By Hadassah Agbaps - July 12, 2015

Hi people, what's been on?

Henna is popularly known as "Lalle" in Northern Nigeria which is used to decorate the hands and feet of brides and their guests. Most people aren't really aware that you can also use it in your hair.
 I wasn't either until while searching for a solution to strengthen my fine natural hair, I stumbled on CurlyNikki's experience with it.

I remember vividly how it used to be sold in cups in Central Market, Kaduna and I only purchased it for DIY "lalle" designs and to color my nails red.
I liked the way it looked when your nails grow out, like red french tips.

My first experience using henna for hair was really messy and I had red palms and spots of red on my neck and ears. Subsequently, I can say I'm so good at hennaing my hair I can do it with a white shirt on!

I've also tinkered with different mixes, I used plain water (like a gloss), vinegar (good color but stinky), lemon juice (consistent dye release but I fear for what the constant use will do to my fragile strands) and green tea (takes so much time for dye release).

For smoother application and rinsing, I've tried using honey, conditioner and oil.

I've finally found a mix that works for me, is easier to apply, easy to rinse out and makes my fine porous hair feel good and strong and also help me maintain my copper colored tips.

My mix is this
1 cup henna (sifted to remove twigs since I use the locally sourced one)
VO5 moisture milk conditioner
1 tea bag of green tea
1/2 cup diluted lemon juice (1 part lemon juice, 3 parts water). Sometimes I used ACV (1 part in 3 parts water) if I run out of lemon juice.
1 tbs Moringa leaves ( gotten from my mum's forgotten stash of dried moringa leaves when it was in vogue to sip moringa tea....yuck...I'd rather use it for veggie sauce).

There's not much science to mixing it, just put everything together and add conditioner until it's a consistency you can comfortably work with.
Then allow to stand until the green colour changes to rusty orangish reddish color.

Apply to your hair like you would a relaxer in sections. You can clip or twist away sections as you go. For convenience, when I'm done I carefully pile my hair on top of my head like a bun and place a showercap on it.

Process for as long as 1hr or more for deeper color.

To rinse it out, get a cheapy conditioner (Petals conditioner) and cowash it out under running water preferably under the shower.

If you don't have a shower head, fill a big bucket with water, place it on a stool so it's high enough to dunk your head in without dislocating your Swish your hair in the water to dislodge most of the henna, then cowash until you're hair is free from most of the henna bits.
By cowashing, you'll be conditioning your hair at the same time as washing it two steps in one.

Blot dry and apply your leave in. When your hair completely dries, you can dislodge any henna bits you missed by simply ruffling your hair.
When I'm in a hurry, I speed up the drying process with a blowdryer to quickly get rid of the missed henna.

So that's my henna routine. I do it once a month....sometimes once in three months when I just can't...(I use my modified Aphogee two step protein treatment instead).

Time saving tips for henna treatments are
- Prepare in advance
- Apply to dry hair
- Add a slippery product into your mix (honey or conditioner)
- Do it overnight to get deeper color while you sleep.
- Rinse under a stream of water.
- Shake off left over henna when your hair dries.

Hennaheads, how do you keep it simple?

Interested in trying out henna?
You can buy it here,

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. I did henna 3 days ago. Sourced locally from Hausa people in my area. They filled and pressed a 50g coffee container for N700..which I thought was a good bargain. Little did I know that the thing was half full of debris! I totally forgot to sift first before using. Till now I'm sure the grit hasn't finished in my hair. I hope I have time to sift the remaining...but next time I think i'll do the packaged type.

    1. Lol! That can be annoying ehnn! You can try sifting them and then blending using a dry blender for smoother henna.

  2. I might try your combo with indigo.

    1. Will love to read about your results.

    2. Hi pls. Do u kno where I cn get indigo here in Nigeria?

  3. I usually prepare my henna and leave overnight then apply it the next morning and wash out in the next 30-45 minutes. The leaving overnight step ensures that most of the dye releases,thereby cutting short the time that the henna stays on my hair.I know it seems like 30 minutes is too small but believe me it actually colours my hair pretty good.

    1. That's a very fast henna session! Yes it will work. For me it's mind over matter as I want my hair to absorb the dye as soon as it's released... Lol!

  4. Been thinking about henna but the thought of that mess... *shivers*

    1. Hahaha but you know once you go the DIY route (avocado, egg, vinegar etc) for haircare, it's always messy and/or smelly....
      You can try Chindinma's method as she's brilliantly cut down application time to 30-45mins so no need for worrying about the overnight mess and if you try dunking your head to rinse before going under the shower, you'll have less henna flying about.

  5. Any effects using henna after a permanent dye?

    1. I have dye (copper colored) in my hair and I've seen no negative effect on my hair. The only thing is if your dye is lighter than the henna color, it can change it but any darker, no visible effect.

  6. I have never henna'd my hair but plan on trying it to lighten my hair. I've heard that the dye is time sensitive so you should apply it to your hair as quickly as possible.I'm not sure how true that is,though. I read curly nikki's experience and recipe for henna and I think I'll be following her recipe for my first attempt.


  8. I have 4c hair type and haven't used it before. Besides,my hair is very dark, won't the henna color my hair?
    Secondly, I want waist length but having problem retaining length. I have been natural for 9yrs plus.

    1. The henna won't color your hair on first application. You would need several applications to even see the color in the light. If you have grey hair though, it can change it to gold on first application.

  9. Where to get original henna in Nigeria

    1. I buy mine from Bazaar supermarket in Ilupeju.


Have a question or comment? We would love you to share!!!!