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Curly Nikki

Got My Swagger Back- Henna Swagger, That Is…

By January 27th, 202150 Comments

Got My Swagger Back- Henna Swagger, That Is...
Hola Chicas,

And I’m back… after a 9 month hiatus! I stopped henna’ing around 6 months pregnant due to fatigue and lack of time. After G Babes came along, time got even tighter and since henna is such an all consuming process, I put it on the back burner. After a family walk (yes, I exercised today!), I decided to pull two boxes of Jamila out of the freezer. I went back and forth for 2 hours and finally decided to mix it up! I see therapy clients tomorrow morn, so I had to do my abbreviated treatment- – 4 hours with heat as opposed to overnight.

My Mix

200g of Jamila Henna
2 cups of near boiling water
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (because I was out of tea)
2 tablespoons of Honey

I mixed it up, covered, and proceeded to detangle my dry hair using the tangle teezer, twisting as I went. I put on plastic gloves, and applied the henna to one section at a time, untwisting the section prior to the application. I layered it on thick, put on a plastic cap, a scarf, and finally my micro heat cap.

I’m on my way to rinse, deep treat, and twist! Just thought I’d share 🙂

These are pics of my hair yesterday after styling with Jessicurl TooShea on one side, and CURLS Souffle on the other. The CURLS side was more defined and hung longer. The TooShea side felt softer. I think I need to experiment more before deciding which is best.

Got My Swagger Back- Henna Swagger, That Is...

Have you henna’ed lately? What was in your mix?


  • Hilary B. says:

    this mix sounds pretty simple, I'll definitely bookmark it in case I ever get my hands on some Jamila henna.

  • Anonymous says:

    I recently decided to grow my hair i big chopped in 2009 but did not take care of it. Needless to say my hair was super damaged but after three or four henna treatments its kinda back. I just mix vatika oil, conditioner, coconut milk and strong black tea for color release. The results so far AMAZEBALLS!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Well my sister got me to go natural and I had wanted to henna so I've done it twice and my curls are loose looks like the old carefree curl look. I was just wondering if I continue to henna will it loosen my curl. I use the homade flaxseed jell that snaps the curls really well but I get lots of shrinkage too.

    Anyone have any ideas how long to henna to loosen the curl pattern?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello ladies, I am newly natural and in the trial and error stages. Reading this blog I get feeling the majority of you all have multicultural hair. As for me I have the real deal natural hair with very little mixture. I have tried the henna shampoo and conditioner (green tea) and I really like the results but I have had my eye on the cassia obovata powder for conditioning. I recently dyed my hair so I don't want do anything else right now. Has anyone tried the cassia obovata powder?

  • Anonymous says:

    Just henna'ed and now deep conditioning…can't wait to wash the conditioner out and style!!!
    Right after washing the henna out, I noticed the reddish-brown tint even with the bathroom light…
    Think I like it so far…
    I didn't even use my whole mixture of henna but I put it in the freezer for next time (whenever that'll be)

  • JoyCurl says:

    I henna once a month. My current henna mix is:
    -200g Ancient Sunrise from
    -approx 1 tbl natural aloe vera gel
    -enough water to make is the consistency of mashed potatoes then let sit for dye release
    -Then add 2 eggs at room temperature
    -If needed, add honey to make smooth

  • Nappturall says:

    I henna every Thursday I use Jamila Henna/aloe vera juice/castor oil/a little spring water/honey.

    I use to use Jamila henna/lemon juice
    Heard lemon juice ph bqalance is not good for my type of hair, so now I use aloe vera juice.

  • NaturalK says:

    Nikki!! So glad you got your swagger back!!! I've been waiting for you to do a henna update LOL! I got my Henna start from your blog, but I haven't henna'd as often as I should. I abolutely love the effects henna has on my hair. I have extremely thick, tightly coiled prob 4b hair. Where other people can section their hair in 4; that's just the back for me lol. I have to section my hair in 8 sections by twists or 6 sections using goodie bands. After I henna my hair feels so strong and free of tangles and knots. I love color in my hair, so henna is perfect for me! I think my last treatment had to be over 4 months ago (yikes!!!) I am definitely henna'ing (sp) this weekend – it's already in the works… I use the mix from your blog:

    200g Jamila BAQ Henna (butters-n-bars now, but first from
    1-1/3c of green tea (4 bags)
    let it sit then add about 2 tbsp of raw honey

    I haven't tried it with heat yet, but I think I will be incorporating that later on b/c I too have a hectic schedule. I literally just purchased the hair wrap from your response to someone's comment 🙂

    Thanks Curly Nikki!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I used henna for the first time yesterday and I love how it came out. I was afraid because of the dryness and loss of curl pattern comments, but I experienced none of that. I mixed Jamila henna with Cassia, boiling water, ACV, conditioner and some olive oil. My hair came out so shiny with well defined curls. I actually had to mess it up in order to get some frizz.
    Thank you CurlyNikki

  • Anonymous says:

    To My God Given Hair 10…

    You can do a henna treatment and then follow up with an indigo treatment. This will yield a rich, black/blue-black color. See my post above for the e-book or the link below for instructions. Indigo treatments are very similar to henna treatments. It just makes the whole thing a two-step process. Hope this helps.


    P.S. Don't mix your indigo until you're ready to use it…dye release is immediate and it can't sit like henna.

  • texture me natural says:

    I love henna. I really like the way my hair feels after the treatment. My henna treatment consists of: 150g Karishma Henna, black tea; honey; V05 Moisture Milks Passion Fruit Conditioner; (sometimes I may add 50g amla). I use a heat cap at times for about 30 minutes but once I get the micro cap I'll have more versatility.

  • Anonymous says:

    I tried henna for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I mixed 50g of BAQ jamila henna, 50g of amla and about half a can of coconut milk. For me the process wasn't even that messy. Everything went on smoothly and I let it sit for 2 and a half hours. I rinsed and tadaa! No curl loss 🙂 (Probably because of the amla?) My hair feels fuller and breaks much less. My hair is naturally very dark and now I have this darkbrownish reddish tint. Thanks Nikki! I only tried henna because of how you rave about.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Nikki!

    I haven't henna'ed in a while, but was able to squeeze in 2 henna sessions over the past month. I have to say that my really corkscrew curls are now much looser and more wavy (not sure if this is a pro or con yet lol). My hair is showing more length, but the curl loosening scares my just a bit :/ I think I may have to henna once every couple of months 🙂 overall my hair is shinier, thicker, and MUCH softer (major pro here!) I followed Nikki's henna gloss recipe (using honey AND EVOO…I don't measure, just pour until its thick enough not to drip all over the place). I let it sit for 4 hours and then apply heat for the last 40 minutes.

    Thanks for putting me on Nikki!!!

  • Dolores says:

    I thought henna was supposed to be applied to dry hair? I tried it once, and was not impressed with the results, but I may try again. If I knew it could be applied to dry hair, I would have done that to minimize tangling.

  • meeksj says:

    I can say that I love henna as well. I did a henna treatment about 2 1/2 weeks ago & I used the Nupur which I really luv, half of coconut milk, amla oil, conditioner & honey. As usual my hair is uber soft & I love the red highlights that cover my grays. I will never use permanent color in my hair again.. But I always apply to clean hair and I dont wait for the dye release anymore. I will mix it up & slap it on & sleep in it over night, rinse a few times with whatever cheap conditioner i have & then apply a DT & get to styling.

  • Kimmie0810 says:

    I've discovered these plastic caps at Sally's that "shrink wrap" to the head using a blow dryer. I used one the last time I did my henna and it was GREAT! There wasn't any dripping and the cap didn't move around like a regular plastic cap.

    I did have to blow dry the top of the hat to shrink it to my head because it was too big. But I got a good snug fit. It's kinda loud but I was able to sleep with it once I tied it down with a scarf.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love henna! The color and conditiong are great. My fave mix is Dulhan henna, AO HSR Conditioner, aloe vera gel and honey. Once I'm done with my AO HSR, I'll use coconut milk in my henna mix.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love henna! You turned me on to it! My mix is simple, Jamilla Henna (100g), green tea, honey…tis all. I've been doing full henna monthly and henna gloss(1/2 of my previously mentioned mix+condish) monthly, so that my hair gets the benefits of henna biweekly and I can stretch my stash…

  • My God Given Hair 10 says:

    Hi Ladies

    Nikki your hair is gorgeous as usual!

    Hopefully you can help me out. I want to Henna my hair, but I’m concerned about altering my hair color. I love the color just the way it is; it is a deep dark shade of black. Is there henna I can use that will not alter my hair color? I want to henna because if I’m correct, it adds shine, make your hair softer, healthier, and strong. I also understand you get less tangling as well. I’m really anxious to see the results of the henna on my hair! As this will be my first time using henna, is there anything special I need to know beforehand?


  • Anonymous says:

    I LOVE henna thanks to you! I mix mine with:

    Jamila Henna
    hot coconut milk
    HE conditioner

    Leaves my hair super soft.

  • Anonymous says:

    YaY! Keep us posted, CurlyNikki!

    I henna'd my hair two weeks ago, and that was my 4th henna treatment! After the first three, I was worried that henna was making my hair too rough. It would take like 3 deep conditioning treatments to get it back to its equilibrium again. But after the fourth time, my hair is softer and fuller than ever — rough hair no longer :). I think it may be due to the new method I tried…

    I detangled my hair with Tresemme Naturals conditioner, and left that in under a cap for about 20 mins. I then shampooed with Giovanni Deep Moisture shampoo. Afterwards, I slapped on my henna mix of Jamila Premium Art Quality henna + half a can of coconut milk + teaspoon of Vatika oil + hot water. I left it in for work, about a total of 6 hours. When i rinsed it out, my hair was considerably softer than it's ever been after doing a henna treatment. However, I've been fighting the red tint that henna leaves on my hair — my hair is naturally very black and I hate the tint.. it seems to be browning my hair. So I tried Indigo for the first time! My hair was soft, shiny, and VERY black after rinsing it out… although Indigo is a stressful process. Not sure if I want to be a slave to Indigo, but I think I've finally got henna down. I'm still trying to come up with ways to avoid the red tint, but still get the stellar conditioning results! 🙂

  • Carmel Stacks says:

    @CurlyBlasian I use a turbie twist too, keeps the henna warm and in place!

    Ladies I mixed up some this morning and I plan to leave it on for 3-4 hours tonight.

    My recipe is simple:
    100 mg Nupur henna
    black tea until it's mashed potato consistency
    everyday shea conditioner until it's yogurt-like
    nice dollop of raw honey

    I don't measure, I just know the consistency I like when I see it.

  • Anonymous says:

    PS…When I'm rinsing my DT the same night I just hang my head over the tub and use my shower head. I don't bother getting back in the shower.

    Hope this helps. I tell everyone I know about henna treatments. 🙂


  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Ladies!

    I henna once a month…no babies yet, just me and hubby. 🙂

    The Recipe:
    150 g henna
    1.5 cups lemon juice
    2 oz conditioner
    1 oz oil

    The Products:
    Henna- Jamila BAQ Henna
    Lemon juice- Generic bottled variety
    Condish- Generic Matrix Biolage Balm
    Oil- Africa's Best Herbal Oil. Only because my PJ was raging at one point and I have 3 bottles of it. When that runs out I'll use EVOO.

    The Method:
    I have done henna treatments on both freshly washed hair and dirty, 2-week-old dry hair with great success. Can't tell the difference. So for time and sanity's sake I do it on dry, unwashed hair.

    I've also tried a variety of recipes and find that this one works best for me. I like the consistency and eventhough Cathy's handbook says that adding oil will hinder dye uptake, I haven't found it a problem. Though I do the henna treatments primarily for strength and to thicken up those strands, I get beautiful color even on my few grays with the oil.

    I leave the henna in for 4 hours without heat. I have tried 4 hours with heat and have also slept in it overnight and I don't notice a difference between them.

    The Sequence:
    Mix my henna, seal and place on the heating vent. After about an hour I don my latex gloves, section my hair in quadrants and begin applying. I lay it on thick, to small sections at a time. Then, I cover with a plastic cap, a Goody ouchless head band, a second cap and secure it all with a turbie twist.

    After four hours I hop in the shower and rinse, rinse, rinse. For this I put on another pair of latex gloves so my hands don't come out orange. I do a quick shampoo (I know some of you may cringe, but I do it. lol) with Elucence Moisture Benefits and rinse some more with conditioner. My favorite is Aussie Moist, but I rotate them. I don't dunk my head in the tub first, the conditioner in the henna mix makes it easier to rinse.

    I towel off and apply a DT. Leave it on at least 30 min with heat. Depending on how late I get started, I may even sleep in my DT. Rinse and style. VOILA!!


    This is Cathy's link to the henna e-handbook:


  • Stephanie says:

    I did my second henna two weeks ago. So far my mix has been Jamila henna, organic green tea, organic honey, organic ACV and organic EVOO. The results were breathtaking. I do not exaggerate! I’m 43 and for the most part my greys are scattered throughout my fro like “sparklers”, BUT, my mama passed down a Lilly Munster streak of grey hair right in the front. Before henna, that grey streak gave my age away. After henna, the grey transformed to an auburn. A nice auburn too, that blends in with the rest of my hair. It didn’t look unnatural with my skin tone or like I tried to dye my hair.
    The second henna treatment I added hibiscus flower powder and the red was more pronounced and, I must say, it looks pretty and it also compliments my skin tone. My hair feels thick and full and it’s surprisingly shiny. For my March henna, I’ll add amla to my henna mix to tone down the red.
    While participating in the grow out challenge, I’m adding amla oil pre-wash treatments, and amla powder to my weekly deep conditioning treatments and strengthening regimen. I believe my hair sheds more than usual because of my age, and stress, and who knows what, but in my quest for a huge pony puff henna, amla and other ayurvedic powders are staples.

  • imjustacurl says:

    I henna'd last night for the first time in awhile. I used a box of Jamila Henna, 1tbsp of Grapeseed oil, 1tsp of honey and a coconut milk. (the recipe was sent to me by a friend) I left it on for about an hour with a plastic cap and towel on my head…it rinsed out SUPER easy and left my hair feeling really soft. I LOVE it!

  • Laleepop14 says:

    Funny you posted this. I have henna'd twice before and loved it for the conditioning properties and also for the lovely color it left. I just ordered 500 grams from butters-n-bars and I usually use your mix to henna and it comes out great. Not at all messy as I thought and very easy to do once you get the hang of it.. Cant wait to see the results!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Nikki, love the site and cute pics of baby G..quick question..when we purchase the jamila henna (100g) boxes in bulk should we freeze them until we are ready to use?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki,

    Can you tell me if your dry hair was clean (shampooed and air-dried) or if you were coming out of style. Thanks!

  • K says:

    I did a henna on Saturday gone using
    200g henna
    green tea bags

    left it in for about 6 hrs, then did my DC and my hair felt gr8! this is my third henna and i can safely say that I am a henna junkie for life!

  • CocoEuro says:

    I am mixing my henna right now!!! I'm mixing 100 grams of Jamilla Henna with 1½ cups of Chamomile Tea w/ 10 drops of Lavender oil. I'll let it sit for 12 hours to release color (I need to cover my grays), then will add honey. I will sleep with it on overnight and rinse in the morning or until I cannot take anymore (usually around 5 or 6 in the morning). I'm going to use a Hydra cap to help control dripping and to hold in more heat.

    I haven't done a Henna treatment since Fall 2010! My twist sets are not holding and my fine strands are straighter than ever! I'm hoping this treatment will help me get more texture and thickness!!

  • Stepha says:

    Lookin' good Chica!!

    I henna'd a few weeks back using nupur henna, mixed with homemade nettle and marshmallow root tea, 2Tbs of honey. I absolutely love the Nupur. I will be doing a henna gloss soon, to see how the results compare to my usual routine.

  • Honeysmoke says:

    I've cut back on henna because I had serious curl loss. I went on hennaforhair and learned that honey, conditioner and heat could help restore some of the curl. It helped a little. I'll henna every few months or so. When I do, I mix the henna with yogurt and honey.

  • Kimmie0810 says:

    I've always applied my henna to dry hair. I didn't know you guys were wetting/washing it beforehand!

    My 1st henna was done by the Pakistani lady that threads my brows and she told me not to shampoo beforehand so that my hair would have the natural oils–for some reason. So I've just always done it that way. I used to get henna done as a "kid" by a Pakistani stylist but I can't remembered if it was wet or dry.

    I have only ever mixed my henna with lemon juice. I think I'm going to try the green tea and honey. Or ACV. I also said I'd give the henna gloss a try soon. I need all the conditioning/moisturizing I can get!

    I started doing henna in August 2010 and I really do love it. I was hesitant before thinking every time I co-washed there would be a red mess everywhere but I really do love the results–shiny, fuller hair with lots of body.

  • Anonymous says:

    Make sure you are using body art quality henna. It is very finely sifted and easier to rinse. I rinse over the kitchen sink. Maybe adding a little conditioner to your mix could help too.

    HTH and good luck!

  • Dana says:

    I henna'ed about a week and a half ago!!!! I used Tazo's Passion Fruit tea (four tea bags), honey, and Reshma Henna that one of my coworkers got for me from her local indian market. I love it!!!!! the color is amazing!!!!!!!!!!! and my hair is so soft! The washing out process for me is always challenging and I must admit leaves me saying to myself, "Girl what are you doing?!?! All this for color change and conditioning!!!" But the results are AMAZING and I cant stop!!! However, if anyone has any suggestions as to what I can do to not have to rinse like ten times please let me know!!!!

    This is my second time Hennaing. First was with Jamila henna and this time with Reshma… I think I may stick with the Reshma for right now, though… To me it gave it more color. But I changed the mix ingredients this time, so that's probably why. ;-P

  • Anonymous says:

    Anon 8:07 here again:
    Oh, I forgot to say that I do get intense color results even though I dont wait for "color release" ( I apply immediatley after mixing), and add conditioner. I get better and less drying results. I also follow up with a DC tx.
    I think its because I leave it overnight AND I get the good ish from mehandi.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki, your hair looks great! So happy you are back on the henna. Can't wait til Baby G gets old enough to do it! LOL She is going to be soooo cute with her heaad all wrapped up. You know in India they start young – age 7-8yrs!

    Henna is the bomb!!!! I have been hennaing for 1.5 yrs and have had amazing results!

    I have used Jamila, Celebration, Dark of the Moon henna and Cassia- all purchased from

    I have tried a variety of mixes, but my best results come from the following

    200g of henna (or a 100g henna/100g cassia combination)
    1/2 cup of conditioner
    1 1/3 cup of green tea
    1 tablespoon of agave nectar
    few drops of a fragrant essential oil (to cut down on the henna smell)
    2 tablespoons of a nutritious oil (olive,coconut,etc- or a combination)

    I mix it all up at once, put in freshly cleansed and towel dried hair and leave on overnight.

    I do this at least once a month.

    My hair is shinier, thicker, and generally in better health. I also love the spiritual effect of wrappping my head up. I feel like I am doing something nurturing for myself.

  • Nelly says:

    The last time I applied Henna to my hair was around the end of December so I am long over due. I have some time off of work next week so I penciled it in my schedule.I got my recipe from this website so I continue to mix my Henna with Green Tea and honey. Applying it to dry hair? This I have to try….

  • Carla says:

    Welcome back to hennaing!

    I did a henna gloss treatment yesterday.

    100g of Jamila henna
    25g of amla
    hibiscus tea (I made it pretty strong since I buy loose tea)
    Griffin natural conditioner (purchased in bulk at the co-op)
    Africa's Best Herbal Oil and coconut oil (for pre-poo)

    When I mixed the henna with the tea, I wait for dye release. I kept the glass bowl in a pot of hot water for about a hour. I mixed the amla separately and let it cure before mixing the two together. I blended with conditioner (no other oils) with the henna.

    I did a pre-poo with an oil blend, and shampooed after about 15 minutes.

    I left the henna on my hair for 7 hours, co-washed it out and DC for a little over an hour.

  • Quite says:

    Are we supposed to keep the dry henna in the freezer? I bought some last Oct that I planned on using this month..I hope its not gone bad.

  • The Melanista says:

    Hey Nikki,

    I did a henna two weeks ago on a snow day. My mix was 100 g Jamila henna, 1 can of coconut milk, honey, olive/grapeseed oil. I let it sit for an hour. I didn't want the dye release. My hair felt great, afterwards. The process is forever, though!

  • Melodee says:

    Nikki, I will be doing my Henna this weekend…

    I didn't know that you could keep henna in the freezer, does putting it in the freezer pro-long the shelf life?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki. I really want to try henna for strength and shine but I'm scared! My hair is naturally auburn. Will it really make my hair dark red (not auburn)? Is there a way I can get all the benefits without it releasing color? I thought about cassia but the effects are not as long-lasting. Please give me some insight. Thanks!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    yep! I used to do one day treatments like this back in the day. Very quick, very effective. Before I had the heat cap, I'd sit under my soft or hard bonnet dryer for a while. The heat cap makes me mobile which is important these days! I just rinsed and my hair feels great. That was one of only two times that I applied the henna to dry hair. It was awesome and saved time. I didn't have to get in the shower before applying, and just a moment ago, I rinsed in the tub completely (didn't shower), put on the DT, and now, in 15 minutes or so, I'll finally hop in the shower, rinse, and then twist!

  • Clevelandhottie says:

    Hi Nikki! I used your henna gloss recipe and used red zinger tea instead of green tea. I never thought to use heat to speed up the process. I'll have to try it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love hair. Never knew you could speed up the process using heat. Thanks for the tip.

  • Hart-4-Naturals says:

    Thank you!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Thanks for the compliment chica! I didn't know they had stopped selling it! Here ya go–

  • Hart-4-Naturals says:

    Hey Nikki,

    You're hair is beautiful and I love the site. Quick question, I tried Googling the micro heat cap but I can't find anyone who sells it. I don't think Curlmart sells it anymore. I really need something that will allow me to DC or Henna in less time, lol.

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