My First Henna Recipe

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My First Henna Recipe

I found my sense of adventure and did my first henna treatment this weekend. Instead of doing one long, pic heavy post I’ll be breaking up my first henna treatment: recipe, application, and results.


  1. Rajasthani Indian Henna – 100g
  2. Indigo – 50g
  3. Coconut milk – 1 can
  4. Conditioner – Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner
  5. Hot water – 1/2 cup

Here’s What I Did

Step 1:

I combined 100g of rajasthani Indian henna + 50g of indigo in a bowl.


Step 2:

After mixing the powders together, I poured in 1 can of coconut milk.

Benefits of adding coconut milk to henna: shine, provides moisture and conditions the hair, makes it easier to rinse out henna.

Step 3:

(After switching to a bigger bowl because I was foolish to think I’d be able to mix in coconut milk in that too-small bowl) I mixed the powders and coconut milk together and it ended up looking like a very unappealing bowl of baby poop. Smell wasn’t great either. Smelled like strong hay to me (I’m definitely adding an essential oil the next time I henna my hair).

Step 4:

I mixed in Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner for additional moisture. I added the amount pictured below twice.

Step 5:

My henna paste was still much too thick so I added 1/2 cup of near boiling water. The hot water did the trick and  I was able to achieve what I’ve read over and over is the target consistency for henna paste: smooth, creamy, like pancake batter, and runs off the spoon slowly.

After getting the henna paste to the right consistency, I covered the bowl while the dye released to prevent the top layer from crusting.

I stressed over how long to let the henna sit for optimal dye release. Thank God for the internet and the ever-increasing number of henna notes I have saved. I had this note starred: “henna may be slightly browned when there has been a dye release. Is the henna below the surface a different color from the top? Dig into the henna with a spoon and see if the middle of the henna is a different green from the part that’s been in contact with the air. If the surface is darkened, lawsone molecules have been released and have oxidized where they were in contact with air.” – Henna for Hair, by Dr. Catherine Cartwright-Jones Source

In hindsight I should have prepared my henna paste the night before to give it plenty of time for dye release. After 2 hours I checked on my henna paste and noticed it had browned so I stirred it per the note above. Seeing that the middle was a different color I figured it was ready to use.

Changes I’ll be making next time I mix up some henna

  1. Not mixing in indigo
  2. Maybe letting the henna paste sit longer
  3. Adding an essential oil to mask the smell of the henna + scalp benefits – I’ll most likely use peppermint oil

I’ll post how the application process went tomorrow. Thank you for reading!

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Henna recipe 1 collage

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