As a woman who happily relaxes her hair and loves the ease and versatility of it, I do sometimes feel limited by that choice. Why? Because I thoroughly believe that one should choose only one chemical process for their hair to maintain the healthiest mane possible. So because I choose to relax, I do not color my hair. And I do get bored at times with my dark brown hair.
To that end, I have been curious about hennaing for years. I’ve always viewed it as a natural, non-damaging way to subtly change your hair color. However, once I joined online hair forums I realized that henna is proclaimed to have other benefits other than changing hair color. Ladies who are protein sensitive list it as a way they can safely strengthen their strands. So I figured this must be a nice product to try for my hair – I can cure my color blues and strengthen my hair? Why don’t more ladies do this?
After doing a little research on HennaForHair.com, I was more confused than ever. There are so many technical terms, plus I learned a lot of retail henna actually isn’t pure henna! Henna is actually a plant and the only “true” henna is a green powder that stains the hair a red-orange translucent color. The site claims it will make your hair heavy, thick and silky. There are also other colors that have the henna* label, but in actuality are not henna. Black henna is really indigo* and blonde henna is really cassia*. The red and blonde henna variations will not significantly alter your hair color if your hair is a dark color. Just like with hair dye, dark hair cannot be lightened without some bleaching being done first. And under no circumstances do I recommend anyone (natural or relaxed) to bleach their hair. It is the most damaging chemical process, to do it on relaxed hair just seems like a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion.
Again, the more research I do the more confused I seem to get as there seems to be extremely mixed views on henna as a whole. Some ladies do it regularly, along with incorporating some other Indian powders and oils* into their regimen and their hair seems to thrive. Others have stated that henna* caused the most horrific setback of their HHJ because it was much too strong and harsh for their hair!
To be honest, after about a month of research I am no clearer on the best process for hennaing than I was when I started. So my humble opinion is, that unless you are opting to cover greys – its best to be satisfied with your natural hair color. If the urge for change is just too great for you to ignore, try a wig*, weave, or clip ins*. If you really are not comfortable wearing fake hair, then try a temporary rinse such as Jazzing or spray on hair color. Much easier, less commitment and absolutely NO risk of damaging your hair!
I’m sorry to hear about your confusion regarding to Henna or not to Henna. It’s a wonderful herb along with Amla,Cassia and the rest of the Ayurveda Indian herbs. I personally thing everyone interested in healthy hair should atleast try it. Henna and it’s counterparts are so healthy for the hair. I’ve used it for over three years on my hair as well as my clients and the hair is extremely healthy and strong. Although I do understand your caution.. But, if you purchase Body Art Quality Henna from your local Indian grocery store or Indian Bizzarre you will not have to worry about getting a hold of the “bad” hennas. The commecial ones that are typically mixed are the ones you have to look out for. As for coloring, it doesn’t really show up on dark colored hair, except for in the sun or bright lighting. And if you are doing it to cover grays, most women use henna and then indigo to cover grays. Henna used alone will make grays orange or very bright red.(not what most are looking for when trying to cover grays) also, with Henna, most of the negative reviews I’ve read is either on the hair feeling dryer or having a looser texture. Using a Deep Moisturizing Conditioner (for atleast 30 mins)after Henna’s counters dry hair. Loosening of curl pattern would not be a problem for women who are relaxed. As for Naturals the experience varies but tend to be experienced more with women who have looser or wavier natural curl patterns.
Chandra your comment is right on target. I’ve been natural (big chopped) a year and four months ago and henna has helped me enjoy my hair journey. It’s work but it’s sooooo worth it!
Tiffany Marie Banks says
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOOOOTTTT use henna or any other vegetable/ organic compound dye. It NEVER comes out (even with lightner) and does damage your hair.
Tsehai Lewis says
Depends on the henna you use. I get mine from an Indian grocery store and mix it myself. My hair is thick and healthy. You just have to properly moisturize after. You can only use all natural henna, not with any added dyes or chemicals, just ground henna plant.
Lynette Zandile MK says
Joy Blakey- Boles says
Stay away! It’s not designed for us for it looses your curl pattern. It did strengthen my hair and had it looking lustrous.
Priscilla Washington says
I stoped using henna years ago. It made me sick and my curls loose and limp.
Elizabeth Zetta Allen says
I absolutely love it.