Showing posts with label henna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label henna. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2012

Reader Qs On Henna

Hi Jeni, through stalking this site and reading as much as I can about hair I finally reached APL...well grazing (Yay me!!!) I've noticed that one side of my head is longer, healthier and has less breakage. I've decided to try henna and thought how cool it would be if you did a video on how you apply. I've heard so much about henna but I'm really nervous and uncertain about the entire process. Also, the texture of my hair is pretty coarse from root to mid-shaft and my ends are thin... not really damaged, just thin. Need some insight on why and if i should cut. Thanks for all of your advice and inspiration. --Denise

Hi Denise, big congratulations on reaching APL! Whooo! :)

I've repeatedly told myself that I'm going to do a cassia (neutral henna) application in the near future but never get around to actually purchasing the cassia. The next time I do purchase, I will definitely record the process. I use cassia because it does not have dye release like henna so it does not alter hair color, but has all the benefits of cassia. *In the next question below, I explain what cassia/henna is and benefits*

In short, what I do is mix cassia powder with hot water and coconut oil (for my next application, I plan on adding honey and switching out coconut oil for grapeseed oil). When applying, I sometimes coat my hair with coconut oil to make the cassia easier to spread, but I've also done it without. Once I've applied the cassia to my entire head, I wrap my hair up in saran wrap, cover with a scarf, and leave on for a few hours. Then I wash, and proceed with a normal wash day.

For you ends, if they're not damaged (and you're not a fan of change/cutting like me), you may want to slowly trim the thinner ends away. It's better to trim thin ends rather than hold onto them because think of it this way: "there's strength in numbers." When you comb hair that is uniform in thickness, the force of combing/manipulation is spread out across all the strands of hair, decreasing the potential for breakage. With thin ends, there is less "support," making it easier to break off those ends when handling your hair. Also, uniform hair hangs better, looks better, looks healthier.

Roughly what I mean about uniform hair/thin ends:


Hope this helped!

Hey Jeni, is it possible to do a detailed blog post on Henna? What is henna for hair, the benefits and the types of henna. If possible can you give recommendations as to which you think are the best ones for someone trying to thicken their hair only. Thank you. -- Psychoc008

Hi Psychoc008!

What Is Henna?
Henna is a plant that smells like hay (to me at least). When henna powder is mixed into a paste it can be used to create temporary body art, dye fingernails, dye leather, or permanently dye hair a orangish/reddish tint. 100% pure henna will only dye hair a orange/reddish tint.

"Black henna" is actually derived from the indigo plant and dyes hair black/brown, but it must be used with henna to achieve those results. Unlike henna, indido must be mixed and used right away. Note: please be sure to check if your "black henna" contains p-phenylenediamine (PPD). PPD can be extremely damaging to your hair and skin, causing dryness and allergic reactions.

Cassia obovata is often called "neutral henna" but it's not derived from the henna plant. It's actually derived from the Italian senna plant. Cassia is called "neutral henna" because Italian senna has a low yellow dye molecule, so it can dye lighter hair colors (e.g. gray, blond), but on dark dark, it will not show any color. Cassia will give you the same benefits of henna but the results do not last as long so cassia applications must be done more frequently.

*When purchasing henna, purchase body art quality henna. This means the powder is 100% pure and natural and has the most dye content.

Benefits of henna:
For those seeking to dye their hair reddish tint, henna is a great, natural method (or henna+indigo for black tint). Henna also enhances shine, strengthens hair, thickens hair by coating it, and loosens curl pattern (it may be a benefit for some, e.g. those stretching their relaxers).

A Few Types of Henna [source:]
Jamila Henna Powder: " It does have the longest dye release, taking up to 24 hours to prepare for body art, and 12 hours for use on hair, before ready to use. It is a reliable henna powder, but not great if you need henna quick. It has the ultimate best sift of ANY henna powder. It is very popular among professional henna artists, and for hair dyeing. It washes out of the hair very easily, and the

Organic Rajasthani Indian Henna Powder: "For hair it yields a reddish-burgundy tone.  For hair usage, this powder we recommend you allow it to sit from 3-4 hours, and then apply onto your hair. It is triple sifted and through nylon cloth. On lighter hair it may come out more orange-copper toned."

Yemeni Henna Powder: "For hair . . . allow this henna powder to sit from 3-4 hours before applying it. It is well known for being one of the stringy hennas . . . It is absolutely one of the most popular henna powders for hair dyeing, and covers grey very well. It gives the most gorgeous, deep red tones of any other henna powder currently."

Moroccan Henna Powder: "It has the quickest dye release . . . For hair usage, only allow to sit for a maximum of 1 to 2 hours and then apply it. The dye can demise quickly if left out too long. It’s not a good henna to freeze as a henna paste. It is also a stringy henna. It has great color, usually very bright and becomes quite dark suddenly (on skin). We usually recommend this henna powder for achieving brown to black tones along with indigo, when used in hair dyeing because the least amount of red tones will show through on your hair. We recommend it because it has a fast dye release, and alone on hair it gives orange to red tones."

If you're looking to only thicken your hair, any type of henna will do, but you have to be mindful of how how long you let the henna sit to avoid dye release. If want the same results that henna gives but do not want to bother with paying attention to dye release, I'd say use cassia.

Henna/cassia can be drying to hair so I always deep condition after using it. Mixing yogurt, conditioner, or oils with the henna or cassia paste can also minimize drying.

Here is the link to a henna thread on LHCF that is chock full of different recipes: A New Henna Thread

Few other helpful posts: Henna and Your Hair TypeBefore You Purchase: The Beginner’s Guide To HennaAyurvedic Herbs: Organic Cassia Obovata;

Vendors: HennaSooqAyurNatural Beauty

Hope this helps!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Henna Application for Mommy Dearest

I henna'd my mother's hair today and she loved the results. Her hair color is a mirror of mine (example here) and she loves her brownish, reddish tones but wanted a change so she opted to apply henna to her hair. I mixed one packet (100g) of Jamila Henna, purchased from for $7.00, warm water, and olive oil and left it sit for about 3 hours.

For application, I applied olive oil to hair hair and applied the henna in sections, covered with a plastic cap, and let sit for 4 hours. After, I rinsed out the henna with warm water (I mixed on low with a hand held beater so there were no lumps and therefore didn't need to cowash the henna out) and shampooed with Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo, and had her deep condition with SAS Deep Conditioner for 30 minutes. I then applied Giovanni Direct Leave-In conditioner, and with my many protests, she went off and blow dried her hair a bit until about 30-40% drier; I wanted her to just let it air dry before detangling but she was impatient. I applied KinkyCurly Knot Today in sectioned and detangled in sections. Then sent her on her fluffed out, curly haired way! lol


Pictures below are right after I applied Giovanni's Direct Leave-In and before she blow dried a bit, and applied Knot Today, and detangled.


*forgive quickly. kiss slowly. love truly. laugh uncontrollably*

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Tried Cassia Obovata [neutral henna] Today!

I finally got around to trying cassia on my hair. I hadn't planned on doing it today or even soon. I've been at odds with my hair this week. I'm torn between ending my stretch next week or just making the decision to transition to natural. I know I eventually want to transition but I haven't made up my mind because I'm not sure what to do with my hair while I do - I can't flat iron my hair every week - that would be asking for trouble as heat would degrade the protein bonds at the line of demarcation. So I needed to do SOMETHING with my hair and went ahead and whipped up a batch of cassia.

Products used: Cassia and amla powders [purchased from], coconut oil, Organix Shea Butter conditioner, Silk Elements Mega Cholesterol Conditioning Treatment.

My cassia mix: 9 tablespoons of cassia [~129 grams], 2 tablespoons of amla powder [~29 grams], and warm water.

  • I parted my hair in four sections and separated each section into smaller sections as I coated my hair with coconut oil - cassia/henna goes on easier on damp hair or hair with oil.
  • I mixed cassia, amla power and warm water into a plastic bowl with a plastic spoon, mixing together until I achieve pancake batter consistency.
  • I applied the mix in sections, beginning at the nape. I applied with my hands and parted my hair in small sections as I went [my hands were incredibly messy, but using my hands made it very easy].
  • After the application process, I gently cross-wrapped the 4 sections and covered my hair with saran wrap, then with a plastic cap. I left on  for 1 hour, 20 minutes.
  • I rinsed out first with water and then rinsed out with Organix Shea Butter conditioner.
  • Deep conditioned with Silk Elements Mega Cholesterol for an hour.
Why, oh why, oh why had I not tried cassia sooner. My hair feels thicker and smoother, I love it. I detangled after my hair dried a bit and retain more hair. I will definitely repurchase from HennaSooq [quick shipping!] and incorporate cassia treatments into my regimen, probably once a month. I'll try and record the entire process when I re-applt in 4-6 weeks.

And of course, pictchas!

Coconut oiled hair 
My cassia mix
Cross wrapped my hair once I was finished
 Cassia all over my neck - very itchy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Want to Henna, But...

I have wanted to try henna on my hair for months but have been put off by the idea because henna dyes your hair, reddening it. I love the natural brown of my hair and have highlights in some areas and do not want to change my color. I have read numerous reviews that henna thickens hair straands. I have fine hair and would love to thicken up my hair but unless there is a secret to applying henna without it dying my hair, I'm stuck.

ETA: A member over on suggested I try Cassia instead since it's like a clear henna. I think Tola from  recently posted about this. Heading over to her blog right now.