Professional Hair Consultation: Henna Is Bad?!

As many of you are aware, last week I bleached my hair in an attempt to go blonde.

It didn’t work out as planned.

Instead of blonde hair (as it looked when I first washed the bleach out), now that the color has calmed down I’m left with blondish roots and tips with a rich, golden-red that has orange flecks (it’s SO hard to describe…little bro Ty says “burnt orange”).  As a result, I’ve been kind of sad about it-this isn’t what I intended for my hair and you all already know if my hair isn’t tight (in my eyes), then I’m not tight :/

What’s funny however is that since I got the color people have been giving me compliments EVERYWHERE I GO!  People want to know what color I used, who did it and how they can duplicate it.  While I thought I was running around looking like a rabid African lion, folks have thought otherwise.

After getting some advice from my Aunt Renee about what I really wanted my hair to look like, she recommended going to see someone professional.  Shelby told me about Aunt Lynne’s colorist (Aunt Lynne is Shelby’s mom who has someone who cuts her hair and someone else who colors her hair…as you can see, Aunt Lynne’s REALLY the fancy one).  Robin, the colorist, is all natural and bleaches her hair regularly to maintain big, platinum hair.

Yesterday I was finally able to meet with Robin and brought along pictures of the blonde/brown hair I had originally envisioned.  To my surprise Robin shook her head vigorously no-the bleach I already have on my hair has done enough to my strands and any more could very well loosen my curl pattern and wreak havoc on my healthy strands.  Furthermore she discouraged further use of henna.

Say what?  No more henna?

Robin went on to elaborate that because it’s permanent, it’s difficult to lift from my hair (which is why my bleached hair has such a strong “red” tone…that is the henna that is being resistant to the harsh bleach) and that the current color is much more flattering on me than the blonde I originally wanted.  She also mentioned that long-term usage of henna will make for coarse, hard hair as a result of all the minerals and salts in it (because I add a lot of conditioner/oil to my henna treatments I haven’t seen those results).

Robin recommended that I come back around my birthday (June 12th yall! ) and she would brighten up the red I already have (my roots will have grown in by then), add more blonde highlights (I currently have quite a few blonde pieces in there) and brighten the back and make it more mocha and obviously “brown.”  She advised me to budget around $90-$120 (to apply all of those colors in my natural hair would usually cost several dollars more so she’s affordable…I need to get a LOT done).

So overall, my final thoughts on henna?

  • If you plan on attempting to dye your hair ANY color, DON’T use henna!  (It’s permanent, so if you want to apply color, you would have to wait for all of the henna to grow out, or wind up with botched color results like I did)
  • If you use henna, ALWAYS add tons of conditioners and oils to take away the harsh side effects of the protein it is depositing in your hair.
  • I do believe it’s a great strengthener, conditioner and fortifies hair well.  After using it for 4 months before my hair bleaching, henna is the reason my hair is so strong and resilient now, but it is also the reason I don’t have the color I originally intended (but as Robin was sure to remind me, my current color is better than what I wanted for myself).



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. 

I Love Henna and Henna Loves Me!!!

As many of you are aware, I’ve been researching the “henna” process for hair for weeks…heck, months now.  Last night I finally did it and my, what fabulous results I have had!  It took me awhile to finally do it because of a few obstacles:

1)      I had to research the “right” type of henna to purchase (body-art quality) and find it at a good price (

2)      I got a Dominican blowout and because I had to pay for it, I wasn’t about to go washing my hair anytime soon and ruin the straight hair that I had spent hard-earned money on

3)      Completing the henna process involves a lot of work so I procrastinated a bit

After learning about henna on and then reading a detailed post on it at I was ready to start the process.  I ordered 500mg of “Jamila” henna from 2008 at (my hair only takes about 100mg each time though) and it arrived in less than a week.  Below you will find my photo gallery that outlines my first henna experience 🙂

My Dominican Blow-Out is STILL Going Strong!

So over a week ago I let the Dominican’s get ahold of my curly locks and they straightened my hair with ONLY a blowdryer.  My girl Nelly told me the style can be maintained for 2 weeks if it’s taken care of but I wasn’t convinced.  To myself I thought, “Nelly doesn’t understand how hot my showers get, how that steam invades my roots, how my hairline gets soaked, how my hair gets oily from it’s own naturally-produced sebum…”

But I am so happy to report that I am wrong and Nelly is right!  My roots are STILL super straight despite my hot, sweaty showers, my night out dancing in a crowded club and my hairline being drenched from countless face washings.  I can’t believe it.  I honestly don’t understand why a woman would get relaxers if she has regular access to Dominican stylists.

It’s been over a week and my hair that normally gets crazy oily is still flowing and isn’t weighed down with products and oil.  Granted, I’ve tossed a bit of baby powder in it a couple times this past week to help control oil production, but Veronika saw my hair over the weekend and was BLOWN AWAY by how straight, controlled and shiny/healthy my hair looks.  I must admit my hair’s health can largely be attributed to the fact that heat is applied once a month to my hair.  Minimal heat has definitely been the biggest factor to my hair’s health.

Over the next few days I will be attempting my first henna treatment.  I finally got my hands on some Jamila (it’s so expensive…I’m definitely broke these days and am anxiously awaiting pay day so that I can get my savings account back to where it needs to be…splurging on Christmas presents coupled with an impulse New Year’s trip in addition to quitting my second job will take a slight toll on finances lol) so I will definitely be reporting on the results!  I’m definitely excited.