So, I cassia'd my (and Herself's) hair last night. Cassia Obovata (I think that's how you spell it, anyway) is "neutral henna" - and it's neither neutral OR henna. Ah, well. The claim is that it will give you the benefits of henna (stronger hair, more fullness, more softness, add shine) without changing the haircolor at all (henna, of course, adds red. Lots of red.)
So. Cassia is a herb...a very *green* herb. It comes in powdered form. It looks like mold. (No, seriously - green mold. Ick.) The basic drill is mix up warm water and cassia to a consistancy of pancake batter, shlump it onto/into your hair, plop a showercap on your head, wrap in a towel, and sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it out. Sounds easy enough, yes? Well...
I wanted to enhance my blonde-ness, so I brewed up a very strong batch of chamomile tea (5 teabags to 4 cups of boiling water; steep for 45 minutes). I dumped 100g of cassia into a glass bowl, then added the tea a little bit at a time. When it hit the right consistancy (at about 3 cups or so), I squirted in a bit of lemon juice (maybe a tablespoon or so). Stirred it up, then let it sit for 15 minutes (per the instructions that came with the cassia.)
I should mention here that cassia is described as having a scent "like fresh cut grass". Errr, no. Grass, yes - but grass that has been.....processed....by a horse. Seriously - I had a bowl full of what smelled like - and worse, Looked Like - fresh, runny horse poop. Urk. I'm supposed to put this IN MY HAIR????
Erm. O....K. On with the rubber gloves, and I started smooshing this....stuff into my hair. Ugh. But, I perservered. Then I asked J. to come do it....it is seriously gross, ya'll.
Finished with my hair.....hmmm. I've still got an *awful* lot of paste here. Herself? Get over here! She was game, but.."Ooooh - it smells Horrible!" Yup - shut up and let me do this.
Set the timer, then looked at the level of paste *still* left. That 100g? I should have only used 1/2 - I ended up freezing enough to do both of us again. Ah, well - one good thing to say about fine hair. It's not as expensive to do stuff to it as it is for you thick hair types.
It wasn't that hard to rinse out - I ended up using a wee bit of conditioner to make sure it was all rinsed on both of us. I wrapped us up in towels, and let it dry a few minutes.
I gotta say, I am impressed. Both of our hair is noticably softer, extremely shiny....and her curls are Back. With a vengence! (Since she yanked her hair short, it's been frizzy and flyaway. Last night - ringlets and curls everywhere. This AM, same thing, only the curls were a little softer. Go cassia!) It was also easy to comb out her hair - but I don't know if it was the cassia or the Humectress conditioner I used on her (it's what I use - no silicones in sight. Makes for happier hair)
This AM, same thing - the shampoo didn't seem to make a difference in the results. What gray I had noticed seems more golden now (thanks to the tea and the lemon juice, I'm sure), and the length is nice and golden. (It's...well, I have some "fairytale" ends that are right at the bra strap. The bulk of my hair is about 3" above that, but it's growing. The bad thing about fine hair is that you "lose" the ends because they are so fine and silky you can't see them.) We'll see how long the effects last - I have the paste in the freezer, and another 100g of powder, so we're set for a bit, anyway.
And, since this entry is babbling about my hair, I'll list the vitamins I'm using for my records. Ha. Truthfully - I need to keep track. I take...well look:
1 pre-natal vitamin
1 evening primrose
1 biotin (5000)
2 horsetail (both AM and PM, so 4 daily)
4 Udo's Premium Oil (both AM and PM, so 8 daily)
1 vitamin C (headcold right now.)
1 vitamin A (ditto)
1 vitamin E (ditto)
1 zinc tablet (ditto)
2 Hair and Nail formula (with MSM)
I *think* that's it - I'll have to look tonight. I rattle when I walk....but I have noticed a difference in the thickness and growth pattern of my hair and nails. (For the better!)
Short term goal is bra strap length; Main goal is waist. After that...we'll see how long it goes. I'm thinking hip-length will be right at *my* too long point, but we'll see. Waist was easy to care for....not so sure I'll like sitting on it. (J. says he likes it where it is, but wouldn't mind it longer. Smart man!)