The Never-ending Wash Day – Henna, Straight Hair, & A Trim

*I thought about breaking this post up since it’s on the long and pic-heavy side but it made more sense to keep this recap one piece so I apologize for the huge post! I’ve included jump links in case they make it easier to scroll and jump through the post.

Part 1 – Henna gloss
Part 2 – Shampoo & deep condition
Part 3 – Blow drying
Part 4 – Flat ironing
Part 5 – Trim

Part 1 – Henna Gloss

It’s been 2 weeks since my last henna application and I fully intended to wait a month before using up the rest of my henna but I took the fact that it’s “Hair Color and Care” week for the #washdayexperience AND how annoyed I’d get when the frozen bowl of henna would fall out of my freezer every time I opened the door as a sign from the universe to henna my hair this week.

I underestimated how much henna I saved from my last application so to make sure I had enough for this big ol’ head of mine, I added conditioner and boiled water to thin out the consistency a bit.

Applying henna to damp hair makes for a smoother, faster application so I started off by sectioning (4) and dampening my old twist out hair with water. The first time I applied henna to my hair I did it on dry hair and it felt like it took fooorrreeevveerrr. By the time I was done, the henna had already started to dry and flake. Applying henna to damp hair is really the only way I can go about it to cut down the time.

Read: The Pros and Cons of Henna

Working in small sections, I smoothed the henna down my hair (with gloves), pinned it all up, and left it in for 4 hours.

Part 2 – Shampoo & Deep Condition

I hoped in the shower and rinsed out the henna until the water started to run clear, then I shampooed with Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Mirrorsmooth Shampoo. Next I squeezed out excess from my hair with a towel and deep conditioned with Thank God It’s Natural Honey Miracle Hair Mask for an hour. I really like how well this deep conditioner detangles and sinks into my hair. Below is my hair with the hair mask still in.

After rinsing it out, my hair felt so nice, soft, and moisturized (which I needed since I really hated/basically freaked out a little over how the henna made my feel a bit stiff).

Part 3 – Blow drying

Before hopping out of the shower I twisted my hair into 7 chunky twists under running water to really stretch it out as I let it air dry for about 2 hours before sitting down to blow dry my hair. To blow dry, I used my Red by Kiss 2200 Ceramic Tourmaline Handle-less Dryer and I FINALLY used my Red by Kiss Universal Detangling Pik attachment.

I LOOOVVVVEEEEE the detangling pik. It’s so much gentler than the comb attachment the dryer ships with. I lightly fingercombed and detangled my hair before drying but true to its name, it detangled my hair even further while I dried and its smooth teeth did not snag my hair.

Red by Kiss Universal Detangling Pik
Red by Kiss Universal Detangling Pik

Oh, and I recorded how I detangle my hair but that vid is still hanging out on my memory card so I’ll get that up and posted by Friday.

Anywho, this dryer? Love it! For leave-ins, I used Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Smooth High Gloss Primer (heat protectant) and OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Anti-Breakage Serum. Working in 1 inch sections, I started on the low heat setting and finished off my hair on the cold setting

Part 4 – Flat ironing

With my fluffy cloud swaying about, I flat ironed my hair using Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth+ flat iron.

To ensure my ends weren’t crimped or bent, I used a modified Denman brush (this one) for the “brush chase method.”

And here are the fully straightened results. I also recorded how I flat ironed my hair and hope to upload the vid by the end of the week as well.

Best part? Seeing my henna highlights pop. I was over the moon y’all. I used up the last of the jamila henna this time so I think I’ll switch to Red Raj henna for my next henna application.

Henna highlightsThis wash day felt like it went on forever but I’m really happy with the results and I finally feel comfortable straightening my hair. Even though my hair is completely natural now, I don’t plan on deviating from my direct heat rule from my relaxed hair days of only flat ironing my hair 3-4 times a year due to the fact that the process takes longer than I’m willing to frequently spend on my hair, and frequent use of direct heat is counterproductive to my healthy hair goals. Since this gal is shooting for w/hip length (between waist and hip length) hair, the last thing I need is heat damage, dry ends, split ends, and breakage.
Flat ironed hair

Last but not least – A Trim

I wish this part was pic heavy too, showing you how I go about trimming my hair but my camera died mid-record and I went ahead and just finishing it up without snapping any pics. Sorry y’all. If you remember how I used to cut my when it was relaxed, then no worries, I still use the same method.

I ended up taking off half an inch after straightening my hair (after going through and snipping off any single strand knots I spotted/felt after flat ironing each section). I’ve been cutting my hair a lot more than I share in my posts. On wash days after twisting my hair I’ve gotten into the habit of snipping off any thin looking ends . . . something I think I need to cut back on. I remember when I avoid trims like the plague, now I’m borderline scissor happy. My frequent trims help keep my ends split and SSK free but I did end up with a few pieces that were noticeably longer than others so yesterday’s trim helped even out those ends.

And the wrap up: a length check. Kinda. I forgot to throw on my length check shirt for a proper length check, but here’s a comparison of my hair from December 9, 2015 to yesterday.

December 9, 2015 vs May 10, 2016

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How was your wash day? If you hair is colored, what’s your regimen? If not, any plans to color your hair in the future?

21 Comments

  1. Hey Jen, I hope you don’t get this question a lot but I feel like I do everything right and my hair is still staying around the same length- between SL & APL. I deep condition & protective style and I only flat iron once every 2-3 months. It’s like I just don’t know what to do at this point. Any suggestions?

  2. Lovely Henna Results!! I think this 2nd application really boosted the colour even though it was sort of a henna rinse. I’m also impressed with the colour after only 4hrs. I usually leave mine in overnight, and I can’t say I have such noticeable colour (but I haven’t straightened my hair, and I do think straightening brings it out more).
    All in all, great post. Loved the detail of it. You take your time to include the necessary info. I’m all for concise-ness, but sometimes glossing over just doesn’t cut it…yu’kno?

  3. Been a long time reader since the you started your relax hair journey. And you was my biggest inspiration to return to natural. I have the same comb attachment, did you have any issues with your comb attachment staying on the dryer? For some reason mine just slips right off with no grip what so ever.

    1. Author

      Oh wow thank you for your readership! I totally forgot to mention that. Mine does grip but it slips a bit when I’m running it through my hair. I had to repeatedly tap it on my leg to push it back up or else it would feel like it was wobbling off. Red by Kiss lists it as a universal attachment but they should definitely note that what minimum diameter of the dryer barrel is required for a snug fit.

  4. Yes, henna days do go on forever but with repeated use, they are so worth it!
    I’ve been applying henna to my hair for about 5 years now and it’s definitely helped the health of my hair….plus it naturally covers my grays 🙂

    1. Author

      I’m so excited to see how henna will improve the health of my hair over time!

  5. I LOVE YOUR HAIR ????? But please do a post on crown breakage or if you had in the past, could I have a link to it? Thank you!

    1. Author

      Thank you Kiki! No post yet but check out the tips I just left for Christina below 🙂

  6. Very nice!! Awesome regimen. It does seem like a lot but it is so worth it. Your hair looks very beautiful! Do you have any tips for breakage at the crown? I found some and really sad about that…

    1. Author

      Thank you Christina! I found breakage at my crown last week and I realized it was the result of always placing the clips I use during wash day in the same area week after week. Repeated tension on the area has broken a number of strands 🙁

      My tips (and my game plan) are to identify what is causing the breakage (i.e. breaking due to dry hair, overmanipulated, excess splits that have traveled up the hair shaft) . Avoid styles that will place tension on the area. Keep the crown moisturized. Decrease and limit use of direct heat. One gem that’s always worked well for me to combat breakage is Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum so I plan to use that on my crown while I nurse it back to health. Hope that helps a bit. I’ll probably do a detailed post on my crown breakage and track what works/what doesn’t for 6 months like I did for my nape challenge.

  7. OMG I need that pick attachment (I have the same blow dryer and love it but that would definitely come in handy). Your results came out great got me wanting a trim sooner than later

    1. Author

      It’s definitely better than the attachment the dryer comes with and worth the buy.

  8. I totally can see the enhancement from your natural off brown to the deeper, rich, reddish brown in your hair and it appears to have slightly (but uniformly) loosened your curls a bit too? Which I totally won’t mind either. Love it!!! Your hair is “just growing already”!!!! hahahaha, I crack myself up!

    1. Author

      I thought it loosened my textured, but I’ve assumed I’m just being paranoid lol. I’ll have to let my hair without stretching it to really gauge if henna has loosened my curls. Lmao the blog title has come full circle.

  9. YAS YAS YAS YAS YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsss

    Will you please come over and flat iron my hair for me?!?! I have no urge to straighten it because just thinking about the process makes me cringe! But these results?!?! They are totally worth it! And that color is amazing! What I like about henna color is that it’s gives your hair a brilliant shine and the color actually looks like you were born with it. The highlights are all in the right places (where the sun actually hits your hair) + it’s actually healthy for your hair!!

    KLP @ http://www.savingourstrands.com

    1. Author


      Thank youuu! Great points about henna; it highlights right where it’s supposed to.

  10. Oh Jen, your hair is gorgeous!!!! I’m 21 months post and really enjoying my natural hair. I’m considering coloring it to cover some stray grays lol. I am enjoying taking this journey with you.

    1. Author

      Thank you lovely! 21 months, that’s awesome! Will you continue transitioning until you snip away your the very last of your relaxed hair?

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