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Curly Nikki

My Henna Chronicles – Should I let it go?!

By March 3rd, 202144 Comments

Henna Curlynikki 2021

Hey hey!

So by the looks of my bun in the sun… I’m operating at like 40% gray, right? I figure I’m going to hit a threshold where the orange/red will be tewww much, and I’ll have to let it go, let it gray. But I don’t want to salt and pepper!!!! I want to go STORM or go home!

henna gray hair

I’m clearly over-due for a henna treatment.  I’ve been doing about once-a-month for more than a few years, and only in the front, and only on the roots… only God knows what the back of my head looks like. But what you can’t see on Zoom, don’t matter!

My mix is simple and fast– about a cup of henna powder, cooled, strong Black tea, and a little honey + conditioner.  I leave it in (on dry hair) for an hour or two, and then rinse, condition, and style.  Nothing like the old days!

Do you still henna? At what point do you think I should just say ‘eff it’ and rock the gray?! 

44 Comments

  • April C says:

    I’m at the point where I want to regularly use henna for the strength and smoothness, and the color is an added bonus. I have just a few grays, and I read you can try to reverse gray with black strap molasses (taken internally), but I don’t think it will smooth and strengthen like henna.

  • Keisha says:

    I stopped using henna cause I got tired of the process. I have to be the laziest natural ever. Now I’ll let my stylist do a semi color on the grays. It’s been a while since I’ve even had that done cause she stays booked. Now I have no choice but to deal with it.

    I love henna for you tho! Your buns have ALWAYS been goals!!!🤗🤗

  • Melinda says:

    Hi Nikki,

    My Mom and I both do henna weekly or biweekly. My Mom is in her 60s and doesn’t have that much grays but we both only leave henna in our hair for 15-20 mins at a time (with heat). My mom’s grays are covered in 1 session, once applied evenly. I use Alma powder in my mix and make the henna ahead of time (2-3 days before use). For my Mom we mainly focus on the grays. Usually in 2-3 sessions the henna becomes brick red on fresh grays or the new growth.

  • Msgdfx2 says:

    I was a die hard henna head for years. I even had my husband using it on his hair for strengthening purposes. I gave up on it about 8 years ago because it just got to be too burdensome to mix, apply, sleep in it and wash it out. Yes, my hair was beautiful, but, the brand of henna i used became scarce. I still tint my hair, but, with a drugstore product which works out just great.

  • Bridgett says:

    I stopped using henna a year ago. went to barber and had it cut to a teen weeny afro. I made the plunge because I found myself coloring more often (the gray roots were coming faster). Having looked back. My husband loves my salt and pepper look

  • Margaret says:

    I sill love Henna even after 11+ yrs. I have not thought about giving it up as of yet. I consider it my Spa time. As my mix has simplified, I find it less labor intensive. Your mix has really changed. Do you use cosmetic mineral oil only after Henna or after your washes? Nikki, you should keep on using Henna if you wish and leave it when and only when you are ready.

  • EB says:

    And what brand of indigo and cassia is best?

  • EB says:

    I love all the colors in your hair, they are lovely and unique. I am on the henna train too. Love a lot about it but don’t love the orange tinge on my head. Tried “organic” dye at the salon twice and it felt like fire to the scalp and stunk and I think my hair is brittle now. Do you all have a fave brand of henna? I have been using rainbow which appears to be all natural but who knows. Thank you. 😊

  • Tamey says:

    I still use henna because that’s the only thing that colors my grays. The red/orange color is becoming a lot but I’d rather deal with that instead of the grays.

  • Tippi says:

    I stopped using henna 4 years ago when I moved into an apartment with an stark white bathroom. My grays however are concentrated and my crown is completely gray while the rest is salt and pepper. It is NOT a good look so I started coloring it professionally and I regret it. My hair feels less healthy. I’m moving soon so I’ll let the color grow out and go back to henna.

    • curlynikki says:

      Thanks, Tippi! Sorry you’re going through, but happy you’re going back to what you know works! Coloring my hair feels like a lot, and I remember my stint with highlights back in high school and college being disastrous!

  • Nikki G says:

    I just bought a cellophane to try on my hair for the spring. I shaved all of my hair off back in December and now my grays are coming through loud and clear. I’ve never tried Henna but cellophanes use to keep my hair moisturized with my press and curls way back in the day so I’m giving it a shot. Permanent dyes dried my hair out way too much.

  • Juanda says:

    Personally, I like the colors. You have the color of clouds, the color of red clay and the color of the earth in your crown. If henna keeps our hair strong, I think you should keep using it. I think it’s beautiful as it is.

  • Juanda says:

    Personally, I like the colors. You have the color of clouds, the color of red clay and the color of the earth all in your crown. If henna keeps your hair strong, I think you should keep using it. It’s beautiful as it is.

  • Dot says:

    I let go of the henna some years ago. I realized that it wasn’t helping my hair and it was messy and time consuming. Since following @iamblackgirlcurls I haven’t considered it and plan on finding a colorist to do my hair in the future.

  • Tab says:

    I started using light mountain henna in dark brown and sometimes I add som black in there. It still has the red undertone and my Grey’s still end up red but it’s a bit darker. Than when I used jamilla henna. My hair has a nice sheen as well.

    • curlynikki says:

      I’ve been thinking about adding in some Indigo. I need to go back to using Jamila henna at the very least!

  • Debra says:

    I’m still henna-ing it – I’m at about 30%, but the red strains sing! I want all grey or no grey. I probably won’t give it up til I’m out of henna. I do it quarterly and I have enough for about a year. Maybe if I do it one a month for an hour or two will work down my stash. I only use about 1/2 a c at a time with coffee and olive oil. Love the way my hair feels after a henna treatment.

  • Tia says:

    Hello I have box color in my hair, can I use henna? Thanks for the help! 😊

    • curlynikki says:

      Hi Tia! Some say you must grow out or cut out the color. If you use pure, organic henna powder (with no additives) and do a patch test in an area in the back, preferably, you can see if you have any adverse effects (color or brittlness). I henna’ed over brown highlights with no problems at all, all it did was make the highlights richer and redder, and strengthen my hair, which was breaking in those dyed places. Proceed, but with caution, and high quality henna!

  • Julie says:

    I’ve been colouring with henna for years now. When the pandemic started I decided to go grey just to see how grey I was. So now I’m as grey as I’m going to get and it’s really not that bad but the grey makes my brown hair look dry. I am going back to henna in the spring. I found a premade brand that’s pretty great, less messy and faster so I’m sticking with it for a while longer.

  • Tineybean says:

    I just picked up a couple packs of indigo to add to my henna mixes for that EXACT reason. If it was just a hair color issue, I would let it go, but the strength that henna gives my hair (breakage, who? BREAKAGE, WHERE?) is just too hard to give up. Besides, the women in my family usually dye their gray red as they age (my mom is in full brazen glory, lol), so I’ll fit right in!

    • curlynikki says:

      You know what, you’re so right! And my Grandma Maxine was a red head until she couldn’t dye her hair anymore (well into her 80s)! The strength and fullness is something I’d miss dearly, but this orange, tho. I think I need to up my game again with the staining potential!

  • Melanie Simpson says:

    I am in the same situation. The Orange/red is about to overtake the rest of my hair. I am not yet ready to give up the fight. I recently started mixing my henna with a little indigo. That calms down the Orange/red tones quite a bit. Don’t let go…keep up the fight!

    • Sharisse Chapman says:

      I’m with you Melanie! I mix Red Raj with indigo! I have shaved sides and the red on the gray was NOT the business!

  • Sabrina says:

    Hey,
    I let go of my henna to go gray. Guess what? It’s salt and pepper and definitely weaker and a bit more frizzy. I miss the color and the strength of henna, but not doing it once a month. I had dark brun by LUSH. if I go back, it will be to that same one again.

    • curlynikki says:

      I’m 100% sure I’ll miss the weight and smoothness the henna adds to my length. I go back and forth like the every month. It’s been about 2 months since my last session. We shall see! Thank you for sharing!

  • Mary Taylor says:

    Let it go when you know it will not bother you. I have been rocking my grays and not using henna for 8 years.

  • Mimi d says:

    In the same boat re: grays…I am switching to a cassia mix like 85 % Cassia 15% Henna and see how that goes for a few months. Hopefully less bright red if nothing else would be a smoother transition from the red/Orange to graying gracefully

  • Tina Lashley says:

    I surrendered a couple months ago and I feel like the strongest woman on the planet. I must confess that I am playing with the idea of just coloring it gray 😆

    • curlynikki says:

      I think I would consider dying it gray. That feels like equally frustrating upkeep, tho. And highly unhealthy for my fine, already very fragile hair! Idk! Every time I decide to let it go, I find myself in the kitchen whipping up another batch haha! I’m a work in progress!

      • Robin says:

        I want the burgundy henna color but every time I do a henna treatment it comes out orange & on the bag it says burgundy henna I mix a little Amla and aloe that is it and it orange every time I won’t use it anymore

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