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 mehandi.com 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.