Achieve a beautiful organic hair color
Henna, a highly beneficial natural hair dye, has been used for centuries. Although henna is most commonly known as a body art tattoo substance, it has become much more popular to use henna for hair in recent years. It has mostly become so popular because of how effective it is as an organic hair dye – it is free from harmful chemicals, and actually strengthens and repairs hair instead of damaging it. However, henna is highly permanent, so one should always do their research before using henna as a dye. Henna binds with hair on a molecular level, making hair very strong, but making the henna impossible to remove.
First, you should decide which hair color you want. Henna is only capable of enhancing your natural hair color, so results will always vary to some degree. You will not get vibrant red hair if you are not initially blonde. If you start with dark brunette hair, you will end up with dark auburn hair with red highlights in the sun. If you’d like to emphasize the red color, add paprika or red wine to your henna mix. If you’d like brunette or black hair, add indigo to your mix. You will need to experiment.
After you have decided which color you would like, gather up your ingredients the night before you plan to use your henna hair dye. Mix the henna into a heat-resistant bowl, along with warm water, a small amount of lemon juice to aid in dye release, and whatever other color enhancing ingredients you wish to add. (Such as paprika or indigo.) It is important not to use boiling water, as it may destroy some of the henna herb.
Mix these ingredients together until you have the consistency of thick brownie batter.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or foil, and let it sit overnight in a warm spot. I usually place mine on top of a heating pad, left on at low heat. Warmth helps the dye release of the henna plant.
The next morning, check to see if henna dye release has occurred. If you notice a darker green film on top of the henna, this is a good indication that the dye has properly released. If you don’t see any difference in coloration from the top layer of henna, let it sit longer. Do not let it sit for more than 2 days, as the fresh henna herbs may mold.
Now place the henna into a gallon size Ziploc plastic bag. Cut a very small hole in one corner of the bag. You will be using the bag as a cone-shape, to carefully direct henna onto your hair. This process is VERY messy, so it is best to cover the henna hair dye area with newspaper. Cover your ears and forehead with Vaseline or moisturizer to prevent the henna hair dye from staining your skin.
Now squeeze henna onto your roots, and work it into your hair in layers until your entire head is covered. You can leave the henna hair dye on for anywhere from 1 – 8 hours. I usually leave mine on for 2 hours with a plastic heat cap to enhance the color.
Wash out with plenty of hair conditioner, and make sure to have a junky towel on hand, as the henna hair dye residue may stain the towel. Allow up to 3 days for the color to truly settle and give an accurate representation of the results. Remember – the more you apply henna, the greater the color will deepen from an orange-y hue to a redder one.
Enjoy your new organic hair color!