Your hair can benefit from henna, but the type of henna you use can be good or bad for your hair. First of all, henna is only composed of the plant called Lawsonia inermis. If your henna has more in it than that plant, use it at your own risk. Henna has become so commercialized that, like tofu, you need to question the quality and source. If the instructions on the package have special requirements for mixing it, like don’t use metal, use it at your own risk. Henna is an herb. Like most herbs, it’s best to use glass when using them to make anything because glass does not absorb the properties. However, using metal to mix them won’t hurt. Unless you are dealing with fresh onion.
If you have tried henna before and it didn’t work for you or you feel like it ruined your hair, think about how you mixed it or the quality of it. Henna is a plant that is used to condition the hair and scalp as well as deposit it’s natural color. It is not used to moisturize the hair and scalp. So if your hair came out rough, it’s okay. Your mix or type of henna (who you bought it from) is the problem. If you just mix your henna with water, you will be left with rough hair. If you mix your henna with water and/or a hard protein (egg, etc.), your hair will probably be left rough. If your henna is not body art quality, you run the risk of ruining your hair. Why body art quality? Because body art quality is usually 100% all natural henna and doesn’t contain metals or any other additives. Henna that has additives, that you didn’t add yourself when you mixed it, can do funny stuff to your hair. It can even cause hair breakage or potentially balding.
So how should I mix my henna? If you don’t want to change how you mix your henna, but you want to fix the roughness, do a deep conditioning treatment after rinsing out the henna mix. Or you could mix your henna with coconut milk, yogurt, etc. These things are light protein, but they are heavy on imparting moisture. So by combining them with henna, you eliminate the rough aftermath. Also this combination helps your hair take in moisture and retain it. Remember henna is known for being a good conditioner, and by combining it with a moisturizer, you have yourself an all natural hair conditioner. I will say that a good henna mix can be a pain to wash out. Henna is the powder made from the plant’s leaves, so as your hair sucks everything in, it can dry hard if you leave it on without a plastic cap. However, over time it will transform your hair in a good way. It will help tame frizz, help your hair begin to retain more moisture, and it can help your hair become shinier over time.
Conditioning Henna Mix:
1 cup of Coconut Milk or Yogurt (more or less depending on the thickness and length of hair)
1/4 cup of Jojoba Oil (or oil of choice)
1/4 cup of Honey
Heat coconut milk over low flame. DO NOT let the coconut milk boil. Add oil and honey. Slowly stir in table spoons of henna until it is a creamy consistency. Once it is a consistency you like, pour it into a glass container for storage. Allow it to cool down. Once it cools down it should look like green reddish mud. Apply it to your hair in sections and cover your hair with a plastic cap. Allow it to sit in your hair at least 1 hour. Rinse out completely. The whole process could take up to 3 hours depending on how quick you are at mixing the henna with the milk/yogurt base. Your result should be of course red hair or redder hair, but most importantly your hair should feel softer and have a little more weight to it. It should be a bit easier to comb afterwards. It should also bring out any red highlights in your hair and make your hair less frizzy.
If your want the benefits of henna, but not the color, mix your henna mix with a 1/4 of henna and 3/4 of cassia to cut down on the red. Cassia is another plant similar to henna in properties, but without the strong red color. You can also adjust the color of the mix by steeping or soaking herbs in the coconut milk/yogurt mix before adding the henna, honey, and oil. Just make sure you strain the herbs out. It’s easier to strain the herbs out of warm but not quite hot coconut milk/yogurt. Hope this recipe works out for you. If you try it, be sure to share your results.