Henna is well known for its hair dyeing properties, but you can also use it to condition your hair and even make it brighter – this is possible when henna is used as a rinse.
The good thing about using it as a hair rinse is that you get a kind of conditioning that actually helps lock in the natural oils within the hair strands, which results in a silky and shiny look of your hair.
Note: keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to get henna out of your hair easily, so if you doubt you like it, don’t rush into using it.
Henna Hair Rinse Recipe
The ratio is to use 100 g of henna powder per 12 inches (30cm) of hair.
So, add the necessary amount of the powder in a large bowl, then add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and mix everything. You want to get a thick paste, so you may need to add more lemon juice until you get it – 1 tablespoon at a time.
To avoid staining your hands, wear the gloves during the entire process of making the rinse.
Once you get the desired consistency, transfer the mixture to a plastic bottle, and add in an equal amount of distilled water.
Now, to mix the contents well, close and shake the bottle then set aside for 8 hours.
How to Use It
Always wear your gloves during the procedure! And use lukewarm water (not hot, not cold).
Start rinsing at your scalp, and go till the ends to work through the entire hair length.
Rinse off your hair after 20 minutes with lukewarm water, squeezing the hair during the process to help the henna get washed away, and gently pulling your gloved hands through the hair. But don’t wring the hair.
Now it’s time for conditioning! Apply your favorite conditioner on the hair while it’s still wet and leave it in – this will help with the combing.
If you want to do some styling and it doesn’t come along well with the leave-in moisturizer, rinse the latter out.
Now, keep in mind that using a shampoo on your hair prior to applying henna is not the optimal choice as shampooing will wash off the natural oils.
To protect your forehead and ears from staining by henna, you can use a headband or petroleum jelly (this is probably the simplest way).
Another Way of Making Henna Rinse for Hair
First of all let’s see what’s the difference between a gloss and a straight henna application.
To make a gloss, you need to dilute henna in another herb, or yogurt or in conditioner to make it less potent, which translates into a mild change in color with a greater chance of fading.
As an example of such a gloss, we can make a mix of 2-3 tablespoons of henna with some water, then add in yogurt or conditioner to make the consistency, which can be slathered up the hair.
For the straight application, you can use 200 g of henna combined with enough water.
Another point to note is that adding too much acid will reduce the amount of the released color and create an over drying feeling. People normally add to the recipe a splash of lemon juice or catnip, or even a chamomile tea prepare with hot distilled water.
How to Get What You Want
In order to do so, you need to know what plays the major role in hennaing.
The first thing is the dilution which is quite simple: the more henna you add, the more stain you get.
So, if you want something light, start low and adjust the dilution ration to your needs as you get more experience with henna. The simple thing to remember is that to go darker is always easier than trying to reverse back to a lighter tone.
The time of dye release is another crucial factor: the longer you leave it on the deeper color you get.
Temperature is the next factor, which is often underestimated, but the fact is that if you put on something warm over your shower cap, the results will be better and may come faster.
So to get a faster dye release, mix henna with hot water or a steaming chamomile tea, and keep it warm for 4 hours. If the weather allows, you can even place it under direct sunlight.
Another interesting tip for getting the most out of henna is to store it in the freezer, when it has not been mixed with anything yet. Freezing preserves its potency and provides a better dye release.
There are other things, of course, that can influence the final result, including the plant origin, mixing with different herbs, using tea or coffee instead of water, etc.