henna and tea vs henna and lemon 1 hour by hennacat

There are so many different recipes for mixing henna for hair and I am often asked “what is the right recipe?”. This blog post covers my favourite, and the simplest recipe for hair,  henna and tea.

Henna covers all hair beautifully, giving colour, shine and health, but what is the right recipe for you? To some extent, the answer to this depends on:

  1. The colour you want to acheive
  2. The ingredients you have to hand and are prepared to use
  3. The amount of time you are prepared to spend with henna on your head

The tea recipe is right if the following applies to you:

  1. You want to acheive a bright strong henna colour (see the photo above)
  2. You have dry hair that responds badly to previous lemon juice applications, or your prefer not to use acidic lemon juice on your hair
  3. You want to mix and apply your henna on the same day, and leave it on for about 3 hours.

The recipe

Make some strong black tea by mixing three standard tea bags and about 250ml of boiling water. Let the tea cool to lukewarm. Sift the henna powder into a bowl and then add the cooled tea. Mix to a yoghurt like consistency, and then fill a large cone to apply to your hair. You can apply the henna straight away or leave it to brew and settle for an hour or two. I usually leave it for an hour to brew.

Leave the henna on your hair for the amount of time to acheive the colour you want. This chart for blonde hair and this chart for brown hair will help you decide how long to keep the henna paste on your head.

There are a seven other things to remember  to ensure that the application is a success.

  1. Use clarifying shampoo
  2. Use a large cone / piping bag to apply the henna paste to your roots
  3. Wear gloves
  4. Leave on your hair for a minimum of three hours for a strong colour
  5. Cover your hennaed hair in cling film to ensure it doesn’t dry on the hair
  6. Mermaid your heair before rinsing
  7. Wait for three days to let the colour fully develop
  8. Use beautiful natural henna

Here is each step in more detail:

1.       Use clarifying shampoo

Preparation is everything as build-up of natural oils, shampoo, conditioning and styling products can shield the hair shaft from henna, especially if you use silicon containing products.

It is therefore really important to remove this product build up by using a ‘clarifying shampoo’ on your hair before applying henna. Clarifying shampoos cut through natural oils and product build up to leave your hair squeaky clean and ready for henna application.

2.       Use a large cone / piping bag to apply the henna paste to your roots

The simplest and least messy way to get henna paste to your roots is to use a large cone or icing bag, to direct the paste right on to your roots. You can then use your fingers to push the henna paste down onto the hair shaft.  Ensure that all your hair is completely covered in henna, otherwise you will get an uneven colour. Pay attention to the crown of your head, back of your neck and the full length of your hair,  as that can miss out on the paste.

3.       Wear gloves

Henna paste will stain quickly, and it just loves to stain skin and nails, so make sure you wear gloves for both application and rinsing out of henna. If you don’t wear gloves you will stain your hands orange, and your nails as well (this will be permanent until your nails grow out)

4.       Leave on your hair for a minimum of three hours for a strong colour

The longer you leave henna on, the stronger the colour. I usually leave my henna on for 3 hours, but if I want a particularly strong colour, I’ll leave it on for up to 12 hours.

See these posts for some examples of the different strengths of colour you can get on blond hair and brown hair.

5.       Cover your hennaed hair in cling film to ensure it doesn’t dry on the hair

I have conducted experiments that show that if the henna dries on the hair, it essentially stops the dying process. To ensure that you get the best colour, wrap your head in cling film, and foil, to keep the henna paste nice and sticky.

6.       Mermaid

When it comes to rinsing out your henna, you will find that my henna products rinse out like a dream. To make the process even less messy why not ‘mermaid’ your hair. To do this you fill your kitchen sink or other large bowl with warm water and soak your hair for a few minutes. This loosens and removes a lot of  henna and means that you can then rinse your henna very quickly out of your hair with a shower attachment.  Remember that whatever the henna comes into contact with, it will stain.

7.       Leave for three days to let the colour fully develop

Dry and style your hair as normal, and make sure that you wait for three days for the colour to develop. The first two days you will notice an almost neon orange glow which soon settles.

8.   Use beautiful natural henna

You should notice much improved condition and shine when you use henna on your hair – so keep on using it. But do make sure you buy from a reputable henna supplier. Here at Hennacat, independent henna suppliers, we use our products all the time and make sure that they are of the highest quality.  Where possible we work with organic suppliers, and always buy direct from the manufacturers to ensure the provenance of our products. You can check out our products over at our shop site.

So remember, to get the best henna colour:

  1. Use clarifying shampoo
  2. Use a large cone / piping bag to apply the henna paste to your roots
  3. Wear gloves
  4. Leave on your hair for a minimum of three hours for a strong colour
  5. Cover your hennaed hair in cling film to ensure it doesn’t dry on the hair
  6. Mermaid your heair before rinsing
  7. Wait for three days to let the colour fully develop
  8. Use beautiful natural henna

To buy henna for hair, go here. Our secure online henna shop has all the supplies you need! To talk to a henna for hair expert get in touch with hennacat through the contact form.

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