Alma Berry

What is Amla Powder?

Amla powder is a tan powder that has been used as a staple in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is made from drying Indian gooseberry, a small greenish yellow berry native to India. 


What are the benefits of amla for hair?

There are many benefits of amla for hair:

  • Adds body and shine to the hair
  • Creates cooler toned browns when mixed with henna
  • Prevents indigo from fading
  • Enhances dye uptake for those problematic roots
  • Keeps the hair from turning brassy when used with the Light Blonde Henna Kit, or Cassia (neutral henna)
  • Prevents the relaxing of curls and waves that can be caused by henna
  • Can be used to restore & reshape curl/wave patterns

Woman with curly hair

How do I use it?

Easy! You can use amla by itself or you can mix it with any of the henna colors. Use 25g (just under 3 tablespoons) for every 100g of henna. 


For cooler blonde and brunette tones: Mix dry amla into the dry henna or cassia (neutral henna) powders. Amla has a pH of about 3.5, so it is acidic enough on its own to be used for dye release. If you're using amla in your henna mix to neutralize the warmer tones, only use distilled water and no other acidic liquids.

Want to keep your red as bright as possible while also protecting your curls? Dye release your henna using the acidic liquid of your choice, and then (8-12 hours later when dye release is complete) add your amla powder to the paste and mix well. This will keep your curls bouncy without neutralizing any of the red dye.

Condition hair and restore curl/wave patterns: Mix amla with distilled water. The amount you need is dependent upon the length and thickness of your hair. Use as much amla as you would henna. Apply amla paste to your hair from root to tip and wrap your hair to keep it warm and moist. After 10-30 minutes, rinse the amla paste out and braid your hair or set your curls and allow them to air dry. This will impart temporary waves and help to re-shape the curl axis of your hair.

Woman with curly hair

Amla powder is typically about 3.5 pH, and naturally contains gallic acid, ellagic acid, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). If you have a particularly dry scalp or are sensitive to vitamin C, leave the amla in for less time. If your scalp is oily, leaving the amla paste in longer will help unclog pores and balance the oils in your scalp.


Amla Bonus Tip: You can use it as a weekly facial or a daily scrub to brighten your skin! Because of the natural acids found in amla, it makes a great exfoliant and facial treatment. The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in amla combined with its natural astringent and anti-bacterial properties can ease acne and over time restore a more even tone to hyperpigmented skin due to acne scarring.

To create a DIY amla facial, use 2-3 teaspoons of amla with enough cool water (tap is fine in this instance) to make a paste the consistency of yogurt. Apply to your face and let the natural fruit acids work their magic. 

As a weekly treatment: Massage amla paste onto your face. Rinse off the paste after 5 minutes or less if you have sensitive skin.

As a daily scrub: Massage amla paste into your skin for 1-2 minutes and rinse.

Note: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can increase the photosensitivity of your skin. If you're using amla as a daily scrub or weekly facial treatment, be sure to apply sunscreen when going outdoors!