Saturday, March 15, 2008

Henna time!

I've been using henna on my hair for a few years now. I LOVE red hair, and although my natural hair is too dark for henna to make it really red, it makes it at least auburn. I'm trying to find the silver lining of my going grey, in that the grey hairs will dye more red. So the greyer I get, the redder I'll get. My hair is naturally dry so I would never dare use chemical color or *gasp* a bleach-and-color process. But henna - real henna - is natural and good for your hair. Today it's time to re-henna my hair. I'm using not-so-much-henna-as-usual because my main goal is to re-do my roots, not re-color the whole thing. I just decided now at the last minute to document the process.

This is what real henna looks like. It is the powdered, dried leaves of Lawsonia inermis, the henna plant. It's mixed with an acidic liquid, such as lemon juice, and left to sit and let its dye release. This can take 12 - 24 hours, depending upon the temperature in the room. Since I made the mix up yesterday and only just now decided to document this, I do not have any pictures of my actual henna powder or my mixing process. The above picture is lifted from the 'web.

I mixed up my henna with the lemon juice last night, and here is the result today. It's a kinda bad smelling, green mud.

These are my supplies: the henna, obviously; plastic gloves are a MUST, as henna will dye your skin even better than it dyes your hair. The plunger-thingy is new to me. It's to help target more of the henna toward the roots.

I'm not so good at keeping the henna off my skin, so I smooth some Vaseline around my hairline and ears before I begin.

Ok. I didn't have a plan, but I meant to take a couple of pictures of the application process before having to get both hands involved. I failed miserably. This one picture is blurry because I discovered it was very difficult to hold the camera with the plastic glove on. And then I immediately had to use both hands. So that was the end of that.

Here I am with it applied, mess and all. I've just cleaned up my hands. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Yeah. Isn't henna glamorous?

All in all, this was pretty mess-free. When I first started doing this, I had to line the sink, counter and floor with newspaper. And even then I'd end up with henna on the wall, woodwork, and door. Today I put down no newspaper, and ended up with just a little gloop on the sink and toilet, which was easy to remove.

See this goop on my arm? It was only there for maybe 10 minutes, but it's already stained my arm orange. But because it was only there briefly, it will fade quickly.

So here I am with my muddy mess wrapped in Saran Wrap and a heat cap. I like to leave the henna on for about four hours. So I'm going to go make some supper, then relax, read, and watch some TV. Then I'll wash it out and condition. Tomorrow I hope to be able to provide you with a nice 'after' shot.

If you would like to learn more about henna, please check out the Henna for Hair site. This is where I get my supplies and also where I learned about henna.

Edit: Here's the color yesterday. It will probably darken up in the next couple of days.


Meghan said...

Okay, seriously... you are so freakin' cute - even all hennaed in a haircap!

Oh, and... I used to use Henna, but then I became one of those chemical color girls. Mostly because I moved to highlights, and you DO NOT want to see what it would look like if I did them at home!

Eileen said...

Interesting, I've never thought to use henna, I've always been a chemical girl (I'm actually just back from a lunchtime shopping trip where I purchased a dye). I'm just wondering if maybe henna would make my hair too red? I prefer more auburn colours, but my hair is probably a lighter brown than yours, so would take the red more.

CosmicAvatar said...


(Oh, come on. I had to say that.)