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Curly Nikki

Cassia and Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202150 Comments
The winner is…

Anon July 27 1:34pm

Email me with your name and address so I can get your goodies in the mail!

Below is a re-post from early 2009. Lately, I’ve been receiving tons of inquires about Cassia… as well as questions about using henna without a change in color. Hopefully this will clear up any confusion!


Anonymous writes:

Hey Nikki!

I know you’re a Henna girl, but I saw your comment for one of your pictures, and you mentioned using Cassia. I’m curious about henna but there are a few things that have me nervous about taking the plunge to try it, one of them is the coloring effects. I know Cassia is supposed to be similar without altering hair color, if you don’t mind, can you share your experience with Cassia? Thanks a bunch!

CN Responds;

I tried cassia about 4 times before moving on to henna. Initially, like you, I was afraid of the red color, especially since I had a considerable amount of brown highlights throughout- I wasn’t going for ‘fire engine red’.

Again, henna red is translucent. 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. So, if you’re still reluctant about that red tint, Cassia may be the answer.

Cassia is similar to henna…although it’s a different plant altogether, it has some of the same conditioning effects, sans color. Like henna, cassia strengthens the hair shaft, improves overall health, and adds lots of shine. It doesn’t, however, reduce shrinkage or drastically thicken the hair up. It’s effects are far more fleeting- lasting at the most 1-2 weeks. The mixing, application, and rinsing process is a bit less taxing as well. For starters, you don’t have to wear gloves! Also, you only have to leave it in for 30 minutes to get the conditioning effects. Since you’re not worried about dye release, you can mix in everything but the kitchen sink- I used to mix in oils, conditioner, and honey. Some blonde and gray haired ladies use Cassia for the slight yellow tint that it gives off. If you have dark hair, you don’t have to worry about this effect.

I left cassia for henna for one reason- I wanted bigger hair. I didn’t, and still don’t mind the red. You’re going to get improved hair health with both cassia and henna, but henna’s effects will last upwards of 3-4 weeks, depending on how often you wash.

In my honest opinion, Cassia is just a REALLY good conditioning treatment.

Good luck!

Have you used Cassia? Share your experiences below…

… and win 200g of Mehandi’s Cassia from my personal stash!

The contest will close tomorrow at 5pm EST. At that time, a winner will be randomly chosen and announced soon thereafter!

Good Luck!


  • Hilary B. says:

    wow, this is really comprehensive and helpful. I like the the crayon on black paper analogy, it makes sense and i'm able to better picture it. Still unsure though, will continue reading.

  • Unknown says:

    I've been reading up on Henna and Cassia. I have naturally red hair that easily gets sun bleached. Can Cassia and Henna be mixed? I don't want to end up with orangutan orange hair, but I want to try henna. HELP anyone? Nikki? Somebody?

  • Denita says:

    I would love to try cassia! I'm have officially been converted to a hennahead, so I am game for all types of ayurvedic powders.

  • April J says:

    I've never used Cassia or Henna but I would love to try it! I traveled to Morocco this summer and they incorporated henna (pronounced henn-uh in Arabic)into their everyday lives. I thought it looked amazing 🙂

  • Unknown says:

    I have never actually used cassia or henna, but i'd love to try it out!

  • Chyeahbella says:

    i would love to win the bag of cassia. i have used it once {stole some from my sister} and it worked well on my hair but i never got around to experimenting with cassia. i sticked with henna but i want to experiment with cassia so more in the future.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love Cassia! It's really helped with breakage and elasticity. I'd love to win some for free. I only use cassia from that site.

  • Carla says:

    I like the ease of cassia (no gloves and no staining on the skin!). When I did cassia over my hennaed hair, my hair turned a magenta color in the light, but I didn't mind it. My hair was much softer with cassia over henna.

    For the most part, I'm sticking with henna because it last longer.

  • Anonymous says:

    Once you have henna'd and stop does your hair have a reaction to stopping? I use to be a die hard henna head(2yrs) and it seems since I stopped (6) months now my hair is shedding and thinning…

  • ~Flower Head~ says:

    Recently started exploring Henna. I really like it. I have always tried cassia, but I didn't see as huge of a difference in terms of hair strength as I do with Henna. I believe Henna provides more protection, which is what kinky hair needs.

    I will probably post a review on my blog about it soon:

  • Anonymous says:

    I think I may have to try it now just wish the effects lasted as long as henna. Im lazy when it comes to hair.

  • HairItIs says:

    I tried cassia a few times, and I figured if I was going through all that mixing and mess, I may as well bite the bullet and just henna, since henna at least lasts longer. I only wait an hour or so after mixing to apply, because I'm not looking for color, just strengthening.

  • Tai says:

    I have not used Cassia yet but I am very interested in trying it out. I have always wanted to explore the benefits of Henna-ing but I really like my natural hair color and would hate to change it. I think Cassia could be a wonderful alternative.

  • Anonymous says:

    I want to try cassia because I've read that it helps with porous hair, I'm struggling with highly porous hair.


  • Stacy says:

    i've wanted to try this for so long now! thanks for the info!

  • Beze says:

    No! But I've henna'd, and decided I'm not fond of the red. Aching to try cassia!

  • KeshaSharee says:

    I used cassia twice before using henna and I use it now in my dc. Cassia worked great for strengthening and I too didn't have to worry about the color. It was easy to mix and apply and a gem to rinse. I use henna now and although it does wonders I plan on venturing back to cassia when I start doing henna once a month. If henna frightens you cassia is a great alternative!

  • mangomadness says:

    I've never tried it but I'm curious. I do like henna though.

  • Shana B says:

    I haven't tried cassia yet. I just ordered some henna the other day and plan use it as a gloss. I may need some cassia just in case I punk out on this henna business lol

  • Katrina says:

    I have tried both Cassia and Henna with an Indigo follow up to maintain my dark colored hair. The Cassia was basically like Nikki said, a really good conditioning treatment. The Henna initially turned my greys bright red and the rest of my hair was tinted red; once adding the indigo, my hair turned back to black but my greys stayed red, lol. I prefer the Cassia because the Henna with Indigo follow-up completely dried my hair out, the two-step process was just too taxing on my hair and the indigo was very difficult to distribute evenly; think straw like dried out hair. In addition the Cassia takes an hour or so tops to do since there is no wait time and leaving it in for an hour does the job; while the Henna is an all day process; even longer if you follow up with the indigo to maintain dark hair.

  • Jameil says:

    I love cassia!!!!! I have brown highlights and am not ready to get rid of them just yet but def wanted to reap the benefits of henna so I decided to try it. I usually mix about 75g cassia with 3 tbsp coconut milk, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp castor oil and some warm water. I leave it on for about 1 1/2 and then do a DC. LOVE the effects!

  • Keli says:

    I have yet to henna or cassia, but am anxious to do my first treatment! I am thinking I will try cassia first and work my way up to henna since the application process is not as troublesome but the conditioning effects are the same. Is the potential for curl loosening the same with cassia as it is with henna?

  • Chantel Jones says:

    Well, I've never tried neither, but would like to do some experimenting!

  • Gina says:

    This was a great post…now I want to try them all.


  • Mickey says:

    This was an awesome post. I'd be interested in trying the cassia the same way as the henna gloss… but since it's less messy with some of the same conditioning properties, I think it may be the better choice.

  • jennWANTSaFRO says:

    I haven't tried Cassia at all. I heard it was similar to Henna but I wasn't sure how close it was. Now that I know it doesn't combat shrinkage ( my hair tangles when shrunk) I'll want to try my hand at henna. Has any one purchased anything from HENNAHUT.COM? I think their stuff is cheaper than MEHANDI.COM. That's the only thing that will get my mom to buy it for me…#teennatural;)

  • Nikki H. says:

    I have really gotten a good routine with my natural hair care regimen, but have never understood the explanations on henna vs. cassia. You really helped me a lot to understand exactly what they are used for. My hair went through a phase of pure unhealthiness, and is now transforming slowly but surely. Perhaps implementing henna into my routine could help with my goal of healthy hair.

  • Ashley Jane says:

    I don't know if this is true or not but I was told that Henna cannot be put over top of permanent dye because it will make the hair break off. Idk what it would do for relaxed hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was wondering about the effects of using henna/cassia on color-treated hair. I suppose cassia would be my best bet, since I color my hair often. Decisions, decisions lol. Thanks for the post!

  • iri9109 says:

    i love cassia….i havent used it in a few months and i can tell the difference…when im on top of my cassia treatments my hair is shinier, smoother/less frizzy, and hangs more…i like to mix it with plain greek yogurt or condish, honey and aloe vera. for those who are worried, i've used it on colored hair and non colored hair, and it didn't alter the color of my hair at all.

  • Iman Cassells says:

    I would like to use Cassia, have tried henna a long time ago on relaxed hair. Now that I am natural, I would love to see what Cassia is like.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never used cassia. I want to try it because I don't like the curl loosening I get with henna. Davina

  • Empress says:

    I love cassia. I tried it for the first time a few months ago. I usually do twist-outs and my hair was very moisturized, glowing and it felt strong after using cassia. I was hoping to get more in the future.

  • Anonymous says:

    I started with cassia and I really liked the benefits of it. I was afraid of henna because ot the color. I started of doing glosses, over my clored hair. I have done 2 applications so far and i love it. I have some in the freezer ready for my third applicationin 2 weeks.

  • marven says:

    have light brownish highlights(basically the same color that you had Curly Nikki) but i'm scared to death . logo design | custom logo design

  • Didi says:

    I found this on the Henna for Hair website. It basically shows different people's henna mixes and how it colored their hair; with before and after pictures. They show from blonde to black. I just choose the picture that closest resemble my hair and will try that mix.

  • NaturallyCurlyDee says:

    Thank you so much for this post…i've been debating between cassia and henna for a month now. I have light brownish highlights(basically the same color that you had Curly Nikki) but i'm scared to death of the color effects henna might have on my hair 🙁 I am trying to grow my color out (half way there) So i'm thinking I'll start off with cassia and build up my courage to try hennna …because i do have major shrinkage with my curls!!

  • TMS says:

    Thanks for this informative post.

  • Anonymous says:

    Along with Rainbow Clear henna, do you Curlynikki or anyone know of any other store bought brands of Cassia? I live in Canada and some of the things that are carried in the states are not carried here.

  • Khadija Dawn Carryl says:

    very nice post!

    Indigo from an Indian shop is a big risk for having PPD dyes in it. It is very hard to find indigo locally. Getting it from a good supplier would be your best choice. Someone who specializes in natural hair care (aruveda)

  • Anonymous says:

    Can you tell me something about indigo?? I wanted to buy indigo from this indian shop but I dont know much about it and I want darker hair… What brand of indigo is good for the hair??

  • Anonymous says:


    i just wnated to add a thought…if someone wants henna benefits without henna color and has dark dark hair…you can add indigo to the henna and it’ll retain the dark color sans red highlights. Just a thought.

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    Can cassia be used on hair that has been dyed?

  • Stephanie says:

    thanks for this informative post, nikki! I just did my first cassia treatment today. I’m sitting now conditioner on my head doing my DT. Hopefully this turns out well! 🙂

  • Adrienne says:

    I have a question…can these products be used if you are NOT natural? Would these products even be useful to me??


  • Kinky Rhonnie says:

    I found henna as low at $1.49 at Shipping was only $5 to my local area for six boxes.

    Unfortunately I had already ordered from They have a clearance on the Jamila 2006 crop for $3 per 100 grams. The expiration date is May ’09 so I slapped it in the freezer as soon as it arrived. Thank God there was free shipping or I’d have been real mad that I didn’t find the $1.49 deal first. lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for answering this question Miss Lady!!! 🙂

  • Laquita says:

    Great post :o)

  • Ashley says:

    I just don’t understand why cassia is more expensive than henna on the mehandi site. I’m sticking to henna. I know, I’m cheap.

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