I'm always interested in finding alternative ways of doing things. For the purposes of this blog, I try stuff out so that I can offer first hand information on my experience . . . you know, so that I actually have some sort of clue as to what I'm talking about.
I decided that I wanted to find a natural approach to coloring my hair. I only have a few grays, so the only reason I typically color my hair is to cover them . . . yanking them out hurts! So, after some research I opted to try henna.
Henna . . . true henna is red and red only. I don't want red hair. I simply want to cover those silly strands of elderly hairs and maintain a brownish hue. So, why did I pick henna? Because, there are other color options for 'henna' hair dyes but they are not . . . uh . . . henna. Let me explain.
There are three different plant types that are used for hair coloring because of the natural dyes they contain. They all come as green powders but each has a distinctively different resulting color.
Neutral henna, is not exactly neutral and it is not henna. It is Cassia obovata has a golden dye molecule that will stain dull blonde and gray hair yellow. It will help damaged hair, make hair full, glossy, healthy.
Red henna, true henna, is Lawsonia inermis, commonly known as henna. The leaves of the henna plant have a red-orange dye molecule. Like I said before, henna will stain your hair red-orange; but the stain is translucent and will combine with your natural color. Henna will make your hair heavy, thick and silky.
Black henna is neither black nor henna. It is indigo, Indigofera tinctoria. And, obviously, it will color your hair black.
Like most gentlemen . . . and I use that term loosely . . . my husband prefers blonds. Needless to say he was not thrilled with my choice of dye hair dye. He’s not a fan of red heads.
Henna will not . . . I repeat . . . NOT lighten your hair. It only stains your hair. It is also not truly a permanent color. Shampooing, the environment and the chlorine in water all will degrade the color to some degree. And, because henna is a single-compound natural dye it is far less likely to go brassy or bronze like synthetic dyes.
So, here’s where you get to benefit from my experience.
I choose neutral henna because I wanted to minimize the red factor. This is irrelevant to the outcome but neutral henna is supposes to smell like fresh mowed grass. I like that smell . . . it’s so summery. Except that *I* happen to think it smells like spinach . . . good to eat but not so nice on my head.
I followed the package instructions for preparing the dye and applied to my hair as per the directions. Henna is messy, messy, messy. I used to be a hairdresser and I’ve been coloring my own hair for years. Henna is, by far, the sloppiest, goopiest gunk I’ve ever used.
That being said, you don’t need to be a hair dresser to apply the stuff. You basically section off your hair and slap it on. You just need to make sure that you cover your entire head. And use a drop cloth or towel and, for the love of God, use gloves!
Henna is safe for your hair. It doesn’t damage your hair, so you can leave it on for minutes or hours. The depth and intensity of color depends on how long you decide to keep it on.
Since this was my first try I decided to let it stay in my hair for 30 – 45 minutes. After my time was up, I hopped in the shower to rinse it out. And, I can tell you, it doesn’t rinse out easily. Despite the fact that you where a plastic cap while it sets it still gets kind of stiff and dries out a bit. So, you need to rinse and rinse and rinse.
You can shampoo and condition as you normally would. Now, I mentioned that neutral henna smells like spinach, right? Well, I’ve been no-pooing for over a month . . . that is I’ve been using baking soda to wash and apple cider vinegar to rinse. My experience has been that the baking soda wipes out even the strongest odors . . . including cigar and cigarette smoke. It didn’t touch the spinach smell. Thank goodness my hair didn’t smell that way after it was dry.
As I dried my hair I was very surprised at how well it covered up the gray hairs. None was to be seen. Very cool!
It was brownish with red highlights. It's very pretty . . . but hubby is not thrilled even with the little bit of red. He'll get over it.
My overall experience was good. My hair is definitely shiny and thick and has lots of body. It looks remarkably healthy and lustrous.
I'm a happy girl!
|Taken in the sun|