Posts Tagged ‘Giovanni’

Yup, I did it!  I finally did my first ever legit out-of-the-box henna application… and I learned a whole lot from my mistakes.

So, I guess I need to tell you that I was at home in Warner Robins, GA (not my hometown, but, for me, home is where my mom is), so I had a lot more resources at hand than I would have had in my dorm room in Atlanta.  I mixed my henna at three o’clock Thursday afternoon using… well… arguably the most ghetto recipe ever:

  • 1 box Jamila henna

    "You a Georgia Peach, but you look just like a LEMON!" -Gucci Mane

  • 2.5 big squirts of lemon juice from the lemon-shaped bottle (you know you like those nifty little bottles)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (about the size of a reasonable can of peas)
  • about 1 cup of water steeped with 4 bags of green tea (yeah, it was orange when I got through)

Now, ladies (and gents), when you mix all of that together (in an old “Cool Whip” bowl), you get a very runny henna “paste” that is still somewhat green… so I left it for 6 hours to give the dye time to release from the powder before I put it on my hair.  When 10:00 PM rolled around, my momma knew what time it was and went straight to sleep, as if to say, “No, sweetheart, I am NOT helping you mess up my house.”  Lame.

After 6 hours of sitting out on the counter, my runny, dark green goop had turned to a deep, mahogany brown runny goop that I looked at with trepidation.  It smelled faintly of hay and sloshed around in the cool whip container as I carried it slowly into the bathroom, my hair still sopping wet from shampoo-ing 5 minutes prior.  This is where the fun began.

My hair was already in four sections from washing, so I went through section by section, grabbing some henna in my gloved palms and glopping it onto my hair, then smooshing it through from root to tip.  When I finished each section, I would clip it up (it’s got to be clipped with the ends sticking up towards the sky to prevent dripping) and move on to the next.  All in all, the henna application itself took maybe 20 minutes, after which I wrapped my head in two shower caps, some Saran wrap, and an old, ratty towel.  Then began the waiting game.

You'll need about this many towels

No sooner did 15 minutes pass with me sitting upright that I realized my first mistake: my mixture was far too runny.  I had intended to make it the consistency of cake batter, but instead it turned out to be more like watered down pudding… and it dripped down my neck, onto my chest, and down into my bra.  Gross.  So I ended up ruining 2 towels (one of which was relatively new) trying to keep this runny mixture on my head and out of my ears and bra for two and a half hours.

Finally, at 12:30 am, with a very goopy t-shirt, towels, and head, I ran to the sink and, with gloved hands and gobs of conditioner, washed out the henna.  It was surprisingly easy, although messy.  I then deep conditioned with Aveeno Nourish and Moisturize Conditioner and Giovanni Smooth as Silk (I ran out of Giovanni and had to use Aveeno to finish up).  This is where I realized my second mistake: not having enough conditioner on hand.  When you henna, you need a LOT of conditioner.  My hair was noticeably thicker and required over half the bottle of Aveeno in addition to the fifth of a bottle of Giovanni that I had left.  Le sigh.

And you may just use a whole bottle of conditioner

Finally, I washed the conditioner out to find that my hair was burgundy in the spots where it had once been light brown, and a deep, rich black in those places that were once a flat black.  It was also noticeably stronger, softer, and shinier!  I used my trusty AfroVeda products to set my braid n’ curl and took it down in the morning to find a shinier, more stretched-out set with deep, wine-colored highlights.  My third mistake: assuming that the color my hair was right after washing the henna out was the color it would be.  The lawsone in henna is what coats the hair and gives it it’s color, but it also oxidizes with the air once the henna has been rinsed out of the hair, making the color deepen as time goes on (usually for 24-48 hours after rinsing).  So, as I post this article, my hair may STILL be changing color!

In conclusion, I love my hair color and the added strength of henna and I will definitely be doing it again… with a lot more towels (preferably black), a couple of full bottles of conditioner, and a much thicker henna mix.

Peace, Love, and Henna,


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