View Full Version : Do I HAVE to wash and dry my hair befor henna?

November 27th, 2009, 07:05 PM
I left it kind of late in the day, it's 6pm, and the henna has been sitting all day mixed with lemon juice.

Do I HAVE to wash and dry my hair before doing the henna as the directions say?

What if I leave the henna sitting until tomorrow? Would it lose anything by sitting so long?

November 27th, 2009, 07:19 PM
Shampooing can be good if you use products that cause buildup. You don't have to dry with a blowdryer. I let my hair airdry before adding the henna to my still damp hair. I think it gets stronger as it sits out more. That's not enough time for it to lose dye strength.

November 27th, 2009, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the response. I have been cleaning house today and I just don't feel like doing it tonight. I'll wash my hair before bed and braid it. It will still be damp in the morning so I'll do the henna then.

I need more lemon juice. I used 4 packets of henna and almost a full BIG bottle of lemon juice. I don't have any left to make it more of a yoghurt consistency rather than like thick mashed potatoes, like the directions say to do after letting it sit.

November 27th, 2009, 07:42 PM
Make sure to use a good conditioner afterwards. I use lemon juice and it sometimes makes my hair a bit dry. You don't have to use that much next time. I usually add water and some lemon juice to that.

November 27th, 2009, 07:50 PM
I can just add water in the morning then. There's a lot of juice in it.

Thank you. I'm sure I'll be taking pictures of the process and results. I kind of dread having to do so much hair though.

November 27th, 2009, 08:36 PM
I put henna on dry hair that hadn't been washed in 4 days and was very happy with the results.

baobhan sith
November 28th, 2009, 04:54 AM
I put henna on freshly washed still-damp hair. But then i just do half lush henna, half gloss, and apply it upside down as though it were conditioner!

November 28th, 2009, 07:27 AM
Many people find that applying henna to wet hair actually aides in the application; goes on easier. As to washing it first, well, if you have alot of cones or buildup of oils on your scalp, it could lower the dye uptake on the hair. If you don't use cones or have an oily scalp, you may not notice the difference.

November 28th, 2009, 07:54 AM
no, you definitely don't have to wash your hair before applying henna! I use henna on very dirty hair and it works just fine. Also, don't mix your henna wth only lemon juice, you just add a splash and mix the henna with water. Only lemon juice is very drying. Use this mix up and then next time try plain water:) There are many people here who don't use anything acidic at all and we stll have red hair;)

November 28th, 2009, 10:35 AM
Henna is very forgiving, you have to work hard to make it not stain your hair. :)

November 28th, 2009, 12:14 PM
I washed my hair this morning but didn't condition it. I combed it out which is amazing to me! I would never, ever, try and comb out my wet hair without using conditioner. One morning I was in a hurry so I skipped conditioner. I could NOT get it combed out so I got back in the shower and conditioned it. It does feel so much better since I've been reading here.

Anyway... I added more water to the henna to make it a thick, smooth paste. Sectioned my hair in half and worked on one side at a time. I started underneath and worked up. I have an old shirt on that I don't care it if gets stained so I had the long covered pieces hanging down.

Now I'm sitting here with a few pounds, it seems like, of mud on my head and I'm getting a headached. Not sure if I got it all covered either. I'll see how it comes out and I have another packet if I need to touch-up.

November 28th, 2009, 03:50 PM
waiting for pics......! How did it turn out?

November 28th, 2009, 04:37 PM
I put some pics here

I like it though there isn't a huge change from what it was to begin with. It does feel very soft and smooth but I blow dried it partially and put it in a bun to let it relax and not friz. I'll take it out later after it settles down and see how it looks.

I left it in for 3 1/2 hours and I swear it took an hour to rinse it out. I then washed and rinsed it twice with conditioner only and then conditioned again.

November 29th, 2009, 02:49 AM
If you are worried enough about dye uptake to wash your hair, you might as well freeze your henna and thaw it before you henna. Otherwise unless you use a ton of cones and need to go a lot darker than your starting color you'll probably be fine/

November 29th, 2009, 06:16 AM
I apply my henna on dry non washed hair and that goes fine. I don't use lemon because that kills the color in henna. Nightshade can explain more about that. I used to use that mistake and my hair wouldn't hold the color for long.

November 29th, 2009, 08:42 AM
I used these directions from where I bought the henna. According to this, using lemon releases the color more and it shows one with boiling water and one with lemon.


I'm sure I'll learn what works for me but don't think I will do it often! It's quite a job to do it on long hair.

November 29th, 2009, 09:14 AM
Never used Lemon always a strong 4 bag Chalomine tea mixture to a 8oz coffee cup

And get the same result everytime, I have only done 2 full Henna treatemnts to my head and only done touch ups pnce every 6-8 months.. Psss I keep it in the freezer if I do not use it all

November 29th, 2009, 02:57 PM
I don't use lemon either because of my dry scalp and the itchies. Only water works just as well, and if my hair feels dirty I'll add a spoon of shikakai or ritha powder. Today I mixed up a load of things, aloe vera juice, an egg yolk, honey, amla and ritha. And water.
About whether it'll dye your hair... I once tried to do a henna gloss and dyed my hair that way too. So I decided to do a full henna every week, and that works great for me.

November 29th, 2009, 07:10 PM
The henna gloss sounds promising. I'll try it when I need to refresh. It's darker today, a lot darker in normal light.

My hair and scalp aren't dry at all after using the lemon juice but, it wasn't dry before. I can only go 2 days before the head hair is oily but that's fine with me. Just put it back in a bun.

November 29th, 2009, 08:35 PM
Yes, Mehandi.com says to use lemon juice. Some LHCers have gotten opposite results, though, when they use distilled water, and this has led to some speculation that Catherine of Mehandi.com must have some really nasty tap water. Boiling water kills the dye, but comfortably warm water seems to work really well.

Personally, I get rough, lumpy dry skin if I henna with too acidic a solution, and my ears, neck, and forehead itch for a few days. I'm fine if I use RO (reverse osmosis -- I've got a filter) water for my henna, though, and I get good staining.

Henna Sooq
November 30th, 2009, 09:37 AM
Noyou don't have to, but your hair should be relatively clean, with no build up.

Applying it onto damp hair is amazing! You'll have to try that.

December 3rd, 2009, 07:55 AM
I prefer to henna after I haven't done anything to my hair for a few days so it is a bit oily, I find it helps minimize the dryness in my hair after. I have never washed my hair or applied henna to damp hair and I have loved my results every time. I guess it all depends on what your hair likes best. :) I also quarter the lemon juice in the mix and use some rooibos tea and red wine vinegar. This mix was before I discovered this site and I will probably cut out the lemon altogether next time.

Henna Sooq
December 3rd, 2009, 12:14 PM
wow boiling water?? no wonder the test showed varying results between lemon and water. Boiling water is a big killer of dye release, so hence the testing is not accurate.

A lot of people, if not the majority, use warm water or some tea brew over lemon juice. People who have dryer scalp, and can go dry easily, especially since herbs for hair can be drying as it is, can't use lemon juice. So my advice is just to be open with other alternatives. It's not to say lemon juice won't work for you, but there are alternatives and that's the good thing with henna, is that we have to adjust and make our recipe to suit us and our hair, and its individuality.

Have fun!! :)

December 7th, 2009, 03:49 PM
I've been hennaing my hair since June and always washed my hair first. A few days ago, it was time for my roots and I decided to try it without washing first. It worked great with wonderful coverage.

Henna Sooq
December 7th, 2009, 04:11 PM
great to hear! try it on damp hair if you have a chance, it makes the application go on really smoothly too.

December 8th, 2009, 05:34 AM
I washed my hair the night before I hennad last-- the length barely took any dye but my roots were so red they were about on fire... I guess the conditioner leftover really sealed up the cuticle.