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How to properly apply Henna on Curly Hair

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Looking for natural ways to cover greys? It’s true that henna has natural conditioning and rejuvenating properties for the hair and scalp. But how you apply henna, and what you do after is equally important, especially if you have curly hair. Here is everything you need to know about Henna Hair Care.

Disclaimer: I do NOT cover my greys. However, my beautiful curl friends who successfully do have contributed to this article guide.

Henna for Curly Hair

Yesha’s story – “I saw my greys at 24. My premature grey hair growth was probably a result of all the Cchemical treatements on my hair at an early age. (8x straightening treatments and 2x keratin treatments). I’ve also tried artificial dyes either L’OREAL MAJIREL or WELLA PROFESSIONAL at the salon to cover my greys. After a while whenever I coloured my hair I had an allergic reaction. Red rashes all over my body was a nightmare! That’s when I thought I should give Henna a try.  I figured if my hair survived all those chemical treatments then they should thrive with something so natural like Henna too. I tried it. By the third try my end-result was so impressive! 

A word of caution:

  • Henna dries hair out too.
  • It is a chemical reaction, but there are no known side effects. 
  • Extra after care is essential to balance the dryness that follows.
  • Colouring your hair with henna will never give you results overnight!

How much Henna do you need for your hair?

  • Shoulder length hair – 100 gms
  • Mid back length – 200gms
  • Hip length – 300 gms.

Ingredients You need for Henna Hair Care

  • Heena  
  • Beetroot Juice 
  • Amla powder (see process below)
  • 1 tbsp Coffee Powder 
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Curd 
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil / Mustard oil 
  • Iron bowl (if you don’t have an iron bowl you can use a glass bowl or plastic bowl)
  • Hibiscus Tea (optional, thanks @chroniclesoflaura)

Links to Buy the Henna Ingredients

Process to make Amla Water

Note: Do this on the day of application.

  • In 1 glass of water add  2-2.5 tbsp amla powder. 
  • Boil amla water until the quantity of water is half. 
  • Filter this amla water with a strainer. Keep aside. 

How to soak Henna ?

Note: Soak this henna mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • Add Henna according to hair length to the bowl. 
  • Add beetroot juice to Henna
  • Add filtered amla water and mix (You can also add amla powder to the henna powder if you don’t want to go through so many steps.)
  • Squeeze one lemon into the mixture. 
  • Add 1tbsp coffee powder.
  • Add 2tbsp Curd. 
  • Add 2tbsp Coconut oil / Mustard oil (optional)

Pro tips for Henna Application

  • Clarify with SLS-free shampoo your hair first – Do not apply conditioner or mask or oil.
  • Apply henna on damp hair, in small sections for even distribution. 
  • Wrap a cling film around your hair and cover with shower cap for double protection (to ensure your hair doesn’t dry out.)
  • Keep for at least 2-3 hours for best results.

What to do after applying Henna?

  • Rinse out the Henna with WATER only.
  • AIR DRY 80%
  • When your hair is 20% wet coat your hair with your favourite oil. (Do not skip!!)
  • Leave it on 12-24hrs for best results.
  • Wash your hair the next day with clarifying shampoo (to remove the metallic deposits) 
  • Apply your favorite hair mask and style as usual.

Yesha’s Product Recommendations (2018)

  • Shampoo & Conditioner: Only Curls London
  • Deep Conditioner: Inahsi Hemp Mask* (more hair masks here)
  • Styling: Curly Girl Movement
  • Oil: Cachos Brazil Elixir*

*Find these products in India! Use code HONESTLIZ for 10% discount here.

Adding Indigo for Dark Brown Shade

Blogger Safia @Curl.boss says – “Indigo is a bluish purple dye, it converts the orange of henna into dark brown, it only can bind to the hair if it’s already henna-ed and I do the 2 step method. I apply indigo right after I wash out henna (so no oils recommended) Excluding oils will ensure maximum binding between henna and indigo molecules! Please note the process dries out the hair initially, but as the dye settles down and oxidises, cuticles of the hair calm down and hair looks so lustrous!” Find Safia’s Indigo Guide here

Got questions? See Henna FAQs here

There you have it! Hope you are encouraged to dye your hair naturally and safely.

SHARE this guide with your friends today. 

Thank you for watching & reading!

Need more Help? Ask Liz here


What can I mix with henna for curly hair?
Can you use henna on curly hair?
Is henna good for dry curly hair?
How do I get my curls back after henna?

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