Hello my lovelies! I’m back with another product review for a hair pack that I use weekly for my hair for over two years now. This is the Shanaz Husain Forever Henna Precious Herbal Mix.
Henna has been a multipurpose product used to deep condition and colour hair and color hands for centuries in India and Egypt. But due to increasing urbanization and adoption of practices in the developed countries to progress forward, we have given up on henna and switched to chemical shampoos and conditioners over the years and the resulting side effects of this has been universal, namely, hair fall, dry hair, dull hair, rough hair, breakage, split ends, for which we again buy serums, hair masks and other deep conditioning products to replenish hair growth. I was part of this vicious cycle but I’ve gotten out of it using henna.
I am a big time skeptic of products’ claims and testimonials. I always try to prove that every product’s hyped up claims and promises never deliver. I have high expectations and brands need to meet up to them, it’s never going to be the other way around. I now need to declare that I am truly, madly and deeply in love with henna.
About two years ago, I had a colleague who has this lustrous, long and thick hair which I’d been yearning for. As we became friends, I asked her for her secret which was that she had never ever used any chemicals in her hair ever! She has always used henna in her hair both as a hair pack and shampoo!
But it took me a while to get on this bandwagon because as you all know, henna is a very complicated product to use. It requires 12 hours of preparation and is extremely messy to apply and rinse off, so this had kept me from trying it for a very long time. Then one day, after losing all hope, I grabbed the Shanaz Husain henna from the Health & Glow store. As I was preparing this hair mask, I was again quite determined to prove it to my colleague that nothing and no product can fix my hair. But I was so glad to be wrong!
Let me first talk about this product before elaborating on how it has improved my hair texture. These days, it is very difficult to trust a lot of henna products in the market because many of them are adulterated including ones that claim to be “all natural” or “pure” or “organic.” Many of them do include some amount of hair dye and also claim to impart conditioning or colour within a short duration (under an hour or so). Let me bust all your henna myths here!
Whatever I am about to say in this paragraph is about pure henna powder or the Shanaz Husain Henna powder. Henna powder is extremely safe to touch and does not impart any colour. Henna paste, however, especially one that is left to soak overnight, does stain the skin, so use a pair of gloves while working with henna paste. However, in case it does come into contact with your body, be assured that the stain is not permanent. The intensity and the staying power of the stain depends on
- Where it stains you- if henna paste makes contact with one’s palms or the undersides of one’s feet, it will get stained but if you wash it off within five minutes, you will be fine. However, if not, the stain does fade away by washing your hands with soap multiple times a day, within 3 days it will disappear. So, no need to panic.
- Your complexion- lighter skinned people are more susceptible to become stained on contact with henna paste. So if you have a lighter skinned complexion than an average Indian such as moi, be slightly more cautious to ensure that the henna paste does not trickle down to your face or hands. However, if you wash it off within five minutes, be assured that it will not stain your skin.
Henna paste does a dual function of deeply conditioning your hair and providing hair colour (reddish-orange). Whether henna is right for you depends on
- Your natural hair colour assuming you do not have any hair colour
- Brunettes- Henna works extremely well for brunettes. It imparts a reddish colour to the grey strands which is noticeable only to oneself unless you have severe greying. It VERY SO SLIGHTLY lightens black hair that it’s even imperceptible to oneself. It’s only after regular weekly application or application upwards of 10-12 hours when you notice that your hair has become lighter. So after only application of 2-3 hours, you can expect to be left with black hair with red coloured greys.
- If you have light brown, orange or reddish hair, do a patch test on the ends of your hair for 1-2 hours to check if you’re comfortable with the colouring and proceed to use only after this test.
- If you are blonde, DO NOT DO THE PATCH TEST. Use it only if you’ve seen the colouring it imparts for your hair colour. But the best thing to do will be to get it done from a professional at least for the first time.
- If your hair is dyed- do not use henna because it will react badly with the existing hair dye.
- If you plan to dye your hair within a month- Do not use henna again. Using henna will not allow the hair dye to adhere to your hair. So it’s best avoided.
For ONLY deep conditioning, leave it on your hair for upwards of 30mins-1hour. For colouring, leave the henna paste on for 2-3 hours at least. Henna is drying on the hair. So if your hair is a little dry, oil it before applying the henna paste.
Shanaz Husain is one of the first Indian beauty and cosmetic lines. Her products are known to have a lot of herbs, are against animal testing and are said to provide Ayurvedic solutions for skin and hair problems. I use the henna powder from this brand. It is slightly more expensive when compared to the other henna powders in the market. But since it’s always better to know what you’re using and go with a trusted brand, I have stuck to Shanaz Husain for a very long time. The other henna brands I’ve noticed do not disclose their ingredients very clearly or claim to colour hair within an hour or two, but since I’ve already explained that pure henna paste will never provide such intense colouring, so I am suspicious of their contents and I have stayed away from those brands.
The product label states that it is a powerful blend of henna and other herbs that strengthen and condition the hair. Also, helps to control problems like dandruff and hair loss, while providing color and sheen as well restoring beauty and health to your hair.
Directions for Use: Mix the required quantity of Shanaz Husain Forever Henna Precious Herbal Mix with warm water into a thick paste. Apply after 30 minutes. For conditioning, keep on for 30minutes. For colour, keep for 2 to 3 hours. For better effect, keep on overnight.
Ingredients: Amla (Emblica officinalis) 1.0%, Neem (Melia azadirachta) 1.50%, Shikakai (Acacia concinna) 2.0%, Babul gond (Acacia arabica) 1.0%, Mehndi (Lawsonia alba) 93.0%, Base q.s. to make it 100%
It comes in two sizes 100g, 200g. The 200g pack is sufficient for 4 uses on my waist length hair.
For preparing the henna pack*, add the required quantity of powder into a plastic or stainless steel bowl. A plastic bowl will get stained, so it’s better to designate a bowl as the “henna bowl.” Now hot tea water is required. For that, take a pan of water and add some tea leaves or split open a tea bag into it. Let the tea leaves simmer in the water for a good five minutes until the water becomes a nice chocolaty brown. Use a strainer to only pour the hot tea water (without the leaves) into the henna powder. Mix it extremely well to make a henna paste that is on the runnier side with a little extra water. To this mixture, you can add other ingredients as well, although I have never attempted to do so. Some common ingredients people add are egg white, lemon juice and yogurt for extra conditioning.
Cover this mixture with a plastic lid and let it stay undisturbed for a good 8 hours overnight. I have mentioned above to make the paste slightly runnier because the excess water does get absorbed by the henna overnight, so it will be a of a perfect consistency to use it in the morning.
*The instructions I’ve given here are more elaborate than mentioned on the hair pack. Use it either way, whatever works for you. On the Sundays that I get more time, I use my elaborate procedure. Otherwise the instructions on the product work well too.
Now, all the messiness begins. To apply the henna, use a pair of gloves and a hair dye brush to coat the scalp and the lengths of hair with the henna paste. It’s now best that I share a Youtube video by Shruti Anand, whose videos I absolutely love on Youtube. This video helped me make a slightly less mess than I used to with henna application. You can modify this to suit your style. For example, I use a rubber band to secure my hair and a shower cap instead of the plastic wrap towards the end.
Just use a regular shampoo to wash out the henna after application.
I have a hate turned love relationship with my hair. Love in the recent past and hate for years before using henna. I am not blessed with good hair genetics. My family including me have extremely fine, frizzy, brittle hair with dry ends and split ends.
Like most Indians, I have jet black hair naturally with very few grey strands. I always oil my hair in the night and use henna pack in the morning which I’ve been doing for the past two years now. I leave the henna on my hair for an average of 3 hours. As you can see from my picture, you will still classify my hair as black, and not brown. In the sun, my hair will look black with a tinge of brownish-red. It has also helped me colour my greys in a way that still blends with my black hair. So banish your hair coloring concerns, brunettes, if you are scared about getting red hair on your first application!
Henna has helped my hair in more ways than I can talk about. It has made my hair extremely shiny and glossy. I have never felt confident leaving my hair open because I always found it straggly and the wind was my hair’s worst enemy. But since I’ve used this product, my hair feels so manageable and silky. I am so confident of leaving my hair open and styling it the way I’ve always wanted to. Shanaz Husain Forever Henna Precious Herbal Mix is definitely one of the most underrated products in India.
PRODUCT RATING: 5/5
Will I repurchase? Again and again for the time I live. I’m easily on my 15th pack already, if not more.
I don’t know what I would have done had henna not come into my life at the right time! It’s dramatic but truly henna deserves all the praise it can get. It makes my hair shiny, soft, smooth, silky and manageable. I have never used a conditioner on my hair for two years now. My challenge to you is to try using any hair pack in the market after testing henna. You will never find any other product satisfactory!