View Full Version : Hair Analysis on Hennaed Hair

May 6th, 2014, 03:40 AM
Hi There :)

I am just wandering if anyone had sent a sample of their hair off for analysis?

I have read so many different takes on henna and mercury/salts/metals... (not bothered so much by this as I believe it would be minimal)


That is all my question is really...

Have you had your hair analysed on hennaed hair?

serin blackwood
May 6th, 2014, 09:58 PM
Yes, I have had the Goosefootprints analysis on my henna (actually hendigo) hair. What would you like to know?

I feel the analysis was well worth it - I learned a lot, and was surprised at some of the information. Also Wendy is wonderful at answering questions about her findings and helping me tweek my hair regime. I have since bought my own microscope to further study the differences in the henna and natural parts of my hair (I am growing out the dye to my natural grey), plus to observe for myself things like how damaged my cuticles are, what effect different conditioners have, etc.

But her analysis is strictly for condition and care, it is not a chemical analysis of hair in regards to health issues, if that is what you are looking for.

May 7th, 2014, 02:17 AM
Hi serin blackwood :)

Thank you so much for your detailed answer. :)

For me, well... I will be doing both now, health analysis etc (which I now know the hair needs to be pulled from the root) and, I will now try and find a 'Goosefootprints' here in london/uk for general hair health. What a great idea!

It is truly fascinating, hair cuticles and how and what we've done to our hair changes it....

Once again, Thank You!!!

I think I might go and buy a little microscope now :) got a telescope.... but I guess I'd have to hold my hair strands up on the moon for that! :D

May 7th, 2014, 03:15 AM
Did the henna hair have a smoother cuticle or anything that shows the benefits that people discuss? I am so interested in what henna can do for hair but want to learn more before trying it.

May 7th, 2014, 03:58 AM
Did the henna hair have a smoother cuticle or anything that shows the benefits that people discuss? I am so interested in what henna can do for hair but want to learn more before trying it.

Hi ErinLeigh :)

I just had a wander through some google images of hennaed hair under the microscope and found a page called southlandsoap and they have piccies of different hair cuticles after different treatments :) not sure if the link will work but I'll try :) http://www.southlandsoap.com/your-hairunder-the-microscope.html

serin blackwood
May 7th, 2014, 05:19 PM
Goosefootprints is an online Etsy business :


And the proprietor, Wendy S. also writes the "Science-y Hairblog". Highly recommended reading!


Interestingly, her theory is that henna in hair causes a non-smooth texture and contributes to friction, which causes cuticle damage, hence porosity (though still a better choice than chemical dyes). Also, the "gritty-ness" of a henna treatment washing through ones hair, plus the length of time your hair needs to be wet also contributes to damage. Since my hair seems to damage easily and my primary goal is long length, and not color, I have stopped hennaeing because I feel that it may be doing more harm than good.

May 7th, 2014, 07:59 PM
Appreciate for the links and reply very much. Very interesting. I am going to read them now.
Thanks again!!

May 7th, 2014, 09:47 PM
Awesome thread! Thanks so much for the pictures of dyed/hennaed hair under microscope, Wing-Chun-Bec.
And I love Science-y Hair Blog, too! :)

May 7th, 2014, 10:42 PM
Wow this is really cool.
I've been thinking of having my hair analyzed actually, since I can't seem to figure out exactly what ingredients I should avoid or what I need more of in my products. I am very happy using henna and indigo, though. My hair is sooo shiny no matter what since I started using henna, whereas before it was kind of mousy and dull.

May 8th, 2014, 06:34 AM
Thank you serin blackwood :) for the Science-y Hair Blog, that's a really interesting read, have bookmarked the recipes :) to protein or henna? protein vs henna? (I think there is a thread on that too on TLHC).... I do love my hennaed hair atm, it certainly has made it healthier and soft and shiny and a lovely sparkly red :) I do have cassia obovata (sp?) to use too... I'm most def on a learning curve here :) I do have one of those LED magnifying lenses... think when I can I'll see if it's strong enough

Hi ErinLeigh, :) I think you are doing the right thing by getting all the info you can, your hair looks very beautiful in your pic and very healthy...maybe goosefootprints will also help you in your info quest for your own hair condition :)

Hi meteor, :) I think we should all invest in a little microscope and post those pics...

Hiyas bunnylake, :) I am considering the full health check one, but in the mean time, the one offered by goosefootprints is very interesting as a start.

Truly lovely to meet you all btw and my name is Bec... I just couldn't think of a magical user name lol and wing chun is the martial art I study, I'll change it when I get permission to do so I'm sure :D

Peace to you all :)

May 8th, 2014, 01:04 PM
I like the idea of a hair analysis, but I'm going to be satisfied with this visual analysis:

https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6001/6020662430_4d7191165e_m.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36509609@N08/6020662430/) BSL Aug. 5, 2011 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36509609@N08/6020662430/) by prlknits (https://www.flickr.com/people/36509609@N08/), on Flickr

May 8th, 2014, 06:52 PM
I think most henna users would agree that our hair is definitely better off with henna!
Every once in a while I consider growing mine out or trying to lift it so I can do something else with my hair color-wise, but then I remember how my hair was pre-henna. Never going back.

May 9th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Absolutely beautiful Hairitic :)

I think so too bunnylake, and I love the colour right now :)

I just looked through a 30x magnifier, just out of interest and it wasn't quite clear enough....

May 9th, 2014, 12:25 PM
After reading about henna and seeing great results here on the LHC, I'm so tempted to use henna! The problem is I'd like to avoid henna stain.

Has anybody looked under a microscope at hair strands with cassia obovata on them? And maybe compared that to henna?

I understand that cassia doesn't have the same conditioning effect as henna, but it's supposed to be similar. Are there any other herbs or anything else at all that works like "neutral henna" for those of us who don't want to commit to this color?

May 9th, 2014, 01:20 PM
Hi Meteor :)

I haven't completely read through this thread, but lots more 'curious' at what hair cuticles look like under microscope postings :) and... since I haven't read it all yet... I don't know whether cassia obovata is there amongst the piccies.... :)


May 9th, 2014, 01:52 PM
Thanks a lot for the link to that fascinating thread, Wing-Chun-Bec! :)

I haven't found any pictures of cassia-treated hair there, but I saw something posted by Mira-Chan that I think is cool:
http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g30/kitsunethief/microscope/meapr09end.jpg from here: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=24889&page=8
It's hair tip - on hair that was uncut. It just struck me as being perfect and snag-free, especially compared to those stumps and splits I've seen on pictures of freshly cut hair under a microscope. That's some visual proof that hair can be very strong without trimming.

serin blackwood
May 9th, 2014, 02:04 PM
First pic shows where the grey ends (on the right) and the henna starts. My microscope camera takes pics at this magnification, but when I look in the eypiece I can see the cuticle lines in more detail. The hennaed portion looks thicker, doesn't it?

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/cshprd/imagejpg1_zpsf1b0442b.jpg (http://s31.photobucket.com/user/cshprd/media/imagejpg1_zpsf1b0442b.jpg.html)

Next is an end broken off at a white dot:

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/cshprd/imagejpg1_zps6c99bc28.jpg (http://s31.photobucket.com/user/cshprd/media/imagejpg1_zps6c99bc28.jpg.html)

And an end cut clean with my new Tweezerman scissors:

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/cshprd/imagejpg2_zpsa1b37c7c.jpg (http://s31.photobucket.com/user/cshprd/media/imagejpg2_zpsa1b37c7c.jpg.html)

This is the best the camera can do with examining the cuticle, though, as I said, I have a higher magnification with the eyepiece. I cannot see much difference between the henna portions and my virgin grey hair. In this pic the henna is at the top right, you can almost see the color change.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/cshprd/imagejpg2_zpsf3f86a97.jpg (http://s31.photobucket.com/user/cshprd/media/imagejpg2_zpsf3f86a97.jpg.html)

May 9th, 2014, 02:47 PM
oh serin blackwood!!!! those pictures are AMAZING!!!! Thank You so much! what microscope camera are you using please? I always wondered about white dots... and love the picture of the grey hair going into henna :) I do own a pair of tweeerman and they are razor sharp.... I really am learning so much about hair on here (LHC)

:) Pretty cool piccies aren't they Meteor on that thread too... page 8... kinda glad I wasn't eating lol...

May 9th, 2014, 03:06 PM
Awesome pictures, serin blackwood! The henna-ed ends are definitely a bit thicker! :) And am I guessing correctly that on those pictures, the hair strands were henna-ed only once since it's hard to get 100% overlap twice on growing roots? If so, the henna coat probably builds up very significantly over time.
I'd be really curious to see if hydrolyzed protein does the same.

serin blackwood
May 9th, 2014, 04:19 PM
I had been hendigoing, and hendigo glossing and root touch up-ing every month or so for two years ... these pics were taken after 3 months of no hendigo, but you're right, the area right next to the grey would have had only one root touch up.

This is my microscope:

Here are two pictures of mid shaft white dots - the reason I always cut above them, now, when S&Ding!

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/cshprd/image_zps14d1d189.jpg (http://s31.photobucket.com/user/cshprd/media/image_zps14d1d189.jpg.html)

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/cshprd/158c8fb155d592d3b5e3db814224e489_zps105c7a1c.jpg (http://s31.photobucket.com/user/cshprd/media/158c8fb155d592d3b5e3db814224e489_zps105c7a1c.jpg.h tml)

May 9th, 2014, 04:28 PM
Thank you! :)
Those two pictures look to me like they could have resulted from mechanical damage in the same spot, especially on the second photo: elastics, or metal pins or a rough hair tie maybe? I think we are bound to get those midshaft splits sometimes no matter how gently we put hair up.

serin blackwood
May 9th, 2014, 04:48 PM
Thank you! :)
Those two pictures look to me like they could have resulted from mechanical damage in the same spot, especially on the second photo: elastics, or metal pins or a rough hair tie maybe? I think we are bound to get those midshaft splits sometimes no matter how gently we put hair up.

No, both of these were white dots about an inch away from the bottom of my hair. However, my hair was very poorly taken care of for most of my life until about 2.5 years ago (when I found this forum, coincidently!), and I have not cut out old damage, only S&Ding regularly. Although they look pretty good, I think my ends are extremely porous and easily broken or "exploded" into a white dot.

Another interesting thing I learned from the hair analysis was that even though my hair looks fairly straight, with slight waves on occasion, it actually has quite a bit of kinking under the microscope, in a twisting kind of way. A quote from Wendy on the issue:
"When hair bends or twists or narrows, those areas accumulate more stress and friction. Additionally, the uneven surface of a kinking area does not always allow cuticles to lie flat. When a cuticle does not lie flat, it is more likely to be broken off – that is how kinking increases porosity."