I’ve received a number of questions from readers regarding using henna in their hair care regimen. Today, I’m answering a few questions regarding shampooing and conditioning when using henna.
It’s no big secret that I have a serious love of Ayurveda for maintaining a healthy body and hair. So many people have asked for more posts on Ayurvedic remedies and I will do my best to add more. Let me get right on that…
Do I Shampoo Before Using Henna?
Yes, I do shampoo before I use henna, and here’s why… Over the years I’ve tried a few application methods involving henna and I’ve determined that shampooing my hair before application works best for me. Having clean hair allows the henna to absorb and work better because it’s not fighting through a ton of product. The only product I use before a henna application is, very lightly, Mustard oil on my scalp. The mustard oil makes it easier to rinse the henna off my scalp and eliminates the likelihood of itching from henna residue. Plus, mustard oil promotes growth (I’ll chat about that another time).
Simply, my goals in using henna are strength and color. Not having a ton of product on my hair gives me the best color results. I noticed when I’ve used henna on dirty hair versus clean hair; the color payoff is not the same. My grey hairs tell it all and let me know it’s best to shampoo before a henna application.
Do I Condition After Using Henna?
Absolutely! Conditioning after a henna application is a must. Henna can be extremely drying and some people complain that their hair feels like straw after using henna. It’s a similar feeling that occurs as a result of protein overload. I have only experienced this once and that was a result of not conditioning after rinsing the henna out. Since henna behaves like a protein, it is best to deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner. I like to deep condition under my steamer for 20-30 minutes. Steaming leaves my hair super soft and it does not affect my color results.
How to shampoo and condition the hair after using henna?
First, I start with rinsing the henna from my hair. I’ve found the easiest way to remove henna is to do the dunk method. To rinse your hair this way, fill your kitchen sink with warm water. After you have enough water in the sink that will fit all of your hair, you dunk your hair in the water. While your hair is underwater, you want to use your hands to massage the henna out of your hair. It normally takes two to three times of refilling the sink but this is by far the easiest way to get all of the particles out of your hair.
After the henna is rinsed, I use a moisturizing shampoo to ensure all of the mixture is removed. I typically shampoo my hair twice.
Next, I apply my favorite moisturizing conditioner and deep condition for at least an hour. It is important that it is a moisturizing condition, not a conditioner with protein. Henna acts as a protein and using a conditioner with protein will result in very stiff and rough hair.
I hope these tips help you. If you have any questions, please leave them below.
Do you shampoo before applying henna? What is your favorite moisturizing conditioner?
Is there any thing I can add to it to make my hair brown like chocolate brown?
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Emily Hilton says
I recently bought a lush henna bar, I was wondering if someone could give me examples of shampoos and conditioners to use? I was told to stay away from acidics because it would affect the color. Can I use an actual shampoo and conditioner, or is there specific ones for when you color your hair?
Hi Emily, You can use any moisturizing shampoo after using henna. You do not have to use a shampoo bar or a shampoo for color-treated hair. The same for conditioner. I have a post on what types of conditioners to use after henna.
Joan B. in S. C. says
Thanks for the info. I will do more research on indigo.
I’ve never used henna before. I like to live in the edge and use permanent dye
Alisha recently posted…Why did MY daughter have to get Vitiligo?
Girl, I’m not even messing with you. lol Go ahead and live dangerously. lol Shoot, I still want my purple tips.
Joan B. in S. C. says
I start henna/hendigo days with the usual pre-poo, shampoo bar, then henna with about a quarter cup of deep conditioner added under the steamer, rinsed out with a cleansing conditioner and followed up with a deep conditioner under the steamer. Adding the conditioner to the henna makes it smoother and much easier to rinse out. I’m wondering if I can use the deep conditioner in the indigo. Mine always seems to come out a little crumbly.
That goes with another post coming. That is a henna gloss which is a little different. I wouldn’t advise using indigo with conditioner b/c it will change the final color.