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Curly Nikki

More Henna Education…

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

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?

17 Comments

  • Keebo says:

    omg!! >.< Just the info I was looking for. Thanks!! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I've used the Henna for African Hair twice now, and my hair and scalp loves it! I've suffered from a dry, flaky scalp ever since I first relaxed my hair in the sixth grade. Special shampoos including tea tree and sulfur only worked temporarily. I thought my problems would be over once I BC'd, but the dry scalp persisted. Henna has done what nothing else could do–leaving my scalp clean, moisturized, and free from sores. The henna has also strengthen my hair and eliminated the ever present knots on the end of my strands and also eliminated split ends. I am so thankful to this blog for introducing me to this hair saving ritual! Oh, another unexpected benefit? It helps with stress! After a week of teaching public high school, a full head of henna does wonders!!!

  • JuliAna says:

    Hi nume2009,

    Glad to know you did not have any allergic reactions to Jamila.

    When you tried the Jamila, did you use terps as suggested on Mehandi. I placed my monthly order from Mehandi, this time I included Jamila and terps to my order.

    I want to give the Jamila a try!!!

  • Kris says:

    I used Henna for African Hair and I had an allergic reaction. At first I thought it was beucause I used the basic mixing instructions (lemon juice). I tried the green tea mix I saw here and it still irritated my skin quite a bit. Then I tried Jamila and had no irritation at all [thank god]! This post really clarified some hunches I had to way that happened with one and not the other!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I got my Henna and Cassia today!!! Not sure when I’m going to take the plunge…but at least I’ll have all of my materials.

    ~ Diamond ~

  • JuliAna says:

    Hi Maxhug,

    I agree with you Nikki’s website is the best, I love it here. I wanted to let you know that I use the African Henna from Mehandi.

    Mehandi Henna is superior, I’m natural with long hair, I have no problem rinsing the Henna from my hair. It has a beautiful creamy texture and stimulates and invigorates the scalp beautifully.

    I leave mine on for 4-6 hours. After I henna, I apply a non protein conditioner on my hair and leave on for 1 hour. I have been lucky not to have any breakage or split end. The protein and moisture is balanced in my hair. The Henna has helped my hair to become thicker, which I really love.

    Anyway, I thought I would share my experience with African Henna from Mehandi with you. I think you should give it a try your hair will love it!!! The delivery is very quick I get my within 2-3 business days no special mailing just regular usps delivery. On Friday I placed an order I should receive my products on Tuesday the 4/14/09.

  • Maxhug says:

    This is very useful & informative post! I am currently using Dulhan Henna (purchased from local indian store,)however I may switch to African Henna because of the "Amber Undertones".

  • JuliAna says:

    Thanks for such an informative article!

    In reference to the African Henna,”lower moisture content” does this mean the African Henna is more drying to natural hair, should a deep moisturue conditon not protein, be used after the application of African Henna?

    Excellent Post!!!

  • Spiral says:

    Thanks for posting this! This is excellent info for people to consider when buying henna! There is cheap henna out there, but a lot of it isn’t worth even one buck when you see what’s in it.

  • Anonymous says:

    (Mzmillion from NC) I just got some PP from a friend on NC.com since Jamila isn’t seeming to work, you know how bad I want to be a henna head. So I’m going to do that this weekend and see how it comes out…I hope it does better. Supposedly the dye content in PP is a little more staining than Jamila from what I hear…so cross your fingers for me.

  • Shelly says:

    I use to use the Henna for African hair with great results. I recently started purchasing my henna from my local Indian market just because of the lower cost (can’t remember the name of the brand). I’m also having good results with the store bought henna as far as the ease of applying and rinsing out the henna. I guess since I use Indigo with my henna, I never think about the color undertones which are released. I henna more for the conditioning benefits. However, I am thinking I should research the store bought brand a little more and make sure I’m not using the contaminated stuff.

  • Anonymous says:

    oops… i meant to say “thanks nik.” silly me 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    great advice! thank nik!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is excellent info. As an aside, I mixed up a conditioner with cocoa (not henna) for my hair recently and had the hardest time rinsing it out. As a result, I had a lot of unnecessary breakage. Now I know why having a fine sift is so important. It really wasn’t worth all of the break and extra time detangling. I’ve used the Jamila three times now and love it and won’t use anything that isn’t finely sifted in my hair eva again.

  • Miss Dior says:

    This great info, I was wondering about the differnces also when I went to henna for hair. Thanks again!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this. I e-mailed my order and am waiting for a telephone call to confirm it. I can’t wait. I’ll need help deciding between the PP and the Henna for African hair.

    ~ Diamond ~

  • ChocolateOrchid says:

    I’ve often wondered about the true differences in henna’s. Thanks for posting this. I guess I really buy my henna by the die content. Yemen is my fav so far but I am open to others. I might be a little curious about that Henna for African hair. The “amber undertones” is grabbing my curiousity.
    Very interesting info.

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