Friday, August 23, 2013

My henna experience

The powdered leaves of the henna plant are used as a dye to color hair and for body art tattoos. To get the best color pay off, you should use body art quality henna as the dye content is greater. The more you use it, the greater the results. Henna will produce a red-orange caste on the hair meaning the lighter your hair is to begin with, the more vibrant the color. Some benefits of using henna are: it is an all natural way to color your hair (can get rid of grays with multiple application or brighten the hair), makes the hair stronger with less breakage and split ends, produces smoother shinier hair, and it can make the hair more manageable. *Note- henna can loosen the curl pattern which is what causes tighter, kinkier curl patterns to seem more manageable and easier to comb! According to Curly Nikki, this typically affects naturals with a loose S-curl wave but other curl patterns may notice a difference too with continued use. I didn't think much of this warning due to the nature of my hair and I did experience some curl loosening but no change to my pattern*  

That is just a brief synopsis about henna! There is a wealth of knowledge online so do your research before trying anything. So straight to the point: what I did, how it loosened my curl pattern and affected my color, and what I'll do next! 


At the WNHS, I picked up two boxes of Red Raj henna from Henna Sooq. As you all know, I used a box color to dye my ends to give me an ombre effect. That color has since faded/looks brassy and from my research of henna, the lighter your hair is, the more vibrant the color pay off will be. I read the warning about possible curl loosening but I'm type 4 kinky coily, a little curl loosening will not hurt nor affect me in a negative way. My only concern is my crown which is a 3c. *To prevent from loosening your curl pattern, it is suggested to add 2 tbsp of amla powder to your mixture.* 

What I did
I just followed the instructions on the box and mixed the henna with a warm liquid of choice (water), added a little lemon juice and let it sit for 3-4 hours to let the dye release. Make sure you don't use any metal utensils. I mixed it in a plastic bowl with a plastic spoon till it was a pudding consistency and let it sit covered. Once 3.5 hours were up, I applied it to my hair. I applied it on dirty hair but for my next treatment I will apply it to clean hair to get better color pay off. **Henna is very messy! It will stain so I used vaseline around my hairline and on my ears. Put down old newspaper on the floor and wear an old t-shirt you don't mind getting dirty! And don't forget the plastic gloves!** 
Before & after with henna applied

Using Nikki's Henna Routine from her book, Better than good hair, I let the henna stay on for 12 hours over night. I put a shower cap on and wrapped my head with my turban wrap. 12 hours later, Nikki suggest first filling your tub up half way with warm water and dunking your head in it for the initial rinse to break up the henna and get as much of it out as possible. 


First rinse-after dunking head in tub & final rinse is after DC
Next, she says to get in the shower and use a cheap conditioner to co-wash the hair.  You will have to do this several times until you get the rest of the henna out. Once all the henna was out, I applied more conditioner and let it sit while I showered then rinsed it out. The final step is to do a deep conditioner treatment on the hair. Henna will mimic an intense protein treatment so she suggests to deep condition for at least 2 hours. I left it on for 2 hours and sat under my heat cap for an extra 30 minutes. 

What I experienced 
I was so tired after spending all that time on my hair that I didn't want to twist it, I didn't want to braid it, I didn't want to touch it. I shingled some gel through my hair and wore it in a wash n go puff for the next 3 days. That night I didn't notice a difference in the color until the next day. Henna takes a few days to oxidize before the final results are evident. I took some pictures of my hair in different light settings and I am very happy with the color results. I kept the wash n go in for three days and I couldn't stand the sticky feel of the kinky curly curling custard anymore so I had to wash my hair on the fourth day.


Since my wash day is Sunday, I did a co-wash and I instantly noticed a difference with my hair. My curl pattern was much looser. The crown is 3c and the front two sides from temple to ear are super coarse maybe 4b/c. With the conditioner in you can see how loose my curls look. I was shocked. It was like my hair was blowing in the wind how airy and light if felt and moved. From what I've read, the loosening of the curl pattern is due to build up of the henna and to prevent it from getting too loose is to either add amla powder to your mix or use less frequently every 4-6 weeks. *Note, this is a temporary effect and consistent applications will need to be done to keep the hair in this easier to manage state*


Texture is still the same; henna will not change that!
Conditioner used both times
I rinsed the conditioner out and was still amazed at how soft and manageable my hair was behaving! I was able to run my fingers through my hair with no product in it! I feel like where has henna been all my journey!?! Zoe (my hair) has broken 2 tangle teasers (teeth went flying) and my denman brush bristles  are all bent out of shape!!! Believe me when I say I have that super kinky hair and don't feel like fighting with my hair so I will continue my henna journey but will make sure not to use it sooner than the recommended time frame just in case to prevent from losing my curls. I also want my color to be brighter. After using the box color, I experienced some dryness and I have never had to moisturize my hair as often as I do now so whatever it takes to stay away from box colors I'm all for it.

Sorry this was so long but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. My next henna treatment will be after I come out of my protective style so in about 8 weeks and I will keep you all posted if I notice any more changes with my hair. I will change my mixture up and will use green tea as my warm liquid and honey.
Protective style: Kinky twists! Hair color is looking really vibrant!


Y'all still with me? Thanks for reading! Questions or comments leave them below!

Besos, Feron 

4 comments:

  1. your twist look amazing!!! i love your article :D :D

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  2. Wow. I can definitely see the change in color. I know the kink loosening is a bonus for most naturals but that always scared me away from trying henna.

    Your hair is beautiful and the new color looks nice on you. Good job.

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