Since I’ve been dyeing my hair red for several months now, and since I’m committed to finding natural skincare solutions, I thought it time to try out henna hair dye.
A friend recommended getting my dye at a local natural grocery store, so I headed over to Rebecca’s Natural Food on Friday, poked around the dye section, and left the store with Light Mountain Natural henna hair dye in Auburn. While the packaging is cute enough to warrant a purchase by itself, Light Mountain Natural was also less expensive than comparable brands and includes only three ingredients in total, all of them certified organic.
Before starting the process, I read a few blog entries on the henna experience so I wouldn’t be in for any surprise complications. I mixed up the powder dye (it smells like funky spinach) according to the instructions in the box, making sure to avoid using any metal bowls or mixing tools (the instructions warn that henna can react to metal, causing unwanted color results). I added about 14 ounces of boiling water, which I warmed up in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. The mixture is grainy and green in appearance; it should be wet enough to smooth out over hair, but thick enough not to run or drip.
After letting the mixture set for about 10 minutes, I put on the provided gloves; prepared my bathroom work station with a towel, old t-shirt, and plastic bag; and began picking up gooey clumps of henna and applying it to damp, clean hair. Because my hair is short, I didn’t section it off before applying, but that is recommended for thick or longer hair. My hair felt like a clumpy, muddy mess after the application process was complete. I put an old grocery bag over it and let it steep for 2 hours before washing it out in the shower with a good dollop of conditioner to loosen the henna.
Here’s the result after one rinse:
A few suggestions:
- Do an allergy test by applying a small amount to skin if you’ve never used henna before.
- The packaging recommends pulling out a small amount of hair and performing a color test before you dye, but I’m adventurous (and lazy), so I just hoped for the best.
- Make sure you clean up along the way if you drop any henna on the floor, sink, or counter. It’s easy to clean when it’s wet, but it will dye clothing and counters if you let it dry.
- Remember that henna fades after 4-6 weeks, so any unwanted color results are only temporary.
Henna is definitely a bit more complicated than chemical, at-home dye, but the fact that it’s all natural and has stood the test of time is enough to win me over.
Have you experimented with henna dye before? What did you think?