We’ve all seen the numerous benefits of using henna to colour and nourish hair, but what about henna for curly hair? If you’re blessed with naturally bouncy curls, then you’ll want a shampoo, conditioning and colour treatment that does them justice.
The challenges of curly hair
It’s a tale as old as time: those of us gifted with straight hair want voluminous waves, whereas those facing the frizz would do anything for poker-straight locks. True enough, curly hair comes with its own challenges – namely the dreaded ‘f-word’.
Curly hair tends to become dry, brittle or frizzy because of our scalp’s natural oils. With naturally straight hair, these oils can gain easy access from root to tip, nourishing the follicles. With curly hair, this journey is far more arduous – oils literally have to navigate curls, which can turn into a dry hair nightmare.
Henna is known for being a natural antiseptic that doesn’t wash these oils away. But will it weigh down your hair?
Can henna loosen curl patterns?
Whether we’re dyeing our hair or simply washing it with a henna shampoo, we’re exposing it to all sorts of luscious natural ingredients. As henna contains organic plant compounds, tiny amounts of these can deposit onto our hair strands. This is not harmful and will not change the chemical structure of the hair – rather, it will serve to strengthen it.
The simple answer is that is depends. Some people with naturally tight weaves may notice that hair is softer and lighter, which could loosen the weave. The added weight may loosen curls ever so slightly.
Others with more relaxed waves may not notice any structural difference – only stronger hair with a more noticeable shine.
Can I use henna on afro hair?
You can absolutely use henna for afro hair. This gorgeous style tends to be thicker, which means it commands stronger strands. Henna promotes hair growth, resulting in thicker, more voluminous hair without resorting to inorganic products. Likewise, with stronger hair, afro hair treated with henna is less likely to moult.
With afro hairstyles generally favouring darker shades, it’s also ideal if you want to dye your hair. Add a little Indigofera tinctoria and you’ll achieve a stunning midnight shade.
Benefits of henna for curly hair
Those gifted with curly hair should not have to suffer with frizz as a trade-off. If you’re looking to combat dryness, henna is a great place to start. One cause of dry hair is over-reliance on sulphates in shampoos.
Sulphates are foaming agents that naturally rid hair of grease. In the long term, these can also rid the scalp of its natural oils, therefore causing dryness. Henna is completely organic, offering you a sulphate-free solution that protects your curls.
Another unwelcome side effect of curly hair is dandruff. As curly hair tends to be dry rather than greasy, those with this hair type may wash it less often. While it’s great to give your hair a break, it does leave your scalp vulnerable to building up Malassezia. This is a natural fungus that builds up in the hair’s natural oils.
Henna is a natural antiseptic and helps to break down this fungus, thus reducing the itch and appearance of flakes.
Henna for curly hair: key takeaways
Whether you’re dyeing or washing your curly hair, remember:
- Be ready to see different results based on your individual hair type
- Try a few washes – curls may settle in after up to five washes
- Stay away from inorganic chemicals which may encourage dry hair.
For more henna haircare tips, check out more posts in our blog.