Henna has straightened my hair!

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  • 1 Post By Noumenon
  • 1 Post By Korkscrew
  • 1 Post By lynnser

I've been using Jamilla Henna Powder for a year now, and my hair has utterly changed from 2B to 2A/basically straight. I've done some reading on the subject, and apparently henna can act as a natural relaxer in some people. I *hate* having my hair straight. I am getting married in October, and want my natural curl back. I am utterly freaking out!!

Looking back at photos now it has been changing over the past year, but has just gotten really straight over the past few weeks.

The man in the henna store told me to use shikakai powder and Amla/mineral oil too, along with a clarifying shampoo to help get my curly hair back. I read that leaving the henna on for less time also helps. I normally leave it for 4 hours.

My mother also suggested using curlers.

Will these methods work? It is too close to my wedding to try out other hair dyes, so I am stuck with henna

I am so panicked about it. I hate having 2A/straight hair.

Last edited by lynnser; 07-31-2013 at 05:28 AM.

The man in the henna store told me to use shikakai powder and Amla/mineral oil too, along with a clarifying shampoo to help get my curly hair back. I read that leaving the henna on for less time also helps. I normally leave it for 4 hours.
Originally Posted by lynnser
The guy is spot on, this will remove quite a bit of the henna. My cousin wanted to change her hair from hennaed to dyed. She washed her hair every day for about 2 weeks. Ruffly the method was:

1.) Oil treatment at night (pretty sure she just used coconut oil)
2.) Clarifying shampoo (let it sit for as long as she could) and conditioner in the morning

By the end of this, her hair looked completely different. Most of the henna colour had gone and she had really good success chemically dying her hair.

Also personally I find that when I first henna or mindi it literally coats my hair, as I wash it that layer disappears and my hair becomes finer.

For whatever its worth, I am sure your hair is going to look fine on your wedding day, there is very little a good hairdresser can not do. Besides, marrying the man you love, your going to be smiling from the inside out - and thats all anyone is going to see. Good luck!
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Modified CG since 8/12
Hair: BSL, Thick, Low Porosity, Dense, 3A
HG's: Moogoo, Ultraorganics Intense Camomile Conditioner and Clear Henna Hair Wax, Sukin Conditioners, CO, Spray Bottle, Henna
Low-Poo: Moogoo Shampoo
Co-Wash: Sukin Nourishing Conditioner
DT: CHHW, ICC, CO
LI: Sukin Moisture Restoring
Colour: Henna
Hi Noumenon

I don't want to lsoe the henna though. I've had more compliments since using henna than I've ever had in my whole life. Plus, traditional dyes make my scalp burn and itch.

Do you think using shikakai powder, Amla/mineral oil, and a clarifying shampoo will actually strip my hair of dye? The man in the store said that, "It will not strip the colour as you may imagine in a dramatic manner. Henna is absorbed into the hair and dyes the hair so when you remove the henna build up in the hair then it helps the hair to take on fresh dye giving a fresher colouring and also keeping the hair lighter."
It doesn't sound like you can have this amount of henna and natural waves/ curls, unfortunately some people cannot. Lawsone bonds to the keratin in the hair, it is considered very permanent and will not be removed by clarifying shampoos without damaging your hair and probably damaging your skin as well (sulphates thin and dehydrate the skin barrier so not good for anyone with sensitivity, they can 'presensitise' to other reactions).
Aqueous Cream : National Eczema Society

You might find this series useful
THE NATURAL HAVEN: Inquiring minds: Henna - How does it work? Part 1 of 3

I've never heard of henna being removed by herbal washes either, maybe head over to the Long Hair Community or Henna 4 Hair forums and run an advanced search. I have heard of henna being partially removed with peroxide free colour removers like Color Oops or Colour B4 Extra. If your hair has only recently gone straight it's likely you simply have a build up of henna you need to reduce not remove entirely.

Whatever method you choose practice on shed plughole hair and then run strand tests, don't use your whole head as a laboratory. Definitely also do patch tests since you have sensitive skin, you can start reacting to anything at any time, even if you have been using it for months or years.

If you do end up going back to traditional alkaline box dyes they are not all the same - certain ingredients are higher risk for reactions, for example PPD, sulphate surfactants, persulphate bleach, higher vol peroxide. By carefully selecting the product you can limit or avoid these, you should also prepare your scalp by respecting the acid mantle/ barrier function for as long as possible beforehand.

The gentlest is probably a salon acid permanent dye that they aim not to touch your scalp and do not use heat to accelerate (skin is acidic pH ~5.5). Semi permanents are another option, these are simply colour molecules in a conditioner base, no harsh ingredients.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Lynnser, my advice?: Try not to panic just yet. The "happy medium" you want might still be achievable - where you are able to keep using henna but also maintain your waves/curls. You would simply need to apply all your future henna applications to your roots (virgin hair) only.

As for the hair you've already hennaed, many people, including some posters at the Mehandi forum, part of a website created and monitored by Dr. Cartwright-Jones, who has a PhD in henna, report successfully lifting some or all henna or indigo dye, despite claims to the contrary. The methods that come up most often are repeated vitamin C + baking soda treatments; "Color Oops" applications, and repeated clarifying or chelating shampoos (sulfate shampoos appear to have lightened my color a bit). And of course there's developer/bleach (extreme). Firefox is correct about these things being harsh on hair. So here's what I would try first, if I were you:

Try doing 4 amla treatments over the course of about a month. ... The exact reason amla tends to help with curl retention is a mystery, based on my limited research, but Dr. Cartwright-Jones recommends this method.

Directions: combine 100 gm.s amla with enough warm water so that your mix is roughly the consistency of yogurt. (Use your judgement: if you have a ton of hair, or very long hair, you can use more than 100 mg.s). Let the mix sit for 15 min.s, then saturate your hair with it. I find wet or damp hair makes application of amla easier. Wash it out after 30 min.s, being sure to DC after you rinse out the amla, to prevent dry hair.

Worst case scenario: you can't bring curl back to your already-hennaed hair. But all that would mean is you gradually trim that hair off over time as you start and continue your roots-only henna applications. Also, consider adding amla to all your future henna mixes, about a 4:1 henna/amla ratio. Theoretically that will help you retain more curl from the start. Amla may slightly darken your overall color, so I'd do a strand test first to ensure you get your desired color. Good luck
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Last edited by Korkscrew; 08-02-2013 at 06:24 PM.
Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. Much appreciated. I wanna try and stick with my beautiful colour first though.

Korkscrew, should I get amla oil or amla powder?
You're welcome

I would definitely go with the powder. Amla oil, aside from smelling diabolical, tends to be diluted with other ingredients, especially glycerin. Better to go with pure amla powder as it will help ensure you get the full benefit of amla berries. In your case, I'm guessing you want as much curl-retention potential as possible. So yeah, the powder.

If you have a reliable Indian grocery in your area, you can purchase the powder for a lot less money than buying from most online vendors (which of course also includes shipping and handling fees). I suppose eBay might be an online exception, if you can find it dirt cheap before S&H.
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I would definitely go with the powder. Amla oil, aside from smelling diabolical, tends to be diluted with other ingredients, especially glycerin. Better to go with pure amla powder as it will help ensure you get the full benefit of amla berries. In your case, I'm guessing you want as much curl-retention potential as possible. So yeah, the powder.
Originally Posted by Korkscrew
Do you find it dries your hair? Do you apply a deep conditioning treatment afterwards?

Thanks!
Yep, as I said earlier, it's a good idea to DC (deep condition) your hair after rinsing the amla out of your hair.
3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums
Yep, as I said earlier, it's a good idea to DC (deep condition) your hair after rinsing the amla out of your hair.
Originally Posted by Korkscrew
Ah, that's what DC stood for. Thanks!
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