A few months ago my daughter begged me to put henna in her hair. Not just henna, but the full works, a mysterious blend of herbs and spices that strengthens hair and leaves it a coppery hue. Our friend Lalla Khadija is one of those people who knows what to buy and how to use it. She has her own family henna recipe and helped us purchase the right ingredients from a spice shop down near Jema el Fna. I love the way that Moroccan women view such indulgences as henna, the hammam, and natural beauty remedies as necessities rather than luxuries. That’s just how they roll.
This hair henna recipe contains 4 major components: the spice mix shown below, a red mineral called “lakar el fassi”, about half a gram of saffron, and of course freshly ground henna.
But what we got is a bright red goo, like clay in texture, that I smeared all over K’s hair. It took a while, it was messy, we survived. She kept it in for an hour then rinsed (also messy). Her hair is normally dark brown, but it turned dark orangey red. She was kind of shocked in the beginning, but after that wore off she grew into the look. We’ve all been there, right ladies? That’s just what we do.
Beware, henna does dry out hair, so if you already have frizz going on it’s not a good match. It also has a strong smell…the rose petals and lavender help but the henna has a very distinct smell.