We Need to Talk about Henna: How to Henna your Hair

Have you ever wanted to henna your hair but wasn’t sure where to start? Well here’s a how-to to get you started.

Background:

Henna, also known as Lawsonia Inermis, is a flowing plant that has been used for centuries in African and Asian countries as a natural dye. Henna can be used to dye the hair or for body art. Natural Henna is a reddish colour. If you find a brand that says ‘black’, ‘brown’ or any other colour, it isn’t pure henna and may contain PPD that could give you a bad reaction. Only buy pure henna and always check that the ingredient say ‘100% Lawsonia Inermis’.

Image result for henna lawsonia

Benefits:

  • Conditioning – Henna is an amazing conditioner and helps keep your hair strong and helps prevent split ends.
  • Thickness – Each time you henna your hair the henna deposited on the strands help reinforce them and make them thicker.
  • Colour – Henna is a natural dye and will add redness to your hair. Take note that henna can’t lighten your hair, it can only add a layer of red. How red it looks depends on the quality of your henna and your natural hair colour.
  • Growth – Because henna helps keep your hair in good condition it assists with length retention.

I’ve Hennaed my hair for 2 years now and the best method that never fails to provide me with a beautiful colour and amazing conditioning treatment can be found below.

What you need:

  • 100g Henna (If you hair is past BSL, add and extra 50g)
  • 400ml Coconut Milk (this is the magic ingredient to perfect henna)
  • Plastic Bowl
  • Plastic spoon (Metal can react badly with the henna).
  • A free day/weekend
  • Clothes you don’t mind staining + bin bag poncho
  • Gloves

Preparation Method:

You need to prepare the Henna paste the day before you what to henna your hair. This is so the dye has enough time to release.

  1. Pour 100g (most people won’t need more that this unless your hair is past BSL or particularly thick) into a plastic bowl or container.
  2. Pour 200ml of the coconut milk in the bowl and stir it in. Coconut milk makes a really smooth henna paste that is easy to wash out. It also has moisturizing qualities that help counteract any dryness that henna may cause.
  3. When that has been stirred in add the rest of the coconut milk a small amount at a time until a thick paste (like cake batter) has formed. Only use as much coconut milk as you feel you need, don’t make it too runny.
  4. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic film wrap and leave it for around 8 hours or over night.

Application Method:

Yay, so now you’re ready to henna your hair! Let’s get to it.

  1. Firstly, you need to make sure you are wearing clothes that you’re okay staining. I’ve been hennaing for a while now and I still sometimes make a mess.
  2. Cool, so now you need to make yourself a bin bag poncho. To do this get a large bin/garbage bag liner and cut holes in the side where your arms would go. You should look something like this:

    Image result for bin bag poncho
    So chic!
  3. So now you need to put on your gloves (you don’t want orange hands) and start applying the henna. I tend to split my hair into four sections and then smooth the henna into each section until I’m done.
  4. Wrap your hair in cling film/ saran wrap and let the henna sit for 3 to 6 hours. I don’t henna over night because I’m too worried about the mess. I usually just use this time to get some work done.
  5. After 3-6 hours remove the cling film/wrap and put your head in a bucket of water to loosen the henna. When the water gets murky, refill and do it a again. I usually do this 2-3 times. After this I get the shower head and let the warm water run over my hair until the water isn’t brown.
  6. Condition your hair and rinse to help remove the henna. Do this until your hair is clean. I rarely shampoo my hair straight after henna because it makes it very dry.
  7. Leave your hair to dry and style as usual.

Congrats, you’ve hennaed your hair! I’m sure you look amazing and hopefully you love the results.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Brushes and Combs

Knowing what tools to use and when depends entirely on you and your hair. For those on their natural hair journey they may find different tools work differently depend on whether there hair is dry/wet or blown/stretched/straightened. No two heads are the same so it’s great to experiment with different types of combs and brushes so you can find out what works best for you. Here are a few basic do’s and don’ts of brushes and combs that I use.

Wide toothed comb

Do:

  • Use a wide toothed combs to detangle hair
  • Use on wet/conditioned hair for easier slip
  • Use on blown/stretched/straightened out hair

Don’t:

  • Use on dry untangled hair
  • Comb from root to tip. Comb from tip to root instead.

Fine Toothed Comb

Do:

  • Use to finish styles

Don’t:

  • Try to comb through dry curly hair
  • Comb though wet hair

Denman Brush

Do:

  • Use on detangled hair to loosen any remaining tangles
  • Use on blown out/stretched/straightened hair to style

Don’t:

  • Use on dry un-stretched hair
  • Brush through tangled wet hair. It’s very easy to break the hair strand when wet.

Boar Bristle Brush:

Do:

  • Use to tidy edges
  • Use to tame fly aways

Don’t:

  • Use to brush straight through dry or wet hair

My Week Using a Rinse-out Conditioner as a Leave-in

So I’ve spent a while looking for a good leave-in that doesn’t leave a film but also moisturizes my hair. I’ve tried a variety of products but none have been completely perfect. Well recently while washing my hair I thought ‘Why can’t I just leave the conditioner in?’. I researched using a rinse-out as a leave-in and found that a number of people were already doing this so I thought I’d give it a go.

Day 1:

I applied a conditioner (Hello Hydration) to my dry hair but found it difficult to distribute. I then decided to dampen my hair to aid absorption.

Day 2:

My hair felt dry and I realized I didn’t use any oil so none of the moisture was sealed in. I repeated the steps from the day before but sealed with castor oil.

Day 3:

I decided to use my conditioner to make a mixture that would effectively work as a leave-in.

Recipe:

  • 3tsb conditioner
  • 2tsb water
  • 1tsb castor oil

I combined this and applied it to my hair and sealed with heated castor oil. My hair felt soft and moisturized.

Day 4:

My hair felt moisturised and I didn’t apply anything.

Day 5:

Same as day 4.

Day 6:

I reapplied my leave in to lightly dampened hair but also added a few drops of tea tree oil and a teaspoon of mint oil.

Day 7:

I washed my hair and repeated day 3.

Result:

My hair feels great! I don’t have to worry about dry hair and making a leave is really cheap and I will contiue to do this after washing my hair. It’s only been a week so I’m still in a trial period I suppose but if there are any updates I’ll let you know.

How to Make Your Own Leave-in Conditioner

If your hair is often dry you’ve probably looked for different leave-ins and moisturizers to help keep your hair hydrated. Finding the perfect leave-in can be expensive when you take into account all the different products you have to try before you get to the right one. Also, leave in conditioners are often more expensive than regular conditioners and if you’re anything like me you use a lot so they don’t last very long.

Well what if I told you that you can make your own leave-in conditioner? You’ll never have to buy a leave in again! There are a variety of ways to me a one but but below is a simple recipe for making your own leave-in conditioner:

What you’ll need:

  • 3tsb moisturising conditioner (I use Hello Hydration)
  • 2tsb water
  • 1tsb carrier oil (I use castor oil)

Depending on the length and thickness of your hair the quantities above may need to be multiplied. Combine this in a small storage tub and apply to slightly dampened hair. This should keep as long as the shelf date of the conditioner used but you may need add a small amount of water to it if it starts to separate.

Can You Use a Rinse-out Conditioner as a Leave-in?

I was thinking about this the other day when I was washing my hair. I always assumed that you should wash out your conditioner since that’s what it says on the bottle but then I wondered what would be the actual effects of leaving the conditioner in. Some say that it can cause itchiness or a dry scalp but to counteract this people say to apply it 1-2 inches away from your scalp. My hair can get pretty dry and this could be interesting to try. I may never have to use an ordinary leave-in again, who knows!

I’m thinking of trying this as a experiment during my next wash (with Hello Hydration). I’ll report back with the results!

Has anyone else used a rinse-out as a leave-in? How was it?

Review: Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil

vatika-oil

I’ve been using Vatika Hair oil for a few months now after I picked it up on one of my trips to the supermarket. Before I bought it I hadn’t read any reviews and just thought I’d go for it and try something new. The Dabur Vatika hair range fall within Ayuverdic healthcare which is a type of Indian medicine.

The main thing that drew me to it was that it was meant to help combat dry hair. When I first bought this my hair was tragically dry. I don’t know what I was doing or not doing to make it so dry but it wasn’t good. Needless to say I was willing to try any product that was reasonably priced.

The oil, like pure coconut oil, is solid at room temperature and needs to be warmed up to become a liquid. There is also a little dip in the plastic opening of the bottle where you need to pierce it so that the oil can be squeezed out.

Well after and few day of using the oil I noticed my hair was is much better condition!

  • Softer
  • Shinier
  • Easier to detangle
  • Less breakage

All the benefits you want basically. I was also kind of surprised this worked so well for me because ordinary coconut oil doesn’t work well on my hair. The only problem I had was that I wasn’t a big fan of the smell. It has quite a strong scent which I would describe as a mix of ginger and herbs/spices. It isn’t a bad smell but it’s quite strong. I’ve gotten used to it now so it doesn’t really bother me and it fades away after a while. That aside, I love this oil! It’s definitely one of my faves.

Rating: 4/5

Review: Dark and Lovely Ultra Cholesterol Conditioning Treatment

Last week when I was shopping I saw a tub if this Dark and Lovely on the hair aisle. My hair can always do with a good conditioning so I thought I’d give it a go. I usedit on freshly shampooed and conditioned hair so I could see exactly what it could do for my hair.

Look and feel

The product was a very vibrant shade of yellow as you might have seen . The product also comes unsealed. I thought maybe it was just mine at first but I’ve heard others had experienced the same thing. The conditioner is somewhere between runny and firm, although t may be on the runnier side. This isn’t a problem once it’s on  your hair but it slipped through my fingers a few times. (Maybe I’m just clumsy :p)

Smell

The smell is quite strong and perfume-y. I kept the conditioner on for about 15 minutes with a plastic bonnet but it gave me a bit of a headache.

Did it work?

It was okay, but I feel like maybe my hair didn’t really need it. My hair didn’t feel any softer or more moisturized and after 2 or 3 days it actually felt kind of dry. To be fair I tried out a different conditioner at the same time so this test may not have been accurate. I might try it out again and see if it works any better.

Rating: 3/5

How Often Do You Wash Your Hair?

I was reading an article over at BGLH about whether washing you hair more frequently can help growth. Naptural85 is trying a new method where she co-washes her hair every 3 days. The theory discussed in the video is that frequent washing stimulates the roots and also moisturizes the hair and scalp which helps retention and growth. It sounds interesting and I feel like most breakage problems come from a lack of moisture so it could work for some people.

Personally, I co-wash my every week and I shampoo every 1-2 weeks. I’ve tried co-washing in the week before but I was worried that I was manipulating my hair too much. Since then I realized that part of my problem may have been that I used a Denman to detangle during every wash and essentially I was just ripping through my wet hair with brush. Brushing hair wet isn’t a good idea for some and I’ve found out I’m one of them. I think I’ll try washing my hair twice a week again but only using either a wide tooth comb or my fingers to detangle.

How often do you wash your hair?