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Tight curls make a statement no matter where you go. While henna naturally protects hair, builds hair protein and offers chemical-free red color, some curly girls have found henna loosens their curls. It's not across-the-board, but it could affect your results. Weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks, then decide whether a henna hair treatment is right for your 'do.
Henna coats the hair follicle, filling in rough spots. It deposits a natural protein — hennatannic acid — which leaves hair super shiny. If your tight curls are dry or damaged, henna treatments help build up strength to stop brittle hair, hair breakage and split ends. After a henna treatment, curls will be more flexible. This helps hair stand up to combing and styling with less breakage.
Some women have reported loosening of the curl after a henna treatment. S-curls or waves seem more susceptible than tight curls. If your hair is permed curly rather than naturally curly, henna will loosen the perm curl. Change in curl pattern might be a pro or con, depending on how the hair's been acting. Henna may leave curly locks feeling dry. Applying a deep-conditioning treatment should return moisture to the hair.
Not all henna powder gives that signature red color. If you want to increase hair luster without going copper on top, look for neutral henna — Lawsonia alba. It conditions without changing hair color. If you're committed to a color change, find red henna — Lawsonia inermis. Whether you go natural or red, the same general drawbacks and benefits apply.
Effects of henna last four to six weeks, so any curl change is only temporary. Using Indian gooseberry or amla powder in your henna treatment protects a curl for worried women. Amla doesn't alter the color of a henna treatment — it enhances the wave or curl pattern. Naturally astringent, it cleanses the scalp and hair to promote scalp health.