• known for decorating the skin and depositing color onto the hair
• the dye molecule lawsone is found within the leaves and must be mixed with a mildly acidic liquid for the lawsone to be released
• henna is dried and ground into a powder for most effective use
• you can use henna for an hour or so for short term conditioning or long term color deposit
• best results with body art quality henna (b.a.q.)
you can find baq henna in Indian grocery stores or online
• pure b.a.q. henna turns the hair red so if you have gray they too will turn red which makes for pretty highlights; the rest of the hair will be lightly tinted red depending on your natural color (if you have a lot of gray or may not want so much red see “boosting henna” section below for more ideas)
• future henna applications will deepen the color

henna pros and cons
• strengthens the hair
• conditions the hair
• fuller hair
• defines the natural curl
• adds shine

• can be drying: some people experience dryness after henna processing due to its strengthening abilities
this can be avoided by mixing the henna with some orange juice instead of lemon, adding yogurt or by adding some nourishing oils to the mix.
• time consuming: the henna mix must rest for 6 to 12 hours so that the henna leaf cellulose is dissolved before application; then after application it has to set in your hair for several hours to oxidize
• messy: wrap henna hair tight with saran wrap and dark towels and cover your bed/pillow if processing your hair overnight
• it is difficult to lighten hair from a dark henna coloring
• does not react well with store bought peroxide-based hair color that needs to be mixed with an activator, especially if it is not b.a.q henna

boosting henna
• use indigo over the initial henna application to darken your henna results
• add essential oils of tea tree, eucalyptus or lavender
• avoid chlorinated water when using henna this can alter results

About nawlins natural

Looking to share my natural hair journey. I have been natural for 2yrs and enjoy sharing my knowledge and enjoy learning different techniques of how to care for my natural hair. I believe in the most high power, Jesus Christ and maintain a positive outlook for my life. My motto is "Something wonderful is going to happen!" Please follow me on Twitter @allierucks my Facebook Page Natural Hair Community
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