best henna you are using now

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myna102
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best henna you are using now

HI all, usually use jamalia, are finding something else that has been working better for u this year,i read an article there is a crop form 2010 that is really good but i can't remember the name. i've alway's had good luck with jamalia, thank you myna102

Maggie
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Re: best henna you are using now

I just got my first 200g of Raj last month and LOVE it. Don't get me wrong Jamila '09 &'10 are fantastic and reliable but this Raj fades completely different and it also provides a great stain and lovely stringiness. I got it from another site, it's two words the first one is henna the second word is...something you'd see crossing the desert some of us know it as HC. Hennapage can't allow links to other companies so I am trying hard to stay within the rules and tell you where it's from lol. If you don't figure it out email me info at mehandibymaggie . com

Jen
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Um, ya, I don't think you have to do that. Just no links to outside products please. But I do appreaciate you're being mindful of that!

I'm a big fan of Purity (www.mehandi.com/shop/purityskin/index.html) cut with Monsoon Raj (www.mehandi.com/shop/rajastringy/index.html) Of course we're temporarily out of Monsoon. The Purity does just great on its own with extra sugar but I do like it better with a little naturally stringy henna added to the mix. 

estavash
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Re: best henna you are using now

Ok, if it's all right to post names, I'll put in a second vote for Henna Caravan's latest Rajasthani crop.  The color is great, and I love the way it handles.  To me it feels similar to Celebration, but it's a little stringier, which I love.  It's not nearly as stringy as Monsoon, though... I'm glad I stocked up on Monsoon, because I also like to do henna on fabric, which is done without any sugar, and Monsoon still handles really well without it.

Ellen

 

Nicole
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Will Raj vary depending on who you buy it from?

Blurberrybuzz
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Re: best henna you are using now

Yes.  I find HC's raj to have virtually no stringiness at all.  I've used other Raj's from 5 other vendors and the sift and stringiness all differ.  They've all given a great stain though!  I prefer a stringier henna.  I know the HC ladies prefer a non-stringy mix and their raj is perfect for that.  At our last meetup I brought some HC Raj and it was declared a favorite for its ease of use.  I have trouble getting a good drape with it, so I tend to mix it out with some other stringier hennas.  Stringy henna should be able to drape a line completely across the width of your hand without breaking.

Jen
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Yes! I agree with Blurberrybuzz! To me that's the point of using a Raj -to get a nice stringy henna. And I like 'em REALLY stringy. That way I have total control over my paste. If I need something that's not stringy -say for an event where I know I'll do a lot of tribal- I make a batch that's mostly a creamy henna, and only a little stringy. If I'm doing bridal, I may go full-on with the stringy henna. I like to make sure I have 1 of each -stringy and cream- in my henna arsenal at all times!

Jen
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Yes Nicole. "Raj" only indicates that it was grown in Rajasthan India. It could be from any field and be processed by any manufacturer! In fact, when we do get new Monsoon in here at Mehandi it will likely be a little different than before because its a new batch!

Blurberrybuzz
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Re: best henna you are using now

Does anything beat the Jamila 07?  I think I died and went to heaven that year!  I also loved Jen's Raj from 08.  Right now I've got just 2 boxes of Jamila 07 in the freezer and most recently I had a kilo of Jamila 10 that was amazing.  Perfect consistency and the color was awesome.  My favorite is to mix a 50-50 Raj in with the Jamila for some extra stringiness.  I love the monsoon raj from Mehandi.  It requires straining though.  Monsoon Raj is my favorite for hair too.  I'm eager to see how the Jamila 11 behaves.

Victoria

Heather
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Re: best henna you are using now

I looove Artistic Organic henna from Artistic Adornment; it's also harvested in Rajasthan. The color is gorgeous, the sift is as good as Jamila, it fades really evenly....and the fact that it's USDA and Eco-cert certified as organic is icing on the cake!

CCartwrightJones
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Re: best henna you are using now

Certified Organic means precisely JACK and I can prove it!

I just sent 200g of henna marked Eco France Certified Organic and found Chloropriphos. "Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate, with potential for both acute toxicity at larger amounts and neurological effects in fetuses and children even at very small amounts. For acute effects, the EPA classifies chlorpyrifos as Class II: moderately toxic. Recent research indicates that children exposed to chlorpyrifos while in the womb have an increased risk of delays in mental and motor development at age 3 and an increased occurrence of pervasive developmental disorders such as ADHD.[15] An earlier study demonstrated a correlation between prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure and lower weight and smaller head circumference at birth. [16]"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpyrifos Yes, I spend the money to test everything I can lay my hands on because that's my PhD research, and is required by the medical school I'm collaborating with. I can state absolutely that "certified organic" means "I had enough money to bribe the local official and if the farmer next door used something that's illegal in every country to spray his cotton, gosh, I just know nithing about it." 

 

Here's what else shows up in 'organic henna'  when sent to the labs: Profenofos, (http://www.agrochem.com.eg/product/msds/insecticide_technical/Profenofos... ) Endosulfan Beta, Cyhalothrin lambda and Cypermethrin.  That's the short list.  Shall I continue?   Yes, these were all in henna from "reputable suppliers." 

 

Now ... anyone who thinks Organic Certification means something ... send it to a lab, and then we'll talk.  If you haven't sent it to a lab, you don't know what you've got. 

ladytetsu
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Re: best henna you are using now

I'm a fan of Celebration cut with something stringy since I tend to go light on my sugars.  Raj is good, but weirdly I like Celeb cut with Purity.  Killer dark color and enough flexibility to work now that I'm using wetter pastes, and I love knowing *exactly* what's in those silver baggies!  *sniff*  I'm gonna miss those crops. . .

Nicole
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Wow...so you're just as good to buy something regular?  Any ideas on how "organic" Jamila is?

Jen
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Celebration, Purity, and Henna for African hair are all form the manufacturer of Jamila. Celebration, as noted in its product description, does contain traces of lead and pesticides. We've certainly seen worse. Henna for African Hair and Purity are perfetly clean. So, I guess its a craps shoot. That's why we test it -in case you're not the gambling sort. 

CCartwrightJones
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Re: best henna you are using now

Now that I've tested henna from many sources, I'm ordering from cleaner sources in the future.  The chemicals used in Pakistani agriculture, particularly cotton, are pretty wicked, and they drift onto the henna crops.  I've found traces of a pesticide in a Pakistani henna that is illegal around the world, but somehow got sprayed on a crop there.  Somebody was selling off old stocks cheap to farmers, and there it went into the system.  Pesticides drift in the air and they run down irrigation ditches.

 

Once a seller, such as Jamila, or somebody claiming to have certified organic henna, goes to the auctcion to purchase henna from farmers, there's no way for them to tell what crop got drift from which pesticide.

 

I'll keep testing every crop, and in the future, I'm buying from cleaner sources, now that I know what's apt to be in them. 

 

If you look through Indian and Pakistani agricultural records, you can get a sense of what pesticides are being used in which areas.  Anything growing near cotton is likely to catch drift of wicked stuff.

 

If you don't test, you don't know, and the testing has to be done on this side of the gateway.  Even a clean shipment could have been in a cargo hold that got flushed with illegal pesticides.

Nicole
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Thanks for the information...too bad I don't have access to a lab!

Where are some good countries to buy from if Pakistani henna is usually contaminated?

CCartwrightJones
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Re: best henna you are using now

It wouldn't be fair to say "Pakistani henna is usually contaminated". Everything on the planet has some level of contamination. The only henna I've found that has absolutely no trace of pesticide was from Yemen, and that one didn't have a Certified Organic mark of any sort. It was just plain clean.

 

Henna from India is often treated with green-dyed sand to make the henna appear fresh. Many companies take their henna to the same mill for processing. If one merchant adds sand and dye to their henna, there will still be some green dye and sand in the machinery when the next merchant takes his turn.

 

One farmer may not know what a previous farmer sprayed on a hectare, or if a flood brought toxic waste from a nearby industry onto the land. A previous landowner may have burned trash, or had a pottery kiln there, contaminating the soil. Nobody would ever know except for lab results.

 

There is absolutely no way to know what's in your henna other than to send it to a lab. That's why I do it.

 

Generally, I've found higher pesticide levels in Pakistani henna than Indian henna, but most henna from India has some sand and artificial green dye. I haven't found any levels of pesticide or lead that were health threatening, but I am interested in finding out exactly what is there.

 

The henna from Yemen has neither, but I've found higher levels of calcium oxylate crystals in Yemeni henna than the others. The calcium oxylate is not a contaminant, it is there naturally (its also in sorrel and spinach) but its probably what makes Yemeni henna challenging for artists to work with.

Nicole
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Re: best henna you are using now

 Thanks so much for the clarification...I've really learned a lot :)

estavash
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Re: best henna you are using now

Interesting stuff on the pesticide issues... thanks, all!  Regarding HC Rajasthani henna, I get better draping with it than with Celebration (which is why I think of it as a little stringier), and find it easier to handle overall... it may be something about the mix that accounts for our different experiences.  (Somehow my batches of Celebration always seem to come out a little thicker than planned, even when I think I've adjusted the liquid correctly.  The color is always great, though.) I've tried a couple of other Rajasthani hennas, and HC is my favorite so far, although for really fine Moroccan work I use Monsoon because it's so stringy.   I've considered mixing the two, but I haven't tried that yet.

Ellen

 

Seryph
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Re: best henna you are using now

I've beenusing HC's jamilia pre-mixed with sugar (a christmas present) mixed in with lemon juice, lemon + ginger tea, some balsamic vinegar and lavender oil and I've been getting the most amazing results. I've never had henna go this dark, and am very proud of it. *does happy dance*

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