Daily Archives: August 31, 2011

Got Skills?: Henna Questions and Shedding


Luv.Lyfe (GOC – Eighth Wave) asks:

I would first like you to know I find your blog to be extremely helpful.  I appreciate the time you take to inform others of the natural community. As a new healthy hair natural, I can go a day without checking your blog for new tips. Thank you for the time and energy used to share!!!

I have had two henna applications with Jamila henna. The first was a henna gloss (I don’t know if that counts) and the second was a full strength henna. After the first henna, I did not see much of a difference other than a slight red tint; however, the second henna provided more color, but I can’t say there has been much change other than that. I thought it would be a shinier or fuller, but I didn’t see much of that. I notice many others (including you from your Henna and Me story) have purchased henna from Mehandi. Is this because this company sells a better quality henna? Or is it because it is the most reputable and trusted company? I saw that Curly Nikki sometimes uses Butters-n-Bars.com. I looked at both sites and decided to go with Butters-n-Bars. The box of henna has the date on the bottom and the henna is in a foil package (both of which I thought were indicative of good quality henna). I’m not sure if you know, but does this company provide good henna? I plan to henna again today, but I don’t want to waste my time on henna that is not of good quality. I also went to the local Indian store to purchase Dulhan. I have a few boxes of that brand as well. Should I use the Dulhan only, mix the two, or is the Jamila from Butters-n-Bars okay?

I would also like to know how the heck do I get this henna out of my hair? I applied the full strength henna at around 9:00 p.m. and kept it in overnight. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to rinse the henna out. I rinsed with Tressame Naturals conditioner over and over and over and over again. Then again and again and again with HE HH. I ended up clogging the tub. I fixed the clogged drain and rinsed again. I waited and applied Kimmaytube and noticed that the leave-in was orange when I began twisting my hair. What? How many times do I have to rinse my hair? Is it okay to use shampoo to clean the henna out? I have Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat, but I don’t like the way it makes my hair feel; however, I will use it and DC all day if it means getting the henna out.

Another concern is how much shedding occurs almost anytime I touch my hair (pre-poo, conditioning, moisturizing and styling). I don’t know why that is. I can moisturize, condition and be very gentle and look up to see hair on the conditioner bottle, the comb or brush, the shea butter or coconut oil and my hands.  What am I doing wrong?

I know this is a bit much, but please help if you can?

Thank you very much,


(Follow LyfeisLuv’s journey at www.mylyfemygrowth.wordpress.com)

Shelli’s response:

First, thank you so much.  It really encourages me when I learn that women like yourself find my site and the posts helpful!  It keeps me going!

Okay, first, I’ve never used Butters-n-Bars, but if Nikki used it, then I wouldn’t doubt that it is quality henna and the foil makes it sound even more so (as that’s how Jamila from Mehandi is packaged as well).  Next, it usually takes 3 hennas to really see the full results.  Given that your first henna was a gloss, I wouldn’t even count that if you didn’t allow dye release.  So, as long as you don’t experience any negative effects (i.e. excessive dryness or an allergic reaction), give it 3 full strength applications to see the real results.  The first full strength is typically only going to give you the tint of color.

In regard to getting the hanna out, did you fill the tub with enough water to cover your hair and do a head dunk to loosen and release most of it first?  If not and you went straight to the shower and tried to rinse, that’s probably the problem.  Head dunk first to remove the majority of the henna (you should really not have any “mud” left after the head dunk), drain the tub and then hit the shower to rinse with the conditioner (I usually do that around 3 or 4 rounds with HE HH … and I use a ton of conditioner for each rinse … I’d say I go through about half of a normal size bottle, if not a little more, on a henna rinse day). Also, did you deep condition after you rinsed? If not, you should always DC after a henna. I would not suggest shampooing as it is too disruptive to the hair, which already goes through a lot of manipulation with the henna application. When I rinse my DC, I always still have some more henna rinsing out in the water.  Also, I may have a slight orange tint when applying my leave-in, but not that much. However, my next wash day, the conditioner rinse water will be tinted orange as well. It’s only in that rinse though. After my henna day, I don’t see it on my clothes or hands. Once my hair dries, there is no residue.  The first co-wash a week later will always get the remainder out of my hair.

As to your shedding, I shed hair throughout every process. I always have shed hair everywhere just like you described. As long as your shedding is stable and isn’t increasing, it’s probably normal.  I was freaking out for a time too, because it seemed like others shed very little to no hair. But, I’ve always shed a lot of hair. I think I experienced excessive shedding last year due to amla, but now it’s back under control and there is still a ball of hair in every stage of my process … pre-poo, co-wash, DC, styling. Remember, normal shed can be up to 100 hairs a day. If that hair isn’t coming out during the week because it’s “trapped” in your curly hair or a protective style, it’s all coming out on wash day. The one thing that I have stopped doing, because my hair is fine, is make certain that I don’t get conditioner on my scalp when I apply it to detangle as I’ve read that it can soften the root. Given that I use a no poo for my scalp, I don’t need to use the conditioner to cleanse it. And, given that my hair is fine, my roots are tiny and I think that conditioner on my scalp may have contributed to excessive shedding (see my post on this here). However, again, as long as your shedding is stable and it is actually shedding, not breakage (make sure the bulb is present), it doesn’t sound like you have anything about which to be concerned. However, if your shedding seems excessive, you should consult with a dermatologist to determine if there is a real issue and steps that you can take to address it.

Serendipitously, CurlyNikki posted an article on Hair Loss and Shedding on Monday, which may be helpful to you.

So ladies, who’s “Got Skills ;)?” Any feedback on Butters-N-Bars henna? Rinsing techniques? Shedding observations or advice? Go!

Deep Conditioning Tricks … Cool & Seal


Tips & Tricks: Number Two

Several years ago, my youngest sister gave me a couple little deep conditioning tips. You see, I had been ogling the Ouidad Deep Treatment, because I had been reading so many rave reviews about it. However, the joker was $50 for 8 ounces (8.5 now)!!! I just couldn’t see myself spending that much for a conditioner.  $18 for 8 ounces of Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie was already hurting my wallet!!

So, my sister says to me one day, “I don’t think it’s the conditioner per se, I think it might be the technique.” She tells me to allow my DC to cool for 15 minutes after I remove the heat source and then, put my regular daily conditioner over the DC before rinsing them both. Well, I tried this shortly thereafter and it really seemed to make a difference in how my hair felt after rinsing the DC!! You know how your hair will feel great with conditioner in it? But some conditioners, once rinsed, don’t seem to leave any of the benefits you felt while they were in your hair? Well, after rinsing using this technique with the Carol’s Daughter Tui Smoothie and some Pantene (I think) my hair felt smoother, more supple and as if the moisture from the DC was better retained.

These are the actual directions for the deep treatment from Ouidad.com:

1. Completely saturate clean, damp hair with 2 oz. of treatment on shoulder length hair – a bit more on longer hair.
2. Cover with a shower cap and heat with blow dryer. Allow warm product to remain for 12 minutes.
3. Before rinsing out, add a conditioner to hair. Then rinse both products; allow a little coating to remain.

Under the Deep Treatment section of the Styling Guide, it indicates, “Before rinsing, add a daily conditioner to seal in the treatment” (emphasis added). My guess is that allowing the DC to cool is recommended based upon the same principle as using cool water to rinse conditioner. As heat will raise the cuticle layer, allowing the hair to cool after removing the heat source facilitates the relaxing/closing of that layer. Then, applying a daily conditioner over the DC somehow helps to further seal the moisturizing agents of the DC into the hair strand like using an oil or butter to seal a water-based moisturizer! That’s just my conjecture.

Anywho, I’ve been employing a modified version of this technique for many years now with much success. Since the beginning of the year, my weekly DC regimen has been as follows:

  • Section hair into 4.
  • Apply approximately 2 ounces of DC of choice  (currently, Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Conditioner or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Deep Treatment Masque) to wet, but not dripping, hair (or 0.5 ounces per section). I ensure the section is thoroughly covered with DC and then twist it until I have four DC covered twists.
  • Gather four twists together and use rounded-tooth jaw clip to secure ends near top of head and don plastic cap.
  • Apply  heat for a minimum of one hour (usually a Winter hat).
  • Remove heat source and allow hair to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • While hair is cooling, dilute about a half ounce to one ounce of daily conditioner (currently, Aussie Moist) with approximately 6 ounces of filtered cool water in a dye applicator bottle (I dilute the conditioner because I thought the instructions said a “conditioning rinse.” I’ve applied the daily conditioner full strength in the past, but didn’t notice any reduced benefit when I began diluting it. So, I continue to do so, since it allows me to extend product!)
  • In shower or sink, pour entire bottle of diluted conditioner over twists, fully saturating them.
  • Rinse conditioner with cold or cool water (if in sink, I rinse from side to side, never upside down). Rinse well, but not “squeaky clean.”

I believe that one of the major reasons that my hair retains length and stays well-moisturized throughout the week is due to a consistent DC regimen. Though I know there is controversy out there related to deep conditioning and deep conditioning with heat, I’ve always noticed improved hair health and length retention when I deep condition at least once a month. I have achieved the longest hair I’ve ever had in my life since I began DC’ing every time I wash, which is typically once a week.


Do you “cool and seal?” If so, have you noticed a difference in your hair using these techniques? If you’ve never tried these tricks, would you? Are you having great results with your current DC regimen?  Inquiring minds want to know!!