Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Hair & Henna

Henna, is definitely nothing new to the natural hair care world. There is a TON of information on the web about Henna, along with plenty of women’s recipes, regimens, and their experiences.  For those who don’t know, Henna  is simply a natural strengthener that will deposit a low red dye content on the surface of your hair.   Henna, basically coats and protects the hair strands.  The color isn’t too noticeable on dark hair, unless you’re in the sun.  But, if you begin with a lighter base color, the red tones can be very vibrant.  Henna has been a part of my healthy hair regimen since 2009. I began using it on my transiting hair, I loved how strong and silky it made my hair, and the color was a nice plus!   When I was relaxed my hair strands were very weak, they would snap immediately in a tension test, but after I started using Henna, my hair became as tough as nails!


Throughout my journey I’ve changed my regimen with Henna to adjust to my hair care needs.   When I first went natural, I used Henna every other week! Like many of us, I  honed in on someone else’s regimen and their results.  Let’s just say that was a NO Go for this head! My hair became so dense and dry that I could barely separate it when styling. (For women with finer hair, more density is wonderful!) Because of this, I soon saw Henna as my enemy and stopped using it for 8 months!
(Henna on left/Cassia Right)
Early Henna Days 

After some serious deep conditioning  treatments, at least twice a week, the softness and pliability returned to my hair.  But after reviewing photos from earlier in my journey, I noticed that my henna"less" hair was lacking vibrancy it had when using Henna once a month. My hair looked healthier with it. (to me anyway!)  So I made the decision to bring back an alternative to Henna, Cassia Obovata.   I began using Cassia and Amla treatments because it has the same benefits, and didn’t make my hair feel dense.  The coating is temporary, so I stick to my once a month strengthening regimen with Cassia and Amla.  
Henna"less" Hair
After a year of using Cassia, I started to miss the color and permanent binding strength from Henna, so it was time to give it a try again but not full strength. I mixed Henna with Cassia, loved it!  I also have done Henna Glosses(Henna and Conditioner) and my hair does well with those too.  

In all my experimenting, I’ve finally found my perfect balance with Henna.   I’ve learned that because my hair is already thick and coarse that too many Henna treatments will dry my hair out.  My natural hair thrives when I use Henna about twice a year (not full strength).   I also use my Cassia and Amla treatments monthly   My lesson:  Don’t be so quick to give up on a good thing, (and Henna is a VERY good thing) just figure out how to make it fall in line with the chemistry of my hair.    If you would like more information about Henna please visit Hennaforhair.com, or email me!

Until Next time!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Chose to Color My Natural Hair

Hello Healthy Hair enthusiast!  As promised I am back with more information on coloring natural hair. Now that we know all of our options for coloring.  I wanted to get a few natural women from my intimate circle to share their experiences with hair color!  I love researching  via textbooks and getting all my "scientific facts" etc...  But  there's no better way to learn what than by taking notes from real life experiences. I will be doing a few of these interviews for a more well rounded outlook on the coloring experience.  So! With that being said, This week,  I want you to MEET SIMONE!  Simone has been natural her entire life, but just recently embraced her natural texture a little over 2 years ago.   Here's what she has to say about her experience with Permanent Hair Color..

 Simone, Why did you choose to color your Natural hair?
I chose to color my hair because I wanted to try something new. It seemed like my dark hair color made me look a little pale at times.   I also wanted to enhance my dark brown eye color more. They always looked black because of my hair.

What kind of color did you use?
I used dark & lovely sun kissed brown.  It was a golden color. I previously tried using a semi permanent, but it was barely noticeable, so I chose to use a permanent color.  

What would you say are some Cons to coloring your natural hair if any?

For me it was, how my hair felt immediately after the application. I could tell my hair was different, it felt sort of "strawy".   I also couldn't do wash  n' goes for a while because I didn't want the color to bleed off.  Also, when I would straighten  my hair it felt dry sometimes and would get that  “permish” feel, it felt stiff and not as soft and moveable, but I have learned how to keep my hair moisturized and it does a lot better. 

What do you love most about your hair color?

I liked the hair color more when it darkened up some. I also used henna which would brighten up the color to an orange-reddish color.  I liked that a lot. When my hair grew out a lot, it looked cool when I did different styles and I had different colors going on, almost looked like highlights.

Will you color your hair again?

I do not think I will color my hair any time soon. I got my little fill of it and I am letting my hair grow out, while  keeping the colored ends.  Also, If I do decide to color again, I believe I would choose highlights instead of coloring my entire head, and I would also have it professionally done.
What advice would give to other naturals looking to add a permanent color to their hair?

If you are contemplating getting your hair colored, I would say try a test patch on the nape of your neck.  Especially if you are someone who is unable to adjust to change easily. The test patch may give you a good idea of what it will look like before making a full commitment.   But for those who are great with change and don't mind the risk, I'd say go for it,  or the thought of coloring will continue to  plague you!   If you know how to keep your hair healthy, it will continue to grow.  Also, If your hair color comes out too bright, you can mix up some henna and Amla and apply it to your hair. (If you don’t mind the orange reddish tint). Also no matter what you do  keep it moisturized!  I would keep intense heat off of it the first month or two as well. Moisturizers and oils will help your hair to stay soft. But most importantly, do your research first.

Well, Thank you Ms Simone for your input! We appreciate you sharing your color story, your hair and the color is Very beautiful!   

Ok, that's it for color on this week ladies!  Check back next week where I will be highlighting a naturalista who uses demi permanents as her hair color of choice..

Until Next Time!!