by Cassandre of


Have you ever watched your hair disintegrate into a hot mess right before your eyes?

Hair falling out all over the place, color looking all ratchet, treatment made your hair feel like straw?

I have.

It was 6 weeks ago when my BFF was telling me about her grand ol’ plans to do her first henna treatment. She was really psyched about it and was constantly sharing articles and videos describing the benefits, the how-to’s and really just enveloping herself in the world of hennaing (which is easy to do when you’re surrounded with such great forums and blogs).

I’ve never given henna much thought. I just never felt compelled to do it, but her research and excitement convinced me that I had nothing to lose. Boy, oh boy was I wrong! Since that terrible, fateful day of my first henna treatment, I’ve definitely cried a river, but I’m glad that my hair and I have lived to tell the story.

I decided to henna after gathering some of her best found tips and recipes on henna’ ing. I proceeded to concoct my own, modified version of the henna recipes I saw. Ladies, this is where I first went wrong! My mix was a combination of henna, coconut cream, jojoba oil and castor oil. You will find no such recipe anywhere! Although my concoction seemed good to me, in combination with my thick, 4b hair that probably needed to be more detangled than it was at the time, this mix was a formula for disaster.

After applying the henna, I let it sit overnight (my second mistake) because I just couldn’t make time to wash it out any earlier. The next morning I made my first attempt to wash out what looked very much liked dried mud (this is putting it mildy).

Not only did the henna seem to stick to my strands, my hair began to fall out in patches as it matted at the roots. I became extremely alarmed when my conditioner plus apple cider vinegar mix made no difference in the matting and amount of hair I was losing.  My hair felt super damaged and completely “off.” I was in shock especially since I was donning shiny, healthy hair for many weeks prior.

I had reached the point of no return (so I thought). My hair matted so badly, I became desperate and held my cutting sheers up against my roots, threatening to cut. Thankfully, my husband talked me out of cutting off all my hair by encouraging me to take a week to detangle. The logic here was I might regret it if I cut my hair without giving myself chance to detangle it.

I took his advice and thankfully my hair was tangle free by the end of the week. Here are some of my tips to reviving your hair when you’ve made a terrible mistake.

1. Be patient.

Sometimes the best thing to do when you’ve ruined your hair is to cut it off, but don’t make that decision in a hurry. There are ways to regain your hair’s health and those ways will likely take some time, but try. Give yourself a set amount of time and when that time expires, reevaluate your hair goals and decide what you want to do next.

I gave myself 1 week to remove the tangling. Everyday, I slowly pulled apart the tangled hairs with select products. It took lots of patience, but it worked.

If after a week of diligent detangling there was no progress, I would’ve seriously considered other options.

2. Stick to the “tried and true.”

When something happens and your hair results are less than stellar, go back to the “tried and true” methods in the past that have helped you to achieve strong, moisturized hair. When my hair was matted after the henna, I decided to go with a simple oil (almond oil) to help lubricate the strands and used Nexxus Humectress Luxe Leave-in Spray which really helped me in the past when my hair was uber tangled.

3. Don’t over-do it.

It’s so easy at this point to drench your hair in products, but I recommend keeping it simple. Product build up can actually work against your hair recovery efforts.

One of my favorite books to reference for help in “crisis” hair situations is Audrey Davis-Sivasothy’s “Hair Care Rehab The Ultimate Repair and Reconditioning Manual.” It’s packed with easy to apply tips on all kinds of hair issues. Pick it up as soon as you can so you can be ready for your next hair care disaster.

What are some things you recommend to help others recover from a hair disaster?

Cassandre Beccai: Just another naturalista playing by my own rules!

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64 Comments on "How a Faulty Henna Treatment Caused My Hair to Fall Out in Chunks"

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I recently big chopped again. My hair was not recovering from “an old accident” and was uneven because of the accident and what’s worse had started breaking a lot. So I chopped it down to teeny ween afro. Also although my hair was mid shoulder length, half of that length was from times before I was fully versed in hair care. There was hair on my head that I used to condition with fabric softener! *hides* and it was starting to show. So it had to go, the stylist cut off a little too much but that’s a story for… Read more »

Never heard any 1 using fabric softener, did it help .

I’ve seen Jamaican black castor oil take someone’s hair out at the root, her hair fell out in patches from the follicles. Just because something is natural or organic doesn’t mean it will work for you. Just because something works for everyone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Every head of hair is different, everyone’s scalp is different and reacts different, so does hair and follicles. You probably should have done a test on a tiny patch and maybe stick to the traditional way of mixing the henna. I’m sorry that happened to you. After seeing what jbco… Read more »

I am SO sorry to hear that happened to you. I’m in love with my henna treatments; but if I had that happen to me on the initial go-around, I’d definitely kick it to the curb. I don’t know if you’ll ever try it ever again (it’s very understandable if you didn’t), but maybe you should lay eyes on CurlyNikki’s Henna Gloss Recipe if you do? Again, so sorry to hear about your bad henna luck, and I hope your hair bounces back as glorious as ever!


How unfortunate was her first henna experience! As I have successfully used henna several times myself, I cannot help but wonder what went with her. What type of henna did she use (natural, coloring)? I do understand henna treatments aren’t necessarily beneficial for all types of hair, but these are alarming side effects!


The title of this article does not reflect the content. I am still left wondering how the henna caused her hair to fall out in chunks. This is a bit misleading. In any case, if you choose to henna, be sure to use the Body Art Quality of whatever brand you choose to use. You also have to mix it with a liquid (green tea, lemon juice, A.C.V, etc) for the color to develop.


its not misleading she stated that she changed the recipe causing her hair to matt and fall out in chunks and then she proceeded to explain how she went about fixing her grave error. she likely didn’t do a test strip before applying and otherwise she would have known that her hair wouldn’t taken well to her current mix and she could have tried a different recipe or realized that henna was not for her before having to detangle her entire head and remove the hair that fell out from not responding well to the henna recipe


I feel like the title is misleading because the root of her issues did not stem from the henna but from her own inexperience with henna. A better title would have been “What I learned from being #TeamTooMuch: my first henna experience”


haha! love that! I didn’t chose this title, but I’ll ask about changing it to your suggestion. Thanks!


I have definitely been #TeamTooMuch of various degrees #TeamTooMuchHeadbands ruined my edges and #TeamTooMuchProducts ruined my pocket book. Thank goodness hair grows back!!!


LOL at #teamtomuch. I think the first time doing anything you should follow the instructions then tweak it later down the line to add all those other things slowly not all at once the first time.


You can mix it with just water and it won’t cause your hair to fall out if it’s BAQ henna.