Henna Part 3: My First Treatment

Laura Billings/ flickr

Laura Billings/ flickr

So I FINALLY decided to try henna

And after months of going back and forth, reading forums and doing a bit of research,  I eventually decided that

1. I wanted to try something that would take my hair to the next level

2. If I was going to color (and I was definitely feeling the itch to), I should try an au naturale way

So, Henna it was!

I could go on and on about the treatment and the results – but I’d rather just show them. (Please scroll down to my older post to see my hair color beforehand – keep in mind, I had 1 year old color in my hair that was growing out and giving a highlighted kind of look)


My ingredients:  Karishma herbal henna, sugar, extra virgin coconut oil, lemon juice

My math (the sad part):  1 whole pack of henna (250 grams), 2 teaspoons of sugar (to make the henna easier to rinse out), 3 teaspoons of evco, and 3 squirts of lemon juice to help the dye release.

I then added enough room temp/ warm warm to get the mix to a paste consistency.  Don’t make the henna mix TOO watery, since this may make application extra MESSY or difficult.

**Next time I think I will keep it simple and just mix henna and some oil**

the brand

the brand

the mix

all the ingredients - this time around

finished product : the good glop

finished product : the good glop

Mind you, I did this all very speedily. Some henna users let the mix sit for 6 hrs- 12 hrs before they apply to their hair, but I let it stand (the dye release) for about 4 hrs tops (I was in a rush – had work the next morning).

Same thing goes for the application setting time, I let the henna stay on my hair for about 4 hrs, then rinsed my head (kneeling over the shower) with water to get the majority of the henna out.  I then washed the rest out with two different conditioners. V05 moisture milk – has good slip for rinsing, and Totally Twisted (Herbal Essence) since it is a lot thicker – for when I wanted to work the henna out with my fingers.

Before a henna treatment you should always clarify your hair (remove all build-up from the hair).

I used Apple Cider Vinegar and water mixed in a spray bottle. You can use whatever product you prefer that is a clarifying agent.

I also deep conditioned with a moisturizing product. THIS IS NECESSARY after a henna treatment, to keep your strands from drying out. I used Pantene Pro-V Breakage Defense Deep Conditioning Mask

For me, this brand was great. I’ve heard people rave about how this henna brand is sifted pretty well, making it easier to wash out than some other brands. I didn’t have any of the problems, which i initially anticipated.


just so ya'll dont get scared, this is a pic of how my henna'd hair looks at first glance. lol  The henna auburn/red color is more of a tint that can be seen in great lighting or sunlight.

**Just so ya’ll dont get scared, this is a pic of how my henna’d hair looks at first glance. lol The henna auburn/red color is more of a tint that can be seen in decent lighting and/or sunlight **

Now for the color pics! These were taken after I got a blow out at a Dominican salon – my last one was a year ago – I DON’T recommend that much heat too often.


ignore the raggedy ends of my grown out bangs - they've already been clipped

I already trimmed those wild ends!


As you can see, the areas where my hair was already color treated are a bit lighter/more auburn.

A length shot for good measure. I was serious when I said I'm tracking my progress!

A length shot for good measure. I was serious when I said I'm tracking my progress!

Overall I was very impressed. Henna turned out to be a great conditioner, it made my hair  A LOT  silkier – and softer as well. My hair just feels different….

The only things I would try different are:

1. Adding less ingredients, as stated above

2. Finding some Amla oil, as this helps to keep your natural curl/wave pattern from being loosened from the henna. I experienced this a bit –  nothing really drastic, but it is also something that wears off in time with the henna.


1. Henna is known to make the hair softer, silkier and stronger. (I most of all wanted to achieve the strength, since I plan on doing a long transition).

2. There are many many ways to henna – some women wash it out as soon as they put it on, as more of a conditioner. Others put  a lot of ingredients in their mix, while  some just use a henna and water combo.

3. Your henna results should become more and more noticeable with each use. More softness, shine and  strength.  Also, your hair will grow darker upon consistent use. (Some users henna once a week, some once a month, and others once a year – Its really up to you and what you think your hair can handle! – I’ll probably go for once a month, or maybe every other week.)

4. You can mix indigo with henna to give a very dark look to the hair – I may try this before the winter.

5. You can also freeze or refrigerate henna (the rest of my mix is in the freezer right now), thaw out and use later.

6. Relaxed ladies CAN use henna (many do), in fact my hair is about half relaxed- half natural as of now. My hair has also been color treated.

7. Please do a strand test on your hair to see if your pleased before applying the henna to your entire head!

8. DO SOME RESEARCH – I would suggest google –> do a search for “henna” and “longhaircareforum.” Their henna threads/discussion really got the ball rolling for me.

9. Be sure to get a brand you’ve researched – I picked one that seemed to get a lot of praise. Some women have complained that henna actually dried their hair out. ALWAYS DEEP CONDITION WITH A MOISTURIZING PRODUCT (not protein) after a henna treatment.

10. You can buy body art quality henna (100 percent natural) from an Indian grocer more than likely, or . I’m sure there are a lot of other online vendors that sell it too :O)

If you have more questions, shoot me an email or post in the comments section.

Also, please see my other Henna posts and the insightful comments/advice left by readers:

Henna Thread : Part 2

Henna Thread : Part 1

:: Happy Styling ::

Filed under: My Hair, Uncategorized

5 Responses

  1. Arnesia Powell says:

    Hi Danielle, does the Henna have to stay on for 4 hrs. for the color to take affect ? Will it drip or run ? Would I have to get this from a health food store ?

    • blackstrands says:

      I think the color should deposit on your hair within 3-4 hours. I would do 3 hrs as a minimum – Some women sleep in it though (w/ a shower cap and towel wrapped).
      The longer you leave it on, the more the color is supposed to deposit though.

      My brand mixed with just enough water (I didn’t measure- I just mixed it in until it was paste like) wasnt really drippy at all.

      You can get body art quality henna from
      or google specific brands you are interested in to see if you can find an online vendor.

      And of course, I would encourage you to try to locate an Indian grocer/store near you, since it would prob be the cheapest option :O)

      I would however lay down some newspaper or old towels, since the henna CAN dye anything that it comes in contact with. My mix really wasn’t messy – it was thick and gloppy, but I did put down some coverage though.

  2. Marilie says:

    I just rinsed out some henna this morning (had it on overnight). I make my mix with green tea and a few squirts of lime juice. I love your detailed description!

    It has been said to leave it on for a minimum of 4 hours to get the color result. I’ve found I get better results for my grays when I leave it on overnight.

    Happy Hair Growing!!

  3. Amaralice says:

    Two years ago I was having real problems with split ends. Following the suggestion of a friend I started using Karishma Herbal Henna once or twice a month with great results – my hair got stronger, less breakage. It also can give tightly curled hair a slightly “looser” curl.

    Here’s my recipe:

    3 parts indigo (to keep my black hair color)
    1 part Karishma Herbal henna (from Lakshmi’s Cupboard online store)
    8 oz full fat yogurt
    generous amount olive oil
    generous amount honey
    generous amount rosemary oil (to mask the indigo smell)

    It should look like oily yogurt.
    Works like a charm. NO shedding and NO dryness.

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