How To Henna Your Hair
Although we use henna as a hair colorant, it has wonderful side effects. It thickens the hair and makes it silky and strong. But you must buy pure henna (or henna mixed with plant extracts, which are clearly labeled). And you have to do a henna test first.
A henna test will tell you two crucial things:
- Whether you like the final color, and
- How long you leave the henna on to get this color
Since henna usually stays in the hair for an hour or more, it would be advisable to reserve a large part of this time. Between the preparation of the henna, the testing of the strand, the application, and the application time, an afternoon should be planned for the project.
Who can use henna
The best heads for henna are brunettes and dark blondes. Hair that is naturally very dark looks stunning with red henna highlights.
Do you have gray? Contrary to popular belief, you can get good results with henna. To become a brunette, choose henna mixed with brown that has been extracted from safe plant powders such as walnut, clove, and even a little indigo. (But use your common sense – if you’re allergic to nuts or sensitive to cloves, don’t use these products.) If you prefer to dye your gray hair blond, look for henna mixed with rhubarb root or other natural ingredients.
Choosing the colors of henna
Reds are the most widely used, have the least amount of additives, and are – if pure (read the label, research on the internet, join a henna forum) – completely safe. Brunettes and blondes are also fun.
Henna does not lighten the hair. It won’t lighten the color as commercial dyes can. So you have to get a shade that matches your own or is darker. Brunettes can easily turn red, blondes can turn brown or red. But under no circumstances can a brunette become a blonde.
A few words of caution
Do not use henna on commercially dyed hair. It is safest to wait at least 2 months after an application of commercial dye before using henna. Some women have had no problem waiting just 1 month, but that’s what the henna test is for.
Use a clarifying shampoo for a week or so before you plan to use henna. This will help remove the old color.
Be sure to buy a brand of henna that does not contain metal salts. These are extremely unhealthy. They may be marked on the box as a compound henna coloring, or they may not be listed.
How can you tell if your henna contains metal salts if they are not in the ingredients? If the henna sample leaves the hair sample brittle or dry, or if the color is “absorbed” very quickly, this probably means that it contains metallic salts. Do not use them.
Black henna is fine as long as it is made with indigo. Avoid PPD Black Henna because it contains paraphenylenediamine – a dye – which is extremely harmful.
What you should buy
The safest henna is henna as body art. But there are also many well known, well used, safe and ethically labeled henna packaging for hair. Just use your common sense: if there are ingredients you are not familiar with, write them down, go home and pass them on to your search engine.
Henna does not have a long shelf life. Don’t buy it and then keep it forever – it will lose its effectiveness. However, you can seal it and freeze it, and it will last at least a year.
Now for fun
Many women consider the preparation of henna as a ritual. The vegetable dye looks like a green powder and has a peculiar smell, similar to hay. The smell disappears after a day.
Suppose you have a box of pure red henna, empty it into a glass or plastic container. If you bought it in large quantities, use about 1 cup. Never use metal plates, bowls, or even hair clips when mixing and applying.
Now boil some water. Pour the boiling water gradually into the henna. Stir. Continue until you get a pasty consistency. If you like, add some suggested eggs to keep the consistency sticky. Many women add half a cup of strong coffee to soften the red a little. If you add coffee, use less boiling water. You don’t want the mixture to end up wet.
Apply a cream or oil around the hairline to prevent henna from dyeing the ears and forehead. And don’t forget your gloves (otherwise your hands will be red!).
Apply the paste to clean, dry hair. If this is your first henna treatment, soak the hair completely. Then wrap it all up in a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Also, you may want to wrap a towel around it so you don’t scare the children. Some women use a hot towel. Here’s why you should have done the strangulation test: It’s the only way to know how long you have to leave the henna on your head. It can range from 20 minutes to 2 hours or more.
When the timer rings, take a shower. The whole process is chaotic, so don’t make a cleanup problem or you’ll go crazy. Rinse the henna, you don’t need shampoo. Finish the process with an organic conditioner, not tested on animals. Its color should last 2 or 3 months, except for the growth of the roots.
Removing Henna Hair Dye With Colour Oops
I still had some henna residue in my hair so I thought instead of bleaching it again I thought I would give Colour oops a try.
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