The Benefits Of And How To Henna Relaxed And Natural Hair Part 2

African american woman touching her hairIn the previous post we took an in depth look at what henna is, how it works and the pros and cons of using henna as part of a healthy hair regimen. In this post we want to take a more practical approach and get to ‘mixin and applyin’. The whole point of processing the henna plant is to harvest the dye that it produces to reap the benefits of it.

When it comes to mixing, it is often recommended that you use something that is acidic or at a pH level of about 5.5 for ultimate dye release of your mixed henna. At this point we should note that there are studies that have proven that acidic substances such as lemon juice actually inhibit the release of henna dye and that methods of fermentation using plain water seems to work the best.

This however depends on what side of the world you are on, how you define fermentation and the type henna you purchase. Without arguing semantics, the basic science states that acidic liquid dissolves the cellulose in the powder allowing the lawsone (the dye in the henna) to be available to bind with the keratin particles in your hair.

We are getting sciencey again but bare with me. You see, its important that the hydrogen atoms in the lawsone remain intact for any binding action to take place. If it remains intact the lawsone should bind without any issues to the keratin, producing a rich dark color, if this doesn’t happen you will be left with something of an orange persuasion which also means less strengthening benefits.

The Henna Mix

It is difficult to say exactly how much liquid to add to your mix, but you want a paste like consistency. The best way to do this is to add a little liquid at a time until you get something similar to mashed potatoes or thick cake batter. Seal the bowl that you mixed the henna in and store in a cool dark place overnight for the dye release magic to happen.

Other popular acidic based liquids for mixing henna include green tea which is slightly acidic, often used by hair gurus such as Curly Nikki or coffee which is what I get at my henna salon. Rain water, grapefruit juice, wine and cola are all great candidates as well but somehow the idea of pouring a can of coca cola in my hair just isn’t as appealing as coffee but to each his own.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


  • ✔︎ Discover the truth about black hair growth
  • ✔︎ Identify tips that you can start using today
  • ✔︎ No expensive products to buy
  • ✔︎ Perfect for beginners!

  • atm

    BHI thank you so much for all your help. I beyond appreciate. I want to try the henna as well. My hair is black; not so dark like jet black though; so I’ve wondering what degree of reddish tint I would get from henna-ing. I would not mind something extra light that’s a little visible in the sunlight but I’m not too keen on obvious dye. I already got the henna because I was of the impression that it would not change the colour much and I plan to use it tomorrow but I am a little anxious. Should I still use the henna or just stick to aphogee, which works just fine for me anyways? Thanks a lot.

    • Emily

      Hello love, on black hair or jet black hair you do not see an obvious “I just dyed my hair red” kind of thing, but u will see the hint of color almost like a rinse I while you are in the sun. It really is pretty!

      My mantra is if ain’t broke don’t fixing it… I adore aphogee so I would not phase it out because for a quick protein fix without fuss… It’s the best. You should try the henna if just one time, just to see how it is for you. That way you can judge for yourself if you should use it again. Some women swear by henna… Others hate it so it is defin. Trial and error.