About three years ago, while on one of the many hair sites and forums I am a member of, I came across a henna thread. As I was reading it, I noticed how many wonderful things the women were saying about their hennaing results such as stronger, more manageable, and overall healthier hair. Of course I just had to try it. I clicked on one of the links and was directed to one of the most comprehensive henna sites ever. The site showed the chemical make-up of henna, Offered the different kinds of henna from different corners of the world, pictures of hair that had been hennaed, a ton of definitions relating to henna, and so much more. I sat on that website for hours researching it before I purchased a ton of it!
The henna was delivered super fast and of course I was extremely excited to try it out. Although I had memorized the recipe to a “t”, I pulled up the site so that I was 100% sure I was doing it the exact way the site had directed. I poured the henna in a plastic bowl then slowly added lemon juice to the mixture, as I constantly stirred. Finally, once the mixture turned into the yogurt-like consistency, I covered the bowl with Saran Wrap and placed it in a warm area for 24 hours.
The next day, I noticed the mixture had a slight orangey tint as they indicated it would, and smelled very Earthy. I loved the smell as it made me feel as if I was getting ready to do something so wonderful and healthy for my hair. Like the site instructed, I added a bit more lemon juice to the mixture and began to applying to my newly washed hair. My hair was already sectioned in 6 or 8 puffs, so I just took down one puff at a time and applied the mixture section by section. It was easy, but very messy. Then I covered my hair with Saran Wrap, and planned to keep it in for the full 4 hours recommended on the site.
By the second hour, I had to use the restroom. I performed my usual “rituals” and then when I got up, I noticed that my urine was bright green! I had read a ton of stuff on that site, but nothing warned me that my urine could possibly turn green. Of course I was freaked out. I rushed to wash the henna out of my hair and Googled “green pee/henna”. I saw that this was actually a common, non-harmful side effect some people experience because of the way their body processed the henna. I was so relieved when I read this on several sites, but I was absolutely horrified when I felt my hair!
Saying that my hair felt like a Brillo Pad was an understatement; it felt more like barbed wire. Where in the world were all of these benefits I was suppose to experience? Where the women on the forums conspiring to ruin my beautiful natural hair? I followed the instructions so perfectly, that I fully expected to have a head full of new, soft, more manageable and shiny hair. I deep conditioned it and moisturized it to death; still dry as a bone! Was I going to have to cut off the hair that I had finally learned to love and struggled for almost two years to grow? Over the next few months, my hair slowly returned to its normal state. I was thankful and vowed to never touch henna again.
Then about two years later, I got sucked up into another henna thread and again, these women were going on and on about how they loved henna and the wonderful results they were receiving. I went into the “henna challenge” forum and there were pictures of such beautiful hair. Okay, what was going on? I wanted that hair so badly, so I posted my experience in the forum to see if I could get some feedback. I was quickly informed that I had made a HUGE mistake; the recipe wasn’t for African American hair. I had used a recipe with way too much acid and didn’t add any moisturizing properties to balance the drying affect of the acid. Was I going to be brave enough to try this again? The pictures in the forum left me no other choice!
This time I used apple cider vinegar because the acid level was much lower than the lemon juice and acv is wonderful for conditioning the scalp. I also learned that I was using way too much acid, so this time I used just enough to dampen the henna and then poured spring water and aloe vera juice to saturate it to the yogurt-like consistency. After letting it sit for 24 hours, I added plain yogurt, raw honey and a mixture of very moisturizing oils, along with a couple more tablespoons of acv. This time I made sure I used a shampoo with no sulfates and a deep conditioner that was super moisturizing. All of the other steps remained the same. After 3 hours of processing, I rinsed my hair and finally, I got to experience what all the fuss was about. My coils were actually looser, my hair felt stronger, and it was a soft as a big old cloud! I joined the challenge and did a henna treatment every two weeks. It was a lot of work, but my hair was thanking me for it each time I went to comb through it.
Eventually my pee stopped turning green and I went to doing a treatment every six weeks and then stopped all together over a period of time. It was difficult to find 4 hours to dedicate to it, not including the 5 hours it took to actually do my hair. I have now started back on track with every six weeks with the henna and have even given my 7 year old daughter a couple treatments, which she loves.
Source by Eddie Simpson
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