Yes, henna treatments when done often will eventually begin to loosen your curl pattern. This happens not through some chemical action but rather through the increased weight of henna in your hair.
It won’t be a pronounced difference like getting a texturizer but for those of you who are very familiar with your hair’s kinks coils and curls, you will definitely notice a difference in how your hair hangs after a few hennas.
Whether you like that aspect of henna* or not is a personal choice of course but you can easily avoid any changes to your curls by reducing the frequency of your henna treatments or alternatively doing henna gloss treatments instead of full hennas.
In case you don’t already know, a henna gloss is a mix of henna and conditioner left in your hair for less time than a regular henna. Additionally in a henna gloss the dye is not allowed time to ‘release’ before applying to your hair. This makes it more a ‘diet henna’ compared to the real experience.
From a personal standpoint, back when I was actively growing my hair out, I found that henna also smoothed my cuticles making my hair easier to detangle and truthfully, my regimen would not be as effective without my occasional henna treatments.
► Some people have found that the whole henna application process can be traumatic for very fine weak strands so may end up doing more harm than good.
► Even though henna is not a true protein treatment, it works just like one so it may make your hair feel hard afterwards. It must be followed up immediately by a moisturizing conditioner* to rebalance your hair.
► Only attempt multiple henna treatments if you are sure that your hair can handle it. Too much henna in a short period of time can and will cause breakage especially if you don’t balance it out with moisture.
► To use henna to stop hair breakage, do a treatment every 2-3 months to begin with. You can always tweak and adjust this perhaps adding a henna gloss in between if you feel you need it.
► Henna will not dramatically change your hair color (if your hair is black or brown), you may get a reddish glow when you are out in sunshine but don’t expect to turn into a fiery redhead or anything. If you lift color from your hair first you will get a deep orange color that will turn to a lovely reddish auburn with subsequent applications. Of course henna can also be combined with indigo* to get different shades of brown to black which makes henna/indigo* a great natural way to color your hair and blend your grays if you have any.
► Unless you are protein sensitive I would not recommend that you use henna exclusively to strengthen your hair. It can certainly replace part of your protein requirements but not all of them. A good rule of thumb is to replace every other hard protein treatment that you are due with a henna.
► A single application of henna won’t make a dramatic difference to your hair. The best effects of henna* are cumulative so as long as you are not experiencing any negative effects, try henna at least 3 times before you decide if you like it or not (I loved it!).
Whatever you decide, make sure you do some extensive research into henna before you try it. As with most things, your own mileage may vary.