Henna Questions? Finally Answered!

I’ve been getting quite a few follow-up questions regarding my first experiment with henna and am going to answer them here.

Why did you decide to try henna?

Henna has been proven to condition your hair, loosen the curl pattern and take away some of the coarseness-make it softer.  I didn’t read anything saying it HURT the hair and was really interested seeing how it would affect my hair’s coarseness.

What were your results?

Initially henna did everything I’d heard it would do.  It was great.  I couldn’t get over how ridiculously soft and SMOOTH my hair was.  The only thing that I hated was the smell.  My hair reeked of dirty-smelling dirt for about 3 weeks.  I washed my hair roughly 2x a week and heavily perfumed it to rid my hair of the smell but to no avail.  The smell alone was nearly enough to turn me off 100% to henna despite how soft/well-conditioned it left my hair.

Speaking of conditioned, I don’t know how much of it was exclusively from the henna itself or the tons of additional conditioners and olive oil that I added. 

What were the long-term affects?

Right after the smell left (3 weeks or so) I washed my hair and it seemed like overnight the henna quit working and left my hair almost worse than when I started.  I experienced INSANE shrinkage my 4th week and my hair became difficult to manage (so this past week and part of the week before).  I’ve now begun looking at my calendar to see when I can complete another henna treatment (I have to look at a calendar because I need to see what I have planned within the next 2 or 3 weeks…remember that smell! Ugh)

Also, important to note regarding the smell: my hair stunk whenever it was wet/damp/lot’s of moisture in the air.  When my hair was 100% dry I couldn’t smell the henna at all.  Into the third week a few people began commenting on how good my hair smelled, and I’m wondering if the slight lingering smell of henna was stuck in my nostrils which prevented me from smelling what others did.

So what’s your final verdict?

Overall I wish I hadn’t used henna and had just done more when it comes to pre-poo and deep conditioning.  Now I feel like my hair is lightweight dependant on it.  How else am I supposed to loosen this tight curl/shrinkage that my hair has adopted?  I liken it to that of the “Carmex lip balm” affect- after using Carmex a few times then stopping, your lips become insanely chapped, as if they’re dependant on Carmex and then you become “addicted.”  I’m starting to believe my hair is becoming “addicted” to henna.

I know I’ll have to stop using henna by this summer because I’m dying my hair blonde-I’ll be bleaching it, the works.  Because henna colors your hair red that obviously won’t be compatible with blonde.  So I have four boxes of henna left…I’ll do one in Feb, March, April and May.  With all that conditioning for 5 consecutive months, my hair’s strength will be in prime condition to handle the bleach/dye.  After that I hope to say good riddance to henna for awhile. 

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