Henna not only adds a soft color to hair when applied, it also has strengthening and conditioning benefits. Amla powder darkens the hair, which is helpful for covering any gray, while shikakai has strong cleansing and detangling properties. Mix all three together into a paste and apply it to your hair to take advantage of all three treatments in one application. In particular, curly hair, which tends to be dryer than other hair types, benefits from this natural mixture.
Make the Paste
Mix 1 tablespoon shikakai powder with 25 grams amla and 100 grams henna powder in a plastic bowl. Use more powder, keeping the same ratio of ingredients, if you have long hair.
Pour in enough lukewarm water to achieve a yogurt-like consistency.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave overnight to allow the dye to release.
Apply the Paste
Wash your hair as usual. Dry with an absorbent towel until damp. Comb and part hair into four sections, two in the front and two in the back.
Apply the paste onto damp hair starting from the back sections using your hands. Wear disposable gloves so your hands don't get stained from the dye. Make 1-inch wide partings within each section and move upward, heavily coating each part with the paste.
Wear a plastic cap and allow to sit for 20 minutes, or overnight, for a deeper conditioning and color.
Shampoo your hair thoroughly to rinse out the henna mixture. Repeat this treatment on a monthly basis to maximize its benefits and to preserve the color, as it fades with every wash.
Store leftover paste in the freezer.
Wear disposable plastic gloves when you apply the mixture to keep your hands from getting stained.
Magdalene Ayuk began writing professionally in 2006. She has served as Voices editor for Dawson's student newspaper, snagged an internship with online magazine M.I.S.S., worked as a ghostwriter and written commentaries related to the black Montreal community for "Community Contact." Ayuk attended Concordia University where she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature with a minor in Spanish.