Stink Free Henna Recipe
I have been dyeing my hair with henna for about a year now. Henna is an all natural dye that has been used for thousands of years. I absolutely love it. It looks natural, adds shine, and makes my hair feel healthy. It is much cheaper than salon visits and is way better for your hair.
This is my hair about 3 months after a henna application.
My roots are starting to show. My hair is quite dark but about an inch down and you can see the line. Notice how much more vibrant the henna section is? For someone with lighter hair this would be way more dramatic.
But alas, it is not perfect. I have run into two problems when using henna.
Its messy. With a little practice I’ve learned to avoid most of the mess. Here are my tips for keeping things tidy:
- When mixing use a plastic bowl that you don’t care if it gets stained.
- Clean up spills as soon as you can.
- Keep your mix thick. Most people get it to a yogurt consistency. I do greek yogurt consistency to keep it from dripping everywhere.
- Apply to dry hair! When I’ve applied to wet or damp hair the henna tends to drip. Putting it on dry hair eliminates this and I have not noticed a big enough difference in results to justify messy wet hair.
- Wear junky clothes that you don’t care about.
It smells like hay. Your hair will smell like hay for days afterwards. It will smell like hay every time you get your hair wet for weeks. Hay isn’t the worst smell but who wants to be remembered for smelling like a barn?
I am happy to say that after a little bit of research I’ve come up with a recipe to cover the stink!
- 100 Grams Henna Powder (I use Ancient Sunrise Rajasthani Twilight)
- 1/4 c Hibiscus Powder (cuts down on orange color)
- 2 Tbsp Orange Peel Powder (for shine & scent)
- Orange Juice
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- Sandalwood Essential Oil
- Orange Essential Oil
Pour 100 grams henna, 1/4 c Hibiscus, and 2 tbsp of Orange Peel into a bowl and mix. (the hibiscus is great for the scalp but it is also quite purple so if that is not what you’re going for leave it out).
Add your dry spices: cinnamon, clove, and ginger.
Slowly begin to pour orange juice in while stopping to stir now and again. You want to get it to where it is wet but very thick. I usually end up using about 1 1/2 cups at this point. The acid in the orange juice will help the henna to penetrate the hair and will also help it to smell yummy!
At this point I usually cover and let it sit over night to help activate the henna.
After letting the henna sit, add in some more orange juice and mix. You’ll want it to be about the consistency of greek yogurt or a thick oatmeal. Pour in some of the essential oils. I used about 5-7 drops of sandalwood. I wish I could have used more but it is just so expensive…. I also used about 2 tbsp of orange essential oil. Go ahead and do more or less according to your preference.
At this point I could not smell the henna at all. It smells quite good like a warm, citrus cider. Yum!
Time to apply to your hair. Make sure you’re not wearing anything you’ll miss and if you don’t want orange hands then wear some gloves. I usually don’t as I find the gloves harder to work with. Grab a small section of hair and focus the henna at the root. Really paste it on thick.
Continue to evenly apply the paste all the way to the ends. When you are done with this strand you can just kind of roll it up and stick it to the top of your head and it should stay pretty good.
Continue this process until you are all out of hair.
Once you’re done it should look something like this:
You’ll want to cover this with a shower cap or plastic bag. I use a plastic bag because, well, I always have them.
Looking sexy, right?
To top it off wrap an old, dark towel around your head to keep in the heat and moisture. I use an old beanie.
I keep mine on for 4 hours. Depending on how saturated of a color you want you could do anywhere from 1 hour all the way up to 12!
Rinse well. If you have a stainless steel sink that would probably be the best place. It is going to take a while to get all the the mud and orange peel particles out. They say not to shampoo for a couple of days. Instead get as much as you can out then load up on conditioner or coconut oil. This will help get out tangles and moisturize, as henna can be drying. Blow dry.
Here is mine all done right after my blow dry. Normally henna is really orange the first day and then darkens up as it oxidizes. I think that the hibiscus really tones down the orange and you get a really nice color right away!
The biggest plus of all with this recipe is the smell. It is really quite nice. I feel like I can go out right away and not be embarrassed. I do still get a very slight hay smell but most of what I can sense is the orange.
What do you think, would you ever try this?
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