CurlTalk

Experiences with Henna?

curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
I'm thinking of trying henna. My current color is growing out and I don't want to do highlights anymore. Please share any and all experiences!!

TIA :afro:
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Comments

  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    Hey Nikki,

    I love henna. I've used it three times now - once as a gloss, and two full applications. Pure henna - the real stuff - only comes in red. That's the color of the dye the plant releases. My natural hair color is medium and dark brown (with some gold mixed in). After the second henna, my hair is a deep deep ruby red/brown ( I call it cherry-glazed chocolate) when outdoors. I get a lot of compliments on it, even though I think it's really subtle. Indoors you can still see it, but not as much. It won't show up that much on black hair.

    Henna also made my hair thicker - so just be prepared. But my twists now look great, where they were kind of limp and wimpy before. My loose hair still looks the same, but my twist ponytail looks thicker.

    Another thing I noticed is shinier, softer hair. The softness kicked in even more after the second henna. Henna is like a very long-lasting conditioner - the shine, softness, and strength last for a long time. I noticed that it took longer for my hair to absorb water after the first henna, but that went away after the second treatment.

    Just keep in mind that if you have used chemical color on your hair, you have to be VERY careful about the henna you buy. Compound henna (sometimes falsely sold as pure henna) contains metallic compounds that will interact with the chemical color, damaging your hair and turning it black or green. So be careful what you buy.

    I have the results of my henna gloss and 1st henna in my Fotki.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Thanks Spiral! I was hoping you'd respond :wink: I've stalked your fotki for a while and knew if anyone had advice for me, it'd be you...but also, I haven't seen you around these parts lately either.

    Thanks for the info, since I'm a newbie I'll wait until I grow this color out. I'd really like to transition to my natural hair color, so when that happens, I'll start experimenting.

    BTW, your hair is gorgeous, as always :)
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    No problem. You may want to check out the Henna for Hair forum ( www.hennaforhair.com). I learned a lot from the ladies there.

    Also, if you want the conditioning without the color, you can try cassia obovata , sometimes sold as "neutral henna". The conditioning effects don't last as long as henna, but I've read that people who use it regularly over time have stronger, thicker, shinier hair. You can get cassia from here: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mehandi.com%2Fshop%2Fcassiaobovatabuy.html" class="Popup

    Thanks for the compliment :D. I'm a big fan of your hair - it always looks so healthy and beautifully styled!
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    i know you are asking about henna. but i've been enjoying regularly conditioning my hair (every two months) with neutral henna. it's really the cassia obovata plant, which is closely related to the henna plant, only it doesn't impart a stain.

    after preparing it, i wrap my hair in a plastic bag, then wrap a towel around it and leave it on my hair for 1 to 1.5 hours.

    after rinsing it well and following with my rinse-out conditioner, my hair is left remarkably shiny, well conditioned, and moisturized.

    i "henna" every couple of months at the time that i trim my ends. tomorrow is actually my next henna treatment.

    i use the rainbow brand which i get from whole foods.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • AjidahkAjidahk Posts: 1,212Registered Users
    I've been interested in henna for a while, but I've been too lazy to try it. I was wondering if the henna helped at all with hair growth?
    Hair Type: 4a with 3c sections...frizzy,wavy,bushy,curly
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    If it thickens hair I want to try some...I just don't want the adverse effects of using it with color treated hair. I guess I'll give the cassia a try...when I'm feeling less lazy. Its hard enough for me to do a DT every week.
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    Ajidahk wrote:
    I've been interested in henna for a while, but I've been too lazy to try it. I was wondering if the henna helped at all with hair growth?

    I haven't heard about henna stimulating growth. But it does strengthen hair, so it may help retain growth. Some of the ladies on the henna board said that it helps to split-proof their hair.
    curlynikki wrote:
    If it thickens hair I want to try some...I just don't want the adverse effects of using it with color treated hair. I guess I'll give the cassia a try...when I'm feeling less lazy. Its hard enough for me to do a DT every week.

    100% pure henna is supposed to be good for color-treated hair. But you should always do a strand test, and read up in the henna forum first. But it might me a good idea to start with cassia. Depending on your hair, it can take either one or two cassias to see results.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • AjidahkAjidahk Posts: 1,212Registered Users
    Spiral, how often should the henna treatment be applied? How much do you recommend buying?
    Hair Type: 4a with 3c sections...frizzy,wavy,bushy,curly
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    *update*

    i did my neutral henna and once again, my hair is shiny, elastic, and well-conditioned.

    i use the rainbow brand that contains 4 ounces of dry henna. they recommend applying the entire 4 ounces, but using half is adequate for me because upon adding water, the product swells and thickens into a slimy paste which is ample for covering all of my hair from roots to ends. and my hair is long (a few inches below my shoulder blades in back, and to the front of my breasts in front).

    my curls are defined and clump better since using this plant conditioner.

    again, i do mine every 2 months, scheduling it at the time that i do my trim. (the directions recommend every 4-6 weeks, i think). my hair and scalp are very healthy.

    my hair is naturally medium brown, which makes it look matte and dirty when it's actually quite clean with no buildup. the neutral henna imparts a shine to my hair that is remarkable. it adds no color at all to my hair. it doesn't even stain my hands (i use my bare hands to apply it). the only other way i could get shine like this is to put loads of grease or oil on my hair or to straighten it, which i prefer not to do just to make it look shiny.

    if you have never colored your hair with henna, you may want to "practice" the application process with the neutral henna. you may decide that the shine and natural highlights that it brings out in your own hair will be satisfying enough.


    :love1:
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Rainshower, If I'm protein sensitive (I think I am...) would this natural henna be a good or bad idea? I'd really like to reap the benefits that you speak of and I'm tempted to get some from Whole Foods tomorrow.

    Let me know!
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    curlynikki wrote:
    Rainshower, If I'm protein sensitive (I think I am...) would this natural henna be a good or bad idea? I'd really like to reap the benefits that you speak of and I'm tempted to get some from Whole Foods tomorrow.

    Let me know!

    i just pm'd you, but i'll reply here too.

    i don't think you would have a problem using it, so long as you aren't allergic to the cassia plant. there are no additives to it. it's just the dehydrated, ground-up leaves into a powder.

    i will add that there are pieces of twigs in there. you could sift them out before the application if you wish. i don't. the slip from my conditioner, in addition to the massage feature on my showerhead are enough to make them slide right on out and down the drain.

    additionally, i use aubrey organics j.a.y. shampoo and j.a.y. conditioner to wash the henna out. these are awesome products.

    i use their rosa mosqueta shampoo and conditioner during the warm/hot months, and change up to their jay shampoo and conditioner during the cool/cold months. both of these products are excellent for my coily/wavy/curly hair.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    Ajidahk wrote:
    Spiral, how often should the henna treatment be applied? How much do you recommend buying?

    Ladies over at the Henna for Hair forum say you can apply henna as often as you like. Just be aware that in some cases, frequent henna users experience curl loosening. This hasn't happened to me so far - I just assess my hair after each henna to be sure. It sure has made my hair thicker though, and I welcome that.

    So far I seem to be doing a full henna once a month. I've only done two of those. And a gloss two weeks after my full henna. So, that would be twice a month for me - one full strength, and one gloss.

    My hair needs at least 200 grams for a full henna. Completely stretched, my hair is below bra strap - going on waist - in the back (the front is shorter), to give you an idea of how much 200 grams will cover. I mix my henna with honey, so that stretches it a bit.

    You should, for a full henna, apply it verrrry thick so that it covers each and every strand. It should be like thick frosting on your head LOL. Your head will feel very heavy and it will stretch your hair out almost straight from the weight of it. I wrap my hair around my head before putting on the cling wrap.

    I suggest reading this free e-book before attempting henna - it explains everything - how to mix, how to apply, etc:
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hennaforhair.com%2Ffreebooks%2F" class="Popup


    For the gloss, after experimenting, I think I could about get 4 good glosses out of a 100 gram box ($8 for Jamilla from Mehandi).

    Btw, I highly recommend Mehandi's Personal Stash Jamila henna. And her Cassia (neutral henna) is also very good.


    @ Nikki - It's often said around the internet that henna is a protein treatment, but it's not. Catherine over at Mehandi wrote a post about it - and she's doing her Phd on henna, so she knows. She said it's actually a tannin treatment. The confusion, I think, comes from the fact that it binds to the protein in your hair. So it does kind of act like a protein treatment, but it isn't one. I also find it far more effective than any temporary protein treatment I've ever used.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Spiral and Rainshower,

    I'm sitting here under my hooded dryer (w/ a processing cap on) with Rainbow brand (colorless henna). It is all natural and smells like fresh cut grass! It was a messy application, but my curls looked super cool all stretched out. I used 2 of the 4 oz of powder and mixed w/ 1/2 cup of boiling water and 2tbs of olive oil.

    Spiral, what I'm doing now (cassia, right?) is the gloss that you speak of? So I can do this twice a month or however often I want? I can't wait to see what my results will be like . I'm happy to hear that it has caused your hair to thicken, and that is most certainly welcome over here! I'd love bigger hair. Thats actually my number 1 dream...even more than length (my hair is at APL).

    Will post results!!!
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    Nikki, I can't wait to see your results! I haven't tried cassia on my entire head yet, just henna.

    The gloss I refer to is actually a method of applying henna and cassia. If you only have a little bit (like I had a few tablespoons left over), you can freeze it. Then later mix it with conditioner (no -oil for henna) or pectin, honey, or flax gel, and use it to refresh your color or shine.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Okay, so now I'm waiting on my hair to dry (won't be able to see the real results until tomorrow before work when its dry and I fluff it out). Upon first rinse, my hair was noticably softer! Due to the grittiness of the cassia, I thought that it would leave my hair feeling hard at first and then soft upon conditioning, so I was pleasantly suprised. My hair seemed a little fuller, but I can't be too sure yet...it also seemed much shinier. It is definitely softer...thats for sure.

    It took a million rinses with Creme of Nature Shampoo to get the grit out, and then I followed up with TJ Nourish Spa and BB Curl Quenching. I then styled w/ my usual BB and Herbal Essence Body Envy. Unfortunately, I still had a minute amount of grit (little twiggy things) left that wasn't rinsed away, but hopefully it won't be that noticeable tomorrow? I'll be able to co-wash again after my workout tomorrow evening. I"ll definitely post pics tomorrow :afro:

    Spiral, how often can I use the colorless henna?
  • AjidahkAjidahk Posts: 1,212Registered Users
    your results sound great, curlynikki. I can't wait to try henna. Have you noticed any other changes with the henna?
    Hair Type: 4a with 3c sections...frizzy,wavy,bushy,curly
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Nope. Its about 80% dry and its SOOOOOOOOO soft. No texture change (i.e. elongation), but definitely softer (silky even). I hope tomorrow it looks fuller...that would be awesome! You should definitely give it a try :)
  • Talisa3636Talisa3636 Posts: 310Registered Users
    Ive been viewing Spirals page too and shes inspired me to try the Jamila henna also! I was wondering if there is a combination to help the henna turn out more brown but i will try out the jamila first when i get the extra money (broke college student lol). Curlynikki im glad that the neutral henna worked for you!
    4a hair: Fall/Winter HG's
    Qhemet: Alma and Olive Heavy Cream, Cocoa Tree
    Curl Junkie: DF, CIAB, Honey Butta, Curl Reham
    Oyin: Honey Hemp, Sugar Berry
    Anita Grant: Creamy Cafe Latte, Rhassoul DC, Babassu Amla Shampoo Bar, Monoi De Tahiti
    Bee Mine: Curly Butter
    Other: Millenia Mud, Hicks Oil
    Homemade: Jamila Henna, Alba UnPetroleum Mix, Scalp Oil Blend, Aloe/Condish Spray, Condition Rinse (Aussie Moist & Mane and Tail)
    :happy6: : www.fotki.com/talisa3636
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Day 1:

    My hair is 100% dry and shinier than ever. I'm thinking I'd like to do this as my deep treatment, rather than using BB Curl Quenching (w/ olive oil and honey added) every week. I wonder if once a week would be over kill? Its colorless and only conditioning right?

    edited to add:
    Spiral, after reading info on hennaforhair.com alllll night, I decided to buy some Mehandi cassia. I read alot of negative posts about Rainbow (its organic ingredients are in question), so I think i'll try the brands Catherine reccs. I'll let you know if I see a difference.
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    Talisa3636 wrote:
    Ive been viewing Spirals page too and shes inspired me to try the Jamila henna also! I was wondering if there is a combination to help the henna turn out more brown but i will try out the jamila first when i get the extra money (broke college student lol). Curlynikki im glad that the neutral henna worked for you!

    Talisa - adding indigo or amla will give the henna a more brown tone. But not lighter brown than your hair is. Definitely read up on the different results from indigo and amla first though.

    Nikki- The frequency all depends on your hair. In fact a guy named Hairball on the HfH forum recommends doing two cassia treatments back to back to jump start the process. His hair is in amazing condition and long.

    But most people seem to do cassia and henna once to twice a month. Often that has something to do with covering gray or other colored roots when using henna. I would think that starting out with every other week would be good. Then you can assess how your hair is reacting and determine in you can either step it up or cut back the frequency.

    Btw, isn't the shine great! And it lasts way longer than normal conditioners. I also find that my hair is softer and silkier with each henna - so your next treatment should yield even better results. Plus Catherine guarantees that her stuff is fresh. It really does what store brand conditioners are supposed to do - give you shine, softness and strength. Btw, go easy on the oil. It imparts temporary softness, but some people find that it inhibits uptake the the tannins by coating your hair. A little bit may be fine though. You may want to experiment with it.

    Oh, to get those last few bits out of my hair, I find it's good to do a light shampoo after I have almost everything out. Then I condition with a non/low protein conditioner and I'm set.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    spiral,

    the shine that my hennaing imparted almost scared me! :laughing9: it almost looked like my daughter's baby doll's hair!

    as i've mentioned, my hair is medium brown and naturally looks dusty and dull, even though it's moisturized, healthy, and elastic.

    the neutral henna makes it gleem. and it is so silky and strong and always feels supple and moisturized, never dry and crackly.

    i love my aubrey organics conditioners, but even when i used them as a deep treatment, they couldn't impart this kind of shine to my hair.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    rainshower wrote:
    spiral,

    the shine that my hennaing imparted almost scared me! :laughing9: it almost looked like my daughter's baby doll's hair!

    Rainshower, that's a great description LOL. You're right, it does remind me of doll hair!

    Oh yeah, I have found that my hair reacts differently to the products I use now. I seem to need less. Have you guys seen this?
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Hell yeah! When I went to apply BB Curl Quenching yesterday I didn't need half as much, mainly because my hair already had slip. I used less products too. Spiral, I read that post on hennaforhair. com by the guy who reccs to use cassia twice in a row...i'm going to take his advice (and yours) and do it again tonight. Then I"ll wait a week or 2 and see...

    Thanks soooo much! Anything that will thicken my hair, add shine and eliminate splits...i'm on it like 'white on rice'...or 'like stink on a turd' :laughing9:

    thanx again
  • natashamcknatashamck Posts: 434Registered Users
    This sounds interesting... I think that I'm going to give it a try...

    Do you guys think that it would be *bad* to use the rainbow henna from whole foods? I'm only asking because my inner PJ is writing out a check to Whole Foods as we speak because she wants to try it NOW... :bounce:

    About how long does it take for the neutral henna from online to be delivered?

    ETA: Is there much of a price difference between the whole foods stuff and the online stuff?
    mostly coarse texture, normal porosity... I think?
    HG: Generic Matrix Biolage, KCCC, KCKT, CBSS WSHP
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    spiral-nc wrote:
    rainshower wrote:
    spiral,

    the shine that my hennaing imparted almost scared me! :laughing9: it almost looked like my daughter's baby doll's hair!

    Rainshower, that's a great description LOL. You're right, it does remind me of doll hair!

    Oh yeah, I have found that my hair reacts differently to the products I use now. I seem to need less. Have you guys seen this?

    i used to have to use a quarter size amount on each of four sections of my hair after shampooing when detangling. now, i use a quarter size amount of conditioner on each side of my hair after shampooing when detangling.

    even though my ends are in fantastic condition since hennaing, i still smooth a nickel size amount of jojoba oil onto them while my hair is still damp.

    hennaing has become a staple in my hair care. i won't apply it any more frequently than every two months since the effects are long-lasting.

    i'm glad everyone is having such great results with a natural product.

    oh, and curlynikki, if you have a massage feature on your showerhead that pulses pretty hard, use that during your rinse to get those bits and grit out in addition to a conditioner with good slip. or you can try sifting your dry henna before the application to avoid the bits and grit. :wink:
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    I don't think so. I tried it and received wonderful results. The posters on hennaforhair.com think its odd that Rainbow comes in a variety of color, when pure henna is red. This means that there must be additives...but they don't list them. So, this calls into question the 'organic' label on the packaging. I've concluded that it doesn't apply as much to the Rainbow Cassia. Plus, it worked well. I'm only trying some from the hennaforhair website to see if works any better. I say go for it!

    Actually, I just ran up to Whole Foods an bought another bottle, lol. I want to do it again this evening! Oh, also, I added EVOO...simply wonderful!
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    curlynikki wrote:
    I don't think so. I tried it and received wonderful results. The posters on hennaforhair.com think its odd that Rainbow comes in a variety of color, when pure henna is red. This means that there must be additives...but they don't list them. So, this calls into question the 'organic' label on the packaging. I've concluded that it doesn't apply as much to the Rainbow Cassia.

    I think you're righty, Nikki. I'd stay away from the other Rainbow Hennas that say other colors, like burgundy, etc. Other stuff has to be added to get those colors - it could be indigo, but who knows if they don't list all the ingredients? I agree with you about sticking to the "neutral" Rainbow henna, since that should be just cassia. Do they list anything else on the box, Nikki?
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Spiral, it just says henna...which can't be right either, because Cassia is Cassia not Henna. On the label it says Neutral Henna. I still had a good experience, and I'm sitting under the dryer doing my second treatment. I've posted pics of my hair today after the first treatment. the shine was awesome and I felt like it had a bit more body.


    Edited***

    So I did my second treatment, rinsed and applied TJ Nourish and BB Curl Quenching. I showered, rinsed and styled. My hair is soooooooooooo soft and tangle free. I swear that the styling process took longer tonight...granted, I'm tired, but I felt like my hair was twice as thick, especially up front. I give Rainbow's Cassia 2 thumbs up, but I still can't wait to try the Cassia from hennaforhair.com.

    I'll post pics again tomorrow of the results.
  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    Nikki - your hair looks amazingly gorgeous!!

    ETA: If the box only lists henna and it's neutral, then it is just cassia. I'm curious to see if you find a diifference between that and the Mehandi cassia.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2FSpiral" class="Popup

    H is for Henna and Healthy Hair!
    Use only the PURE STUFF
  • KellKell Posts: 201Registered Users
    Ajidahk wrote:
    your results sound great, curlynikki. I can't wait to try henna. Have you noticed any other changes with the henna?

    Me too, I wanna do this. I all for more managable hair, even if the color doesnt change. Sounds sooo pretty after a few times. :cheese:
    J&J Baby Shampoo fugged up my hair! :thumbdown:
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