1. Nikki, why do you use tea instead of lemon juice? I thought lemon juice was essential.

Catherine over at Hennaforhair.com recommends mixing your henna with an acidic liquid to aid in dye release and color retention. Lemon juice is very harsh and since us kinky/curlies already have dryness issues, adding an acid like lemon juice, or even Apple Cider Vinegar (what I use to use) to the mix would only make things worse. Henna is already a drying process (being a mud and all), so I try to lessen that by adding milder (but still slightly acidic) liquids. I add warm green or chamomile tea to my Jamila brand henna powder and get I get immediate dye release, and great color. Maybe if I had straight blond hair, I’d be more concerned about ‘color retention’…but my main concern is reaping the strengthening and smoothing effects. For me, the color is just a great side effect.
Tea works just as well, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling super gross afterwards.

2. How often do you detangle and style?

I style and detangle 2-3 times a week. Generally on Sunday and Wednesday nights. My hair style would hold up for 7 days, but if I didn’t detangle every 3-4 days, it would take me more than an hour to detangle, and I’d lose A LOT of hair.

3. How do I know if I’m protein sensitive?

The red flag for me was hard brittle hair. After using certain products, namely Sebastian Potion 9, my hair would look good, but feel very hard and dry to the touch. Eventually I realized that my hair only reacted that way, when I used products containing hydrolized wheat protein and soy protein. Now, I avoid it like the plague! To test my own theory, I revisited Sebastian Potion 9 last year, and needless to say, my hair looked great, but felt horrible. Bottom line- listen to your hair.