Tuesday, September 8, 2015

how to use henna to naturally color and condition your hair

Have you ever wondered if there was an all natural, chemical free way to color your hair? Traditional hair dyes used in most salons and homes today contain harsh chemicals that can dry and damage your hair. Henna is a completely natural and safe alternative! (It's not just for pretty temporary tattoos!) It also is an amazing conditioning treatment. Not only is it all natural, henna is quite easy to mix and apply yourself! I've used henna about six or seven times in the last year, and I'm just amazed at how soft it makes my hair - and red! As someone who has been a bit hesitant to dye my hair (I haven't ever!), henna is the perfect solution! The color is just plain gorgeous. It's subtle and blends and fades beautifully over the months, so you don't even have to worry about touch ups or roots. The following is a little guide for anyone wanting to experiment with henna.
// all natural henna - I used Henna Red from this site. I bought a pound for $21, and after a year and multiple uses, I still have a lot left!
// all natural lemon juice (I have also used raw apple cider vinegar and that has also worked.)
// balm or oil
// glass or plastic bowl for mixing
// wooden, glass, or plastic mixing spoon
// rubber gloves
// shower cap
1 // Mix the henna with the lemon juice. I don't use a specific amount, I just eyeball things. Add the juice into the henna until there's a smooth consistency. If it doesn't seem like enough, I add more henna and repeat the mixing process. Longer hair, of course, will require more of the henna mixture to cover it. (NOTE: There are lots of henna mixing recipes out there. For example, Mountain Rose Herbs recommends adding boiling water, egg, yogurt, ect. I don't use any of these extra ingredients, because I feel like it makes things too complicated, and I don't want anything to affect the effectiveness of the dyeing process. This is just how I choose to do it, feel free to experiment!)

2 // Let the mixture sit for twelve hours. This allows the acidity of the juice to activate the color changing components in the henna.

3 // Spread your oil or balm onto your forehead, ears, temples, and neck. This will make any henna you accidentally get on your skin easy to wipe off. Keep an old towel and your balm handy just in case.

4 // Using a brush or your hands (with gloves on!), spread the henna onto small sections of your hair. If you have especially dry or damaged ends, avoid putting any henna on them.

5 // When you run out of henna, cover your hair with the shower cap. You may also cover the cap with a warm towel.

6 // Wait. How long you leave the henna on your hair is up to you. Personally, I like to set aside one of my days off and use the entire day and night to leave the henna on. The longer you leave the henna mixture on your hair, the more intense the color. 

7 // Rinse the henna out of your hair. I start rinsing in my bathroom sink with warm water. After the water runs a bit cleaner, move to the shower and continue rinsing until the water runs completely clear. Shampoo and condition per your usual routine, however, I recommend leaving on the conditioner a bit longer than usual. The henna can be a bit drying, so this will help counteract that!

You should notice a difference when your hair dries, and it will intensify in the next couple of days. You'll be able to notice the color change most under direct sunlight, while indoors it may be hard to tell there's a change at all. Please note that different hair colors will yield different results, and that if you have chemically altered hair, you should definitely do some research to see if you should, indeed, use henna. You can always test the result by grabbing a handful of shed hair from your brush or comb, coating it with henna, and waiting a while before rinsing it clean. 

Also, please note that henna has a distinct and intense earthy odor. Some people like it, I only tolerate it because I like the result. It may be disturbing to you or your housemates, if they are around during your henna-ing. Also, I notice the odor during a few subsequent showers, but it isn't anything to be worried about.

I am absolutely over the moon with my results using henna. I like to use it a few times a month to keep the color vibrant and my hair soft. Would you ever consider using henna on your hair?


Miss Sole said...

Great idea!
I blog here:

Sarah Albertson said...

I just love the rich tones it gives your hair! I definitely should have used henna when I had dark hair. I ended up dyeing it so much with harsh chemicals that it started falling out! This is a great tutorial :D

Panty Buns said...

I have never coloured my hair, but if I decided to your method using Henna looks excellent, Your instructions are great, and I love how natural it is. Your hair came out looking beautiful!


Mitzee Mandocdoc said...

My bestfriend gave me a henna ink but idk how to use it :(
Great post though! :) xx



Milly Onyaye said...

Not only have i heard but i also took my time toread about the benefits of henna and how it makes our hair strong. I tried it once on my relaxed hair and loved the results. I guess i should try again this time and see if my natural hair will still love it. Thanks for sharing

dreamygamine said...

My grandma used to put henna on my hair when I was little, I still have a little brown/red undertones. Love the fact that it's also beneficial.


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