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Curly Nikki

CurlyNikki’s Henna Gloss Recipe

By January 27th, 202188 Comments

CurlyNikki's Henna Gloss Recipe

Hola Chicas,

Sorry for leaving y’all hanging yesterday…

Henna Gloss Purpose: A henna gloss is used when you want subtle color change along with deep conditioning. It’s easier to apply because of the wonderful slip provided by the conditioner, much easier to rinse, and leaves your hair smooth and soft, as opposed to crackily and dry after a straight or full strength henna treatment.

Yesterday I called it a mild henna, but I’d like to retract that. I started thinking… it would be considered a mild henna if I used less henna and more conditioner. My mix was 50/50… so I guess I did more of a Conditioning Henna Treatment! Remember that the property in henna that dyes the hair red, is the same one that conditions, strengthens, defizzes, and smooths. Mixing in 1 or 2 tablespoons of henna (into a cup or two of conditioner) will give you very little color change, but you’ll also miss out on the full effects of henna’s conditioning powers… so you’ll have to make that call yourself. This would be a great option for two types of folks:

1. Those of you that want to see what the hype is about, without making the color commitment. Just be sure to strand test, and to modify my recipe. You should mix 1-2 tablespoons of henna directly into your conditioner (not allowing for dye release) and only leave-in for 20-30 minutes. Henna is strong, so ALWAYS strand test… the red will creep up on ya quick!

2. Faithful henna’ers that want to experience soft, smooth results upon rinsing. It’s truly amazing! My 50/50 mix left me with similar dye release, color uptake (I was surprised), strengthening, and smoothing. I’m impressed.

What You’ll Need:

  • BAQ Henna (at least 100g)
  • A light, protein free conditioner– Many users across the web like the Generic Matrix Biolage Balm from Sallys.

*Optional: Honey, Unsweetened Yogurt (some people use Yogurt in place of the conditioner)

My Henna Gloss Instructions:

  • Mix your henna as you would for a regular, full strength treatment. I added 100g of Jamila henna to 1.5 cups (I never measure… I just get it to the consistency of cake batter) of warm green tea. I usually use 2 or 3 tea bags.
  • I sealed off the container and let it sit for a few hours… only because I was feeling lazy. In the future, I will probably go right into the next step.
  • Mix in 1 cup of conditioner. I used Tresemme Naturals conditioner. Next time though, I will probably buy the Generic Biolage Balm conditioner because it is much thicker. Either that, or use less liquid to mix my henna. It was a little too runny for my liking.
  • Apply to damp and detangled hair in sections. Then don a plastic baggy, cotton balls or tissue rolled up near your ears to catch drippies, and a scarf to cover the ugly mess, lol.
  • Leave in for the desired amount of time. Remember, the shorter (15-30 minutes), the less dye uptake… so less red, but also less conditioning. I left mine in overnight, which is why I’m referring to it as a Conditioning Henna Treatment. I got the full benefits of henna with the added bonus of a moisturizing DT!
  • Dunk your head in the tub to wash away most of the mix. Hop in the shower and rinse away the rest using a cheapy, slippery conditioner. It rinses very easily, and you could probably skip the tub dunking 🙂
  • Apply a Deep Treatment
  • Rinse, and style as usual. I did my typical Twist-n-Curl and flat twisted the roots. This new modification (the flat twisting) has done AMAZING things! My waves/curls are much more consistent.

There you have it folks! I hope this is helpful… the key things to remember are:

1. Modify my recipe and leave it in for less time if you want only a subtle color change. If you want the full benefits of color and henna’s conditioning powers, leave in for at least 4 hours (I leave mine in overnight).

2. Use a cheapy conditioner free of protein, and preferably free of cones.

3. If you’re trying my mix, use the least amount of tea possible… too much and you’ll have an annoying runny mess.

Later Gators,

My hair today:

CurlyNikki's Henna Gloss RecipeCurlyNikki's Henna Gloss RecipeCurlyNikki's Henna Gloss Recipe


  • Unknown says:

    Amazing post. Very helpful post. Thanks!

  • Unknown says:

    Great job. Please keep it up. Thanku for sharing this post.

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  • Unknown says:

    Can you do a Henna gloss and then apply Indigo to cover grey?

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  • Gizas says:

    Ohh please help me! I first wanted to start using henna, because I want to slightly change the color of my hair, and i didn't want any chemicals involved, but throughout my research I came to acknowledge its nutritional benefits. but there is one question… my hair is thick, and its a 4c, and i've heard Henna thickens the hair… so should I go for this, considering the fact that my hair is already VERY thick? Pleas help!!!

  • Hilary B. says:

    looks great. love the chunky, juicy curls!

  • cocobutter75 says:

    Did my FIRST henna gloss yesterday. I only have one word for it: AMAZING!!!! Will be doing more in the future.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello Nikki,

    I have a question. I am natural and I have never used henna. However, recently I have been considering doing a henna treatment. I have been doing some research and someone directed me to your site. I have read and viewed your henna information and recently came across the henna gloss. So I was wondering which method do you suggest for someone who is trying henna for the first time?


  • Anonymous says:

    Peace: Love it(Henna), I have very fine hair, and I have been using henna(whole foods) for about 25 years, even when I had a perm I would use it, it makes my hair really thick and heavy, now with natural hair, I have really big hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading the henna vs protein treatment post and my hair has changed in the past year. I suspected it was from having the hair dresser trim 1-2 inches off (I hadn't cut it since a friend randomly gave me a BC in 2006) after Moroccan products (with cones) to flat-iron straighten. I continued using the Moroccan products for several months convinced that my hair had been fried beyond repair until I read the ingredients. I then realized it'd been months since I'd done a henna treatment w/ TJ's conditioner followed by an avocado treatment and my curls returned! HOWEVER, my hair has been dry, brittle and thin since I can remember the straightening and I feel my growth has been stunted. Last week I cut another 1-2 inches because I started noticing REALLY bad split ends. I'd like to grow it out but also get rid of this dry, brittle, fineness but can't remember if my hair was like this before, if its the weather, my vegetarian diet from 2 years ago or what. ANYWAY, all that to say if I can't figure out whether I need protein or henna, why can't I do a henna AND protein conditioner treatment? What is the reasoning behind using a protein-free conditioner with henna? Is it for cost or another reason?

  • Anonymous says:

    Me again – so I did the henna gloss last night, and well the only colour change I noticed is the grey hair, and its a nich light brown. I didnt have the honey though, so I mixed the henna, teabags and conditioner, but my hair still ended up hard, after washing it out and adding conditioner it still felt hard, I added deva curl as my leave in and it felt soft, I will do it again for sure, it seems its the only colour I trust with my hair now – good luck everyone

  • Anonymous says:

    This will be my third henna, but the last two times I left the henna over night to set and then did the 4 hour steam, it covered my greys a burgandy colour i was pleased because it looks good, now I am going to follow this one. I mixed at 5pm and going to add to my hair at 10pm and leave it over night and see what happens – well post my results – tnks nikki

  • My Story... says:

    My hair is short and greys are cropping up. A friend sent me a box of Henna and I've read your gloss instructions. My question is, how long do I leave it in for since my hair is short…less than a quarter inch on the sides and an inch and a half on the top and middle…also to ensure grey coverage (that does not turn them orange like regular dyes)? I'm anxious to put it in because these two grey hairs in the front of my head are driving me crazy!

  • De Mayo says:

    i used this recipe for my 1st henna over the weekend & it came out BEAUTIFUL!! i'm so excited to share with my other natural hair friend. altho i didn't get the BAQ henna & its the jamila brand, i'm still beyond satified with my results. after i go through this initial shipment, i'll opt for the other henna & shop around for some great THICK conditioners.

    Thanks Curly Nikki…….i' am now a henna head!

  • AfroCubana says:

    Woo hoo! So I am so excited about Henna! I tried a straight treatment last week, and i liked the color and thickness of my hair after the treatment. However, my hair was a bit too hard afterwards. It took a couple of days to get the moisture back in. I think the hardness was from my lack of cowashes… Anyway… On another note, I made a henna gloss last night using 2 green tea bags steeped in hot distilled water, 1 pack BAQ Jamila henna, honey, olive oil, and Pantene Conditioner. I applied it around 8pm, and washed it out around 5am. I had to get up very early to take my daughter to an appt, so the treatment didn't sit as long as i wanted it to. I co washed with Garnier Tipple Nutrition at least 4 times, and now i am sitting at my desk at work with a deep conditioner on my hair (curl junkie/Carols daughter Monoi Repairing mask) covered by a shower cap, a scarf, and a winter hat. Being that it's casual Friday here in corporate HQ i hope no one says anything. On lunch, I plan to hit the gym- for a 45 min steam room session to let the deep conditioner work its way in. So far i love how soft my hair is… to make a long story even longer… HA! Thank you Nikki for such a wonderful informative site.

    Power to the Henna Heads!!!

    Best regards, peace and blessings!

  • DemeCurl says:

    Can you henna if you have colored your hair in the last 2 months? I am 10 months into the natural state and am enjoying it tremendously!!! My hair is very fine, thin and curly.

  • Shereen says:

    I tried the henna gloss last night and the results are amazing! I will always henna my hair using the gloss method the results are amazing! The shine is awesome and my hair is not dry! Henna Gloss is my new best friend ;D

  • Anonymous says:

    Curly Nikki,

    What brand of Henna do you use?


  • Hstls7 says:

    I've been using henna for a while and i finally decided to try the henna gloss, It is great! I love my hair. I do indigo after Henna and put conditioner in the indigo. I will always use the henna gloss to dye my hair from now on. I left the henna in 2 hours, rinsed, and put the indigo(roots only) in for 1 hour. thanks Nikki

  • Anonymous says:

    Where do I buy Henna?

  • Anonymous says:

    Is henna gloss as effective as straight henna?

  • Onyx Stone says:

    Does it matter what color of Henna I use. My hair is jet black and I want the conditioning effects, not color.

  • WineGrrl says:

    What happens if you leave out the tea?

  • Anonymous says:

    I want to try the henna gloss as long as it doesn't loosen up my curl pattern. Nikki's hair looks awesome!

  • Anonymous says:

    Just tried a henna gloss for the 1st time tonight. Thank goodness for Curly Nikki! Not only was it easy but painless and mess free thanks to all of her information and tips. Can't wait to see how it looks and feel come tomorrow!

  • WineGrrl says:

    I am going to try this henna gloss thing. We shall see how it goes. If it goes well, I might blog about it!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been wanting to use henna for a long time now but I'm so afraid of hair lose because my hair is very dramatic sometimes.
    When my hair don't like a product, I get hair shedding.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Nikki,

    I want to purchase the same henna you use, and I need to be sure that I purchase the same kind. You mentioned that you use BAQ Henna, well after going to the website,, the only Jamila henna I saw was Jamila 2009, its a box with a lady on the front wearing a pink shirt with her hand resting on top of her head. The lady is also wearing a white scarf. Is this the same as the BAQ henna? Is this the one you use? If not share with me specifically which one you use.

  • LovelyB says:

    I did a henna gloss && a step by step post on my blog — LOVED the gloss. was waaaaaay easier to apply and less drying than a full treatment.

  • Anonymous says:

    Just tried the henna gloss and added 2 tablespoons of honey. It turned out great! My hair is so soft and conditioned. Love it. I will definitely do it again.

  • CassandreF says:


    I'm sorry if you've answered this already but what's the difference between a gloss and a full henna treatment?>


  • Anonymous says:

    Hello!! My name is Mellisa and I am NEW to the whole going Natural thing and I just want to know- How does your hair stay so brilliantly Black after all the Henna treatments that you do???

    ~ Mellisa

  • lyn says:


  • Nki says:

    Hi ladies,

    I made my henna a bit too runny and don't have anymore left. Does anyone know how I can fix this?

  • Lyn Michelle says:

    I was wondering how often do you do your regular henna treatment verses the henna gloss? Do you interchange & if so how often?

  • Anonymous says:

    Do the Henna Step 1 directly followed my Indigo Step 2 – beautiful BLACK.

    Raleigh, NC

  • Anonymous says:

    OOPS I meant FRESH…
    Raleigh, NC

  • Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to let you ladies know I purchase my henna from a reputable Indian store and it is great!!! The best part is it only $1.49 for 100g.
    BAQ and freash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it ladies.

  • Anonymous says:

    What kind of henna helped you achieve that amazing color? I don't want red hair..I really love the black

  • Anonymous says:

    I did an overnight henna gloss with Dulhan henna, AO HSR Conditioner, aloe vera gel, honey, EVOO, EVCO and JBCO. After rinsing, I co-washed with Yes To Carrots Conditioner, moisturized with aloe vera gel, sealed with shealoe and styled into a puff.

    My hair has a nice burgundy tint and feels great! I love henna! I'll do it on a regular basis–I'm so glad I tried it! 🙂

  • Amaralice says:

    So informative thanks Curlynikki!

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay hi I really enjoy going through and reading your posts!!! They are gr8!!! I tried henna last week Saturday… it was a good experience and I think that my hair feels a little different but I did not get the curl loosening effects and it did not cure my itchy scalp!!! My hair took up some of the colour slightly, hopefully it would change colour the more I do it!! However I am willing to keep trying henna as I want the benefits that I've read about!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    what ingredients should you look for in conditioner to know if it has proteins and cones?

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki…I want to only use Henna for the coditioning effects….don't want red hair…..I love my jet black hair. Please describe how I can keep my hair black and use Henna. Can you explain the steps? Thanks

  • Unknown says:

    Hey Nikki,
    My hair is jet black and I really really like my color, but I also want to try henna to experience its conditioning effects. Is there any way to use henna but keep your hair black? Ive heard of something called indigo, but could you explain what your method would be for using it with henna?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  • drmsd says:

    @diddydiu It's best if all conditioners used during this process are cone and protein free since the henna mimics a protein treatment (i.e. strengthening, but drying).

  • diddydiu says:

    hi nikki!

    "Dunk your head in the tub to wash away most of the mix. Hop in the shower and rinse away the rest using a cheapy, slippery conditioner. It rinses very easily, and you could probably skip the tub dunking :)"

    Must this rinse away conditioner be protein free also?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki!!
    Can I henna on top of chemically colored hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki I was going to recomend using saran wrap, it's easy to wrap around your head and the last time I used it I didn't have any dripping.

  • quite says:

    Will the henna gloss (nikkis 50:50) have the same curl loosening effect as the full strength henna?

  • Shrilaraune says:

    Nikki, I have been running into your site for the past couple of months (ended my transition period this past summer and my hair is almost Bra strap length…I think). Anyway, for some reason I cannot explain, I recently got over my fear of henna and have been doing a lot of research into it. I know you say that the effects of henna aren't that visible, in terms of color, but your hair looks so…black! I've been looking for a way to naturally darken my hair from black (like 1b) to like a blue black color. I love dark black hair and I was wondering if you had any advice. I was told to henna and then use indigo, but evidently that only lasts a couple of weeks. If that's true, how should I retouch? How often is prudent to henna? And how many applications did you do before you started seeing results? Thanks a lot!

  • Cara B. says:

    I'm really interested in trying henna but I'm kind of scared. This is actually the only thing that I've been afraid to try since I've been natural. I do have some permanent color already and I'm afraid that it will really change that color. But I'm really interested in whether (@CurlyNikki) you accredit the henna gloss to the shine in your hair. I've been trying to find something that will give me hair a shine and have yet to find it. I don't use a whole lot of product usually just shea butter and essential oils. If henna is the reason I might just take a chance and try it to see if I get the results I want.

  • Lorian says:

    The PJ in me couldn't be stopped. I went to get a facial at and Indian, Ayurvedic salon and couldn't resist trying out some of the henna they carried. They get their products right out of India. So I will be trying Shahair Ayurvedic henna. I've already tried Rajasthani BAQ and Jamila. So i'm just trying to find my staple…and this could be a local solution. It was $13 for a 200 mg jar. The jar is totally reusable too for future concoctions. I'll let you all know how I like it…it is 85% henna and it also has amla, shikaki, and a few other herbs mixed in. NO METALLIC SALTS! I'm excited!

  • Shenell says:

    Hi CurlyNikki, just wondering if you had problems with your gray hair looking orange when you first started doing henna. I want to try it so bad. I have a few gray strands throughout my hair – but I dont want orange hair. thanks

  • ILoveMyHair says:

    Thank you to my wonderful sister Serita for introducing me to Henna. I am so exited, today is the big day can't wait to see the end results. I am looking forward to having smooth, soft, silky, and shinny hair. Thank you Nikki!

    Much Love, Jeanne

  • Anonymous says:


    if I want to try ACV and Henna would you recommend doin them in the same day if YES which one FIRST????


  • Anonymous says:

    You hair does not look red. Is this only because you have used henna for so long?

  • Anonymous says:

    Can you henna without the color change? I like my natural hair color, and just want the effects of Henna

  • Anonymous says:

    I am curious to do a henna gloss for the shine, softness mostly and a subtle color change (hair naturally dark brown but have golden brown/orangish highlights done early in the year that are growing out that I wouldn't mind having all med-dark brown hair).

    I don't want curl loosening either…those of you who have done henna gloss to keep from curl loosening, would you suggest I not let the henna gloss mix sit for more than 30min-1hr and then apply to hair and only let it sit 30-60min?

    I ordered a bundle from BNB (henna/cocoa powder) because I don't want real dark hair (henna/indigo). Has anyone tried this bundle?

    Should I not add lemon juice and just warm water to the mix so I don't get too much color release?

    I plan to poo and condish the day before and apply to clean dry hair the next day.

    I also plan to deep condish (with heat) after rinsing the henna out and then doing a co-wash to detangle, rinse and style.

    My main concerns about trying the henna gloss is curl loosening and having reddish hair on the parts that are still highlighted (just the front and sides).

    Any suggestions/comments would be wonderful!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have done the full henna application a few times. Now, I rely more on a henna gloss. I don't have to worry about curl loosening. The color isn't as intense. Also, my hair is not as dry afterwards.

  • Anonymous says:

    I want to try henna but wanted to know if you have a light honey brown color hair. will the henna gloss darking my hair? Thanks!

  • The Creative Lady says:

    I love henna. This technique has intrigued me so much that I will be trying it TODAY!

  • Nakia says:

    Henna color is permanent and doesn't really "fade" all that much. BTW- technically any amount of time over 4 hours will not give you increased dye release.

    Henna Body Artist

  • AGirlNamedGoys says:

    How long does the color stay in your hair??

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been wanting to try Henna,scary to do cause Im by no means great at figure out hair things sometimes. I also dont want end up with Ronald McDonald hair either so…I have some choices to make.

  • Kai says:

    I'm confused. How is this different from a regular henna session? I would like to try henna to cover my grays (I have a lot) and to condition and soften my hair. Which should I do? The gloss seems easier and less drying.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Nikki,

    I did a henna conditioning gloss overnight and I'm so happy. I did a 50/50 mix with Aussie Moist and some inexpensive henna from an Indian grocery store. I put on the mix immediately because I'm not interested in the color taking (although it colored my sprinkling of grey hair now has a slight reddish tinge.) It was so easy to rinse out and after my deep condition with Kenra Moisturizing for 45 minutes under my bonnet dryer – my hair was so soft and easy to handle. I put in a set of two strand twists that I will twist out for work on Monday. Each twist is so smooth with no fly aways – love the results, love the site and love all the knowledge that you share! Thanks for all you do, especially during the exhaustion of your third trimester!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi! I was wondering, can I mix indigo with the henna and conditioner or would this be a separate application? This is my first time trying this and I am so nervous. I looove the blue/black hue that indigo can offer though.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Ladies I henna for the first time on Saturday and I am in LOVE!!! This stuff is the truth. I will be doing this again next week. Thanks Curly Nikki

  • Anonymous says:

    Henna Wonder

    I always add Boiled Osmosis water(better than Distilled water)Olive Oil & Honey in my Henna Mix…I only use Henna from the Indian store (not Whole Foods)…you must watch out for Henna that has salts in them (this causes drying). Also, unlike most…I don't leave my Henna on overnite …matter of fact, I sit under the hooded dryer for approx 45min-1hr only this speeds of the color process

    Don't forget…use henna on clean hair!!!

    Comment for Tressabella28—>consider the notes written in this comment or adjust how many times you are using the Henna a year…Good Luck!!!

  • ttndahouse says:

    Hi Nikki, I used Jamila but it was not the BAQ type. What other brands of BAQ Henna are good to try?

  • Anonymous says:

    I did Nikki's gloss this weekend using Hello Hydration Conditioner, a little honey, a little coconut oil and green tea. I LOVE the results! My hair is so soft and easier to manage! This was the first time I ever hennaed so I only left the mixture in for about 45 min, but like I said I love the way my hair looks and feels! I'm def adding this to my regimen!

  • Anonymous says:

    I did Nikki's gloss recipe last night using Trader Joes Nourish Spa Conditioner, and a couple of squirts of honey. Plus I used plain distilled water instead of green tea. I like the results so far. This is my first henna experience….It rinsed out very easily with only one cowash. I had to dunk my head in water first, though.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for the henna gloss recipe. The last henna application resulted in extra dry, crispy hair. In June I'm going to add conditioner and a few cap fulls of moroccan oil. Again, thank you.

  • myrrh says:

    Your hair looks amazing, it reminds me of my hair when i was pregnant. I kept taking prenatal vitamins after i had my baby but my hair lost some of its lushness. I think the high estrogen and progesterone levels in my body while pregnant and lack of shedding was responsible for the great hair i had.

  • ValeriesWorld says:

    Thanks Nikki for that! I will be adding highlights to my hair soon and I want the big hair and the strengthening and conditioning properties. Your hair looks so lovely, I love the gloss and the lushness.

  • Anonymous says:

    Flat twisting is like doing cornrows, except you use 2 strands of hair like a regular twist instead of 3 like when you braid. Your twists lay flat against your head; worked great when I was transitioning. There are quite a few videos on Youtube (and I think a few on this site) to show you how to do them!

  • Anonymous says:

    Flat twisting? How do I find out what this is?

  • Tressabelle28 says:

    Anyone know if this method has less of a affect on your curl pattern? My curls have loosened up a bit after 4 regular strength henna treatments over the last year. I love the color and shine but I'm scared to loosen my curls anymore…help!

  • jd chanel says:

    now i'm gonna be trying henna in a few days and i didn't do a strand test. instead i followed's suggestion of harvesting hair and testing it with one of their samples. is that ok?

  • Anonymous says:

    Where do you purchase your henna? I am taking my kinky twists down and would like to try henna. Do you think it's wise to do it after taking down braids?

  • AlongCameStacey says:

    Looking forward to finding out if yesterdays awesome definition was a result of this henna gloss or the aveda defining whip!!!

  • s.perry722 says:

    BEAUTIFUL! Can you do a indigo dye after this henna gloss???

  • Anonymous says:

    Your results look amazing. I think I may have to try this Henna thing out. (I was scared that it would dry my hair out)

    On another note: Did you cut your hair? It looks shorter.


  • Maricopa says:

    @KeetaRay as far as the dryness you are experiencing from using henna, try adding some essential oils into your henna mix and maybe some honey as well. This will combat on the drying effect.
    @ Nikki, thanks for sharing your glossing treatment proceedure. I can't wait to try it.

  • KeetaRay says:

    This is great! Henna usually leaves my hair so dry and I have to condition SEVERAL times after to get my hair feeling normal again. This seems like a great alternative. I'll try this soon 🙂

    Thanks, Nikki!

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