Friday, May 15, 2009

The Henna Experience.

Well, it's done, and I was about as nervous as <--- this guy while I was going through the process of hennaing my hair for the first time. I went through with it last night (May 14, 2009). When I got home I checked my henna mix that had been sitting for almost 12 hours. I took a quick shower so that I could wash and clarify my hair before applying the henna. I wanted to make sure there was nothing that would prohibit the henna uptake. I read that the hair should be free from oils and products for maximum henna penetration of the hair shaft and I wanted maximum benefits. What would a little 10 minute shower hurt in all of this? Sure it would prolong me getting to the "mess" of things, but I wanted to make sure this was done right.

After the shower and a light towel drying of my hair I applied the henna. The application process was pretty simple. I put on my latex gloves, got my applicator brush and went about it. It took less than 10 minutes to apply the henna. I used an entire 100 gram box for my hair and almost didn't have enough! I couldn't believe that I had used the whole mixture. My hair is a lot thicker than it looks.

After I applied all of the henna mixture, I wrapped my hair in saran wrap. I then placed a plastic cap over my head. After that, I went to my room and got my heating pad - placed it on high heat and tied that to my head and then wrapped my head in a huge bath towel.

Yeah, I know I look funny, but after almost 2 1/2 hours, I was done with my henna. I took off the towel, heating pad, and all of the plastic that wrapped the muddy paste onto my hair. When I slid everything off, my hair looked like this:

Pretty messy looking, huh? Well it really wasn't too bad. I went on to rinse the henna from my hair and the water ran clean after less than 5 minutes. I was surprised. I had read so many posts from other ladies who said they had sand and grit and twigs in their hair and it took them forever to rinse the henna out. I thought for sure that I had done something wrong and the henna didn't take. I mean, for one, I didn't buy the BAQ Jamila henna that I hear a lot of people talk about. My henna was purchased locally for a fraction of the cost that I have seen other people buy. When I mixed the henna, I heated my water. I didn't use ACV (apple cider vinegar), I used distilled white vinegar. Lastly, I didn't have difficulty rinsing my henna from my hair.

With all of those discrepancies, surely I wouldn't get the conditioning effects from the henna. But to my surprise, as I was rinsing the henna, I could feel my coils. I didn't feel a lot of frizz like I have in the past, I could feel moisturized coils in my hair. Ok, fine, but I still wouldn't get any color change, right............WRONG!!!!

When I went upstairs to my bathroom to check to see if there was a color difference, I couldn't believe my eyes. There I was with this vibrant black cherry hair. Shining little highlights were everywhere. Even my greys were covered. I couldn't believe it. I just stood there in awe of my new hair. It was soooo soft, and the curls were defined - without product. At first, all I could do was just look at my hair. I loved it. The more I touched it, the more I wanted to touch it.

I went on to add my Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner. I tried to put it on as thick as I could so that I could cover all of my hair since I heard that some ladies experienced a drying effect after their first henna. I left the conditioner on for about 45 minutes before I rinsed it out. My hair felt so soft while I was rinsing, and it continued to feel soft throughout the night. I even noticed that when I woke up this morning my hair wasn't as flat - even on the side where I had slept for most of the night. My hair also wasn't tight to my head (for lack of a better description). My hair just wasn't smashed. I didn't have horrid "bed head".

So, this morning I shampooed my hair and it was great. I added my Knot Today, put my clips in and headed out. I love my hair today. The henna experience was pretty good. I was concerned yesterday about how messy it would be, or if no color showed up....and I did all of that worrying for nothing.

It's true, what works for their hair may not work for your hair and I am a true testament to that. All of the "rules" and suggestions that I had read on all types of sites were great and informative, but I was still able to do it my way and get great results. I'm not saying that I totally disregarded everything I read, because I didn't. I used the information I came across as a guide. I improvised and made this experience work for me.

...and here are my final results:

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