Survey Says!: Henna Journey Part II

Let’s just get straight to the results: THIS HENNA THING IS TOTAL CAT POOP!

I had high (↑) hopes – some realistic, others not so much – that were quickly dashed once the henna was washed out of my hair.

Dashed Hope #1:

The subtle but noticeable red gloss my hair was “supposed” to have was no where to be found. My hair is the same 1b that it’s always been. What’s saddest about this development is that both my husband and I saw the reddish tint in my hair when I first applied the henna. I am disappointed.

Dashed Hope #2:

Samsonesque hair of my dreams is a more distant reality after the henna treatment. One of the first “benefits” that initially drew me to henna was the promise of strengthened hair. How excited I was to decrease shedding and lessen hair loss. You do, of course, understand my utter SHOCK (and absolute DISMAY) at seeing a S-I-G-N-I-F-I-C-A-N-T increase in shedding and hair loss AS SOON as I started washing out the henna. I did indeed cry that river requested by Justin Timberlake. (Side Note: Just noticed his name is ‘-lake’ and he’s requesting a ‘river’. *CRICKETS* Umm…guess I’m the only one who cares about this observation. Okey dokey…moving on.) My hair continued its migration from my head well through the styling process.

Dashed Hope #3:

I was secretly hoping for an instant transformation into a melanin-rich Rapunzel. You can stop shaking your head now. Even I can admit that I sometimes have to throw myself out of and deadbolt the lock to the Land of Make Believe I spend too much time in.

Did I like anything about the results?:

You would expect me to scream NO without thought, but that’s not true. My curls usually shrink after washing, but that was not the case with the henna. I LOVED how it elongated them without erasing the pattern.

I’m nothing if not diplomatic, so I can admit there’s a poss slight possibility that I might have done some things that aided in the aspects that were ineffective.

Possible theories for what went wrong:

1. Unreasonably assumed this was the potion for all my hair needs.Talk about pressure on one little product.

2. I left it on for too long. I hennaed at 6 or 7 pm on Thursday and did not wash it out until almost 1pm on Friday. *Excuse me a minute while I use fingers to do the math* If I didn’t fail kindergarten math, my hair was marinating in the henna for 18 or 19 hours. My assumption was the longer I kept it on, the richer my new color. Assume = Ass + U + Me. Right. Got it.

3. Instead of a deep condition, I did a protein treatment. In my defense, the last time I did this Coconut Milk Protein Treatment it left my hair amazingly soft instead of fantastically strong. I assumed (there’s that word again) I could just add a dash of moisturizing conditioner (Tresemme Naturals with Aloe Vera and Avocado) to the mix to neutralize the effects of the protein in the coconut milk. One of these days I’m going to accept that I am not Madame Curie. Anyway, this might be a case of too much of a good thing (protein).

4. I don’t follow instructions very well. The CurlyNikki tutorial video clearly states “Smoosh the henna through. Try not to manipulate the hair too much.” Of course I took that to mean “Manhandle my hair to make sure each and every single strand is saturated with henna.” I once again made an a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. I figured it would work better if each individual strand was coated. Not the case. 😦


I said it in the post before last that what’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Henna has been a transformative hair experience for an overwhelming number of women. However, there are those (raising my hand) whose hair remains the same; or, sadly, is made “worse” (raising hand again).

Next Steps:

I am:

a. the bravest woman on this planet

b. an idiot

c. an eternal optimist

d. all of the above

Why the quiz? Because I am actually considering giving henna another try. Please stop sucking your teeth and rolling your eyes. Thanks.

The two reasons I’m considering giving it a try again are:

1. so I can do it without the mistakes from the first application

2. because this process is cumulative. The more you do it, the better the results.

I still have half the box left. I might as well finish it off. The next time around I’ll be more methodical about following the recommended steps. Here’s hoping I don’t end up bald for giving henna another chance. *insert nervous laughter*

I’ll keep you posted when I decide what to do. I’m always interested in hearing your stories. What’s your experience with henna? If you have not tried it, what’s keeping you from buying a seat on the henna bus?

Here are some pics of the immediate wash out results. I was too embarrassed to take pics of all the hair I loss. Pay no attention to the greasy neck.

About WriterDerosier

M. Michelle Derosier tells culturally diverse stories from picture books to novels.
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