Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Dip Into Henna Land

Okay, so last Thursday I did my first henna application - and as many other reviewers had mentioned, the first time you henna, it's not really anything to write home about. On my first day post henna, my hair was a tad dry - but I expected that based on all the research that I had done about it.

Hesh Mehindi & 2 oils I add to my henna
paste: Amla & Almond Oils
Last time, I used Hesh Mehendi henna. After I fully rinsed the henna out, I could already tell that my hair was definitely lighter - even in indoor light. It was the one side effect I wasn't expecting to have instant effects. The goal with my henna treatments is to achieve stronger, thicker, softer and more moisture rich hair - in addition to loosening my curl pattern without using harsh chemicals.

As an FYI, if you're considering doing the jump into the henna pool because of all of the benefits that I mentioned earlier, do make sure that you use only body art quality henna. Body art quality henna doesn't come in a variety of hues. if you want to make your hair lighter or darker, you have to alter it with other natural dyes like indigo, cassia, etc. So, if you go into a store and ask for henna, and they reply with "which color would you like"...walk right back out. That henna has been altered and contains just as many chemicals as regular hair dye. The point of henna is that the color (if you're solely using it for color) enhances the more you henna. But since it's all natural, there's no danger in over processing. The more you henna, the stronger a red hue that you'll achieve, depending on your starting color.

Now, back to me. Like I said, the first time I henna'd I had immediate color results. My hair had an interesting and notable brown hue to it, but that later mellowed out by Sunday (which is also to be expected). But my goal is thickness, curl loosening, moisture retention and softening of my hair. Finally today, I noticed that my hair was a lot moister! I usually twist my hair with a combo of Cantu's leave in shea moisturizer and a few drops of castor oil (per twist). Sometimes it came out pretty well moisturized, and sometimes it wasn't quite as successful. Well this morning, when I untwisted my hair, I could clearly see a nice sheen to my hair - something which was sometimes elusive for me!

Today, I switched it up and decided to henna my hair with Jamila. Now, to explain:

Last week I used the Mehendi, and although I think it does work well, it was super gritty. After doing some research, it seemed like the general consensus was that Mehendi was a good henna to use - if you didn't mind spending an hour washing the grit out of your hair. And seriously...that's probably the only thing I don't like about it. I first dunked my head in a tub full of water to get the majority of the visible henna paste out of my hair. Then I literally spent about 30 minutes in the shower doing a co-wash. After rinsing so long that I became prune-y and the water was running clear from my hair, I did my usual twist out.

Well, fast forward to every day that I twisted or combed my hair between Thursday and Sunday evening - and every time I touched my hair, henna flakes were coming out. o_0 REALLY GROSS! If I rubbed my scalp - henna flakes, if I twisted my hair - henna flakes (which also left henna flakes in my shea butter conditioner o_0 skeeve). Based on reviews, Mehendi doesn't sift their henna powder as finely as some of the other higher quality BAQ henna brands. So in addition to getting the ground down henna leaves (which is all henna powder is) you also get stems and any other random dirt particles that made it through the sifter.

So today, I made a henna paste using 3 boxes of Jamila henna. Instead of doing the regular "slow release" henna paste method (it takes about 10 minutes to mix but a minimum of 3 hours for the dye to release), I chose to use 2.5 cups of heated green tea to help make the dye release faster and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Already, I can say that the Jamila was less clumpy when I poured the powder into my designated "henna bowl".  So, now I'm letting the henna sit on my hair and am about to rinse it out in 30 minutes. I'm definitely hoping that it rinses out easier than the Mehendi.

Will keep you posted!

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