Dying My Hair with Henna!

Hello curlies! It's that time again where I have a lot of information to share a long with a video. I am going to try to blog more often because 1) this blog doesn't have very many posts 2) I like writing and 3) it's a nice medium and reference for you guys when you want to read instead of watching a video. Anywhoodles, this post will concern my experience with henna.

My First Henna Experience - Dying my Whole Head of Hair

In the beginning/middle of November I used henna to dye my medium brown hair to a reddish brown (aka auburn) color. It's orange-ier in insight lighting, and the beautiful auburn shade I love in the sunlight. I am so happy with the results of the henna, and I'm going to keep my hair this way for awhile. It leaves my hair feeling very strong and most importantly a vibrant red shade. I <3 being a henna-head.

This video explains the entire henna process IN DETAIL. From strand tests all the way to washing out the henna.

I bought my henna and amla from mehandi.com:

Recipe I used:
300g henna
100g amla
~4-5 cups of very diluted lemon juice

I added amla because I wanted a very auburn color, and it's supposed to enchance curls, while henna makes them wavy. The lemon juice is acidic and is necessary so the mixture oxidizes. I mixed this up, let it sit overnight, added more water the next day, and then applied the henna to my hair. I left it in for about 3 1/2 hours, before rinsing it out.

All the estimates online told me to mix 500g; I went down to 400g which was still too much. I probably could have mixed up half or less of the amount of dye powder I bought. It was way too much henna for my hair which is thick, but layered and has the longest pieces at my waist. The good thing is that you can freeze the henna mixture and use it for up to 6 months.  I guestimate that I could have mixed 150g of henna and 50g of amla.

Rinsing out the henna is a messy, long process. I used these products:
Suave naturals coconut conditioner (to scrub the scalp)
Shea Moisture Thickening Shampoo (for adding cleansing)
GVP Matrix Biolage conditioning balm - I should have skipped this and gone straight to a deep treatment
Curl Junkie Banana  Hibiscus Deep Treatment - this took away the dry, tangled feel of my hair (henna acts like a protein treatment)
Tangle Teezer Brush

Styled my hair with these afterwards :)
Kinky curly knot today leave in
Curly hair solutions curl keeper
Aussie instant freeze gel

For more info on henna check out:

I learned a few things from my first henna experience:
*add spices or essential oils next time to cover the henna smell (grassy, fishfoody, herbal, yuck)
*add conditioner to mixture to help avoid dry hair
*deep condition immediately after rinsing out henna
*mix 150g probably for my hair length
*nix the amla next time. It left my hair very curly, but I want a redder auburn.

Overall I really love henna and think it is a great natural alternative to chemical dyes. Here's a list of its pros and cons:

*Natural look
*Vibrant color that does not fade
*Can be mixed with cassia or indigo for brown or black colors
*Healthy for the hair (like a protein treatment)

*Long process (henna has to oxidize night before dying)
*Usually must order BAQ henna online
*Hard to remove color from hair

After about two months my roots had grow out noticeably, but it still was not bad with my hair down. People I have known for ages continued to assume that my hair had just gotten darker (lol) and people I met for the first time told me my hair color didn't look dyed. So, henna is a very natural change. :) The video below contains more information about henna as well as an update on how I am feeling about the color--still awesome! @:-)

Keeping it Up - Henna Root Touch Ups

After the video above I henna'd my whole head again. Then after being abroad in Spain and not hennaing my hair for 5 months, I finally got around to doing it. Since I was just doing my roots, which involves a different technique, I recorded the process and my reaction:

It was a lot less messier to just do my roots than my whole head, and I really enjoyed using the "icing" method (a ziploc bag full of henna with a corner snipped) for the front of my head, but I just resorted to smoothing it on in the back because I couldn't see properly to do that. The color seemed to come out really even, which was great! And I mixed up the perfect amount of henna. You could say I'm a bit of a henn expert now. :)

Henna mixture (root touch up):
50 grams or 1/2 cup body art quality henna powder (Body Art Quality Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair Kit: Red)
Lime juice (any other pure citrus juice may be used such as lemon, grapefruit, etc. or other acidic liquids)

Other supplies:
Bowl (plastic, ceramic, or glass is best - no wood)
Mixing utensil (this touches the henna for so little time it doesn't matter)
Plastic wrap
Ziploc bag
Old towel
Old clothing
Newspaper for floor
Parting comb (mine is from Sally's Beauty Supply)
Hair tie

Update 7.8.15 - No More Henna

Hello everyone! At this point I have completely grown out all of the henna from my hair. I just did this naturally quite awhile ago, and opted for a short style eventually. I didn't mind the red in my ends though, as it was like a subtle ombre. Honestly the color difference is not huge between my natural hair and henna unless I was in bright sunlight, so it was fine to grow out. Obviously if you have lighter hair it may make a bigger difference!

Overall I really loved the color henna gave my hair, and how strong and healthy it felt, but I just wasn't up to the maintenance. If I could go to a salon and get my hair hennaed regularly I would keep it up! Also over time I started to worry that the henna had loosened my curls a little bit. I wanted to get them back to being as stringy as possible.

Some day when my hair starts to grey I think I'll go back to henna, or try henna and indigo for chocolatey brown hair. But for now I am done with henna, and might strart experimenting with commercial dyes.

I hope you have found this blog post helpful. I know 2,000 people have read it- WOW! Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments as always.

Wishing you a good hair day @:-)