Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My Name is Ty. I was a wig, weave and hair extension fashionista for almost 20 years. My hair never had a chance to grow because it never had a chance to see sunlight! After all those years, my hair still never grew past my ears.
How long have you been natural?
March 22, 2008 was my big chop day. So, right at 3 ½ years. Woke up one day, chopped it all off. I never transitioned.
How long have you been using henna? When did you start?
The first weekend of May 2010, I did my very first henna treatment. I have been faithful about doing it one once a month ever since.
What made you begin using henna?
My hair started turning naturally gray at 12 ½ -13 years old … ALL OVER. Imagine going to middle school with gray hair *SMH*. My mom allowed me to color my hair at 13. After 20+ years, I noticed that my hair look so dry, so I started to research the benefits of using henna. I thought that I would give it a try. It was the best decision I ever made along with going natural.
How would you describe your first experience with henna?
I have always been a lover of red hair. At first I was scared, didn’t know what to expect. I left the treatment on for about 4 hours. It was easy to wash out (I have heard horror stories) and the results were amazing. It was as if my hair came back to life!
What type of henna do you use? What is your mix? What is your process?
I use Jamila Henna, the little $1.99 box at my neighborhood Indian Grocery store. They know me by name. I buy an entire box (with 12) every six months. LOL … I have to keep a stash!
I wash my hair first. I apply my mix: henna, 3 tablespoons of aritha, brahmi and shakakai powders, 1 1/2 tablespoon of amla and indigo powder in a bowl, along with honey and green tea. I put my indigo in my mix instead of putting it on after I do my treatment. I keep my treatment in for 12 hours. I know that you can wash it out in 4, but I am addicted to the red color. IT NEVER FADES!! Gold Star!!
I just started adding olive oil to the mix. I have noticed since doing so, it is so much easier to wash out and my curls come back a lot faster after my deep conditioning treatment. I deep condition for about 2 hours (1 egg, honey, my deep conditioner oil mix: brahmi oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, coconut oil and more olive oil ).
I know you can also buy the henna with the ingredients above already in it, but I like to mix my own. I use a lot more Aritha, shakakai and brahmi than alma powders. The aritha (a natural shampoo) stops the itching. That mix will last me 2 applications. Once I finish my application, I freeze the rest for next month.
How often do you henna?
Faithfully, the first weekend in the month. In the summer, I may do 2 a month, depending on how fast my hair grows (I must cover the gray … lol).
How has your hair changed with henna?
My hair did change … for the better!! I now have thicker hair! I have desired thicker hair for ages. Since I started my henna treatments, my hair is fuller, shinier and the curls are more defined. I did notice my curl pattern stretched a bit, but not that much. I love to see my hair “POP!”
How do you feel about henna and the process now?
I am a henna head for life!!! I put it in my schedule that the first Saturday in the month is henna day. It’s pretty much routine for me now. I love the fact that I don’t see a lot of breakage when I comb my hair. I love the way my hair feels and I have less frizzy days. I love the red tint; you can’t buy this hair shine in a bottle!!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying henna?
1. Do your research. There are plenty of websites with a wealth of information about henna. I researched for 6 months before I took the plunge. Hair Forums can become your best friend.
2. Understand that not everyone will have the same results. I tell many of my friends who like my hair color that my hair is naturally gray, so the red will stand out like crazy. If you have darker hair, you will see the color in the sunlight. The more henna treatments you apply, the better results you will get.
Anything else that you’d like to add?
It was never my intent to use henna for color. I wanted the benefits of less hair breakage, thickness and shine. The color was just a bonus.