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Thread: Talk to me about henna build-up

  1. #1
    Member EllisGurl's Avatar
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    Red face Talk to me about henna build-up

    I've been using henna about every two months for over two years and somehow have never heard about henna build up before. Then I clicked on the "Blogs" button and saw this term in the person's blog that popped up.

    I did a google search and the only half-way useful information that I got was here. It says Constant build up of henna from over coating the hair can also cause the hair to become brittle and break. So now I'm concerned.

    How much/often is "over coating"?

    I have noticed some breakage in the lower 1/2 of my hair but that's also the hair left from when I severely damaged it with and ammonia bleach about 2 1/2 years ago. Could the henna that did such good things for my hair in the beginning be damaging it now?

    Please share any information you have about this.

    TIA

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    Kitchen Witch Nat242's Avatar
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    Huh. I always thought henna build up referred to the accumulation of a deeper, darker colour from repeated henna'ing.

    Maybe I'm wrong

    -- Natalie

  3. #3
    Member nienna42's Avatar
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    If it happens to be my blog you're referring to, I just meant that I didn't want the color to accumulate too much.

    I've never heard of henna building up in a way that would make the hair brittle. The closest thing I've heard is that Iris (I believe it was her) stopped getting as much shine from henna after awhile. I suppose if you hennaed very frequently without adequately conditioning the hair inbetween, your hair might get dried out or mechanically damaged by the grit. I've also heard people say their hair reacts to henna rather like it reacts to protein, so I can see where repeated henna treatments might cause some brittleness that way.

    How often is too often? No idea...I suppose doing it once a week or more for an extended period of time might become overkill.

    ETA: Also, considering that your source is a hairdresser's webpage, and hairdressers are notorious for associating henna with horrible, horrible things that we know BAQ henna doesn't do, I'd be inclined to doubt your quote as accurate. I mean, she also says, "It is found usually in four shades; black, auburn, a lightener, and chestnut." and we know that isn't true.
    Last edited by nienna42; April 30th, 2008 at 07:09 AM. Reason: adding info

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    Rebel Reverend Kirin's Avatar
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    Henna "build up" no matter how many times you henna will NOT damage hair. Repeat, Not damage hair. Most laymen don't understand henna and a lot of information on the net is bogus and uneducated, sorry to say.

    And henna doesnt "coat" the hair. Real body art quality henna BINDS to the keratin protein in the hair shaft, in essence its IN the hair, not ON the hair . Only compound henna "coats" as its metalic salts adhering to the hair and that can damage hair.

    Body art quality henna does "build up" in color. the more you use it, the deeper/richer it gets (with some often to burgundy). But it causes no damage to hair no matter how often you use it.
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  5. #5
    Henna Seeress Nightshade's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else that 1) that site doesn't seem to know much about henna and 2) henna will not make your hair break.

    The only type of buildup seems to be that of color. People like AlleyCat have deepened bleached/permed blonde to darkest auburn with henna without issue.

  6. #6
    Member Exodus's Avatar
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    Well, I have to say, my hair became very split prone after henna. My hair has never before been as split prone as after henna.
    I definitely feel there is henna in my hair, like the hennaed part of my hair feels very unnatural. It didn't feel like that after the 2-3 first times but I did feel it changed over the time. I did almost always full head treatments, so there is much henna in my hair.

  7. #7
    ~Blonde to the Bone~ Shermie Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisGurl View Post
    I've been using henna about every two months for over two years and somehow have never heard about henna build up before. Then I clicked on the "Blogs" button and saw this term in the person's blog that popped up.

    I did a google search and the only half-way useful information that I got was here. It says Constant build up of henna from over coating the hair can also cause the hair to become brittle and break. So now I'm concerned.

    How much/often is "over coating"?

    I have noticed some breakage in the lower 1/2 of my hair but that's also the hair left from when I severely damaged it with and ammonia bleach about 2 1/2 years ago. Could the henna that did such good things for my hair in the beginning be damaging it now?

    Please share any information you have about this.

    TIA

    Seriously, I wouldn't worry about "over coating" from henna, if I were you. I think that your breakage has more to do with your former chemical use or misuse than henna buildup. When I was using henna, I had a terrific buildup on my hair. I used it frequently and it never made my hair dry or caused breakage. My hair was always soft, silky and stronger because of it.

    If you feel that your length has enough henna on it, you could always switch to roots only applications, just hitting your length with full strength applications or glosses when you feel your colour may need a little refreshing or the condition indicates it wants more henna.

    Henna can do a lot to make chemically damaged hair look and feel better and can help to strengthen it, too. But it doesn't repair it. And you will still have a certain amount of breakage until you have trimmed away all former chemical damage.

    ETA: I just clicked the link you provided. This person isn't terribly well informed about henna. Some of her conclusions are inaccurate, from my own experience with henna. I would take what she has to say with a huge grain of salt.
    Last edited by Shermie Girl; April 30th, 2008 at 10:57 AM. Reason: To add a thought, after clicking a link. :)

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    Strawberry Jam Euphony's Avatar
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    I totally agree with everyone here. Not sure if you were reading my blog or not, I'm working on getting more henna 'build-up' but I'm not sure if I actually mentioned it or not. I'm wanting that deeper color, that's all the 'henna build up' is. Henna will make your hair stronger, not cause it to break. I love henna
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  9. #9
    Curls & Kinks Galore! nappywomyn's Avatar
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    Ah. I actually had issues with 'over-hennaing' my hair when I first started using it.

    My problem is that I was using it too OFTEN. I was henna'ing once a week, and the 'layering/coating' that henna gives your hair wasn't getting a chance to rub off, even a LITTLE bit, before I slapped the next one on.

    My damaged (bleached/dyed) hair LOVED it - but I started getting some of the freakiest splits at the root of my hair, where the fully virgin hair was getting brittle and complaining about the henna overload.

    I shifted my frequency down to once a month, and my hair was PERFECTLY happy.

    So, I think you'll be fine, using it every two months (which is my current schedule). And I suspect the breakage is just from the old damaged hair finally giving up the ghost - without the henna, you most likely would have seen the breakage MUCH earlier....

    HTH!

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  10. #10
    Dances in bare feet. Islandgrrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shermie Girl View Post
    If you feel that your length has enough henna on it, you could always switch to roots only applications, just hitting your length with full strength applications or glosses when you feel your colour may need a little refreshing or the condition indicates it wants more henna.
    I totally agree with this. I have red hair already, and I use roots-only applications full strength to deal with my very persistent and resistant greys, and then just gloss once or twice a month to brighten up my color without really changing it much. I mix my left over henna with a very generous amount of conditioner, slather, bag and sit in the sauna for 20 - 45 minutes (depending on how big a rush I'm in), rinse and condition lightly again. The SHINE is huge and my color doesn't change much, if at all.

    The person in the link you provided doesn't know much about the realities of henna. I would be much more inclined to follow the advice of veteran hennaheads here than listen to anything that comes out of a stylist's mouth regarding henna.
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