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.