04 April 2010

-- henna experience, pt 1 !

whether you're natural or relaxed, chances are, you've heard of henna. i had never really had much interest in it, for a number of reasons. although i'd heard of all the benefits: strengthening, natural color, shine, etc., i was overwhelmed by how much information there was. you could customize your mix with about a hundred different ingredients. you could use it for color or you could use it for shine. you could customize it for what color you wanted... so i just ignored it as a whole.

well, when i took out my braids and desperately wanted to shave, someone suggested that i was just bored with my hair and to maybe try some color for the spring. so, i decided to henna. i had heard a lot of great things about karishma herbal henna, so i decided to give that a try. i liked that it already came mixed with other herbs so it balanced itself out. i know in ayurveda, you sometimes need herbs to temper the intensity of other herbs. with the karishma mix, i didn't have to worry about that.

the powder was very fine and moved around easily. my first henna date, i mixed with a bit of water and silk amino acids (i heard this helped with rinsing). i also added a few dashes of indigo powder. i'm not exactly sure why, but someone recommended it. i really liked the thick, pudding-like consistency. i let the mix sit for 24 hours to allow the dye to release and i left it in my hair for maybe 4-6 hours.

i didn't get much color payoff, if any, but my hair definitely felt a lot stronger. :) i noticed little to no broken or shed hairs. i know some people claim that henna loosens the curl pattern, but i didn't notice any of that.

this time, i really wanted to go for a deep, rich red. so i bought 3 ounces of hibiscus flowers and boiled them over low heat. the water turned such a rich, red wine color - not as dark as blood, but closer to cranberry juice. i didn't let the mixture sit for the full 24 hours, though, more like 12-14, which i hope is long enough for dye release. i am hoping that with the hibiscus flowers and nixing the indigo, i'll get a noticeable color change this time. i'm sitting with it in my hair now, so i'll rinse in a few hours and i'll come back for part 2! :)


Skeeta said...

I found the post, u did write on this! So, I googled that brand henna and found 2 post where it said that the brand is premixed with amla, which is what naturals use to A) tone down the red color of the henna and make it more brown, and B) to prevent the hair loosening affects of the henna. Kind of like when they use indigo.

So I bet this is why you didn't get that red you were looking for. Next time (when izzy grows out!) You can use the jamila henna from thats the one curlynikki uses with the most dye release. ;o)