Since Lavendar and others suggested doing henna a week after a relaxer, I felt this was the perfect time. Also, since it's summer and my hair is a little more moist in the summer months, I figured this is the least riskiest time to do it.
I used Lavendar's henna gloss recipe:
1 box Jamila henna (or 100 grams of any BAQ henna)
1/4 - 1/3 cup VO5 Strawberries & Cream Moisture Milks conditioner
1/4 - 1/3 cup Lustrasilk Shea Butter Mango Cholesterol conditioner
2 T organic apple cider vinegar (ACV)
3 T brahmi and bhringaraj oil
Mix henna with hot tap water until thoroughly wet, but lumpy not saturated or at the creamy stage. Mix in conditioners and ACV until whipped in appearance. Cover bowl with heating pad set on low (never hotter than that) for aid in quicker color release. Let bowl set for 5-6 hours. Remove heat and let bowl cool for 20-30 minutes. Mix in oil. Apply to clarified, towel-dried hair. Let set in hair for at least 4 hours with heat cap (can use heat cap on and off if needed). Wash out with lots of cheapie conditioner. No need for shampoo, as shampoo tends to lessen the color payoff. BUT, if you tend to have allergies like I do, you can do a light shampoo if you usually experience itching for any length of time after co-washing out henna. Just remember, you may not have an optimal color outcome. I do a final condition with Elucence mixed with oil for 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly, and style. You can also do a DC if you wish, but remember you just deeply deposited the lawsomes into the cuticle. You want to close and seal the cuticle as soon as possible after the treatment (that's why shampooing usually isn't a good idea). A henna gloss is a great way to get your feet wet with henna and bypass all the dryness issues.
I bought some Reshma henna from an Indian grocery store near my job. I did not use brahmi or bhringaraj oil because they didn't have any at the store. They did have neem oil, but I didn't buy it. Maybe next time. I was a little weary about adding the apple cider vinegar. I read that it could be drying, but I also wanted to follow Lav's recipe, and tweak it the next time if I need to. I mixed it up Friday morning before work and let it sit until I got home:
When I got home from work, the henna mix was extremely smooth. I added some vatika and my grape seed oil mix to the henna before I applied it. I applied it to 4 sections. I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly and easily it went on. I used as much as I could, but I still had over half left over. I decided to freeze it and use it if I decide to henna again. After putting 2 plastic caps and a scarf on, I left the henna in overnight. I thought that if I walked around with it in my hair for hours, I would get paranoid and rinse it out too early.
Sleeping with the henna in wasn't bad at all. I did have a little leakage in the back of my neck, but I just slept with a towel over my pillow. The henna does have a distinct scent, but it didn't bother me at all. When I woke up, I co-washed the henna out with V05 conditioner. It washed out really easily- no clumps, no staining, no tangles. I deep conditioned with Aubrey Organics White Camellia for about an hour without heat and rinsed. I rollerset with only Salerm 21 leave-in:
This picture really doesn't do my hair justice. My hair is moist, shiny, heavier, and overall beautiful. It's extremely moist from root to tip. I didn't even put any moisturizer or oil in it. My platinum hair is now a reddish-orange, but it's not too bright. In the sun, I can see reddish brown highlights throughout. I'm not sure how often I will do this, but it will definitely be incorporated into my regimen, even if only once a month. I can't wait to see how my hair does, as I read that it only gets better!
On Sunday, I went to the beach and my hair got a little wet, so I had to co-wash to get the salt water out. I airdried and put my hair in bantu knots. This was my best airdrying exprience, which I credit the henna for. My hair usually airdries frizzy, but this time, it was smooth, and my ends were extremely smooth and moist. I think I might be addicted...