I’ve been dyeing my hair red for years. Over a decade. And I had never tried henna. The idea of using an all-natural dye always appealed to me so it was just a matter of time before I gave it a go.
I spotted a henna bar on a trip to Lush and bought it on a whim. I thought hey, if I could dye my hair for $26 that’s a pretty good deal.
I read lots of articles and tutorials on how to use the henna. I felt like I had a good idea of what to do and decided to just go for it.
I used Caca Rouge, which is the reddest of the henna blocks from Lush.
The directions said it wasn’t necessary but I decided to grate the bar to help it melt down easier. I took maybe 20 minutes but I just caught up on some TV and it went by quickly.
I decided to grate the whole bar since I got a lot of hair.
Before I started mixing I thought I should put some grubby clothes on. Lookin real cute right here. Sidenote- GLOVES. Do not attempt this without many pairs of gloves!
I prepped the bathroom with old plastic table cloths. I covered the whole sink and floor.
Then I lined my head with coconut oil to keep the henna from bleeding on my skin. In my opinion, this wasn’t necessary. The henna acts more like clay than dye, and it didn’t really stain anything- just got dry like dirt and flaked off.
After prepping my head and bathroom I headed to the kitchen to do some mixing. I read that you can add red wine to the dye to help it richen. We had about a half glass of this Gato Negro left so I thought what the heck! I also squeezed in some lemon, as I read that helped with acidity. I don’t know if these things actually worked but I had them on hand so thought I’d give them a go.
It was recommended I use a double broiler set up to make the dye. I heated water in my pot and placed my red cast iron pot over it. I also heated up water in my electric kettle. I slowly added the boiling water to the henna powder.
And then the wine. I just kept stirring.
It took maybe two minutes to form this thick mud-like mixture.
I added more water so it was more of a soupy texture. I carefully carried my henna pot into the bathroom to start applying!
I sectioned my hair and just started lathering the henna on.
It went on very thick like mud.
Now one thing I read a lot of complaints about was the smell. I didn’t have many issues with it, it just felt like strong incense, and no worse than the chemical-y smell of regular hair dye.
It was quite a messy process. Big globs of henna would fall off my brush… everywhere.
Mud on my head!
Making a mess.
Super cute neck mud.
It took maybe 20 minutes to apply all the henna to my head. I actually had quite a bit left over, probably could have used just 2/3 of the original bar.
I then wrapped my head in Saran Wrap. It held tight pretty well.
Now the WORST part of the process was sitting with a clay head for three hours. The henna gets really heavy on your head. Quite a workout for your neck!
When the three hours were up I couldn’t wait to get out of that Saran Wrap. Basically my hair just looked like a muddy mess.
BJ kept calling me a hippie!
I spent 10 minutes rinsing out my hair in the shower. I then shampoo-ed and conditioned as normal.
And now for the DRAMATIC RESULTS!!!
Not so dramatic. But hey, at least it got rid of my roots! And I do feel like it brightened up my hair a bit. But I do mean just a bit.
Now my hair go-to has been to get it professionally colored twice a year and then maintain my roots with box color and it’s worked quite well for me. So I’m not sure how henna will factor into all of this. Now I will tell you my hair feels AMAZING. It is soft and silky. And I love the idea that it is natural.
So the question of the hour is will I do it again. I’m not sure. I’m tempted to since I’ve heard that henna deepens your color each time you do it but then again, it is quite a bit of work. Ultimately I think I will try it again but have no plans to give up my big bi-annual dye jobs any time soon.
Now ladies, let me know what YOU think. What’s your hair routine? Have you tried henna? Think you will someday? Got any questions? Would love to know your thoughts!