“Clear Henna” Cassia Conditioning Treatment


I’ve been using Cassia every few months for the past year. It’s a good deep conditioning treatment that adds a gloss and a slight yellow shine to the hair. This is particularly good for blonde hair. However, I haven’t gotten around to it until today-when EVERYTHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me give you the details of the treatment and how to do it correctly; then I’ll describe how mine went so wrong.

What is Cassia?

Cassia Obovata, often called “neutral henna” is a part of ayurvedic hair care. It is meant to promote strong, glossy hair without providing any coloring. Cassia is not actually henna, because it is a completely different plant and does not leave any color. Henna is a very popular plant product that is used to create body art and dye hair. Cassia is a good alternative for people who wish to keep their original hair color, but want the strengthening hair effect.

Like henna, cassia is also a great scalp treatment, which can help with dandruff. There are also people who will use this to get rid of lice, or other bacterial or fungal issues.

How to Use Cassia

Make sure you are buying a pure cassia powder to avoid any unwanted color additives or harmful ingredients. I used this Neutral Henna Powder from Metiista. You can also usually pick up Cassia powder at your local Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store.

Use a glass bowl and spatula to mix the powder with warm water or chamomile tea, for extra conditioning. You’ll want to avoid using a metal bowl or spoon so the cassia doesn’t oxidize. You’ll also want to use distilled water as cassia doesn’t play well with metal or minerals.

Start with 100 grams of the powder and add more if you have extra long hair. Mix with the liquid of your choice until you have the consistency of yogurt and have gotten rid of the lumps.

Just like with henna, cassia can be a real muddy mess, so place old towels or newspapers on the floor before you start applying. When applying, section the hair and work from the scalp out. This stuff will dry into a dirt/mud consistency so you’ll want to make sure you have every bit of your hair covered as you go. Reuse an old plastic bag or shower cap to keep it all on your head and also keep your head warm. You can put a towel over that as well to add an additional layer of protection.

When you go to rinse out, it will be a muddy bloodbath, but try to remember how shiny and strong your hair will be after this! Keep rinsing for what seems like forever. You can use conditioner to soften up the mud if you want. Finally, the water will start to look clear, and you can shampoo and condition as usual.

Let hair air dry and enjoy your new shiny hair!

What I Did Wrong

I’ve successfully done this cassia conditioning treatment two times, and I wasn’t expecting anything different this third time. If anything, third times the charm, and it should’ve gotten better right?

WRONG.

After washing the treatment out, I went to bed with my wet hair up in a towel. When I woke up the next morning, my previously bright blonde hair was a GREYISH BROWN. I was stunned. How did this happen?

Here’s a picture that was taken just the night before the treatment (at a wildlife presentation). My roots are naturally very brown but everything else was a bright yellow blonde.


After quite a while of searching, I found that little disclaimer that you shouldn’t use hard water and avoid using if your hair has mineral buildup. Evidently, the cassia treatment had a reaction to all the built-up minerals that had accumulated on my hair over the past few months. While I did nothing different than I had done with the other previous treatments, the months worth of buildup had finally become enough to change the color.

While I’m a natural brunette and I don’t mind having brown hair, the reaction has created a blotch greyish brown color that just really isn’t in vogue.

Are you ready to see it?


Well, this has been fun. Even having bleached and dyed my hair at home for the past five or six years, this has to be the WORST accident I’ve had with my hair. (That I’ve done myself that is. I had some terrible experiences with hairdressers dying my hair which is why I started doing it myself!)

I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I’ve tried fixing it with chelating shampoos and just washing it a lot, but nothing has helped so far.

Should I try to risk bleaching my hair back to blonde or dye it something new? If you have any suggestions, leave them below!

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