Henna Challenge-Updates (so far so good)

The number 1 reason I ever decided to try Henna was due to the fact that it was 100% natural.

Henna is a plant….that’s it.

Henna is more natural than any store-bought conditioner I’ve used!

All I knew about Henna was that it made great art and that the powder can deposit a colour on our skin.

Reading Curlynikki.com gave me the basics I needed to try this method for conditioning and strengthening my hair. What I desired was softer shinier hair, reddish colour and elongated curls (so I guess I thought this was a miracle powder), but what I got was stronger feeling hair, shine and less shrinkage. The results were not bad at all…..but I wanted to see some colour!

I was a little turned-off after my first experience because there was no colour (no obvious colour, I later saw some colour when I was in the sun) and the overnight experience (leaving it on my hair for 8 hours) was not pleasant.

I tried Henna a few more times, on a monthly basis, before I gave that a rest.

Since letting go of Henna, my hair’s strength is not as prominent. My shrinkage is back to about 80% (when my hair shrinks, it loses about 80% of its length) and my hair breaks more often.

I had to get back on it….and after finding a popular Henna brand right here in Ottawa for 1.99$ I had no excuses. I found a new recipe (my latest research is from Henna, Henna for Hair “How-To” by Catherine Cartwright-Jones), a reliable brand at a reliable location at a great price and I gained some more determination to give myself the time to see the benefits of Henna

My April-May Henna Challenge


So it’s pretty basic….but the scheduled applications and consistency will motivate me.

I’ve read Henna, Henna for Hair “How-To” by Catherine Cartwright-Jones. ( a downloadable book).  I’ve tweaked my recipe and methods and after weekend #1 I can say that it’s not as bad as I once thought! (It may have been actually easier than since my fro was shorter)

Fri April 13th was the beginning of weekend #1 (but I was lazy on Friday and started Saturday)

On Saturday morning I prepared my Honey-Hot oil Treatment/pre-poo (pre-shampoo)

Sectioned my hair in chunky twists (maybe 8) and applied the hot oil/pre-poo.

Left that in for 2 hours, then shampoo’d using Live Clean Apple Cider Vinegar shampoo.

I let my hair air-dry in the sections.

I mixed my 3 boxes of Jamila Henna (300g total) with lemon juice only (about ¾ of a bottle) in a PLASTIC BOWL.

I covered the plastic bowl with plastic wrap and let that sit overnight on the kitchen counter.

On Sun morning, I applied a thick amount (think cake frosting) of Henna to each section of hair.

Henna fully applied

Missed some spots in the back

I wrapped with 2 plastic bags, tied that down with a scarf and went about my day.

I left the Henna in for about 5.5 hours.

Washed with warm water.

Deep Conditioned for about another 2 hours while doing things around the house.

Washed the DC (deep conditioner) then styled my hair as usual.

Chunky-twist up-do for the week

This may seem like a lot of steps….but this was done over the entire weekend…so I kind of made the process more drawn out than necessary.

Do I go anywhere outside of the house if I have Henna on my hair?

Yes, I do what I have to do definitely, but I find Henna so soothing that I try to apply the Henna when I literally have nothing to do outside. If I really have to go somewhere, I either go with my head scarf on or I wear a large, baggy bonnet (And I won’t be in public for that long).

It’s easier to be mobile with Henna in the winter since thick hats are expected…..but in the warmer months I try to have a scarf on if I really have to be in public.

What I’ve changed with my Henna applications

I’ve changed my Henna recipe to just Jamila Henna powder and lemon juice.

The previous recipe I followed called for 4 bags of green tea steeped in 1 cup of boiling water, once the water was cooled, add to Henna, once Henna was ready to be applied add Honey.

Basically that recipe was more wet and heavier.

This recipe is not as heavy. I add just enough lemon juice to make the consistency more like mashed potato.

There is absolutely no dripping….if the Henna wasn’t a mess (as far as the dye factor) I could walk around the house and do stuff with no fear of leaving a trail behind.

The recipe is great and caters to my minimalist tendencies.

Friday Apr 20th (weekend #2) I tried to be a little more efficient with my time.

Since I shampoo’d the previous week, I was not going to shampoo again.

I also did not do my pre-poo (pre-shampoo) treatment of Honey and oil.

Saturday, I sectioned my hair into about 8 twists and rinsed my hair as much as possible in the shower. I sprayed my hair with some ACV (apple cider vinegar) and water and rinsed that out as well.

I  mixed the Henna and lemon juice Saturday evening and left it on the counter for the dye to release.

Sunday morning I applied my cake frosting…I mean Henna… to saturate my hair, tied it up and went about my day.

My goal on Sunday was to be able to leave the Henna in for at least 6 hours….and I did it!

I applied my DC after washing out the Henna.

As far as my DC’s (deep condition) after I Henna…its not that in-depth. Since I just spent hours with Henna on my hair, I only apply a small amount of conditioner to my sections for my DC. I place my hair in a plastic bag or shower cap….put on a tam (hat) to generate some heat/moisture and I may leave that on for up to 2 hours.

Friday April 27th (weekend #3) was a bust….Womp Womp

I really wanted to make the effort but life happened…

Friday May 4th (weekend #4, but application #3) was a repeat of my first week on this challenge

I repeated the same steps from the Honey pre-poo to the shampoo and 6 hour henna application, lastly followed by my DC.

I will take more pics this coming weekend and add another post on my observations of my Henna experience!

Have you tried Henna?

Do you have any Henna pros and cons you’d like to share?



2 thoughts on “Henna Challenge-Updates (so far so good)

    • Hey Kim…I purchase those types of products at Mid-East Food Centre in Ottawa on St. Laurent blvd (east end). The pack of 100g is $1.99. If they run out of Jamila then they also have the Desi brand….same price for 100g. I also purchase ghassoul from there as well (a natural mineral cleanser…same mud-type application) and other natural oils. Great prices.

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