I thought it was about time I tried a Cassia treatment on my hair! Cassia Obovata is an Ayurvedic herb that can be used as a natural hair care treatment to achieve healthy, strong, beautiful hair. So if you want to learn more about Cassia and my experience using it, keep reading (and watch the video below!)
Cassia vs. Henna:
Cassia is sometimes referred to as “neutral henna” however it’s not actually related to Henna! Cassia will give your hair similar conditioning benefits to Henna but without the colour. Henna brings out the red tones while Cassia brings out golden tones. Henna is permanent whereas Cassia will wear away and you’ll need to keep redoing the treatment to maintain results.
Does Cassia colour hair?
Cassia can add a golden tint to blonde/light brown hair. On dark hair you’ll more than likely not see any colour change. Some people have successfully used it to turn their grey/white hair into gold blonde. I’m not sure how effective it works on dyed hair.
What to look for:
You want to look for 100% pure, organic Cassia Obovata. I have also read that Cassia Auriculata is essentially the same thing, so you can use either. There should be nothing else on the ingredient list. It will look like super fine green grass. You also want to look for Cassia that is “fresh”. Try to find a brand that discloses what year the crop was from. I ordered mine from Amazon. However I want to try other brands as well. I’ve heard good things about the Cassia from Henna Sooq, however they were sold out at the time I was ordering. If you guys have a favourite brand, let me know!
Preparing your hair treatment:
First, you’ll need to decide on the amount of powder needed for your length/thickness of hair.
Recommended amounts: (According to the internet)
I was recommended to use 500g of powder for my length of hair, however I decided to use 400g. It ended up making a lot of paste, so from now on I’m going to use 300g.
First I added the packages of Cassia powder to a mixing bowl and then added warm, distilled water and mixed it until the consistency was similar to pancake batter. It’s best to use distilled water because if you live in an area with hard water the minerals can react with the Cassia and turn your hair an unwanted colour (aka. green). I also avoided using metal bowls and utensils because some people say it could cause a reaction (although I think that’s more for actual Henna).
You’ll notice Cassia smells like grass. I found it to smell like Sweetgrass or Matcha powder. My eyes even went a bit bloodshot when preparing the paste because of all the fine grass particles in the air!
Some people also mix in other herbs or teas. I decided to keep mine simple and use only Cassia and distilled water. I want to experiment with adding other herbs (like Amla) in the future.
How to use Cassia on the hair:
It’s best to use Cassia on clean hair because it may not bind well to hair that has oils in it. Before I began my treatment I shampooed my hair but skipped the conditioner and let my hair air dry. You can apply it on damp or dry hair, however, it seems most people prefer applying it to dry hair, so that’s what I did.
First I sectioned my hair into a few sections and started coating it with Cassia. Then I worked it into the scalp as well as the length of my hair. Once applied, I wrapped my hair up on top of my head (you can use a claw clip to secure it and then put a shower cap on top). I then let it sit for a couple hours (Aka. watch Netflix hehe). Most reviews I read recommended leaving the Cassia on for at least 1-4 hours. The mask was quite heavy on my head and actually gave me a neck-ache so beware if you have long, thick hair.
* Always do a patch test before using Cassia on your hair. I applied a bit of the Cassia to the skin on my wrist to make sure I didn’t have any weird skin reactions. After that I applied a bit to one strand of my hair to make sure my hair didn’t turn an unwanted colour (better safe than sorry!).*
Rinsing it out:
I was worried that removing the Cassia from my hair would be a difficult endeavor. Luckily I did a lot of research beforehand (thanks internet!) and discovered doing a “mermaid bath” really seems to help with the removal process. To do a mermaid bath, simply fill your bathtub up with water and dunk your hair in! This allows it to come out much easier. After that I applied a generous amount of conditioner (a couple handfuls!) to really help the paste come out/condition my hair. Some people claim Cassia can be drying so I wanted to make sure my hair was properly conditioned. I followed up by rinsing it out in the shower (I didn’t use shampoo). Getting the paste out of my hair was quite a time consuming process!
Since I just rinsed the Cassia out with water (no shampoo) and conditioned, the next morning my hair felt like it had a residue in it. I could also smell the grassy scent so I decided to put some oil in my hair and let it “rest for a day”. The next day I shampooed and conditioned like I usually do and that’s when I saw the true results!
Although I didn’t see dramatic changes in my hair, my hair felt super soft and it did have a bit more shine! I’m not sure if this was due to the Cassia itself or the copious amount of conditioner I used when rinsing it out of my hair. I also noticed the lighter sections of my hair had more of a golden tone (maybe even a bit brassy in some light).
You can see the before and after photos below (there is also before and after video in my YouTube video which is linked down below). I tried to get the lighting in the photos the same. I even wore the same outfit. It was hard to match everything though haha. In the after photo my hair looks like it was brushed smoother, so try to ignore that. In the photos I honestly don’t see a difference, however in person I do notice some results.
I found the process to be quite pricey and time consuming since my hair is very long and needed to use a lot of the treatment. If you have short hair it should be quite manageable. I still want to continue using it (maybe once a month or so) to see what cumulative effects it has on my hair. I am hoping that with continued use my hair will be stronger and have less breakage. It was a fun experiment and a cool new addition to my natural hair care routine!
I want to mention again that the results you see from Cassia are not permanent so you will have to continually do these treatments to retain the benefits. I’ve read that it has a cumulative effect, so the more you do it the better your results will be. It is recommended to do it once a month.
Warnings and additional tips:
* I found the treatment to be extremely messy. I suggest doing it in the bathtub to keep the mess contained. It also stained my towels, so beware.
* It stained my fingernails brown. So if you have long nails I would recommend using gloves.
* Storage: Store the Cassia powder in a cool/dark place. I keep mine in the freezer.
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