Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rajasthani Henna Review

One of the many perks about being a natural hair stylist is meeting others who appreciate sharing information on hair care.  Not long ago I had the pleasure of styling a young lady's hair who told me she often uses henna to keep her hair healthy.  We exchanged our methods, brands of henna we'd used, and recipes.  She told me she uses a henna from the website shown in the photograph above.  This was her henna of choice due to it having the highest  henna lawsone (dye) content of 3.29. This is far greater than the average hennas dye content of 1.7-2.3 [source] so on darker shades of brown to black natural hair color, I was hoping to get a more vibrant highlight.
 I'd forgotten I had henna samples from [Henna Sooq] from last year.  I was surprised to see it was the same henna with a different brand name on the label, Rajasthani Indian Henna! I mixed them together so I'd have a larger batch with enough to place into a carrot bag and freeze for future use.
The Steps

1. Pour henna into glass, plastic, or ceramic bowl
 2. Squeeze juice from 2 lemons.  You can also use all lemon juice only as your liquid.

3.After stirring in lemon juice add purified or distilled water to henna powder 1/2 cup at a time until the consistency mimics pancake batter or yogurt. 

 4. Add your favorite oil of choice.  Mine is olive oil when mixing with henna.  Makes the paste much less drying on the hair in my opinion.  I added one full cup to 150 grams of Rajasthani Henna Powder. Thoroughly mix paste, lemon juice, water, and EVOO.

 Notice the color prior to the dye release in this photo. It's greenish. Once the dye releases it looks more brownish.  I forgot to photograph the paste after it sat 9 hours however I could definitely tell a difference in smoothness on the after and when comparing it to other henna powders I've used.  Paste has to sit 6-24 hours for dye to release.
I went ahead and filled one carrot bag with henna paste prior to covering with foil and allowing to sit over night.  I applied my henna first by sectioning off my hair into 4 equal parts, starting with the back and applying the paste from root to ends, concentration of henna paste at the root.  One great benefit of using henna is it tightens the roots which aids in less hair fall.  

 5. Rinse henna paste. This may take up to 1/2 an hour depending on the length and density of hair you have. It took me about 10 minutes to get it completely rinsed, which is less then it takes using other henna powders I've tried.  Definite plus. Using conditioner helps speed the rinsing process as well. Rinse hair until water runs clear, add conditioner by working it through with your fingers from the roots to the ends and repeat until water color from rinsing runs clear again.
 I trimmed an inch all around on blown out hair this time (photo below)...it had been 4 year since I last used heat.  My hair is still Armpit length at the bottom after cutting into a layered bob.

 6. I applied Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner uncovered and sat under my steamer for 20 minutes then rinsed with cool water.  DEEP MOISTURIZE CONDITIONING TREATMENTS MUST BE DONE AFTER HENNA IS RINSED FROM HAIR this is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP AFTER USING HENNA!  After the DC you will want to be sure you assess your hairs moisture level for several days to ensure it doesn't become to dry and brittle which causes breakage.  

  I love this henna.  In days to come the color will deepen and I'll be sharing more photos of the twist out I wear.  The photo above is my hair fully shrunken, with no product, unfiltered. I love the shine!

All Natural, no product, no filter, all shrinkage! 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Havana's, Marley's, Senegales...What's the Difference?

During the hot summer months many Naturalistas opt for protective styles to help keep hair healthy and moisturized for longer periods of time.  This season twists with extensions are extremely popular. They can be done using several different types of extension hair and depending on which type of extension hair that's being used, the name, style, and look of the twists will vary.  Three of the most popular types of twists that I offer as a service are Marley, Havana, and Jumbo Senegalese.  To help those looking to wear twists with extensions and want to know the differences between them I have details on what they are below.  All styles in photographs below were done my me, Amber Frank for Kynxx~Natural Hair Styling.
Puffy Screw By Celebrity
Marley Twists require a specific type of hair be used.  The hair is highly textured and often labeled on the package Marley Hair or Marley Braid Hair. It is a synthetic fiber (I recommend 100% Kanekalon Marley Hair by Femi or Puffy Screw hair by Celebrity which was used in the photo above) and should be added into the hair undetected so the twists appears to be coming from the clients scalp without the additional extension hair being seen.  In the photos above all the same brand of Marley hair was used.  Marley's are usually much longer than Havana Twists as the look is meant to be long, very to medium thin sized and free flowing.  NO more than 2-3 strips of the hair should be used per twist.  After installation twists are then dipped into hot boiling water to seal the ends of twists or to set a curl to the ends of the twists using perm rods, as shown in one of the photos above. Depending on the length of twists desired and fullness, Marley Twists can take 2-6 hours to install.

Full Havana Twists using 5 strips of hair per twist
Total of only 25 Twists using 6 strips of Havana twist hair per twist 
 Full set of Havana Twists using 4 strips of hair per twist


Slim set of Havana Twists using 3 strips of hair per twist

Havana Twists follow the same concept on the install as Marley Twists.  Hair is added undetectably however the look for Havana's is achieved by using an specific type of synthetic hair that comes separated in thick strips made just for the style. This look is not mean to be long. Havana's are only meant to be arm pit length or shorter with large sized parts, using 3-6 strips per twist of extension hair for thick to very thick twists.  Havana Twist hair is purchased solely from Finger Comber website and a full head requires any where from 3-7 packs of hair depending on length and fullness desired and can take 2-3.5 hours to install.  Unlike Marely Twists, Havana's are not dipped into boiling water after they are completed.  Very small perm rods may be used on the ends, then dipped into boiling hot water for a curled end.  There is only one type of hair I use for Havana Twists and it's made by Finger Comber.  I've purchased hair from this company for going on two years. I love the customer service and the hair is REUSABLE! Yes you read it correctly the hair is reusable and can be washed and air dried to reuse another time.  In the photos below I show the finished look of a client I recently styled who brought the EXACT SAME HAIR used in a previous set of twists I'd done for her:

 This was how she brought it to me and the ONLY way I would reuse hair would be if it were brought to me would be looking this way.  She informed me she took each twist down and kept them in separated bundles.

I must add the client took extremely good care of the hair.  After removing the Havana Twists, she filled her kitchen sink up with warm water adding a small amount of shampoo, then carefully placed the hair into the water allowing it to soak 15 minutes.  After that she drained the shampoo water out of the sink, and carefully rinsed each bundle with cool water and allowed it to air dry.  I used the same number of twists from her original set.   This hair as shown above used didn't have to be dipped nor did the ends have to be curled over.  I HIGHLY recommend[FINGERCOMBER.COM] hair for Havana's as it is the only one I use for clients who want this style.  Style can last from one to 2 months depending on how well it's cared for on average. 


Jumbo Senegalese Twists also follow the same concept of adding the extension hair undetectably. This style requires the most common braiding hair used, 100% Kanekalon braiding hair.  There are different brands of Kanekalon braiding hair. My favorite brands to use are Outre' (used in photo above and below (same client), and Rastafri (this is the brand I used on my box braids back in December 2012, [click here to see hair] ) I prefer these brands because again not all braiding hair even if it reads 100% Kanekalon braiding hair on the package is the same.  Although burning the ends of braids and twists are a technique long forgotten (hopefully) to keep the ends from unraveling, these brands are both flame retardant, soft on hands, do not tangle easily, and blend well with natural hair that's been straightened or blown out.  Regular sized Senegalese Twists are quite small so I do not offer them as a service however I do the larger ones as they only take about 2-3 hours to install depending on the length and fullness desired.  Style can last from 2-3 weeks on average.

[source Google Image]
I hope this helps clarify the differences between many of the very popular twisted hair styles that require extensions.  I made this post because I often get requests for Havana Twists and ask clients to provide me with a photo of what they want and end up viewing a photo of either Marley or Jumbo Senegalese Twists. Again they are not the same so when requesting twisted styles be sure you know exactly which type you're wanting to ensure a favorable outcome.  Peace and Blessings!