The traditional method of henna application involves making the dry henna into a paste with the use of an acid to release the color, oil to aid in application, additional herbs/tea for conditioning/color, and water to mix. If you are using a henna bar you only need to grate or chop the bar and mix with hot water.
For shoulder length average thickness hair you will need 100 grams or 4 ounces of henna. If your hair is longer or thicker you may want to double the quantity.
You want to add 1-2 Tbsp of an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to help release the dye from the henna.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite oil (Olive, safflower, coconut, almond) to help smooth the batter and make it easier to apply.
Boil some water and add herbs like cinnamon, paprika, amla or teas like Chamomile, Red Zinger, Green or Ceylon. Add the water to the henna mixture and stir until smooth and about the consistency of brownie/cake batter. If it is too thick add more water.
Cover the henna mix allow to sit for several hours or overnight. The longer you allow the henna to sit the more prominent the dye. Then apply henna to dry hair in shingle technique avoiding the scalp. Cover your hair with plastic cap or saran wrap and allow to sit for at least one hour.
Rinse your hair thoroughly. The henna will be dry and caked like mud so it will take at least 10 minutes of rinsing. You can also run water in the tub and simply let your hair soak while you gently massage it. Once the water runs clear through your hair, follow up with a conditioner and rinse again. Lastly shampoo and conditioner as normal.
As with any recipe you can cater it to your liking. The henna color will gradually fade in 4-6 weeks. You can repeat this process every 4 weeks. You can either discard or freeze leftover henna for future use. Go here for henna gloss recipe.
Henna Tutorials from YouTube:
- Henna mix using vinegar and water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSkNIc40NOI
- Henna application process http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvfBY4Z802o
- Knapsgirl using LUSH henna bar applied by using a color applicator bottle. This is the method I use after seeing her do it it makes for very little mess. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGkmk9rN8L8