Getting rid of that henna smell ...

I'm now about a month post my first BAQ henna treatment, and I still smell faint remnants of the henna, especially when I workout. The smell is nauseating, rather like a combination of mud and wet dog poop ... ... and I fear that folks around me will assume that I have, ahem, a 'hygiene problem.' Any suggestions for getting rid of the smell? I've shampooed, condition washed, and water rinsed multiple times over the last month with only minimal success.

Thanks in advance.
~Hair type: Predominantly 4a with 3c at front of head and nape of neck, 4b at temples; fine strands.
~Routine: Co-wash with V05 Strawberries and cream, rinse, add KCKT and KCCC.
~Full shampoos about once a month.
~Just starting periodic BAQ henna/indigo to color grays and achieve a rich medium auburn hue.

*I'm finally achieving second and third day hair with KCCC! Yay!
I've never heard of a lingering smell. Are you sure you're not imagining it? No, I'm not calling you crazy! I had a procedure done once and swore all up and down that I could still smell it, but no one around me could smell anything. (I asked. and asked. Then asked some more.)

If you're positive it's a lingering scent, perhaps you're not drinking enough water? Henna can make your pee green, so it's obviously being absorbed into your body. Maybe it's not being flushed out.

You can also add things for fragrance, like Cardamom or Ginger.
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Not a 4A, but the title caught my eye . . . I can smell it for maybe a couple of days, but that's usually it - once I've finally managed to remove any trace of green from my scalp, the smell is gone, too. Right after the initial rinse and wash, I use KBB hair milk with Egyptian Musk scent as a leave-in, and that seems to help, too - using it, I only get a whiff every once in a while. To me it's not that bad anyway - it just smells like hay or grass clippings.

I got one of the cardamom/ginger 'poo bars when I first ordered my henna because it's supposed to help, but I've never used it - can't ever think to take to the shower with me after hennaing.

As Shawnette said, cardamom or ginger in your mix is supposed to help, also cinnamon. Cinnamon's the only one I've actually used, and it did smell good - got a big, cheap bottle at Walgreen's and used about half of it in my mix. It supposedly can also deepen the color of the henna, but I couldn't tell any difference, probably because I also use indigo in the mix.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
I never ever smell it at all once it's rinsed out. Are you sure you rinsed all of it out every time and there aren't remnants still in your hair causing this to happen?
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Thanks all for replying.

(Shawnette) I've never heard of a lingering smell. Are you sure you're not imagining it? No, I'm not calling you crazy! I had a procedure done once and swore all up and down that I could still smell it, but no one around me could smell anything. (I asked. and asked. Then asked some more.)
Yes, I was hoping against hope that it was just my imagination with it being so long since my application, but I'm pretty sure. To top it off, there's a guy who works out with me some time, and I could tell by the expression on his face this morning that he thought that something was amiss but was too much of a gentleman to ask .

(Auntnett) As Shawnette said, cardamom or ginger in your mix is supposed to help, also cinnamon. Cinnamon's the only one I've actually used, and it did smell good - got a big, cheap bottle at Walgreen's and used about half of it in my mix.
Thanks. I have lots of cinnamon here already. I may mix some with some conditioner and apply it after I wash my hair again tonight and then certainly will add it to my mix from now on.

(4aspiral) never ever smell it at all once it's rinsed out. Are you sure you rinsed all of it out every time and there aren't remnants still in your hair causing this to happen?
i usually co-wash or use a no-sulfate shampoo. Maybe this hasn't been strong enough to remove the remnants. I'm going to try using a sulfate shampoo tonight.

Thanks again, everybody. The smell is just so disconcerting.
~Hair type: Predominantly 4a with 3c at front of head and nape of neck, 4b at temples; fine strands.
~Routine: Co-wash with V05 Strawberries and cream, rinse, add KCKT and KCCC.
~Full shampoos about once a month.
~Just starting periodic BAQ henna/indigo to color grays and achieve a rich medium auburn hue.

*I'm finally achieving second and third day hair with KCCC! Yay!
The smell tends to linger on me as well. I can sometimes still smell it after a week, even though it's not strong. And after rinsing multiple times, and CO washing 2-3 times afterward. But the difference being I actually like the earthy smell of it. LOL!

If you use a more fragrant tea, that can help. You can add other fragrant herbs to the mix after dye release. That could maybe help in lessening the smell.
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i def suffered from that llingering smell as well.. the last time I hennaed, I picked up some rose water from the same indian market I got the henna from. After I co washed the henna out & did a rinse with rose water & that killed the smell
Hmmm. I wonder if it could be the type of henna you use, then? I use Karishma, which I buy locally. I've also used Jamila, bought locally, and not had the lingering smell and another brand whose name escapes me at the moment.
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You may want to try adding an EO. Henna absorbs EO's very well.
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The first few hennas I did were with Jamila BAQ. Last summer's crop. I wonder if the porosity of our hair has something to do with how it takes the henna. Like if it's more poruse, the more it clings to scent?

FYI...I only smelled it when I would sweat or wet my hair. Or if I took my hair and actually sniffed it. I didn't smell it when going about my business throughout the day. It's just like if I co-wash my hair. When I decide to wash it again, when I wet it, I can still smell the conditioner I used.

Maybe you're smelling it more because you don't like how it smells. I tend to do that. If something doesn't sit well, my senses are heightened. LOL!
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Thanks all for replying.

(Shawnette) I've never heard of a lingering smell. Are you sure you're not imagining it? No, I'm not calling you crazy! I had a procedure done once and swore all up and down that I could still smell it, but no one around me could smell anything. (I asked. and asked. Then asked some more.)
Yes, I was hoping against hope that it was just my imagination with it being so long since my application, but I'm pretty sure. To top it off, there's a guy who works out with me some time, and I could tell by the expression on his face this morning that he thought that something was amiss but was too much of a gentleman to ask .

(Auntnett) As Shawnette said, cardamom or ginger in your mix is supposed to help, also cinnamon. Cinnamon's the only one I've actually used, and it did smell good - got a big, cheap bottle at Walgreen's and used about half of it in my mix.
Thanks. I have lots of cinnamon here already. I may mix some with some conditioner and apply it after I wash my hair again tonight and then certainly will add it to my mix from now on.

(4aspiral) never ever smell it at all once it's rinsed out. Are you sure you rinsed all of it out every time and there aren't remnants still in your hair causing this to happen?
i usually co-wash or use a no-sulfate shampoo. Maybe this hasn't been strong enough to remove the remnants. I'm going to try using a sulfate shampoo tonight.

Thanks again, everybody. The smell is just so disconcerting.
Originally Posted by kinksncurls
Just low-pooing with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat has always been enough for me - have never had to resort to sulfates. Right after hennaing, I first co-wash (usually with Suave Ocean Breeze), scrubbing my scalp gently but very well, 2-3 times, rinsing very well each time and then end with the GTTTT, letting it sit on my head for a few minutes and again scrubbing and rinsing well. Usually follow with GVP conditioning balm and then the KBB hair milk leave-in. Even after all this, I still may get some green residue under my nails when I scratch my head for the next couple of days. By the next washing, that goes away and that seems to be when the last lingering bit of the smell goes away.

BTW, I just remembered that the very first time I hennaed, the smell did linger for about a week and that was the only time I used lemon juice for my acid. Thereafter, I always used chamomile tea - not fragrant, but something about it must've made a difference because I only used the cinnamon the last time.

ETA: I use Mehandi's henna for African hair since it's supposed to cover gray the best.

I've never heard of anyone who didn't have any lingering smell afterward, but I bet you probably do notice it a lot more than anyone else - if they do at all.

Also, maybe the peppermint and tea tree essential oils in the GTTTT help some, too?
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 04-23-2009 at 01:39 PM.
Just low-pooing with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat has always been enough for me - have never had to resort to sulfates. Right after hennaing, I first co-wash (usually with Suave Ocean Breeze), scrubbing my scalp gently but very well, 2-3 times, rinsing very well each time and then end with the GTTTT, letting it sit on my head for a few minutes and again scrubbing and rinsing well. Usually follow with GVP conditioning balm and then the KBB hair milk leave-in. Even after all this, I still may get some green residue under my nails when I scratch my head for the next couple of days. By the next washing, that goes away and that seems to be when the last lingering bit of the smell goes away.

BTW, I just remembered that the very first time I hennaed, the smell did linger for about a week and that was the only time I used lemon juice for my acid. Thereafter, I always used chamomile tea - not fragrant, but something about it must've made a difference because I only used the cinnamon the last time.

ETA: I use Mehandi's henna for African hair since it's supposed to cover gray the best.

I've never heard of anyone who didn't have any lingering smell afterward, but I bet you probably do notice it a lot more than anyone else - if they do at all.

Also, maybe the peppermint and tea tree essential oils in the GTTTT help some, too?
Originally Posted by auntnett
I don't have any smell afterwards and I know this because I hate the way henna smells (gag!). Even more than I hate the way shea smells (gag!). Maybe it's the ingredients I use...
Nappy is not an 'N' word.
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(eccentric_kurlz) If you use a more fragrant tea, that can help. You can add other fragrant herbs to the mix after dye release. That could maybe help in lessening the smell.
I'll try this on one of my next applications.

(msjaim) i def suffered from that llingering smell as well.. the last time I hennaed, I picked up some rose water from the same indian market I got the henna from. After I co washed the henna out & did a rinse with rose water & that killed the smell
I love rose water. Will add this to the 'will try' list as well.

(auntnett) ETA: I use Mehandi's henna for African hair since it's supposed to cover gray the best.
auntnett, this is the one that I used also. I've used Hennalucent in the past (which of course isn't BAQ) and never had this problem with the smell.

(auntnett) I've never heard of anyone who didn't have any lingering smell afterward, but I bet you probably do notice it a lot more than anyone else - if they do at al
I hope it's just that I notice it more than anybody else ...

Thanks everyone for replying. I'm going to experiment with the different solutions that you provided and hopefully one of them will work for me.
~Hair type: Predominantly 4a with 3c at front of head and nape of neck, 4b at temples; fine strands.
~Routine: Co-wash with V05 Strawberries and cream, rinse, add KCKT and KCCC.
~Full shampoos about once a month.
~Just starting periodic BAQ henna/indigo to color grays and achieve a rich medium auburn hue.

*I'm finally achieving second and third day hair with KCCC! Yay!
My henna lingers for about 3 days and then its gone. I don't mind the smell because I mix my henna with cloves, cinnamon, and ginger, and the teas that I use smell great so its not so bad. I've never mixed straight henna without the added ing. so I don't know how it smells, if it hasn't be mentioned yet, maybe a ACV rinse will do it for you. Next time try adding some of these things with you mix, ginger is supposed to get rid of the smell.
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Henna can make your pee green, so it's obviously being absorbed into your body. Maybe it's not being flushed out.
Originally Posted by shawnette
gulp!!!! You all are making me fear henna
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gulp!!!! You all are making me fear henna
Originally Posted by hippychic
Lol! Vitamins make your pee yellow and blue drinks (slurpees, sports drinks, koolaid, etc.) will make your poo bright green. Henna has been used for eons and if it were harmful, I think something would have been reported by now.
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gulp!!!! You all are making me fear henna
Originally Posted by hippychic
Lol! Vitamins make your pee yellow and blue drinks (slurpees, sports drinks, koolaid, etc.) will make your poo bright green. Henna has been used for eons and if it were harmful, I think something would have been reported by now.
Originally Posted by shawnette
Yeah, henna is nothing but the vegetable dye of a plant and has been safely used for thousands of years. It's never turned my pee green, LOL, but I wouldn't care if it did.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
Ladies, I'm so excited! I've found a solution.

Many thanks to auntnett for mentioning ginger. It set my mind along the path of thought that I had some old ginger tea bags here. I haven't been able to decide what to do with them because I don't like the taste but didn't just want to throw them away.

Well, I brewed a bag in the microwave and let it cool. I put the tea into a spray bottle, sprayed my hair all over with it, worked it in well, and put on a plastic cap. I waited about five minutes before cowashing my hair. You may not believe this, but the smell is COMPLETELY GONE! I don't catch a whiff of it anywhere.

I'll be using this from now, maybe about once a week, as a precursor to my cowash and then certainly will be adding ginger to my mix in the future. I don't know WHAT is in ginger to have this effect, but it totally solved my problem!

I hope that this helps somebody else.

Thanks again for all of your help.
~Hair type: Predominantly 4a with 3c at front of head and nape of neck, 4b at temples; fine strands.
~Routine: Co-wash with V05 Strawberries and cream, rinse, add KCKT and KCCC.
~Full shampoos about once a month.
~Just starting periodic BAQ henna/indigo to color grays and achieve a rich medium auburn hue.

*I'm finally achieving second and third day hair with KCCC! Yay!
I use Yemen henna and I never smell it after I do my first co wash and deep conditioner.
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