• Henna Is So Much Better Than Texturizers!!

    Posted on November 14, 2011 by in Hair

    I’ve been so amazed with how henna has really changed my hair over time.  I first tried henna March 2010. I’ve been using it monthly and in January and February of this year I used henna weekly.  For a moment I was very concerned with my curls being loosened, yet the overall affect has been so much greater than my initial concern.

    My hair is stronger than it has ever been, longer than it has ever been, and shinier than it has ever been.

    Two years ago when I started growing out my hair I wasn’t sure if I could really grow it long.  My goal is waist length and I honestly feel confident that I will make my goal because of the progress I’ve made so far.

    Along with using henna monthly I am also making all of my hair care products in my kitchen.  The freedom of not relying on store bought hair care is amazing!  It is also great to only use two main products, my DIY Green Tea Hair Cleansing Rinse with marshmallow root extract or DIY Herbal Hair Rinse and an ceramide oil mix.

    Here’s a picture of my hair with a texturizer with some new growth in 2006.  The texturizer ended up causing extreme breakage over time.  I ended up cutting off all of my hair and started from scratch after trying dreadlocks for a year and a half.

    Here’s a picture of my hair texture in July 2011.  After cutting my hair completely of the summer of 2008, I kept it short for awhile because it was colored for a Wella Hair Industrial.  I again shaved off all of the color in the spring of 2009 when I started growing my hair out for good.

    Henna has helped me achieve the hair that I’ve always dreamed of having without harsh chemicals.

    When I see my 1/2 inch of new growth every month is doesn’t look anything like it did when I used a texturizer or in the early days when I was relaxing my hair.  I can notice a slight variation in color though since henna does give a mahogany red tint to my dark brown hair.  I doubt anyone else can see it though.  Henna has been wonderful for weighing down my curls so that they hang versus only standing out, yet I still have the volume that I do love too.

    Henna coats the hair strands while also filling in weak areas of the hair.  Although it changes the weight of the strand with plant deposits, it does not break down the chemical structure of hair the way that texturizers or relaxers do.  The result is stronger, shinier, and healthier hair.

    Henna provides excellent conditioning and strengthening on all hair types and textures.  Not everyone has noticed curl loosening, yet I have noticed a change in my hair since I’ve been using henna for over a year and a half monthly.  I do think henna has helped to weigh down my curls, and my hair falls differently.  Henna has made my curls more uniform and definitely shiny.  Some days I wish I had known about henna sooner yet I’m glad to know about it now!

    My favorite henna mix is with coconut milk and usually hemp seed oil.  I explain my specific henna mix and the types of henna powders that I’ve used in this article.  I share in detail why I feel coconut milk and henna make the BEST combination here.

    Happy Hennaing!

    (Images by Klaus Roethlisberger and Dawn Michelle)

    Stay Connected with Minimalist Beauty & Subscribe with bloglovin’. Also Join the Community on Facebook & Twitter. For more about Dawn Michelle go here!

35 Responses so far.

  1. Trish says:

    Henna and I have a love hate relationship, first it is a mess to apply and it stains my hands and finger nail for months, it also changes my hair texture and makes it coarse. However after a few washes my hair comes back to normal I am wondering if the protein in henna is a bit too much for my hair texture, I have some cassia that I will re try and see what happens.

  2. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Trish,
    I wasn’t too crazy about henna until I started mixing it with coconut milk which gives it a thick conditioner consistency which makes it easier to apply. The coconut milk also doesn’t allow the henna to dry hard on the hair so it is easy to rinse. Everyone’s hair is different, yet I’ve experienced an amazing overall improvement in my hair strength and manageability since using henna. I’ve never tried cassia personally, yet have heard wonderful reviews on it. I also always use gloves for the application and rinsing of henna so that it does not stain my hands and nails. Although my hair regimen has changed a lot of this past year as it grows, I will always love and use henna.
    Enjoy your day,
    Dawn Michelle

  3. Jaeda Barbie says:

    I love henna. It has given gorgeous wavy, thick hair. My hair grew 2 inches in a month just using henna, no protective styling or anything. I henna two- three times weekly ( I deep condition after using homemade deep condition olive oil and honey). Before I apply my henna I do a mini pre poo to avoid dryness. Henna is the best thing ever and its cheap. I used to use Jamila, but I have fell in love with Dulhan, although I have tons of Nupur Mehendi, which I can get two to three uses from if I freeze it. I love the fact, I have little to no shredding or breakage. People think I go overboard with the henna but the proof is in the pudding:)

  4. Trish says:

    Thanks for the coconut milk tip will give it a try with my henna because I do have 3 boxes in the fridge and I don’t want to be wasteful.

  5. Dawn Michelle says:

    Perfect! Glad to help!

  6. Dawn Michelle says:

    Jaeda, it’s so great that you have also had a wonderful experience with henna. I bought Nupur henna today at my trip to the Indian Sweets and Spice store. Dulhan is also a good brand as well.

  7. Jaeda Barbie says:

    Dawn, Nupur Mehendi is great. You can usually get several henna treatements out of it. The color stain is a brown, so it makes your hair more brown, because of the some the ayurvedic herbs, it says so on the back. But it super safe to use frequent. Dulhan is my fav, but I am out and so
    I have tons of Nupur Mehendi. I go to Indian Store once a month to re-up.

  8. Dawn Michelle says:

    Thanks Jaeda on letting me know the dye release color of Nupur henna. My hair currently has more burgundy highlights so I’m hoping that I will like the tones Nupur will give my hair. Enjoy your day!

  9. Jaeda Barbie says:

    How did the nupur mehendi work for you Dawn Michelle?

  10. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Jaeda,
    I haven’t had the chance to henna my hair yet. Things have been busier than usual lately but I hope to soon. I’m planning on doing more articles on henna and will definitely include my thoughts on Nupur henna when I do.
    Have a beautiful day,
    Dawn Michelle

  11. Wanda Cuyler says:

    Dawn Michelle,

    When do you add the coconut milk to the henna mixture?

  12. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Wanda, I mix 100 grams of henna with a full can of coconut milk. I don’t use water or tea or anything else. After the dye has released I add 1/4 cup of hemp oil. Have a beautiful day!

  13. adallicious says:

    Hello, I find your blog very interesting. Also watched a video of yours on youtube. Do you have any pictures of your natural hair texture without henna or texturizers. I recently started using henna and I would like to have an idea of how my hair would look after long term use of henna. The conditioning benefits are great. It has strengthened my fine hair a lot. Also have you ever mixed henna with just water, and if so, what results did u get. I currently use coconut milk, but I wonder if it’s really necessary, or whether I can just use distilled water instead. Thank you for your time.

  14. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi adallicious,

    I wore my hair very short for so many years. This is the first time that I have began growing it out. At some point I may put up more photos of my hair to share.

    When I first began using henna I mixed it with tea or water as so many others had. The henna dried hard on my hair, was nearly impossible to completely rinse out, and left my hair extremely dry. That is why I always suggest using coconut milk in your henna mix especially if you have dry or naturally curly coily hair.

    It is so much easier to apply and rinse out henna when mixed with coconut milk. It also allows you to have a positive experience with henna. When I hear bad reviews on henna, it sometimes has to do with how the henna mix was prepared or that the person did not used body art quality henna. Both are extremely important.

    Best Wishes!

  15. adallicious says:

    Thanks a lot for your response. I really appreciate it.

  16. RockStar says:

    I make wash day, henna day and deep condish day all the same day. needless to say, I either get up really early to do it, or I stay in for the day. I cleanse with a sulfate free poo or I co wash, then I henna, after thoroughly rinsing henna, I ALWAYS deep condish. Henna has lots of protein, which strengthens, but can make hair feel stiff and dry at first. The deep condish balances that out. sometimes I make my own, sometimes I use an organic condish like Avalon ylang ylang shine.

  17. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi RockStar,
    Doing everything on the same day makes it so much easier! I’ve gotten to the point where I do henna on dry hair then just rinse, deep condition over night if I can, then co-wash. When my henna mix is more like a very smooth milky paste, applying it to dry hair is extremely easy. Thanks for sharing your process! Henna is so amazing! Even after using it for more than 2 1/2 years I am still on awe of it.
    Best Wishes!!

  18. Nina Sowah says:

    Support me in the Miss CT Teen USA Pageant!

  19. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Nina, Be glad to! Post a comment on the Minimalist Beauty Facebook Page so that readers will know more about your pageant. Also please share more of your beauty perspective as a pageant contestant. Best wishes to you darling!

  20. Janaya Jones says:

    I love your blog first off! I really want to try Henna, since I’am going natural and want to include it in my hair regimen, but My hair is naturally a light auburn color, and I dont want to change the color with the henna. WOuld you suggest anything? Would Cassia be a good alternate?

  21. Dawn Michelle says:

    Thanks Janaya! Henna will add more red to your light auburn hair for sure. You could use cassia alone yet the result are not as long lasting as using henna. Another option would be to mix cassia and henna so that the color wouldn’t be as noticeable. You can also find premixed cassia and henna with companies such as Mountain Rose Herbs Henna and Light Mountain Natural Hair Color. Let me know how it works out.

  22. Delinda says:

    Thanks for the information. I was considering a texturizer…… I’m desperate for hair help. I’m almost two years in now and I need help. My hair is 4c, tightly kinky coily, tangles easy and I end up just wearing twa’s. I’m desperate to break out of this phase……two years is too long. I’m going to Indian store TODAY! Thank!

  23. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Delinda,
    Henna is amazing and I hope that you enjoy the benefits of it as much as I do. It took me three applications of henna before seeing its benefits. I also used it weekly for some time as well. It is something that I’ve seen more and more improvement with my hair over time. Also keeping your hair stretched with braids and twists have been really helpful for me. Even though I spend much of this year doing the Curly Girl Method, I’m back to twist outs and have already noticed great results again with stretched styles. Let me know how it all works out.
    Best wishes!

  24. Michele says:

    Hello,
    I wish I had found your blog sooner, better late than never. I currently have a texturizer in my hair and was wondering how the henna would affect my hair as it’s growing out. I wear my hair short. Prior to that, It was down my mid back but drier than the sahara desert. I wore a wig most of the time because I didn’t know how to deal with it. I currently love my hair now, but I’m afraid of the long term effect of the texturizer. Any advice? I am definitely going to try the aloe vera conditioner you talked about.

  25. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Michele,

    When I applied that same texturizer to my new growth years ago it did more damage than good. You could do a strand test with henna if you are not sure, yet I hear many women use henna with their relaxers without a problem. They wait a few weeks before application and use it to stretch there relaxer applications out. For me my best results and hair growth has been with henna. Here is how I use henna.

    Also check out some of the natural conditioners and styling products that I’ve tried too. Leaving a good conditioner in my hair as well as shea butter has made the most difference with keeping my hair soft and moisturized. The aloe leave-in is really good as a refresher or when hair is in braids and twists. When my hair became longer it was no longer enough alone to keep my hair moisturized.

    Best wishes!

  26. Whitney Bray says:

    Hello =)
    I was wondering, Is henna good to use on transitioning hair? my hair is about 8 inches natural and 5 inches relaxed on the ends… Im growing it out until its the desired length then cutting my relaxed hair off…

  27. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Whitney,
    Henna is wonderful for transitioning. I’ve read on many hair boards that women also use henna to help them stretch out their relaxer applications for long periods of time.
    Best Wishes!

  28. norma says:

    please tell me if doing henna is a method of “relaxing” ones hair. Also can one use henna over a wave nouveau. I am a bit tired of this but I don’t want to do to perm. My hair is very soft and is not growing like it use to.

  29. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Norma,

    Henna promotes hair growth while making hair strong, and has been better for my hair than anything else. I can’t say that henna “relaxes” hair as it works differently on different hair types, and is not a chemical hair texturizer or relaxer. It does minimize frizz and makes hair more manageable with consistent use. After my third application I noticed a big difference, and have continued to use henna for the past three years.

    My hair is fine although I have lots of it. Because henna coats the hair shaft and fills in damaged areas in the hair cuticle, it loosened my curl pattern some by weighing the hair down with consistent applications. It really depends on your hair type and porosity. You can read more about my experience with henna here. And yes you can use henna over Wave Nouveau. I’ve read about many women using henna as a way to stretch their relaxer applications successfully on hair boards. Just to make sure that you get the results that you desire, you can always do a strand test.

    Hope this helps <3

  30. Muniyrah says:

    What type of henna are you using?

  31. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Muniyrah, I currently have stocked Reshma, Dulhan, and Nupur 9 henna at home. You can see how I mix and use henna here. Best wishes!

  32. Adell says:

    Hi Dawn Michelle! I have 4a hair ( extremely tight coils). I really want a looser curl pattern. Recently, I have decided to truly read blogs and seek help. Your blog is truly helpful. Which henna would you suggest for a beginner?

  33. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Adell, I offer a bunch of tips on how I henna in this article. As long as you use body art quality henna you should be fine. Happy Hennaing!

  34. queenbee9 says:

    Dawn Michelle__have you ever tried the Lush Hennas (from the lush store) they seem custom made for beginners and do not have much of a dye release time– mix it up with a hot liquid put it in an applicator bottle, take a bubble bath and GO! The condish and lemon juice are already in the dye released bars when you buy them.

  35. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi queenbee9,
    I have not tried any Lush products because I enjoy making my own. I use body art quality henna from my local Indian grocery store. You can see exactly how I mix and use henna here. I make a simple henna mix which is easy to apply and rinse. Hope this helps!
    Best wishes!