My love for ayurveda continues yet again!
So a month or so ago I used henna for the first time after being afraid of it for so long lol and I LOVED how it made my hair feel and how SHINY and strong my hair felt. I think part of my self-imposed fear of henna was the color commitment because I have a dream of lightening my hair one day (like Beyonce light lol #dontjudgeme) so I have been trying to really nurture my hair to be able to do something to drastic (if I build up enough courage do something SO drastic like that) but anywho, I say that to say that I was introduced to an alternative to henna….cassia obovata!!
It’s basically henna without the color. It gives you all the conditioning benefits of henna and is sometimes referred to as neutral henna. It doesn’t give off any color but if you have blonde hair, it will accentuate your natural highlights. If you are grey, it will make your hair blonde. For dark hair, it just conditions and makes it shiny :o)
Since I was sent some packets of cassia by a very special dear friend of mine (thank you love!), I don’t have any information on where it came from, the brand, cost, etc. What I do know is the kind I used is USDA organic and of super high quality :o)
When I used henna, I mixed it with just water and a little bit of oil but THIS time, I mixed the cassia with COCONUT MILK!!! OMG!!! The moment I applied it to my hair I was like forget water! I’m using coconut milk for ALL my ayurvedic treatments from now on!! lol It makes the paste SO much creamier and easier to apply. It’s super smooth and just makes it better, for lack of better words lol. I think I also mixed in some oil (I think avacado oil or grapeseed, can’t remember which one)
I mixed the coconut oil and cassia and let it sit overnight. I guess I only did that because I did it for the henna BUT then again, I am not trying to get a dye release so I probably didn’t need to do it lol it just seemed like a nice gesture haha
Here’s the paste, I use the entire can of Foco brand coconut milk and it was thick and creamy :o) If you decide to use coconut milk, BE SURE to check the ingredients to ensure it doesn’t have sugars and added stuff in it (the ingredient listed as a preservative is fine though, you just don’t want the sweetened sugar kinds).
I applied the paste in sections and it was a BREEZE to apply. I didn’t have to tape newspaper all over my walls, floor and sink lol. It wasn’t messy to apply because of the texture, it stayed where I put it. It just felt so smooth and creamy. I know,I know, it’s weird that I’m really excited about the applying part lol Here’s how the paste looked in my hair. It’s green like henna is.
After I was done applying the paste, I sectioned my hair off, pinned the sections down and put on a plastic cap and then wrapped with with my Christmas edition saran wrap lol this time I didn’t wrap my head as tight as the last time lol I had a headache like a mug because I OD’d on the saran wrap! Good thing is that using the coconut prevented the paste from dripping, which I sometimes get when I use water/teas and oils with my ayurvedic treatments. I left the paste in for about 8 hours (applied in the afternoon and went about my day at home, rinsed out at night. I probably didn’t need to leave it in for that long but oh well).
Here’s me lookin crazy with my saran helmet!OK so here’s the thing, I didn’t take any pics of my hair after I rinsed out the cassia paste because, well, it just looked really, really bad. I now see why some naturals don’t like to use henna/cassia often because it really does loosen your curl pattern. I guess I was naive and was thinking looser curl pattern = elongated curls lol welp, I was wrong! Looser curl pattern (for me) means undefined curls that just look like a hot mess! I was sadly disappointed because I LOVE the conditioning results from the cassia and henna but after using henna 2x and cassia 1x, I really see a difference in the curl pattern.
Yes, I still use amla and I know amla kind of “reverses” henna by defining your curls but its almost like a cat and mouse situation where I feel the henna and amla just counter each other. So I need to figure out the frequency that I would continue to use cassia and henna because I don’t want to lose my curl pattern, I like when they are springy and bouncy! But then again I can’t get over the shine and cassia and henna gives me.
I haven’t really been one to mix different ayurvedic powders with eachother but I think I may start doing that, meaning, I can still use cassia/henna in small amounts AND mix it with amla, brahmi, neem, etc. and still get the conditioning benefits from the cassia/henna. I still have several boxes of the Reshma Femme henna in the different color variations which contain amla already mixed in so I plan to continue using them for the rest of the year and see if cassia/henna are something I want to continue for the long run! (Of course I will share the findings with you :o) )
What have been your experiences with cassia and henna?! What have you done about the curl loosening? TIPS PLEASE!