Hey Nikki. I'm so excited that you're trying henna! My advice is to keep the mix as simple as possible. Many people say that oil interferes with it, some don't. Maybe if you only use a little you'll be okay.
But I have had great success and zero dryness with just henna, water, acv, and honey. I really think the key is doing a good deep conditioning afterward with a protein free or low protein conditioner - go for moisture. I used AO Honeysuckle Rose last time. Before that, I was using Trader Joe's Nourish, left in for 45 minutes, and that worked great as well.
This is how I prepare my henna:
1. Dump my henna in a bowl
2. Mix my acv with a cup of water (room temp. Some people add boiling water to get faster dye release, but it makes henna fade over time). Change the amount of water depending on how much powder you're using.
You want only just enough water/acv to moisten all the henna.
(also, I use only 4 tblsp of ACV for 200 grams of henna. And I probably don't even need that much to get dye release)
3. Add acv/water to henna and mix, add a little more water if necessary (just to be sure that there are no dry parts.) Don't add too much water/acv
4. The henna should be very thick, like mashed potatoes, because the honey that you add later will thin it out
5. Cover with cling wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 9 to 12 hours or until you see dye release.
6. After dye release has occurred, I add my honey. I don't measure, I just add it until I get the texture I want - goopy, but not too thin, like extra thick pudding. The mixture will be silky smooth.
7. Then apply it very thick, like icing, and leave on for four hours minimum. The henna will pull your hair almost straight if you apply thick, like you should.
8. Wrap your hair around your head, and wrap your head in cling wrap, then put on a wool hat or wrap your head in a towel. Natural heat is important for getting the henna to take. So keep your head warm. Your head will feel verrry heavy,You may need to lie down and read a book or watch a movie LOL.
I have some henna in my freezer and plan on doing a treatment tomorrow
. I can't wait. I am going to experiment with doing it without the honey to see if I get a brighter reddish/burgundy color. Henna will still deposit red with the honey, but someone mentioned that honey makes it a little darker. So I want to see for myself. I'm a little nervous because I've never done it without honey before.
I may use the leftovers to color my nails next week