Henna for Natural Hair- Let's Review!

by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

Henna is a plant that grows in the hot, dry climates of the Eastern hemisphere. For decades, women from North Africa, India, and the Middle East have used henna to stain their hair, skin, and nails. The red henna dye is contained within the leaves of the plant. After the plant is harvested, the leaves are dried, ground and sifted into a flour-like powder. In the last few years, henna has become a popular treatment option for African American women seeking more natural remedies for their hair. Here are the most frequently asked questions.

Is henna safer than commercial hair dye?

Yes, but it's very important that you only use 100% pure henna. Low-quality henna mixtures may contain additives like PPD to make the dye stain stronger and darker. Dye additives may cause allergy problems or react with chemicals that have been previously applied to your hair. Unfortunately, the FDA has approved henna for use as a hair dye, but does not regulate its safety. So, the seller of the henna is the only person who really knows the purity of what you're purchasing. Mehandi.com and LUSH Cosmetics are two suppliers known for high quality.

Henna is gentler on your hair than permanent hair color because it only deposits dye onto the surface, not inside the cortex. The effects from henna are most similar to semi-permanent hair color. Both are safe enough for fragile African American hair.

Can I get the same color results using henna as with commercial hair dye?

Maybe. Pure henna leaf powder can only produce a red to orange-red color. Different crops (depending on location) produce different levels of red, ranging from auburn to cherry. If you see henna advertised as producing black or brown shades that means the henna has been mixed with some other herb or product. For example, henna is commonly mixed with cocoa powder to produce reddish brown.

Since henna is a depositing dye, it cannot lighten your hair...only bleach can do that. If your natural hair color is dark black, henna may not show up at all or it may produce a red shimmer.

If your natural hair color is dark brown or lighter (including grey), you are likely to see a color change after your first henna application. The color should be subtle, but it will increase in intensity after every treatment.

If your hair is bleached or relaxed, your hair is more porous. Porous hair absorbs chemicals more easily and the henna dye may absorb into the hair cortex instead of just coating the outer shaft. The color may still be subtle, but definitely noticeable in direct light.

*Henna is a very inexact method of coloring your hair. If you really want a substantial change in hair color, you're better off visiting a professional cosmetologist.*

Will henna loosen natural African American coils?

Sometimes. A quick Internet search produces thousands of results on the subject. The only thing we know for sure is that everybody's experience is different. If you want to loosen your natural coils, you can definitely experiment with henna. Any effect will be gradual. Most women who report looser curls say that it took 3 or more treatments to see any difference. However, if you truly wish to transform Type 4 coils to looser curls, a chemical treatment (applied by a professional cosmetologist) will deliver more significant and uniform results.

How do I get the most out of my henna treatment?

First, purchase your henna from a reputable supplier (see above). To get the most value for your money, choose pure henna with high dye content. Typically, 100 grams of pure henna only contains 2 or 3 grams of dye. The rest is just ground up henna leaves. So, for the most effective treatments, you definitely want the highest dye content available. Ask your supplier which henna they recommend to cover greys because that usually means maximum dye content.

When working with pure henna, the liquid that you use to help the dye release can impact the treatment results. An acidic liquid will help the dye release faster. Aloe vera juice is a great choice because its pH is low enough to smooth your hair's cuticles without making your strands stiff or dry.

Henna hair treatments have been done by North African and Indian women for decades with little to no instruction. Unless you're really hoping to achieve curl loosening or a color change, feel free to experiment by adding Ayurvedic herbs to your mix (supplier websites usually offer plenty of recipes). When attempting to change your curl pattern or hair color, keep it simple and just add an acidic liquid. A batch of high dye content henna can quickly become low dye content if you add too many oils and herbs to the mix.

If this is all sounding like too much guess work, try one of the pre-mixed henna bars from LUSH. They combine henna, lemon juice, cocoa butter, and herbs into one firm block that you just have to melt in a bowl of water.

The biggest advantage with henna is that you can do it yourself. Your henna supplier will give you all the instructions you need for a successful treatment. Whether your hair is natural or relaxed, a properly applied henna can add shine and softness to your hair. You can't count on any other benefits, but feel free to try it a few times and see what you get!

The Abbreviated Henna Treatment

3 or 4 week old hair... after a dry bantu knot-out done solely to bun


Hola Chicas,

You can either take your socks off now, or I can knock 'em off for ya...

It's official. As of last night, I've henna'ed two months in a row! Can you believe it?!

But as with everything else in my life, things are not the same. Now that Gia has been set loose upon the world, I've had to cut corners. Gone are the days that I could jump in the shower three times (pre-application, pre-deep treatment, post-deep treatment) for one henna session. The soundtrack that Boogie graces the house with when she feels 'forgotten', is well, shrill and unpleasant. I've gotta get in and get out, and so below, you'll find instructions for my abbreviated henna treatment.

Abbreviated Henna Treatment --6 hours total (or more if you leave in overnight)

Whip it up and apply- 1 hour
  • Bring 2 cups of water to nearly boiling and remove from heat
  • Pick your acid-- either add a tablespoon of orange juice or Apple Cider Vinegar to the water, or my personal favorite, steep a couple of bags of green tea
  • In a Tupperware container or glass bowl, mix the slightly acidic water with 200g of Jamila henna
  • Mix in a tablespoon (or more) of honey. The end result should look like thick mashed potatoes. It's okay if it's slightly runny, as it will make for an easier application.
  • Cover and proceed to the bathroom
  • Gently detangle dry hair with fingers (you can follow up with a wide tooth comb if you like)
  • Twist detangled sections (I usually end up with 10)
  • Put on a pair of plastic gloves and clip all of the twists out of the way, except for the one you want to work with. I always start in the back and work to the front.
  • Remove the twist, and apply henna in a smooshing motion. Layer it on thick like cake batter.
  • Repeat with the other twists
  • Gather henna filled hair and don a plastic baggie, placing stretched out cotton balls around the outer edge for comfort and to prevent drippies. Finally, throw on a pretty silk scarf so you don't scare your roommate or significant other.
Apply heat source and allow to marinate-- 4 hours (or more)
  • Sit under a hooded dryer or rock your micro heat cap on and off for the next four hours.
  • OR, you can go to sleep and allow your body heat to warm things up for 8-10 hours :)
Rinse and apply DT- 1 hour or more
  • Run bath water and kneel over tub, dunking your head. Gently massage your hair and work the henna loose. Allow the water stream from the tub faucet to run through your hair, rinsing it clean. Apply a slippery conditioner, run your head back under the water stream. Repeat until your hair is henna free.
  • Wring your hair and apply a moisturizing deep treatment in sections
  • Don a plastic baggie and apply heat source for 15-30 minutes
  • Finally, hop in the shower, rinse thoroughly, and style as usual!

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 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.

Although I love the abbreviated version, applying and rinsing in the same day feels like a ridiculous amount of work. So, last night, I followed the above steps, only I started around 8pm, and left the henna in overnight. Then I woke up and continued the process. Makes life a little easier, and will probably be my routine from here on out.

Pros of the 4 Hour Treatment:
-Nearly the same results with much less time involved
-Fewer (if any) drippies since you're applying to dry hair

Cons of the 4 Hour Treatment :
-Harder to rinse (it's not as melted and pliable as it would be after sitting on your head for 10 hours)
-Time consuming- - applying and rinsing, deep treating, and styling all in one day!


I plan to do the 4 hour treatment only if I'm short on time, or have weekend plans. My new henna routine is basically identical to the old one (following the steps above), only I'll be applying the henna to dry hair, and skipping the multiple showers.

ETA:
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. I can say, as a henna vet, after 2 dry applications, my results have been exactly the same as when I applied to wet hair.

Later Gators!
Nik

Got My Swagger Back- Henna Swagger, That Is...



Hola Chicas,

And I'm back... after a 9 month hiatus! I stopped henna'ing around 6 months pregnant due to fatigue and lack of time. After G Babes came along, time got even tighter and since henna is such an all consuming process, I put it on the back burner. After a family walk (yes, I exercised today!), I decided to pull two boxes of Jamila out of the freezer. I went back and forth for 2 hours and finally decided to mix it up! I see therapy clients tomorrow morn, so I had to do my abbreviated treatment- - 4 hours with heat as opposed to overnight.

My Mix

200g of Jamila Henna
2 cups of near boiling water
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (because I was out of tea)
2 tablespoons of Honey

I mixed it up, covered, and proceeded to detangle my dry hair using the tangle teezer, twisting as I went. I put on plastic gloves, and applied the henna to one section at a time, untwisting the section prior to the application. I layered it on thick, put on a plastic cap, a scarf, and finally my micro heat cap.

I'm on my way to rinse, deep treat, and twist! Just thought I'd share :)


These are pics of my hair yesterday after styling with Jessicurl TooShea on one side, and CURLS Souffle on the other. The CURLS side was more defined and hung longer. The TooShea side felt softer. I think I need to experiment more before deciding which is best.

Have you henna'ed lately? What was in your mix?

Evelyn Hennas her Natural Hair!

NaturallyCurly.com vlogger Evelyn shows (in less than 5 minutes) how she applies henna!I love her!!!


New Henna For Hair Forums


Hola Chicas,

FYI--

The Henna for Hair forums have a new home! The site is much more interactive, and there is a board dedicated specifically to Relaxed and Natural hair. I hope to see you gals over there!

Later Gators,
Nik

p.s. Of course the very valuable archives are still located at-- Hennaforhair.com

CurlyNikki's Henna Gloss Recipe



Hola Chicas,

Sorry for leaving y'all hanging yesterday...

Henna Gloss Purpose: A henna gloss is used when you want subtle color change along with deep conditioning. It's easier to apply because of the wonderful slip provided by the conditioner, much easier to rinse, and leaves your hair smooth and soft, as opposed to crackily and dry after a straight or full strength henna treatment.

Yesterday I called it a mild henna, but I'd like to retract that. I started thinking... it would be considered a mild henna if I used less henna and more conditioner. My mix was 50/50... so I guess I did more of a Conditioning Henna Treatment! Remember that the property in henna that dyes the hair red, is the same one that conditions, strengthens, defizzes, and smooths. Mixing in 1 or 2 tablespoons of henna (into a cup or two of conditioner) will give you very little color change, but you'll also miss out on the full effects of henna's conditioning powers... so you'll have to make that call yourself. This would be a great option for two types of folks:

1. Those of you that want to see what the hype is about, without making the color commitment. Just be sure to strand test, and to modify my recipe. You should mix 1-2 tablespoons of henna directly into your conditioner (not allowing for dye release) and only leave-in for 20-30 minutes. Henna is strong, so ALWAYS strand test... the red will creep up on ya quick!

2. Faithful henna'ers that want to experience soft, smooth results upon rinsing. It's truly amazing! My 50/50 mix left me with similar dye release, color uptake (I was surprised), strengthening, and smoothing. I'm impressed.

What You'll Need:

  • BAQ Henna (at least 100g)
  • A light, protein free conditioner-- Many users across the web like the Generic Matrix Biolage Balm from Sallys.
*Optional: Honey, Unsweetened Yogurt (some people use Yogurt in place of the conditioner)


My Henna Gloss Instructions:

  • Mix your henna as you would for a regular, full strength treatment. I added 100g of Jamila henna to 1.5 cups (I never measure... I just get it to the consistency of cake batter) of warm green tea. I usually use 2 or 3 tea bags.
  • I sealed off the container and let it sit for a few hours... only because I was feeling lazy. In the future, I will probably go right into the next step.
  • Mix in 1 cup of conditioner. I used Tresemme Naturals conditioner. Next time though, I will probably buy the Generic Biolage Balm conditioner because it is much thicker. Either that, or use less liquid to mix my henna. It was a little too runny for my liking.
  • Apply to damp and detangled hair in sections. Then don a plastic baggy, cotton balls or tissue rolled up near your ears to catch drippies, and a scarf to cover the ugly mess, lol.
  • Leave in for the desired amount of time. Remember, the shorter (15-30 minutes), the less dye uptake... so less red, but also less conditioning. I left mine in overnight, which is why I'm referring to it as a Conditioning Henna Treatment. I got the full benefits of henna with the added bonus of a moisturizing DT!
  • Dunk your head in the tub to wash away most of the mix. Hop in the shower and rinse away the rest using a cheapy, slippery conditioner. It rinses very easily, and you could probably skip the tub dunking :)
  • Apply a Deep Treatment
  • Rinse, and style as usual. I did my typical Twist-n-Curl and flat twisted the roots. This new modification (the flat twisting) has done AMAZING things! My waves/curls are much more consistent.
There you have it folks! I hope this is helpful... the key things to remember are:

1. Modify my recipe and leave it in for less time if you want only a subtle color change. If you want the full benefits of color and henna's conditioning powers, leave in for at least 4 hours (I leave mine in overnight).

2. Use a cheapy conditioner free of protein, and preferably free of cones.

3. If you're trying my mix, use the least amount of tea possible... too much and you'll have an annoying runny mess.


Later Gators,
Nik


My hair today:

Do You Henna?


If so--

-Describe your hair type (4abc/3abc or wavy, coily, fine, coarse, etc.)

-Share your results (de-frizzing, curl loosening, curl defining, color, thickness, etc.)

If not--

-What's the biggest deterrent?


**For my results and more info about henna, click HERE.

F.A.Q.--Henna and Dark Natural Hair


A curlynikki.com reader writes:
"...your hair looks like it is jet black, is that all from henna? I'd love to get that dark shiny look."

I know it sounds weird, but the color changes depending on the setting. It's sort of like a rinse...a transparent copper-y rinse. Imagine drawing with an orange crayon on black construction paper- under most indoor lighting, the paper still looks black (albeit shinier), but if held under the light, just right, you'll catch a glimpse of orange. Outdoors, in sunlight, my hair glows auburn, so much so that my sis and hubby call me 'red head', but indoors it's a rich black. There are some instances (back lighting, etc.) where you can really see the red indoors, but I can never really catch it on camera.

With that said, if your hair is lighter than mine naturally (sandy brown, etc) the henna red will be very evident--your hair may appear auburn in most lighting conditions.

Many women use a two step indigo treatment to cover stubborn grays and dye the hair a rich, shiny, blue-black. I've never used indigo and don't plan to, but the results I've seen look gorgeous. Hope this helps!

Later Gator,
Nik

Please leave your henna/indigo mix experiences below!

Even More Henna Results...


Today, we witnessed the wondrous specimen that is FrizzCurls' hair...an excellent example of the benefits of regular henna treatments. Serita, a long time CN.com reader and curly friend submitted her most recent hair pics as well. She also hennas regularly:

Hey Nik,
I was on your website today and saw the "Henna" postings so I decided to submit some of my recent henna pics. I have been hennaing with Punjabi Prime for over a year now. I henna every two weeks. Henna has definitely made my hair shiny, strong, and healthy. See for yourself!
Serita


Share your experience with henna...are you liking the color? Have you reaped the de-frizzing and shiny hair benefits?


FORUM NEWS:
If you've had an issue signing in to the forum in the past few days, or never received an activation email, try it now...I manually activated each and everyone of you :)
Now you can go and participate in the giveaways...Sorry for any inconvenience!!

MochaTai's Hendigo Recipe and Results

Hello Nikki! Here are the pics you requested along with the Henna/Indigo mix I used and step by step instructions.

I used:

  • 50 grams of Jamilla 2008 Crop
  • 50 grams of Amla powder (to prevent my curl pattern from loosening) mixed with a tea made from Distilled Water infused with Chamomile Leaf, Nettles, Horsetail, and Marshmallow.
I let the Henna mix sit for about 12 hours. I washed my hair with Kalpi Tone and Shikakai powders. Right before applying the henna, I added organic honey. I left the mix on my hair for 4 hours and rinsed with Nature's Gate Aloe Conditioner.

Then, I mixed Indigo powder with warm water and a teaspoon of salt and applied it to my hair. I wrapped my hair with plastic wrap and then a towel and let that sit for an hour. I rinsed the Indigo with warm water (which took forever!) and deep conditioned with Aubrey Organics White Camilla Conditioner and Kokum butter. I then rinsed the conditioner out with an herbal rinse made from distilled water infused with Rosemary, Irish Moss, Nettles, Hibiscus, and Horsetail. Then followed that up with an ACV rinse.

I moisturize with my own herbal spritz mixed with aloe vera juice, glycerin, and panthenol. Add some whipped shea (or whatever butter I have whipped) and seal with Jojoba oil. I love the dark color from the Indigo. I almost gave up on Henna but after I contacted Catherine she suggested using Henna and Amla in a 50:50 mix because I had alot of curls loosening on prior Henna treatments. I love jet black hair but refused to use chemical dye. Overall, Im happy with the results!

Thanks!
MochaTai

Henna and Allergies

I'm sure by now, you all know that pure, Body Art Quality Henna is the only way to go. But, just in case you need more proof, check out this article- http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AllergiesNews/Story?id=7401149&page=6. It was submitted by Marie, a CN.com reader.

Henna F.A.Q.


Nik,

So I finally got my hands on some real henna from
mehandi.com, and I was looking around online to see how/what you were supposed to mix your henna with. I noticed that on most sites, it says to mix with lemon or lime juice and honey, but you only mix with green tea. Is there something in green tea that you think works better in henna? Or is that just how you do it because it was how you were taught?

Hi,

Green tea is slightly acidic (which is adequate for dye release) and actually imparts a bit of moisture. ACV (what I used to use), lemon juice, and other acids are way too harsh for my dry strands. Green or chamomile tea work just as well. I routinely mix green tea and honey into my BAQ Henna. This is the brand I use: http://www.mehandi.com/shop/personalstash/

Later,
Nik

More Henna Education...

Do you remember that nuclear green henna I referred to last week? I asked Catherine, the henna guru about it, and she shed some light on a few things:

Here's links to relevant info on henna: http://www.mehandi.com/closeup/60xintro.html . The more chunky and full of junk the henna ........ the harder it will be to get out of kinky/curly hair. and the more likely it is that there will be breakage as you try to get it in and out. Like this ..... full of sand, dye and hunks: http://www.mehandi.com/closeup/Ayur%202.html and here's the crap that makes cheap Indian store henna green: http://www.hennapage.com/henna/encyclopedia/processing/greendye.html and yes ... if you are sensitive to chemicals, you may have a head full of sad from that green dye.

Also, I've been fielding questions about the difference between Mehandi's Personal Stash Jamila, Punjabi Prime, and Henna for African Hair. I've only tried Jamila, and I'm not in the position (at this time) to make a direct comparison. So, I asked Catherine this question as well. Find her response below:

In terms of factors for analysis, variables affecting henna are:
1) what were the climate conditions and soil during growth (this is highly variable! makes all the difference between a poor crop and great crop)
2) what were the climate conditions at harvest? (if the monsoon comes too soon or too late ... the crop can be ruined.)
3) what were the conditions during milling (Rainy? Humid? Dry? Sand storms?)
4) what were the conditions during shipping (Did it sit on a loading dock in the heat or rain)
5) what were the conditions during storage (is storage dark, cool, so the henna didn't come into contact with light and was it kept at a constant cool temperature)
6) how finely was the henna milled and sifted (this makes a lot of difference for fragile hair)

So ... this is why different crops have different characteristics, and no two resellers will have exactly identical henna.
The difference between 2008 Jamila, Punjabi Prime, and henna for African hair is a matter of which crop it came from. The fundamental dye content and sift are pretty much identical. If you dye with the three hennas .... you'll see a difference, but not a lot of difference. People have their favorites, and I think that's what matters most .... no henna is exactly the same on two different people.

PP came out of an early summer crop from Pakistan ... very creamy texture when mixed up, very easy to get in and out of the hair. The undertones are deep cherry to rose.

The Jamila 2008 I have is almost identical, but PP costs a bit less. I got a good deal on
Punjabi Prime because I ordered five metric tons, and am passing the savings along. Other people's Jamila may be a bit different .... people certainly report seeing a difference. Once a harvest comes in, I'm not surprised that there's some variation in batches, just as there's variation in wines, orange juice, strawberries and any other agricultural product.


Henna for African hair is from a DIFFERENT crop, same region, same processor as Jamila and Punjabi Prime. It has amber undertones. The mix isn't quite as creamy (probably has a lower moisture content) but you can adjust that with a little sugar if you like. Again, it is very easy to get in and out of hair because the sift is amazing. I think the amber tones sit a bit better on darker hair than Punjabi Prime.


Catherine

So there you have it folks. Thoughts, opinions?

Hair Tip of the Day- The Henna Edition

When you do your henna treatment, do you clarify your hair first? I co-wash twice a week, and I believe the ones (condish) have some cones in them. Is it necessary to clarify or poo first before you do a henna treatment?

Many women on the hennaforhair.com forum poo before henna'ing, especially if they're trying to cover grays (less gunk for the dye to have to penetrate through). During my last 2 treatments I poo'ed (haha) with Giovanni Tea Tree prior to henna'ing and didn't notice much of a difference. Maybe you should do the same- try it both ways. Shampooing never hurts, just be sure to DT with a very VERY moisturizing conditioner afterward...a clarifying poo, plus the stripping action from the henna can lead to hay stack city. Proceed with caution.

Is Dulhan replacing your Personal Stash Jamila from hennaforhair.com?

Hells no :) However, when I'm broke and have time to rinse fifty 'leven times, I'm all for Dulhan. I'll be using Dulhan to supplement my stash...to stretch my Jamila further.

Hair Tip of the Day- The Henna Edition

Some important henna links to check out:

My Henna Tutorial

My Henna Gloss Tutorial


Henna Hair How to Book

What to Think About Before You Henna

Henna for Hair Frequently Asked Questions

The Encyclopedia of Henna

NaturallyCurly's Henna Sticky

If you know of an informative article or thread, please post the link below!

Later Gators,
Nik

Hair Tip of the Day- The Henna Edition

Hey Nikki, How long did it take for your hair to notice the conditioning results of henna?

I believe I noticed the 'baby doll hair' effect after about 3 treatments. Prior to that, I could only see a color difference (on the previously highlighted strands), and a bit of the strengthening. When I say 'baby doll hair', I mean, strong, shiny, smooth strands. After your third or fourth treatment, you'll see your hair change before your eyes...for the better. My hair became heavier and much thicker. It also barely splits anymore...unless I pull out the 'ole Denman ;-) Not even henna can save me from it's wrath.

I would like to henna my hair, but not sleep in it.. I have a twa, is it possible? how long should I keep it in?

In order to reap the color and conditioning benefits of henna, you only need to leave it in for 4 hours. I sleep in it because I'm lazy. Something important to note is that the longer you leave it in, the darker/richer the red. Therefore, if you have gray roots, a 2 hour session may yield copper results- 4-6 hours may be more appropriate to achieve a burgundy tone. When I do a short session, I let the henna sit for longer, and I use my micro heat cap for half of the time to move things along.

Later Gators!
Nik

F.A.Q.- The Henna Edition

It's Monday already. Sad. I seriously live for the weekend.

I really enjoyed focusing on one topic for the' Hair Tip of the Day' last week (thanks Libra08!). So let's keep it going...this time, with HENNA.

Submit your questions below, and I'll do my best to answer them. Henna week will include all things mud, including cassia, indigo, and amla.
____________________________________________

While browsing Hennaforhair.com the other day, I ran across a thread about a woman who wants to use henna for conditioning purposes, but avoid the 'loosening' effect and red color. She wants to keep her dark shiny hair. Many of you have asked me this question as well.

Carrie, the resident of expert over at Hennaforhair, responded with what I thought was the best answer:

Adding a little amla (about 1/4 of your mix or less) instead of lemon or other acid (amla is plenty acidic) to the henna powder before dye release helps maintain curl. After 2-3 hours of henna, then you rinse and apply indigo paste for 1 hour for a true rich black.

If it's conditioning you want, Cassia is also an option. The effects are shorter lived (compared to henna), but it does impart shine, and strength. Curlies with gray hair should be careful because Cassia, if mixed with acid, will leave behind a yellow tint. Like henna, it's transparent, and while your color may remain unchanged indoors, it will be visible in the sun. For naturally dark haired curlies, cassia will not affect your color at all. For more information on Cassia, check out this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Later Gators,
Nik

A Walk Down Memory Lane...

Every few months, I look back over my pictures to assess progress and to foster happy feelings!! I recommend that each and every one of you incorporate this simple act into your own healthy hair routine! As a curly girl, progress can be hard to measure- pictures truly help you see just how far you've come. Unlike many, my goals are for fullness, not length (although with length comes volume).





Wash&Gos during my pre-henna days...late '06 through Oct. 2007. The 2nd pic is after my first cassia experiment. Wash&Gos kept my fine strands from growing past my shoulders :-( Those highlights fried my hair.





Twist-out and Wash&Go after several henna applications in late 2007. My hair began retaining more length thanks to the henna, and twist-outs, but the ends were still knotting, splitting, and breaking. My hair is thicker than in the pics from '06, but not quite as big as I'd like :) After a 3 month bunning experiment, and discovering the Twist-n-Curl my growth took off.




Twist-n-Curl 2009- My ends aren't perfect, but they're better than they've ever been. Stretching the end of each curl w/out heat has aided in length retention, and I like the style! Henna has darkened my highlighted hair considerably- you can barely see the light parts anymore. However, if you see me in the sun, it looks as if I have an auburn rinse. I love my henna head!

Submit your Walking Down Memory Lane story...if applicable, be sure to illustrate how particular techniques or products have aided in length retention and/or overall health. As always, send submissions to [email protected]

Henna Giveaway!!!!


Tamika, a very gracious CurlyNikki reader, is donating 400g of Punjabi Prime henna to us! Although I considered keeping it for myself, I thought it would be much more noble, and less selfish of me to put it up for grabs, lol!

All you have to do is tell me whether you self-style and take care of all your hair needs (trims, coloring, straightening, etc), or if you see a stylist, and why?

Leave your comment below (be sure to post your name as well) before 7pm on March 8,2009. The two winners will be chosen randomly from a hat by muah :-D Each curly winner will receive 200g- enough for one treatment (for most).

Later Gators,
Nik

THANKS TAMIKA!!!!!

F.A.Q.

Nik,

Why do you henna overnight? what is the shortest time you have henna'ed and still gotten the same/similar results as an overnight henna?

I henna overnight out of convenience and laziness. According to the experts over at Hennaforhair, 4 hours is adequate time to reap the conditioning and coloring benefits. I've done several successful 4 hour treatments. I just couldn't get with the mixing, applying, rinsing, DTing, and styling all in one day. Drove me nuts...and I was in and out of the shower like 5 times!

If you opt for the 4 hour treatment, you might want to let the mix sit for half a day prior to applying. I get away with mixing and immediately applying because I'm letting it sit in my hair upwards of 12 hours. Although some of the dye releases immediately, the rest of it releases while it's on my head, overnight. So, if you opt for a 4 hour treatment, please mix it up earlier in the day to achieve optimal results, and consider sitting under a heating cap or bonnet for part of that time.

Later Gators,
Nik

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