Reader E-mail: Henna

by West Parsons on January 12, 2011 · 2 comments

in henna, reader e-mail

Fleurtzy of TexturePlayground‘s Beautiful Hennaed Curls

Ebony: Why don’t you shampoo the henna out of your hair instead of just co-washing it out? I also have heard about that stripping feeling that you shared from others. I’ve read the wonderful properties, but it just seems that something so good would not have your hair feeling like straw. Any other product that would make our hair feel like that (a conditioner, for example) we’d throw it out immediately. It just seems it CAN’T be good – even though i’ve read so much contrary to that. I have purchased some Jamila Henna and will be trying it next week, but am a little nervous.

West: Don’t be nervous. On the contrary, the way your hair feels after using henna is the same as it would feel when using a serious protein treatment. Proteins and henna behave similarly; they both build on your strands to strengthen your hair. Unfortunately, this building of molecules causes the hair to feel straw-like and hard.  That is the purpose of following up with a conditioning rinse. I’m sure you could use shampoo to rinse the henna but that would be an extra step. If you have ever used a protein treatment, you know that you absolutely must follow with a moisturizing deep conditioner other wise your hair will be hard, brittle and straw-like, this is the same when using henna. Check out CurlyNikki’s Henna Pictorial on her process of using Jamila Henna.


Anonymous January 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I feel like too many people complain about henna because they don't use it properly. A complete henna process doesn't stop at rinsing it out; to get the full conditioning effects, you must follow up with a good moisturizing DC. Thanks West for dropping that knowledge because so many women miss out on great products because they dont take the time to research it and/or follow the directions.

Nellie February 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

OMGEEeeeeee, I just did my first henna treatment and am soooo happy. I have the most finicky hair imaginable. My hair hates coconut oil, unmixed shea butter, and proteins. Most products that give people amazing results leave my hair in subpar condition. I have been forced into a natural haircare system and am so happy about it. I have, well I used to have very fine fragile tangle prone strands of hair.

Last night I did my first henna treatment and after rinsing this morning, was able to separate my 4a coils without causing knots in my hair. I mixed the henna with dried chamomile flowers, two table spoons of honey, and two table spoons of castor oil. I applied to thoroughly finger detangled hair. I made my mixture a little runny for easy application and removal for the next morning. I thoroughly rinsed (clear water) my hair with just water in my kitchen sink and it was very easy, I then allowed my hair to fully dry because I wanted to make some breakfast and allow the henna to set a little more. I later used Dawn Michelle’s ( Green Tea Rinse to remove the rest of the grainy bits from my scalp. My hair was very manageable after these steps. After all of that, which wasn’t much, I used a modified version of rendezvous with remedy’s banana deep conditioner ( kept it in for 2 hours, then followed up with a shea oil mix to braid my hair (used water and raw aloe gel to spay hair before applying shea mix). My hair has never been this STRONG, frizzless, or manageable.

Henna does not need extremely acidic ingredients for dye release, I suspect that this is what’s causing many naturals problems. I highly recommend using Henna to solve your hair problems. I feel totally free now.

Apply Henna to completely detangled hair. I used water and Sunflower seed oil to finger detangle hair that had been in medium sized braids for about a week. This is the main tip.

I clarified/deep conditioned with a mixture of bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, oils, honey, and water for about a half hour.

Filled a baggy with henna for a less messy application. And of course use gloves etc.

I hope this helps someone. If done properly, this cannot damage your hair. This has been put here by nature to help us manage our fragile hair. It has been used by Africans for thousands of years for this purpose. Please don’t miss out, you could be saving yourself and your daughters a lot of heart/head ache if you start using Henna for your hair.