Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Michelle and I work at an art college in California. I am obsessed with reading natural hair blogs and watching YouTube natural hair vloggers.
How long have you been natural?
Well, I stopped relaxing my hair in the mid-nineties. In lieu of relaxing, I would blow dry my hair and straighten it with a really hot curling iron. In 2000, I stopped straightening all together. It wasn’t something I decided beforehand; when it came time to wash my hair one week, I didn’t feel like spending the two hours straightening it and thought, “I’ll do it next week,” but never did.
When did you start using henna?
I started using henna in September.
What made you begin using henna?
Reading about it on CurlyNikki.com and reading Shelli’s henna story. I was interested in the color deposit and the strengthening effects.
How would you describe your first experience with henna?
My first experience with henna was fine. I ordered 200g from Mehandi.com, but only used half that time because the process was a little messy. I used the rest the following weekend.
What type of henna do you use? What is your mix? What is your process?
I use the Henna for Red Hair kit. I just mix the henna with orange juice. The night before, I clarify my hair and mix my henna with the orange juice until it looks like mashed potatoes and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I add some more orange juice until it is the consistency of yogurt, then apply it and let it sit on my hair for four hours. After four hours, I rinse as much as I can with water. Then I use a Suave Naturals Aloe Vera conditioner to help rinse. When I’ve gotten most of it out, I deep condition with Aussie Moist 3 minute miracle, but I don’t rinse it out. I find that this helps with the dryness. The next day, I co-wash with the Suave. One or two days later, I do a regular wash with my Curls cleanser and condition with whatever.
How often do you henna?
Once a month.
How has your hair changed with henna?
I have noticed a slight change in color but not much else.
How do you feel about henna and the process now?
It is not a difficult process but it is very time consuming, especially rinsing it out.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying henna?
Do your research and make sure you purchase Body Art Quality Henna (my sister-in-law received some henna from Turkey from a friend. It caused a violent allergic reaction, which resulted in her having to go to the emergency room). Also, purchase a sample to test to make sure you are not allergic.
Anything else that you’d like to add?
I am on the fence as to whether to continue to henna. I haven’t seen much difference with the exception of the color. I’ll give it two more months then I’ll access my hair.
Michelle sent me her story back in December, so I asked her a week or so ago if she was still using henna or decided to give it up. Her answer:
I think I will stick to the henna for a while. I really do like the color.
I do too Michelle, I do too!