Saturday, July 24, 2010

I did it again...

So remember that left over henna in my freezer?  Well it was calling me!  I had some already mixed and some that was still in the powder form.  I let my frozen mix thaw (probably for about an hour or two) and then I added the rest of the henna powder I had.  I brewed two green tea bags in about a cup of water and added the warm tea to my mix (probably about 1/2 cup).  I had no problems mixing up the frozen with the dry.

I let the mix sit for about 30 minutes while I washed my hair.  I added in about a tablespoon of honey, mixed, and applied it.  After about 4 hours I rinsed it out and oh my goodness...I can see how people get hooked on henna!!!  The color is fabulous, my hair is soft and my curls look so springy!

After my deep condition, I twisted my hair with KCC and Knot Today as I normally doand I am now sitting under the dryer (I usually let my hair air dry, but it takes 12+ hours and I need to catch a plane tomorrow afternoon).

I ordered some Punjabi Prime after I consulted with the folks at again.  I want a little more kick after day one.  I will definitely post pictures of those results.  Not sure if I will see any difference.

I wish that I would have discovered henna a LONG time ago!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Henna Color - Day 3

So my color has changed and it isn't as "bright" as it was when I first did it.  I knew that as the henna oxidized, that it would change, but I miss the initial color.  I may need to experiement with another variety of henna and just deal with the super bright color on day one.  Or maybe I need to sleep in the henna and let it deposit much longer.  I do like how the henna looks on my natural hair color though.  It looks like I have beautiful, natural looking red highlights.

My hair still feels nice and soft and I can't wait to order some more henna, but now I just need to figure out what to order.  Decisions, decisions...


Best of the Best Video Blog!!!

Lovelies!  I have great news to share.  My video blog for is one of the "Best of the Best" for 2010!  Check out the other products, blogs and video blogs included on this list as well!  Thank you so much for continuing to support me.  Love you all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My First Henna Experience

So I did it!  My first henna experience went well.  I have to admit that I was nervous.  When I opened up the package of henna powder, smelled it and saw how green it was, I really had second thoughts.  But after all the research I did, I calmed myself down and took a leap of faith!  I used the Henna for African-American Hair from and followed the instructions provided by Curly Nikki in her instructional video.  The only difference was that I mixed my henna and let it sit overnight before applying it.  When I woke up the next day, my henna mixture was a rich, chocolate brown color, instead of green.

I was actually surprised that I didn't make a mess applying it and all in all the process was pretty easy, just time consuming.  So make sure you plan out the process so you have plenty of time to mix the henna, apply it and let it sit in your hair, deep condition and then style.  I left the henna in for about 4 hours.  Next time I want to try sleeping in it to see if I get better results.  Since this variety of henna is sifted very fine, rinsing the henna from my hair was also very easy.  I got the majority of it out with just water and I washed 2 times with a cheap conditioner and it was all out.

My hair felt instantly thicker, softer, and the curl pattern in the back seemed more relaxed.  The only complaint I have is the stinky smell.  I will have to do something about that.  I think that I read somewhere that I can add in a drop or two of an essential oil like lavender to the henna mix, but I could be making that up, so I need to verify that before I do it.

The red color is beautiful!  It isn't too bright and the shade on my tips is wonderful.  It is noticeable, but not because it is bright, but because it is really very pretty.  I can't really see the red hue on my non-colored hair, but I wasn't outside too much today, so I will take a peek this week.

I will definitely be doing this again very soon.  I am not sure if I want to use the same henna or try a different variety.  Curly Nikki uses the Jamilla variety and the dye releases in 30 minutes instead of 12+ hours, so that would be great and I couldn't potentially do my hair all in the same day.  Since I will be swamped with school, that would definitely be easier.

I also tried to create a video of my experience.  I am not sure if I like how it turned out, so I may tape the second henna attempt and post that instead.  I will let you know what I decide.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My henna arrived + cleanse update

Happy Monday!

It is here!  Not only is the customer service at fantastic, they also ship very quickly.  I placed my order on Wednesday, July 7 and the shipment arrived today!  What a great way to start a Monday.  Guess it doesn't hurt that my last day of work is Friday *hee hee*.

Anyways, the plan is to start prepping for my first henna experience by making sure that I have all the necessary supplies (i.e. gloves, honey, green tea, plastic cap, cheap conditioner, etc.) and either do my hair on Sunday or early next week.  I need to devote at least half of the day to this process, maybe longer since this is my first time.  I wish I could do my hair sooner, but it will have to wait.

So for my cleane update.  So I stuck to the fruit and veggie cleanse plan for about 4.5 days and then I went out of town.  I admit that I feel off... my body was not happy with me at all.  I am still getting plenty of fruits and veggies, but I haven't been 100% fruits and veggies today.  We will see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fruit + Veggie Cleanse: Day 3 + Summary of Day 2

So let me start with a summary of yesterday (day 2 of the cleanse).  I had a mint fruit salad again for breakfast and my vegetable soup for lunch.  Around 3 p.m., I started to feel a little strange.  I wasn't quite light headed but my body just felt "off".  I decided to drink a glass of Bolthouse Farm's Green Goodness smoothie and I felt a little better.  Around 5 p.m., my stomach was making all types of noises - not like it was hungry, but more like something was going on... if you catch my drift.

When I got home, I made fresh guacamole and ate that with fresh, raw tomatoes and yellow peppers, as well as baked potato discs (no oil and just a little salt and pepper, baked at 400 degrees).  Let me tell you, that meal was delicious and totally filled me up!  Later that night, my body was so sore, like I had worked out.  Not sure what that was about.

So this morning, I woke up starving!  I thought that I would try to a smoothie instead of a fruit salad.  One of the recent Bon Appetit issues (think it was May or June) had great recipes for smoothies.  I tried the Strawberry-Watermelon Smoothie with Ginger and it was AMAZING!  Here is the recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit:

Combine 3 cups 1-inch cubes seeded watermelon, 2 cups frozen quartered hulled strawberries, 1.5 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger, and 1.5 teaspoons fresh lime juice in a blender; process until smooth.  2 servings.  Per serving: calories, 124; fat, 0; fiber, 4 g.

So, with that said, I am doing okay.  I miss eating more of a variety of food, but other than that, I feel great!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jamila, Henna for African-American Hair, or Punjabi Prime

Today, I sent an email to Mehandi's customer service and as expected, they were prompt and just as helpful and informative as the website!  I wanted to share the emails with you all because I think it will help you potentially make a decision about which type of henna you might try.

My initial email:
Subject: Jamila, Henna for African-American Hair, or Punjabi Prime

Hello -

I am completely natural and this is my first time using henna.  I still have a brownish color on the ends of my hair.  I don't want a very bright red color so would you recommend Jamila, the henna for African-American Hair, or Punjabi Prime?  I read that naturals love all three!

I can't decide!

Thanks so much!

First response:
Great question Elisa,

Punjabi prime tends to be brighter, and Jamila varies a bit from one box
to the next. I would go with the Henna for African Hair. Its consistently
a nice and not-to-bright color. You'll love it!

Second response:
I see that ***** answered you, but I will also chime in to add that, with your dark hair,  you won't get bright red in any case!  Pure henna is like wood stain - it's adds a translucent stain over the base color.  Over dark brown hair, you'll get a beautiful auburn/mahogany!

So with that said, I am going to order the henna for African-American hair.  I want to take "baby steps" before I try Jamila or Punjabi Prime.

Also I talked to my manager at work who is from India and she gave me some advice.  She advised me to stay away from mixing henna with lemon.  She highly recommends using honey and green tea.  She told me that I am giving her the itch to use henna again!

Exploring Henna

Afrobella posted about henna yesterday and Curly Nikki has a whole section on her site dedicated to her experience and love for henna!  Ever since my alopecia discovery, I wanted to give my hair a rest from the chemical dyes, so I stopped coloring my hair.  I thought I wouldn't miss having some type of color in my hair, but I was wrong (I should have known better).

So my longing for color led me to research and think more seriously about henna for quite some time now.  I think that I am going to try this out once I am officially unemployed on July 19 (doing the happy dance), just in case my hair looks crazy.  Curly Nikki's site is extremely informative and the comments from her readers are great as well.  It looks like most naturals love the henna from Mehandi.  They sell 100% pure henna and also have a very informative yet hard to navigate site (muddling your way through the site is worth it).  The free e-book is an amazing wealth of knowledge; I am still reading through it.

In terms of which henna to use, I am trying to decide between the Jamila, Ancient Sunrise Henna for African-American Hair, and Punjabi Prime (PP) varieties.  Since half of my hair is a medium/reddish brown, my fear is that I'm going to end up looking like a strawberry, so I THINK that I am leaning towards the henna specifically for African-American hair because it produces amber tones.  But I have heard great things and seen beautiful pictures of results from Jamila and PP.  Le sigh.

Besides the color, henna seems to do wonderful things to your hair!  People report that their is stronger, thicker, shinier, and at times the curl pattern is slightly relaxed (this is not permanent).  I am most excited about thickening up and relaxing my curl patter.  I will definitely blog about my experience in depth and maybe do a few videos.  Oh and don't forget, my videos for are up on YouTube (search by my name: Elisa Dobbins).

I was surprised to find out that some people henna several times a week.  Being that it is such a lengthy process, I can't imagine doing it that much.  But it sounds like people get hooked.  The more you do it, the more you hair benefits from the henna.

If you are a henna honey, please let me know which henna you prefer and I would love to see pictures!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm an Afro Glitz Web Award Nominee!

Lovelies - I am an Afro Glitz Web Award nominee for "Best Hair Blog"!!!  There are some other really great hair blogs that are nominated as well, so the catch is that the category  must be narrowed down to 6.  Please vote for me if you enjoy the content and what I'm doing.  I truly appreciate the love and support!!!

10 Day Veggie + Fruit Cleanse

I have been a busy bee preparing for my move to Ithaca and my last day at work (YAY - 10 days and counting)!  In the meantime, I am doing a 10 day veggie and fruit cleanse with my boyfriend's cousin.  She suggested that this would be a good time for me to cleanse my system and get ready for the next big step in my life - business school.  So I already don't eat meat (yes - I do cheat every once in a while), so I am hoping this won't be too bad, but I will miss carbs (oh how I love carbs)!  I'm sure my hips won't miss them!

This morning I had a great mint fruit salad full of watermelon, pineapple and grapes and I am pretty full.  For lunch, I made my favorite soup - Vegetarian Ribollita, but without the sourdough bread, cannellini beans and Pecorino-Romano cheese.  So basically it is a hardy cabbage soup.  For dinner, I am going to have some yukon gold potatoes and steamed veggies and maybe a strawberry watermelon smoothie if i get hungry after that.

I'm curious to see if this will have any effect on my hair.  Granted it is only 10 days, but I am still wondering if I will notice any kind of change in how my hair looks and feels.

My hair is still growing very fast which is great because I hope to be able to cut out the rest of the color at the end of this year.  I am still adding coconut oil to my deep conditioner and my hair is loving it.

**Let me clarify.  Yes potatoes are carbs, but they can be used in moderation in the plan that I am following.  You are only supposed to resort to eating potatoes or other root veggies after you have eaten steamed or raw veggies and are still hungry.  I know me and I will be hungry tonight, so I will be having some potatoes lol.***