Do you want incredible shine and tint from henna?
But without too much fuss – do a henna gloss.
You do use henna for henna gloss, but it’s used in lesser quantities than you would use in a traditional henna.
Gloss refers to the conditioning and moisturising ingredients such as yogurt, egg, coconut milk or any natural conditioner. You can use whichever your hair likes.
I have been shying away from henna for the mess it creates and how effortful the whole procedure is. But ever since my discovery of henna gloss – a few months ago – I am a gloss addict.
I like how easy it is to apply and rinse as compared to usual henna-ing. It adds fantastic copper-red shimmer to my hair. Plus what I like about the henna gloss is it makes my fine hair look thicker, fuller and bouncier.
Henna gloss vs Henna-ing: Henna gloss offers you more conditioning with the benefits of a subtle colour change. While a full on henna application requires more time and effort, but the results are stronger and more vivid.
Besides, if you have been wanting to put henna and are apprehensive about its outcome, I encourage you to try henna gloss. It can be your first step into the mystic world of natural colours.
Also, the henna gloss is not just about color and luster, there are some amazing hair benefits too…
To do a basic gloss, you will need just 4 ingredients listed below.
You can also add one or more hair nourishing herbs to suit your hair’s need.
1. First prepare the henna paste. Mix henna and amla powder with some water to make a smooth paste. It should be the consistency of yogurt. (You can also use lime juice or apple cider vinegar instead of amla powder; any sour ingredient helps to release colour.)
2. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 15 to 60 minutes for dye release (you can also leave it overnight). The longer you let it sit, the stronger the henna will be – which means you will get darker colour results. For those with lighter hair or wanting less colour effect, 15 to 20 minutes should be enough.
3. Next, add the glossing ingredient. My favourite glossing ingredient is egg – I use two eggs for my mid-length hair. I also add shikakai powder, brahmi powder and almond oil* to the henna paste, and mix everything really well.
*If I have already applied oil to my hair I don’t add extra oil to the henna paste.
Tip: If you are using dry powders such as shikakai, brahmi, etc mix them with water before adding to the henna paste. This will create a smoother creamier gloss.
I lightly oil my hair before applying henna gloss mix. This is because henna can be drying, especially in winter months, and use of oil will prevent hair from drying out.
I also comb my hair – this makes it easy to apply and doesn’t create tangles.
Apply the mixture in sections – cover every bit of your scalp and hair for the most benefit. The henna gloss mixture has a bit of ‘slip’ to it, so it is easier to apply than regular henna paste.
I apply the henna mix with my hands. And I don’t wear any gloves. I just put some oil to my hands and they hardly stain. But if you don’t want to take a chance, use gloves (especially if you have added indigo or walnut powder).
Once your head is completely covered with the henna gloss, put on a plastic cap, or you can also use an old scarf (I have a scarf dedicated for henna). Clean any drips off your face, hands and neck to prevent staining.
Leaving the Henna Gloss to Set
For a very subtle red sheen, leave the henna gloss on for a short time – 15-20 minutes. For a stronger red, leave the gloss on for 45 to 60 minutes. I leave mine on for 20 to 30 minutes and it gives my hair beautiful shine with a tint of copper-red.
Washing out a henna gloss is fairly quick and easy. The conditioning ingredient prevents the henna from drying and helps it slip out of the hair. Use lukewarm or cool water to rinse out. (This will look a little messy. But don’t worry…it will clean up.)
Then wash your hair as normal.
If you have dry hair, you may want to skip washing it. Instead, use a DIY hair rinse (marshmallow or licorice ) to cleanse the henna residues and it lifts your hair to another level. Or you can also co-wash using a natural conditioner.
Note: Henna oxidises, so it takes 2-3 days for true shade to set in.
My Hair is so Glossy
My hair gets a beautiful copper to reddish tint which is more visible in direct light. But aside from appearance, every time I do a henna gloss my hair feels so soft and bouncy. And the shine is incredible. I am a fan of henna gloss!
1. If you have dry, coarse hair, use yogurt or coconut milk as a conditioning ingredient. Add slowly to the henna paste and keep mixing to get the desired consistency – don’t make it too thin as it will drip everywhere. (For my mid-length hair I need between 4 to 6 tablespoon.)
2. Some people also use store bought conditioner as a glossing ingredient. If you plan to do that make sure that the conditioner is free from silicones, sulphates and parabens.
3. I love adding shikakai powder to the henna paste. You can also try other herbs listed above. If you have dry hair go for marshmallow root powder – it is a superb detangler, hair softener and skin soother. Licorice root powder is another good herb for dry hair and irritated scalp conditions.
4. For an extra boost, use green tea instead of plain water to make the henna paste.
5. Create a Darker look: If you don’t want the reddish tint that henna often gives you, you can try to add other ingredients to your henna paste to get the desired shade. Henna, when mixed with other botanicals such as black tea and indigo, can create a variety of beautiful shades of red and brown.
6. Lighter/Blonde hair: If you want a lighter look and with all the benefits of henna – use cassia obovota. Also called as neutral henna, it gives hair golden highlights over time especially for light coloured hair. For enhanced colour effects use chamomile tea to make the cassia paste.
To create strawberry hair tones combine cassia with true henna (use 25% henna and 75% cassia).
Have you ever tried henna gloss? Tell me your stories, recipes…
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