautions need to be taken to prevent the loosening of curls. thank you for this Nikki.
I use Jamila henna from Mehandi.com. I mix my henna (200g, or 2 boxes) with green tea, and a bit of honey. Check out my video for further detail. I dump the powder in first, and slowly mix in the warm (not boiling) tea…too much liquid will leave you with a leaky, runny mess. You want the end result to resemble mashed potatoes. Adding honey gives it a slicker consistency which aids in application and rinsing. Plus, it’s a humectant and should attract a bit of moisture.
It seems that the folks most likely to experience the subtle and temporary loosening have wavy or S shaped), fine strands, versus cork screw (or O shaped), coarse strands. At least this is what I’ve observed on the hair boards as well as hennaforhair.com. Some even notice that it makes their hair curlier and more defined! To prevent the loosening, you should (1) Henna less often, and/or (2) add amla to the mix. Henna fattens up the strands (making fine strands coarser) which adds extra weight. This is why the curl doesn’t change as much as it just shrinks less for a few weeks. Adding 1/4 amla in your henna mix can be used instead of any other acidic ingredient (e.g. tea, acv, lemon juice) and will help preserve curl. Some people do amla only treatments as well, which can be drying, so don’t forget to deep treat!!! Although amla gives hair body and bounce, Catherine of hennaforhair.com recommends it for the body as well!
Question 2: I think Henna makes my hair dry. Why is that? What can I use to keep my hair feeling moisturized?
To avoid the dryness and reveal stronger, fuller, healthier hair:
- Avoid Harsh Acids–Lemon juice or ACV should be replaced with tea or a little amla. Harsher acids will dry your hair out like none other. Skip the headache and opt for green or chamomile tea.
- Rinse Well–Remnants of henna dust left on the hair will weigh your hair down, and make it feel dry and stiff. To prevent this, rinse very well with lots of moisturizing slippery conditioner.
- Deep Condition–This adds much needed moisture back into your strands. Henna (like other mud treatments) can be very taxing if not done properly. A moisturizing deep conditioner will nourish and prevent any dryness before it could rear it’s ugly head!
- Shampoo Less–Avoid shampoos with harsh sulfates in them, opt for milder formulas and shampoo bars. Also, shampooing daily or even every few days is unnecessary unless you’re styling with lard, lol. I shampoo once or twice a month with great results! My hair stays moisturized and bouncy 🙂
Question 3: Does Indigo have the same conditioning benefits that henna has?
From the Henna ebook:
“Indigo is a plant that has a blue dye molecule. Indigo is what dyes your jeans dark blue. You can dye your hair and cover gray without chemicals… If you use just henna over white hair, the color is coppery red. If you use just indigo, the color is blue.”
Indigo doesn’t hurt your hair, but it doesn’t help it either. It’s not like henna or cassia, and won’t add volume, shine, or strength. It is used to dye the hair, and should be used in conjunction with henna. Cassia and amla are your other options. Cassia made my hair sleeker and shinier, while amla made it dry and stiff. Every body’s head is different! Experiment…but educate yourself first 😀
I went to the Mehandi.com and I saw the Jamilla henna but there is also Henna for African hair. I am natural with fine tightly coiled strands. I would like some coil loosening to combat my suoer shrinkage. I was wondering if you think that Jamilla is better than the Henna for African Hair. I plan on ordering one asap. Also what do you think about Rainbow henna? I only ask because I know that I can get that from Wholefoods and I don't have to worry about shipping time or shipping costs.
your site certainly encouraged me to try Henna on my hair. I purchased Jamila 2009. I am only worried about the drying effects. I am wondering if mixing coconut oil to Nikki's Henna recipe will counter that…
Just made my first henna purchase. I'm so excited to try it and see the results!
From your experience a henna/amla mix should be 3/4 henna and 1/4 amla to counteract the curl loosening effect?
Hey Nik, I have a question.
The next few washes after a henna treatment, is it normal to see a reddish tint in the water rinsed from your hair? Or it is due to the type of henna I'm using?
I wash my hair daily, and for the 1st week or so I always see the first run off water tinted. I'm wondering if its coming from my scalp, because I always rinse the henna from my hair 100% (no grit and the water runs clear) on the first day. I find it odd because only when I coloured my hair with artificial colour in the past, I saw this.
Great info Nikki. I'm loving the Henna Edition. I plan to Henna this weekend so these tips are right on time.
Great tips – thanks for sharing :o)
Thanks for these henna tips Nikki. I also had problems with dryness when I first used henna. In addition to using green tea and honey, I also mix my henna with a tablespoon or so of my favorite conditioner (right now, Aubrey Organics). And I only rinse with cool or cold water, which I read somewhere helps lock the moisture in the cuticle.
I love your website, by the way. I've been spreading the good word to all my naturally curly homies!!!