Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Henna and Curl Loosening

I’ve used Henna on and off since becoming natural and never really had a specific regimen. I used it when I felt like it, for either the strengthening or color changing perks. Usually I did a henna treatment every three to six months. Recently I started doing a Henna Gloss biweekly. For my Henna Gloss I mix about 50 grams of Nupur Henna with a half cup of green tea and mix it. To this I add a good amount of conditioner, most recently I used Jessicurl Deep Conditioner. I add some olive oil, castor oil and any other oil I feel like using and mix this all together until it is smooth like pudding. Then I cover with saran wrap and set aside for a few hours. The great think about a Henna Gloss is that the conditioner makes the application and rinsing process a lot smoother. I apply Henna to clean, damp or dry hair in sections, smoothing it onto my hair. Any extra Henna I freeze. After I apply I put on a plastic cap, a bandana, scarf and sometimes a hat or my TurbieTowel (yeah taking no chances) and hit the sack. Because I work 60 hour weeks and have to get up early (I never seem to Henna on the weekends when I have more time) my overnight henna treatment is usually about 6 hours. In the morning I rinse my hair in the kitchen sink first, getting most of the Henna out and using my time in the shower to get everything that I missed. After rinsing I apply a light conditioner like Giovanni Tea Tree or Kiss My Face Whenever conditioner, let that sit on my hair while I shower and rinse before getting out which gets any last bit of henna left over. Then I just style accordingly!
Henna Glosses will also give a red tint to your hair, but it might not be as intense if you just mix up your henna gloss and apply right away. I let mine sit longer for dye release. Once my hair gets to a shade I like I might just do a quick, direct application and leave on for only an hour. Or if you don’t want the red you can add Indigo to your Henna. I’ve done this in the past and kept a nice brown shade of hair, but for now I’m content with plain ‘ol henna.  Before I get married I’ll incorporate the two step henna and indigo process for darker hair.
Now the Nupur Henna seems to give a redder tint than others but it does have other herbs in it like Hibiscus which might be a factor. I’ve used the Jamilla Henna before and didn’t get quite such an obvious tint. I like the Nupur though…it didn’t seem to rinse as easy but maybe I just need more conditioner next time.
Since starting my biweekly henna treatments I have noticed less shedding during wash day. I also haven’t experienced any extra dryness which can happen with full strength henna treatments (sans conditioner). Today, while washing my hair, I realized my hair felt….different. My hair felt easier to finger detangle, smoother, and soaked up water easier. It also seemed to hang more while wet and while it still shrunk up for my current WnG…it feels and looks different to me. The hair didn’t feel knotted while applying my products and everything just went on smoother for me. Could this be curl loosening? My texture doesn’t look different (the back is looking kind of straight when wet but waves/curls when dry and doesn’t look too different than the rest of my hair).  Plus my WnG dried fairly quickly too.  Since my hair is super tightly, coily, curly, I’m not too worried about Henna loosening because I don’t think there is any way henna would ever make my hair straight. If anything I’m kind of embracing the thought of looser curls. Already I’m noticing less single strand knots and if it means easier detangling and better looking WnGs then I’m all for it. I don’t want straight hair, but manageable hair and sometimes kinky, coily hair is tough! I’m going to stick with my biweekly henna treatments and see how my hair fairs. If biweekly seems like too much then I will switchy to monthly or every six weeks. All I know is that I definitely want to keep Henna as part of my hair care routine!
Today’s WnG combo was Paul Mitchell the Conditioner and Eco Styler Clear.  I freakin’ love the way the Paul Mitchell pairs with Eco Styler, but I hate that it has parabens! If I’m going to go natural/organic I gotta find a way to get a WnG that looks like the ones I get with this combo, only without all the bad stuff!  Or maybe I might just have to except this one product in my life….decisions decisions.

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