The other day, I read a post about a certain blogger’s travails with henna and how she was gonna stop using it because of the mess it created. My reaction to her decision triggered this post and I thought I should talk about the process of henna-ing safely because I can’t believe you’d want to deprive your hair of that much goodness simply because you cannot deal with the mess.
I’ve been using henna and hibiscus for a little over a year now and my hair has been better for it. Along the way, I’ve learnt how to safely apply and rinse out henna without staining the whole place. First, you need to get all your materials ready;
i. plastic bowl and spoon for mixing
ii. cling film
iv. hair clamps.
v. old t-shirt.
vi. the products.
If you regularly use henna like me, you should ensure that all of these henna materials are stored properly after use. In fact, I make sure I get 6 months supply of gloves so I don’t run out. The others can be easily arranged. Get all your supplies ready in such a way that you don’t have problems during application. By the way, I’ve never really found any use for old newspapers. The t-shirt usually gets the job done. Other times, I even avoid it altogether. I make sure I’m as steady as I can possibly be. Then again, different strokes.
Secondly, assemble your materials and your mixed henna (which should have been mixed the previous night) in front of a mirror. You might decide to use your dressing table or your bathroom mirror. Either way, make sure you’re comfortable enough and try to isolate yourself. Get rid of clothing items that might be susceptible to the henna stains – which washes off eventually – and any other thing around you.
Next, begin application. Don’t forget to put on your gloves first and the old t-shirt either fully or wrapped around your neck. Also, remember to have your cling film, plastic bag or shower cap close-by. It’s also advisable to work in sections. That way, you can properly cover your whole head.
After about 4 hours, get ready to rinse out – now, this is where it gets dicey. Henna requires a minimum of four hours for proper penetration. You can decide to rinse out in different ways – the traditional bowl and bucket way, in the shower, by dunking your head in a bucket of water. Whichever way, just make sure all of the henna is out. But before that, don’t forget your gloves. Yep, at keep them on until you’ve gotten all of the henna out. This helps to prevent the organic stains on your fingernails. When you’re done rinsing, grab your shampoo and wash all of your hair thoroughly. You might need to go two or three rounds and then finish up with your conditioner. Personally, I prefer using black soap. All this shampoo/conditioner business just extends the time spent in the bathroom. Black soap helps cut down time.
Finally, after rinsing and washing, you might notice that your hair is rather hard. This is perfectly normal. The only thing you need to do right now is to finish up with a moisturizing deep conditioner for about two hours and then your hair is back to normal, stronger than ever!
Side note: It looks like this is an all-day event but really it took roughly six hours. Even shorter when done overnight (I’m not particularly sure of this as I haven’t tried it before). That’s why it should be done on a monthly basis or whenever it suits you. The best thing about it is that practice makes perfect. After a number of applications, it becomes a cakewalk. That way, you become more cautious with the process.Ebun Oluwole, All rights Reserved. Written For: Get your Sizzelle on!