Salon Allergy Specialist

Salon Allergy Specialist

Monday, January 20, 2014

Why I Use the Henna I Do in My Salon (with photos)

I often hear of clients saying that they used this brand of henna, or that brand of henna, when I say VERY OFTEN, to use Mehandi's henna. Different brands of henna's can have other additives in it, even though they are not supposed to. They can have pesticides, or over-spray of pesticides from other crops. I now use henna, amla, cassia, and indigo from Christine  Shahin, at She lives in Little Falls, NY and I also recommend her book, Natural Hair Coloring It has a ton of recipes in it. I only change the liquid to hibiscus tea. 2 bags per 8oz. of boiling water.  

The first reason I like the henna I use is that it is 100 percent certified organic. You can go to the lab of choice, type in the lot number of your batch, and you will have all of the information on your batch in your hand. The exact amount of lawsone content, the exact tolerances of pesticides, (zero) the rest is all there as well. I am a nerd, so I feel that having this information at my fingertips before I choose to use it is important. YOU however, can trust me that the tolerance amounts are so tight that your colors will be amazing.

The other brands, they have some guess work. The lawsone amounts are the lowest for hair quality henna. If you look at the photo on the right, which was just colored with Hesh Henna, you can see the striations of the coloring. The roots stayed the brown color, and you can still see the old color red with the hilighting in it from the top right corner of the photo down to the middle left of the photo. Notice in the second photo, the roots do have a very small amount of red, but it barely shows, and only in certain lights.


The third photo shows the edge of the striations in another area.

The henna I use is called Body Art Quality Henna, or BAQ henna. This is what they get from the first sift when they dry and grind the henna leaves. It is used to do wedding art and is usually kept in India, the Sudan, Africa, or wherever it's been grown. After the BAQ henna is sifted, then they sift for hair henna for their country, and the end of the henna is sent here for hair. It's the lowest quality henna there is.

 Here is a photo of the hair corrected with the correct brand of henna. It will take 3 to 4 days to complete the rich color coming through the hair completely. This is called curing. My lighting and photography is not the best, but the end results four days later was so beautiful, my client called me to say thank you for making her engagement photos spectacular.

If you are not using strong BAQ henna and very good quality indigo, you will not be able to get results like this:
This is what the color of 50/50 henna/indigo with some amla looks like after an hour under the  bonnet dryer.

This is the final result, but without the four days of getting richer in color. 

This is the client's brow after coloring, notice the 2 greys at the tail for reference. 
 People will ask me how easy is it to remove henna. It's NOT easy to remove. In fact, it WILL NOT FADE. It has been used for at leaast 10,000 years for a reason. I personally saw Pharaoh Ramses the 2nd's mummy in Egypt. He died at 91, and you could see after 4,000 years that the mummy had henna coloring on the hair still, and on the fingers. He was a VAIN man. I don't think any synthetic colors could withstand the desert heat for thousands of years. Here is how it took me two bleach sessions to remove henna from pure white hair. The hair had been colored full red twice with henna. Here is a series of color, and bleaches I did to
first bleach, on scalp with 2 boosters
show how it comes out.

Second bleach, off scalp,
 then trimmed,
One month after first bleach.

Toning with a high lift tint,
and double blue base

final result with a comparison.

Sorry about the gaps, I still am having trouble posting photos on this blog. Here are a few examples that you can see, that will give you examples as to why I continue to use Christine's. The lawsone, or pigment, also known as iron oxide in the plant can be much higher than in any other brand, depending on which batch you choose from there. So, I showed you how a cheaper brand came out, and what it looked like corrected. It was nicer before the four day curing than the other brand was AFTER it cured. I showed you what a grey coverage on dark brown hair looked like, after it's shampooed out, and after drying and styling. I also showed you what it takes to actually remove the organic henna out of your hair. It will not be an easy feat. Plan on doing some heavy cutting! Don't use imposter henna, and you can have the results above. I don't make a penny, nor do I get any discount from them. The henna just happens to be well choosen!

 Have a great January!

Gina xx