Henna for Black Hair – Natural Strengthener Or Stay Away?

hennaAs a woman who happily relaxes her hair and loves the ease and versatility of it, I do sometimes feel limited by that choice.  Why?  Because I thoroughly believe that one should choose only one chemical process for their hair to maintain the healthiest mane possible.  So because I choose to relax, I do not color my hair.  And I do get bored at times with my dark brown hair.

To that end, I have been curious about hennaing for years.  I’ve always viewed it as a natural, non-damaging way to subtly change your hair color.  However, once I joined online hair forums I realized that henna is proclaimed to have other benefits other than changing hair color.  Ladies who are protein sensitive list it as a way they can safely strengthen their strands.  So I figured this must be a nice product to try for my hair – I can cure my color blues and strengthen my hair?  Why don’t more ladies do this?

After doing a little research on HennaForHair.com, I was more confused than ever.  There are so many technical terms, plus I learned a lot of retail henna actually isn’t pure henna!  Henna is actually a plant and the only “true” henna is a green powder that stains the hair a red-orange translucent color.  The site claims it will make your hair heavy, thick and silky.  There are also other colors that have the henna label, but in actuality are not henna.  Black henna is really indigo and blonde henna is really cassia.  The red and blonde henna variations will not significantly alter your hair color if your hair is a dark color.  Just like with hair dye, dark hair cannot be lightened without some bleaching being done first.  And under no circumstances do I recommend anyone (natural or relaxed) to bleach their hair.  It is the most damaging chemical process, to do it on relaxed hair just seems like a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion.

Again, the more research I do the more confused I seem to get as there seems to be extremely mixed views on henna as a whole. Some ladies do it regularly, along with incorporating some other Indian powders and oils into their regimen and their hair seems to thrive.  Others have stated that henna caused the most horrific setback of their HHJ because it was much too strong and harsh for their hair!

To be honest, after about a month of research I am no clearer on the best process for hennaing than I was when I started.  So my humble opinion is, that unless you are opting to cover greys – its best to be satisfied with your natural hair color.  If the urge for change is just too great for you to ignore, try a wig, weave, or clip ins.  If you really are not comfortable wearing fake hair, then try a temporary rinse such as Jazzing or spray on hair color.  Much easier, less commitment and absolutely NO risk of damaging your hair!

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