Author Archives: naturalesq

Henna Progress & Update

Yes, I’m a horrible blogger. Months have passed; hair milestones have come and gone; promotion received (yay!); and I failed to provide an update. I apologize! Now the updates…

Henna Recipe Simplified!
1. Henna (I use Nupur9 and love it. I buy it on amazon). Amount: I add a little at a time to the coconut cream until the consistency is slightly stiffer than cake batter.
2. Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream (1 can).

That’s it…

I no longer use oil because: (1) my hair feels less conditioned when I include oil in my henna mix; and (2) the drip/messy factor drastically increases with oil.

June 7, 2014 henna post here:

Now for the pictures (last picture is a comparison from June 2014 and November 2014):






Shrinkage is Still a Beast (Pic Update/Informal Length Check)

Shrinkage is still a beast! :-p

Shrinkage is still a beast! :-p

A Henna Kind of Day (Henna and Coconut Cream Recipe)

***Pics at the end of post***

I’ve been using henna for about three months and Katie is in love!

I tried a multitude of henna recipes in the past, but never incorporated it into my regular regimen because the process was extremely messy, time-consuming, and it was always difficult to rinse the henna out.  That is, until I came across the following blog posts: and  I was excited to learn that the key to successful henna application is in the recipe!!!!  And, after all the complicated recipes I tried in the past, the best one is also the easiest to use and prepare.  Who knew?!?

The Magic Henna Recipe:

  1. BAQ Henna Powder (75 grams)
  2. 1 can of Coconut Cream (or Milk.  I prefer cream.)
  3. 1/4 cup of EVOO

Necessary Tools:

  1. Latex gloves (or appropriate alternative for those with allergies) (I use black reusable gloves from Sally’s Beauty)
  2. Black salon cape (I use a plastic-like one, but once it dies, I will probably purchase a washable one)
  3. Plastic processing cap
  4. Satin scarf

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a glass mixing bowl and use a mixer until the batch is the consistency of smooth cake batter.  (Helpful tip: put henna in first and stir a bit to avoid a powder explosion!  Learned this the hard way, and no, I do not bake.)  I also usually let the mix sit for at least 12 hours, making it the night before I apply it.  To prepare Katie-kaboom for henna application, I wash, condition, detangle into three sections, and rinse all product out.  I squeeze dry each section, put on cape and gloves, then apply the henna mix section by section.  After thorough application, I clip each section up using a duckbill hair clip, put on a processing cap, and then wrap my hair with a scarf.

I leave the henna on for a minimum of four (4) hours, but really try to keep it on for at least eight (8).  To remove the henna, I take a shower rinsing my hair with water and using slippery conditioner to remove all the henna.  With this recipe, I can usually remove all the henna with only one (1), that’s right just one, rinse; two maximum!!!  I follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner and, “Voila!”  Finis.

Benefits that keep me coming back for more: (1) increased manageability; (2) covers grays beautifully; (3) my fine strands feel stronger/more resilient; (4) less shedding when detangling; and (5) lightens my hair with red highlights.  Love it!

Cons: I do not experience any because the final step in my henna process is a moisturizing deep conditioner.  The few times I did not do this (with other recipes), Katie felt extremely dry, brittle. With this recipe, Katie feels soft after rinse, but since she gets dry easily, I still do the moisturizing deep conditioner.

Well, that’s it.  I still have another 2 hours, so I think I’ll read my book club book.

Until next time,

Xoxo Katie-kaboom and NaturalEsq

Katie-kaboom freshly washed, sans product, and squeeze-dried.

Katie-kaboom freshly washed, sans product, and squeeze-dried.

Henna applied.

Henna applied.

Formula / Ingredient Change Alert: Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner

I sent the following, except the chart, to TJ’s.  Feel free to do the same if you have dry hair like me that does not abide non-water soluble silicones and high levels of ingredients known to strip moisture from hair (dimethicone and citric acid to be exact).  Katie-kaboom is NOT amused!!!

See below.  Pic of ingredient list at the bottom of post after chart.

“I am a loyal TJ’s shopper and noticed that the ingredient list for one of my favorite TJ’s products changed for the worse. Nourish Spa Conditioner’s ingredient list increased and the new ingredients are ones I simply cannot apply to my hair. Also, the organic ingredients moved from “organic” to “organic extracts.”

Ingredients of particular concern include:

1) Moving Cetyl Alcohol and Citric Acid to among the first ingredients, especially citric acid; AND

2) Dimethicone (a non-water soluble silicone);

Citric Acid and dimethicone, over time, are not good for those with dry hair or that are pursuing natural/near natural hair washing and conditioning regimes. Nourish Spa Conditioner’s original formula was a “holy grail” product for those with dry hair and/or pursuing natural hair care.

I respectfully request you return to your original formula, or at the very least, remove dimethicone entirely from the new formula AND place citric acid in its former place on the ingredients list. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Kiyana, a loyal TJ’s shopper”

Give Trader Joe’s your feedback here:

(Ingredients listed in the order they appear on the bottle)

Old Formula New Formula (*Organic Extracts) Comments
Purified Water Purified Water
Organic Rosemary Oil Cetyl Alcohol A good/fatty alcohol; relative to its drying cousins. Included to lubricate, moisturize and form a film barrier on hair.
Organic Valencia Orange Citrus Behentrimonium Chloride Not too bad, but why so high on the ingredient list?
Organic Mango Citric Acid Exacerbates dry hair; tends to strip moisture. Balances PH and removes soap scum/product buildup.
Organic Lemongrass Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Organic Ginkgo Biloba Dimethicone Non-water soluble silicone. Requires harsh sulfates to fully cleanse. Buildup issues occur when using alternative wash practices (i.e. conditioner cleansing, baking soda scrubs, vinegar rinsing, etc.). See
Organic Echinacea *Argan Oil
Organic Willow Bark *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract
Organic Sea Kelp *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract
Organic Chamomile Flower *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract
Organic Textured Soy Protein *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract
Organic Lavender *Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract
Organic Grapefruit Citrus *Echinacea Angustifolia Leaf Extract
Tocopherol (Vitamin E) *Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract
Acetamide Mea *Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract
Cetyl Alcohol *Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract
Citric Acid *Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract
Methylparaben *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract
Propylparaben *Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract
Botanical Fragrance Acetamide Mea “Used to condition hair because it’s a humectant, and increases sheen. Increases the ease of wet-combing, and reduces static charge.   This is also shown to increase the diameter of the hair fiber.”
Phenoxyethanol “Preservative believed to be less irritating than others. Can also be used as a fragrance.”
Potassium Sorbate Preservative, not too bad.
Fragrance Went from botanical to plain fragrance.

TJ's Nourish Spa Conditioner Ingredients List