So I had the henna on deck yesterday and after multiple FB inquiries, thought I'd share the deets of my current mix. It's pretty much the same as the routine I've always done, sans 2 trips to the shower. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat #DoPeopleStillSayThat
Here's what you do-
1. Gather 200g of henna (yesterday I had 100g of BAQ Jamila from Butters-n-Bars and a mystery 100g bag of 'USDA Organic Henna' in silver packaging), some green tea (2 bags), a tablespoon or two of honey, a plastic container, around 2 cups of almost-boiling -water, 2 plastic caps and a pair or two of plastic gloves. Heating Cap is optional. Steep the tea bags in the water prior to adding to the henna powder (duh).
2. Mix that ish together. Save the honey for last. Just 'cause :)
3. While listening to Bey go in on End of Time, apply the mix in a smoothing motion, in small sections using your plastic gloves.
4. Put on a plastic cap, cover with a silk scarf (#TheDivadom) and put on a heat cap to help it percolate.
5. Leave in for 4-8 hours while you busy yourself around the house. Key words- around the house. Don't expect a very integral part of your later hair routine to be delivered by 4pm. Because when Amazon Prime fails you, you'll have to throw a beanie on over your situation to get cute. But cute ain't here, because you have to pull the once shabby-chic beanie halfway down your forehead to hide all of the plastic and mud and ish. And when you get to Sally's to pick up what you need- a Sally's in the middle of nowhere America- don't run into a CurlyNikki.com reader. Just sayin'.
6. Rinse the whole mess in the kitchen sink with warm water and lots of Trader Joe Nourish Spa Conditioner. Optional- Put on another pair of plastic gloves as the henna can stain your fingernails.
7. Wring excess water and load hair up with Curl Junkie's Moisture Rehab. Put on another plastic cap.
8. Heat things up for 30 minutes with the microwave heat cap.
9. Hop in the shower and rinse for your life, paying special attention to your scalp. Handle shower business. Condition again, rinse thoroughly.
10. Hop out and apply Oyin's Hair Dew, an oil to seal (I used pure mineral oil, I'll explain below) and set for the week... or the month... however you get down.
Okay so, a
*For those of you new to henna, it is a green powder that leaves behind a translucent reddish-orange color. It will not lift/lighten your hair. I liken it to coloring on a black (or brown) sheet of construction paper with a reddish-orange crayon. In most lighting, the paper sill looks black, just shinier. However, if you hold it just right under the light, or step outside, you can see the hint of color. It's the same with my hair. Indoors, the hair is a shiny, rich, black, but outside it looks as if I did an auburn rinse. For my brown haired curlies, your hair will appear auburn, no matter the lighting. Ladies with gray hurr, your strands will be copper after the first treatment and will darken up to a nice auburn with successive treatments. Henna makes my hair shinier, smoother, stronger, and heavier. It bulks up each individual strand and makes it less prone to damage. It makes my hair darker and heavier (less shrinkage). Important- do your own research and only then start your experimentation!
*This henna routine will let you be great... you can get back to your life. It is abbreviated in that it isn't overnight and I don't take 3 trips to the shower. I apply it to my dirty, dry hair and the results are exactly the same. It's also great because you get absolutely ZERO drippies. Finally, the micro heat cap gently speeds things along too. I give away 6 every month! For my original abbreviated treatment, click HERE. For my henna gloss (milder, more moisturizing treatment), click HERE.
*There's much debate as to whether henna dye uptake is more effective on dry or wet hair. The consensus is that your results will be the same either way. Obviously, if your hair is difficult to dry detangle, or is full of gel or lots of buildup, hop in the shower, and proceed with the wet application process. Remember, do what works for you.
*Remember, four hours is the minimum amount of time that henna must be left in for you to reap the color and strengthening benefits. In fact, some argue that any longer than 4 hours is pointless because you're already saturated at that point. In an ideal world, if you plan to do a quick treatment, you would allow the henna mix to sit and release (dye) for a few hours prior to application. But if you're flying by the seat of your pants like me, just getting the opportunity to henna is better than nothing! That's why I use the heat... to help it penetrate better.
*Full fat, plain yogurt is a great addition to the mix but I was #FreshOut. That's the only reason it's not included in the post. It's not essential, but I like the added texture-consistency and nourishing benefits. I simply add a half cup of yogurt right on top of the henna powder and then mix in the tea, using a little less than usual to keep the consisentency right.
*Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner and 'Poo (both purchased) are hair crack. And they're cheap.
*Oyin's Hair Dew (purchased) is everything. I've been using it on Gia for months now and finally decided to give it a try. It leaves her hair smooth, detangled, relatively frizz free and very moisturized for days without being greasy or heavy. I can re-apply for weeks without build-up. My personal experience- the slip SLAYED, it dries fast and the shine is blinding. It's glycerin free! Did you hear me? Glycerin free, boo. And, AND it has my coveted behentremonium methosulfate (renowned for super detangling abilities) and aloe for cuticle smoothing. I will definitely be re-purchasing. It's officially Holy Grail status.
*Curl Junkie's Moisture Rehab (gifted) continues to be the best damn deep conditioner, period. The strawberry ice-cream scent, tho. #NotHereForIt
*BAQ Jamila (purchased a gazillion boxes and some gifted) continues to be the smoothest henna I've ever used. The stain is REAL, it goes on easy and rinses clean. It's very consistent but unfortunately, consistently harder to find. That henna in the mystery package was dope too, tho. I need to see if Mehandi or Butters-n-Bars sent it. I'll keep you posted.
*Okay, so about the pure, cosmetic grade mineral oil. I originally purchased a bottle last year after reading this article, this one, this one and this one. It helps me retain moisture for 3 or 4 days without having to re-moisturize or re-oil for lubrication. It seems to work better than all the plant oils and silicones combined and aids in dry detangling. It smooths my strands, adds shine, locks in moisture and also helps with humidity... all without being greasy or heavy. It easily washes out with a cocobetaine containing 'poo like Elucence, Giovanni or my beloved, Trader Joe's Nourish Spa! According to the science articles it performs better than other oils at keeping moisture in the strands and clumping curls! I can attest to both. Try it before you knock it!
*I guess that's it. 'Bout to bounce it out to soccer