Henna Update (Second Month)

Hey guys!

I henna’d in April and May, and will continue to do so for at least the next four months.

This is a fairly long post, I hope I don’t lose you. To fully get this, you may need to see my first post on Henna. This post is only making notes about changes and observations I’ve made since first Henna. I wrote about my first henna treatment in detail, in this post here, ‘Henna Day’.

WHY HENNA?

I’m committing to henna because I hope to experience the following benefits I’ve read about:

  1. Stronger hair
  2. Shinier hair
  3. Silkier hair
  4. Red hair (yes, I want to be a red head so baddddddd) <- on black hair, henna gives red highlights- most visible under the sun or other lighting, but very dark hair otherwise. I reckon henna is a safe way to put some red in my hair even if it’s only for when the sun shines. If I like the results, I may stop eyeing hair dye every time I’m in the super market.

Continue reading

DIY: A Deep Conditioning Hair Smoothie!

Last Washday found me separated from my hair products.

I tried a Henna treatment, and being the super strengthening protein treatment henna is, a moisturising deep conditioning treatment was VERY VERY necessary. My Intense Healing Mask was like 700 kilometres away, so I had to find something and no, I didn’t want to buy.

I wasn’t in the mood for my Honey and Olive oil DC either. It is soooo drippy and I can’t stand that for long. I wanted something thicker that day, and the internet led me to the Avocado & Banana Deep Conditioning Smoothie on KL’s Naturals. Avocado & Banana are good for the body, and for your hair too! This Deep Conditioner like other DIY organic deep conditioners is easy on your wallet, and super easy to make!

WHY TRY THIS?

Before we get to how to make this, you should know why I even bothered:

1. Bananas are believed to help with moisture and shine, and somehow fight shrinkage.

2. The healthy oils and Vitamin E in Avocado make this fruit a staple part of my diet. It’s an excellent fat burner especially for your belly. For hair, it is said to bring moisture, shine and softness!

3. Good old Honey is no stranger to me. It’s a humectant (meaning, it draws moisture into the hair), and for this reason it has been a staple part of my deep conditioning process for about a year.

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L-R: One very ripe avocado, 2 Bananas (I added one later), Jar of Honey. Smoothie Maker behind.

WHAT I USED

One ripe avocado

3 medium size bananas

Smoothie maker.

A little water (to help with the mixing)

HOW-TO

1. Cut your fruits up

2. Throw ‘em into your smoothie maker, blender, whatever mixer you’ve got

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3. Add a little water.

4. Blend/ mix till it’s as smooth as possible

real smoooth :)

5. Sieve <- very important tip K.L pointed out, to avoid getting bits left in your hair.

sievin'

sievin’

I sieved to be cautious, but nothing was caught in the sieve or later left in my hair because I used a smoothie maker to do my mixing, so my smoothie was perfectly smooth. (Does anyone mind enlightening me why smoothie makers aren’t as mainstream as blenders? If I had to choose one, I’d go with the smoothie maker! Smoothie makers don’t need as much liquid as blenders to mix well.)

Are you wondering “Where does the Honey go?” You can add your honey to the fruits at Step 2. At any point during Step 4, or even after.

The taste of honey makes me want to puke (Too sweet!) and I wanted to taste the smoothie first. So I added the honey after I was done blending the solids, and tasting the avocado-banana plain.

Very yummy smoothie, which I shall be making next time for myself, not my hair! Banana can be a little too much for me (my least favourite fruit!) so the avocado was a perfect match to tone down the sweetness. I love the heavy, smooth texture the avocado brought to this!

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This was how much I made, about the same size of my henna and I used up ALL of it. My hair is 8 and half to 9 inches long, medium-high density (that is, it is full)- so if your hair isn’t as long or thick, you may not need 3 bananas or one full avocado.

yes, hair! drink upppp :D

yes, hair! drink upppp 😀

RESULTS

Henna left my hair feeling dry, and this DC restored moisture to my strands! So yes, I endorse this. It works! Just take your time with the blending and sieving oh. You do not want bits in your hair! Had bits when I tried a Coconut milk DC and that was super annoying!

I had the henna on for 5 hours 30 minutes, so I left the hair smoothie in my hair for almost the same time, head wrapped in clingfilm. This was because I was really worried about the dryness from the henna. On another day, I think it’d be very okay for me to use this as I would use my other Deep Conditioners- put in hair, wear shower cap and steam for 20 minutes or baggy for an hour.

Lastly, I think it’s a good idea to make this fresh. It is so simple, I don’t see any reason not to. Fruits are the components of this DC, and with no preservatives involved, it could easily go bad.

Till next post,

Love,

AB,

xx

Henna Day!

Hey guys!

What have you been up to?

One of the things I did during my two week blog absence was Henna.

I went home for Easter, and I didn’t travel with my hair products. When I took my kinky twists out, I had nothing but my spray bottle and coconut oil.

Olori was running a sale (still on) and Henna was 50% off, so I thought it was a great time to try it, not to mention a cheaper alternative to buying products especially as I had a full basket back in my room in Calabar. Henna is no longer discounted, but at full price, 500 naira for 100g is still a pretty good deal! It’s super smooth too! No twigs, no bits or funny particles. Very well ground! Get it here.

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WHAT IS HENNA?

Henna (lawsonia inermis) is a plant. In Yoruba, I believe it’s known as laali. The leaves are dried and crushed into powder, and it is this powder that can be used to dye hair, hands, make beautiful temporary tattoos. In addition to working as a natural dye, henna also possesses super strengthening qualities.

I was interested in the strengthening, but also curious to see how the colour would turn out.

Henna can be used on all hair types. On black hair, it does not change the colour dramatically, but gives red highlights. It is also believed to make hair silkier, and encourage curl clumping, or loosen the curl of certain textures.

Curlfriends on twitter and instagram gave me tips that were so helpful! 🙂 😀

I’ll be doing more henna in the future, so this isn’t a refined post of what or what not to do. I’m no Henna professional. It was only my first time so I’m just going to take you through the LONGEST Wash day of my life, what I did, and why.

  1. MAKE TEA

10pm. Tuesday night. I made tea in a medium mug with hot water and 2 bags of Green tea only, and left to cool.

100g Henna + 2 bags of tea

100g Henna + 2 bags of tea

  1. ADD TEA TO HENNA

Mixed 100g Henna with the green tea. A mildly acidic liquid like tea is needed to encourage dye release.

  1. LEAVE HENNA PASTE TO SIT OVERNIGHT

Henna is usually best left overnight at room temperature, for dye release.

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Look at that! So nasty! I wrapped it up in newspaper, so nobody would worry, or ask me questions. You know it looks like poop potopoto!! ( ._.)

Henna paste

Henna paste

I like the smell though. So earthy and warm. O_o

Oh. I also pre-pooed my hair with coconut oil, after taking down my braids, and I chunky twisted for bed.

  1. ADD SOME HONEY TO THE MIX

9am. Wednesday morning.

I added some honey. It’s best to do this shortly before application. This helps it rinse off easily.

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  1. COVER UP, AND APPLY!

10am.

Armed and ready!! Old t-shirt on, wore it the wrong way too. Disposable gloves on both hands, check! (1 pair cost 50 naira at my local pharmacy) I covered the bathroom floor with newspapers, and then I started my henna application, taking care to get it over every single inch of hair! (Currently measuring 8 and half to 9 inches, medium-high density hair) I thoroughly cleaned out the bowl. Any less henna would not have been enough.

I covered more of the floor with newspaper after this photo was taken

I covered more of the floor with newspaper after this photo was taken

It took me about thirty minutes to apply.

The henna weighed my hair down, so I got some hang time!

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It was also exciting to see my S- and O-shaped curls come alive!!

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I contemplated going about like that for a bit but nope, the hair at the front swung towards my eye twice. Thankfully, it didn’t sting, and I didn’t want to tempt it a 3rd time.

  1. WRAP IT UP!!

I wrapped my head securely with clingfilm. I considered wearing a shower cap but this was definitely more efficient. According to Curly Nikki, 4 hours is the minimum time for henna to be in your hair, to maximise colour uptake and the strengthening benefits.

is my head big? is it small? days like this, I do not know!

wrapped tight!

I was advised to steam, but I don’t have a steamer. I was busy doing chores and that must’ve worked up some heat cos I started dripping henna. I put a scarf on my head when I had to go out to buy something and the Lagos sun was more than happy to beat me, to be my natural heat source. I dripped even more. I hoped no one noticed my dabbing at the strange substance. ( ._.)

  1. R-I-N-S-E!!!

3:30pm. At first, I filled a bowl with water and put it on a stool to dunk my head in, as I don’t have a bath tub in my room. That proved to be a bad idea, so I just took off my clothes and went under the shower.

This took a while, and I didn’t want henna stains on my fingernails so I rinsed with gloves on.

–OBSERVATIONS

I emerged with clean hair, still trying to hang, still some evidence of curl clumping.

Henna is pretty drying (I read and heard), so I had great expectations of iron sponge hair. It is actually quite drying, I experienced this, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined.

I noticed a slight change in my hair colour. It was kinda brown-ish in the light. What do you think?

left side, facing the light

left side, facing the light

right side, backing the light

right side, backing the light

Was my hair stronger? Maybe. I did this on Wednesday after taking down my braids. On Monday, I had washed and deep conditioned my hair in braids so hair was super clean and I didn’t need to wash it before henna. Hence I didn’t detangle or anything, so of course, my henna application and the rinsing afterwards, left me with hair in the sink. Mostly accumulated shed hairs, fairly normal consequences of the pressure of having braids in for 4 weeks? Next time will be different so I’d be able to see just how strengthening henna is for me.

  1. FOLLOW WITH A MOISTURISING DEEP CONDITIONER!!!

I generously applied coconut oil and olive oil to my hair, before putting on my moisturising deep conditioner, trying to make sure every inch of hair got some. Henna is a super strengthening protein treatment, and too much protein can leave your hair very very brittle. This is why a henna treatment should be followed with a MOISTURISING, PROTEIN FREE DEEP CONDITIONER. That was another DIY thing I’ll be sharing with you shortly. 😉

DC in my hurrrr. Guess what it is?

DC in my hurrrr. Guess what it is?

I wrapped my deep conditioner filled hair with cling film and faced the rest of the day. One of the tips I got was to leave DC in for just as long as the henna, or more and I tried, I really tried, but by 10pm I was tired, I had a headache, and I didn’t trust the ingredients of my DIY deep conditioner to make it till the next morning. So I got into the shower again, and rinsed out.

  1. RINSE OUT DC, (MOISTURISE AND) SEAL, DRY.

At about 11:30pm, I was done rinsing, and I’d chunky twisted my hair with no leave-in (because I had none), and sealed with coconut oil. I prayed this would be enough for my hair as it has been in the recent past, and it actually was. My ends were hella dry though, so I noticed a bottle of Hair Fruits conditioner that had been sitting there for ages. I remembered my experiment from last year, using rinse-out conditioners as leave-ins and this was the saving grace I needed for my ends and my edges, the driest parts of my hair!! Score! Washday over. 24 hour journey no be small! 🙂

Hair in chunky twists, left to air dry. The End :)

Hair in chunky twists, left to air dry. The End 🙂

The next day, I gave my bathroom a GOOD scrub and then went to get my hair done…

New hair and Salon Review in next post!! 😛

Do you henna? Why? What’s your process? Let’s talk about henna! 🙂

Love,

AB,

Xx

For more about henna:

Curly Nikki: here and here

Henna for Hair (ebooks)

God’s Precious Earth