For months now, I’ve toyed with the idea of putting henna in my hair. I’ve read, researched, and all the things you do minus actually doing it.
That is until my friend Jen told me that I have to because she wants to and I need to be the test dummy.
Yesterday, my body art quality henna came in the mail. NOTE: Not all henna is created equal! Research before you buy! The wrong kind can actually fry your hair if you’ve previously used chemical dyes because it’s henna with filler. Make sure it’s the real deal. I ordered mine through hennaforhair.com.
Also note that henna only dyes your hair red. Unless you mix it with indigo, red is what you’ll get. So if you see purple henna for sale, please know it probably contains chemicals.
First thing you have to do with henna is set it up. It needs to be mixed with an acid for it to start to release the dyes. I had mine mixed with vinegar and six hours later (and kept at a warmer temperature) it was ready to be applied.
This was at 10:30 last night.
I got everything set up so that I wouldn’t make a huge mess and then took a long, hard look in the mirror.
Guys, I was nervous.
So I sectioned off my hair and said a little prayer.
It didn’t take long to put on, but it reminded me of playing in mud, and it smelled a bit like hay.
And I looked like I had mud in my hair.
After it was on, I stuck a shower cap on and wrapped an old tank top around that to prevent leaking overnight. It felt cool but incredibly heavy. I wonder how people can stand this being on during the day.
Did I forget to mention it has to stay on at least 2 hours? It does. But, the longer it stays on, the more vibrant the color. And a lot of people opt to sleep with it in.
Hot, I know.
Anyhow, after a long night of Audrey not being able to breathe well (because of what was later diagnosed as RSV at the ER) and Mae up because of what was also diagnosed today with an ear infection (I need wine) having what felt like a 10 pound weight on my skull wasn’t all that pleasant. And at 5:30 AM washing out henna wasn’t my idea of fun.
But after the awful day I had today, having really pretty red hair without the use of chemicals is wonderful.
So this is day one. It takes three days for henna to mature to its final color. The color you see now should become more rich, not darker.
Things I learned.
1. The process requires time. A lot of time.
2. Overnight is the only way to go.
3. Using an oil of sorts on the skin around your hairline saves you from having yellow skin due to the dye.
4. I mixed up 400g of powder. For my hair, which is to my bra line, was far too much. My hair is thin. I could have easily mixed up 200g for next time.
5. There will most definitely be a next time.
I’m very glad my first experience was an easy one. Aside from the no sleep, it was great. I made zero mess, used old towels, was well prepared and it was awesome.
Now I will just wait for my hippy card to arrive in the mail.