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?