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?