a year now I color my hair red with henna. This because I had some
really nasty experiences with chemical dye before... I'm really fond of
copper-red, but the chemical dye rinsed out within in week. The
remaining pigments had to be bleached out which left my hair remarkably
similar to straw. Also, my hair got platina blonde because of that,
while I am a natural dark-blonde. To camouflage the color difference I
dyed it dark-blonde after a few monts, but this in turn made my hair go
grey.... It was then that I decided that I would never color my hair
with chemical dye again. But I still wanted to be a redhead... The
solution? Henna of course!
that I have had some catastrofic experiences with chemical dyes to color
my hair, which made me switch to henna: with full satisfaction, I must
say. Before you go and color your hair with henna, there are however a
few important things to know. Therefore I will give information and tips
on this page to make sure you do get that desired red color and not some
ugly green.... For starters I'll point out what exactely the difference
is between chemical dye and henna.
difference between chemical dye & henna
difference can be found in the way both dyes work. Traditional chemical
dye contains amonia, this base strips the hair “open” to enable the
color pigments to penetrate the hair. This is also the reason that the
hair often looks dry after repeated dyeing: the outer part of the hair
can’t close again. The working of henna is quite the opposite: henna
releases it’s pigments in an acid environment and doesn’t damages the
hair itself by stripping it open, instead it creates a transparant
colored layer around the hair. This is also the reason that hair colored
with henna always is rather shiny! Besides that, henna is a great way to
condition your hair and get it (or keep it) in great shape.
color will I get?
As I said
before; henna creates a transparant colored layer around the hair.
Therefore henna will give a different color result on every womens hair,
depending on the color you had to begin with. If your hair is blonde,
henna can make it a nice dark orangey red. The darker your hair
originally was, the darker red the final result will be. Totally grey
hair may get ugly orange though, if you don’t get a good quality fresh
henna. Fresh henna you can recognise by the color and the smell: if it’s
green and smells like fresh hay, it’s alright. If it is more browny:
don’t use it! You can keep your henna longer fresh by keeping it
airtight in the fridge.
shouldn’t you use henna?
of the differences between henna and chemical treatments (like perming,
dyeing, straightening and bleaching) I would strongly advise NOT
to use henna on chemically treated hair. The result can easily turn out
more terrible then you ever imagined: I suppose you don’t want blackish
green hair?!!! If you are really anxious to henna your hair but don’t
know if it’s safe yet: plunder your hairbrush and henna half of it.
Comparing both halfs should tell you enough! The same is by the way the
case if you want to perm (etc) hennaed hair: don’t even think about it!
it’s time to get started! First, go get fresh henna: I buy mine at the
nature-store from the brand “Piramide”. I don’t know if it’s sold
outside the Netherlands, though. Make sure you have PURE henna and no
other ingredients, because some can be harmfull. For shoulder-length
hair 50-100 g of henna should be enough. Mix this with something acidic
like lemon juice, vinegar or red wine to a thick paste. Leave it alone
for 15-30 minutes on a warm spot or just leave it overnight. The warmth
and the acid environment help to release the pigments from the henna.
After that you ad enough hot fluid untill it gets the consistency of
yoghurt. As the hot fluid I usually just use hot water and sometimes red
zinger-tea for red highlights, but there are much more possibilities.
You can also use:
this list from a really great website (Click here!),
which also has lots of information about coloring your hair with henna;
so check it out!
from boiled pomegranite husks for bright reds
for less red
spiced coffee for darker red
- Tea for
for blonde highlights
for gold highlights
for REAL RED
- Clove for
for near black
for protein and less color
powder for darker brown
- Eggs and
olive oil for protein and less color
water for brides
- A few
drops of rosemary oil for silkiness
you put the hennapaste in your hair, make sure you have done the
following: remove everything textile out of your bathroom and don’t wear
anything you really like, because henna stains are for life! Also have a
pair of gloves, a plastic bonnet, an old towel, a hairpaint-brush (I
bought mine at the drugstore, it isn’t really nessary but it makes it a
lot easier) and very rich, greasy cream. Apply the cream on your
forehead and ears, it prevents the henna to stain the skin (if you do
get henna-stains, remove them with a little bit of lemonjuice).
showtime! Put on your gloves and use the brush to get the paste in your
hair (wet or dry, what you prefer), direct at your scalp. Therefor I
always divide my hair in half and do the first half inch by inch, then
the other and finaly the back of my head top-down. The rest of the paste
I put on the hair that isn’t covered yet. Make sure you cover
everything! After that cover it up with the bonnet and over that the
towel. I let it rest for 30 minutes to 2 houres. The strandtest on your
brush should tell you what time suits you. If you keep your hair warm by
sitting in the sun (for example) the color will get more intense.
After that you rinse it out and wash your hair with a
mild shampoo. You can use a conditioner to untangle all the hair you
messed up by putting in the henna. Et voila! A “natural” redhead is
born! The color will gradually fade over weeks, but if you color it
again every 4-6 weeks,the color will be building up to a beautiful red.
If you are impatient you can color it for the second time after 2 or 3
weeks, that way the color will be rich sooner.