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henna your hair

Henna Your Hair at Home

Why head out to a beauty salon to henna your hair? You can easily do it at home.

Henna, popularly known as mehendi in India, has been used down the ages for coloring hair. Henna is not only a coloring agent; it is one of the best natural remedies for hair growth. It also prevents dandruff and itchy scalps and is a good conditioner.

Here’s the recipe for natural henna powder for hair and the right technique to apply it.

Natural henna powder

  • Get fresh henna leaves from a henna plant, remove the small twigs and dry under the sun till the leaves become crisp.
  • Use the large mixie jar first to crush the leaves and the small jar to grind into a fine dry powder.
  • Store in a dry, air-tight container.
  • To enrich this powder, you can make similar dry powders from amla, hibiscus leaves, fenugreek or methi leaves and curry leaves dried under the sun and mix into the henna paste.

How to henna your hair at home

  • Use an iron pan for mixing your homemade henna.
  • Take 4 tbsp of henna powder (or more if you have long hair) and mix with yogurt or tea decoction. You can also use lemon juice instead of yogurt, and coffee instead of tea. Make a paste the consistency of yogurt. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap and allow the henna to cure for 12 hours in a warm place.  The next morning, add whites from two eggs and apply over dry and previously shampooed hair, starting from the roots.
  • Rinse with warm water and dry naturally (without using hair dryer). Apply a natural oil like castor, almond, or coconut oil for overnight color sealing. The following morning, wash with a good shampoo and condition. Dry naturally again.
  • Henna does not change the color of your hair, but coats it with color. Black hair gets a reddish sheen and blond or grey hair will acquire a brilliant orange tinge, while brown hair will change to a deep shade of auburn. Grey hairs could turn a bright pink-orange.

Benefits of henna paste

  • Henna not just colors but adds greater shine, conditions and has healing properties.
  • Yogurt is good for dandruff treatment, removes dead cells from the scalp and smoothens hair, locking the color.
  • Egg whites have anti-frizz properties and contain protein that helps hair grow, sealing split ends. It also smoothens hair.
  • Tea decoction is a color enhancer and anti-oxidant, and repairs damaged hair.
  • Iron from the pan enhances the black color.

Steps to apply henna the right way

Applying henna can be messy, especially if you have long hair.

  • Apply Vaseline to your face across the hairline to prevent henna stains on the face.
  • Wear gloves and start applying henna with a brush from the top, taking a small partition of your hair.
  • Start from the roots closest to the partition using lot of henna for a thick application.
  • Apply a thick coat of henna along the length of the hair while you are winding it. Twist and leave the applied part of hair out of the way.
  • Make a partition closest to the section of hair you just applied henna and continue similarly.
  • Keep piling the hennaed hair at the top of your head till you have covered your entire hair.
  • Cover your head with a plastic cap.
  • Wash off with warm water after two to four hours. For deeper color, you can leave on for longer periods.
  • Ensure you remove all the henna from your hair. Use a conditioner and wash off. Dry naturally.
  • You can oil your hair at night and use a shampoo the next day. Ideally, you can wait for three days to shampoo your hair to allow the color to deepen.
  • Do not shampoo for at least 24 hours after hennaing your hair.

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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity. Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…