Henna Color and Perming Hair

Henna hair color
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Q: Hi. I need help, and I hope you can help me. I am an African lady, and I’m 29 years old. I moved to Europe some years ago and before that I never had this problem. I have now to perm my hair myself because there are few African people where I live. What I remember is that some months ago I colored my hair with henna.
I started noticing there was a problem with my hair one time that I shampooed my hair and I didn’t straighten it. I didn’t use rollers either. Once my hair was dry, I could feel that the right part of my head at the back was like I had never permed my hair there. And now it’s moving all over my head. Did I do anything wrong? What’s the answer?

A: Well, perming the hair after using henna color has been known to cause problems with the perm service since the henna tends to coat the hair surface and prevent the penetration of the perming chemicals. It seems odd that your hair would have taken so long to have a noticeable reaction.
It’s possible that because of the coating of the hair by the henna before the perm, your hair didn’t absorb the chemical as completely and therefore now shows signs of the results fading more quickly. Your best bet is to try to remove the residual henna before attempting to perm the hair again.
This can most easily be done using mineral oil applied to the hair and the head covered in a plastic cap. Leave the oil on the hair for at least 30 minutes and use a hair dryer to warm the hair. After 30 minutes, shampoo the mineral oil from the hair using a clarifying shampoo to help cut the oil.
The hair may need to be shampooed multiple times to remove all of the oil. Be sure to condition the hair after shampooing since the clarifying shampoo can strip moisture from the hair.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo prior to perming the hair any time you do it. The clarifying shampoo helps to prepare the hair to accept the perm chemicals.
See also:
Hair horrors
How to color your hair with Henna
What are the best color removers, especially for henna and black tint?