Masks and Rinses Part 1: Henna for Natural Hair

Hello lovelies!

Welcome to the first week of having two posts up. I love tutorials as much as the next natural but I prefer to have helpful information that will help me maintain healthy hair practices. These two conflicting needs informed the decision to post twice a week. I think I am excited. To be honest, I am excited and scared: excited because YAY let’s do this and scared because it is definitely a challenge to consistently deliver. Since I have decided to try it out, we’ll start off with a series on masks and rinses. Part one is about henna for natural hair. To echo Mwalimu John Sibi Okumu’s words, “Onwards, onwards!”

The Story

When I stopped blowdrying my hair, one of the things I took up was the henna treatment. I got my DIY henna recipe from Craving Yellow. As with anything else, I fumbled about the first few times but eventually mastered the process. In 2016, I drastically reduced the number of henna treatments I was doing because I colored my hair and didn’t want to risk drying it out further. Initially, I found that the henna treatment dried out my hair. I have recently re-incorporated the treatment in my regimen and I’m loving every bit of it! Those who follow me on social media might have seen a no-product hair picture last week.

That glow was all thanks to this henna treatment for natural hair.

 Henna for Natural Hair Recipe

I tweaked the ingredients and this is what works for me. You will need:

1.One packet of natural henna

If you are in Kenya, you can use this brand by Crown (I don’t know about the other best henna brands for natural hair but this is the one I use). It is available at Best Lady for about KShs. 80. One lemon

2. Half a cup of hot black/ strong tea aka strungi

3. A tablespoon of Methi/ Fenugreek seeds ground into a powder

4. A handful of mint leaves (optional)

5.One tablespoon of olive oil (You can substitute with whichever oil works for your hair)

6.Vaseline or petroleum jelly of your choice

7. A plastic bowl

8. A plastic spoon

9. A sieve

10. Gloves

11. An old newspaper

12. A plastic bag or a shower cap

Making the Henna Treatment

  1. Roll the lemon, cut it in half then squeeze out the juice and set aside
  2. Roughly chop up your mint leaves
  3. Boil a cup of water
  4. Place your tea leaves/ tea bag and mint leaves in the water and let them steep
  5. Avoid the temptation of having your cup of tea from 4
  6. In your plastic bowl, pour the packet of natural henna and Methi powder
  7. Add in the lemon juice and tablespoon of olive oil
  8. Slowly add in the hot mint tea and stir until you get your desired consistency. (Personally, I prefer to have a moderately viscous consistency)
  9. Cover the bowl in cling film or a plastic bag and let it sit in a warm place for about a day. This is necessary so that the natural henna dye can be activated

As a side note, it is best to have cleaned your scalp with shampoo a day or two before the treatment. It would also be best to prepoo your hair with oil about a day before and section your hair.

After the 24 hours:

  1. Apply petroleum jelly all around your hairline so that the henna doesn’t tint the skin around that area
  2. Sieve the mixture so that you end up with the thick liquid and remove most of the particles from the henna and Methi
  3. Place your newspaper on the floor and wear your gloves
  4. Apply the mixture all over your head ensuring that every hair strand is coated
  5. Wear your plastic bag or shower cap and let the mixture sit for about six hours. You can also fast track this process by using a dryer
  6. Once the time has lapsed, rinse out the treatment by running water through your hair until it becomes clear

Caution:

To say that this process can get messy is a bit of an understatement. First, you need to get the consistency of your mixture right. If it is too runny, the henna will be running down your face and neck. Not only is this unsightly but the mixture can stain surfaces and clothes. Second, it is of utmost importance to sieve the mixture. If you don’t, you will be transferring henna particles everywhere you go and every time you comb your hair for days to come. Third, if you do not fancy having a stained shower cap, stick to using a plastic bag to cover your hair while the treatment has been applied. Lastly, always do a strand test the first time around. This predicts and helps to prevent allergic reactions.

Benefits versus Shortfalls of Henna Treatment

  1. The henna coats your strands thus strengthening them. The treatment should therefore not be followed up with a protein treatment. On the other hand, some hair types experience extreme dryness as a result of the henna. This can lead to brittleness as well.
  2. The natural henna will likely leave your hair with a brownish tint although it isn’t noticeable. This is good news to some and bad news to others.
  3. The Methi/ Fenugreek has conditioning properties. It helps to counteract dryness and leaves the hair soft. On the other hand, it smells like maple syrup. Some people don’t like this. However, it isn’t much of an issue since it is being mixed in with other ingredients which dampen the smell.
  4. The olive oil comes I handy if you have not prepoo’d your hair. I don’t know of a downside to having it in the treatment.
  5. The mint leaves provide antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which are great for the scalp. The scent is also refreshing and reminds me of menthol.

Conclusion

I know that all the information might be a lot to take in all at once. The great thing is that you can bookmark this post and keep revisiting it until you’re comfortable enough to prepare and apply the treatment without referring. With time, you will know what to add or remove from this henna treatment recipe to make it even better for your hair. I know it has done wonders for Bella over the years. I hope it will do the same for your mane.

With those many words :-D, kindly subscribe via WordPress or email  to get automatic alerts on new content. Feel free to follow me on IG, Twitter and Facebook with the accounts below. See you on Friday for a new tutorial. 😉

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8 thoughts on “Masks and Rinses Part 1: Henna for Natural Hair

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