After doing A LOT of research... I decided today would be the day I tried dying my hair with Henna. I have always loved having red hair, most of my family has natural red hair and mine has always had a strawberry blonde tint to it all my life. So needless to say I know I can pull off the red hair look.
After reading many things, almost all of them say Henna is permanent, meaning once you dye it, you can't really change it with chemical dyes. You just have to wait till it grows out, or try to make it darker using more henna. With that being said I went ahead and took the challenge!
Most times when I dye my hair I get a very non natural looking red. I get a very deep red like Ariel (the little mermaid), or a lighter red that looks brownish with red highlights. I like both, but I wanted to go a little more natural. Because I do always go with the darker reds, I would have to bleach my hair to go strawberry blonde like I wanted this time around. After doing some research on natural hair care, I decided I would give henna a go! Here is a link to the instructions I followed, however I did change a few things, and I'll explain my process to you as well. http://offbeathome.com/2011/11/dying-your-hair-red-with-henna
I bought the same exact Henna from the link above. I got it from Amazon. I have shoulder length hair, and only bought 1 box because I was not sure if I would need more. However, after running out at the very end, next time I will buy 2 boxes to get better coverage. I could not go over my hair and fill in spots I missed because I ran out of henna. 100G was not enough for my shoulder length hair. I will need 200G from now on. I got my glass mixing bowl. a mixing spoon or fork (I used a fork). lemon juice. measuring cups. plastic wrap. 1 box henna (2 boxes will be used next time).
For application I needed: bowl of mixed henna (yogurt like consistency). a hair dye brush (got mine from Sally's). plastic wrap. gloves. I poured my henna into the bowl and poured 1/4 cup on lemon juice in it. I mixed it up. It's very thick and hard to stir. After I got most of the green looking brownish, I added 1/2 cup more lemon juice and stirred it up again until it looked like greenish brown mashed potatoes. I covered it with plastic wrap and left it on the top shelf of the closet for about 20 hours. In the link above she only left hers for 12 hours but I left mine for longer, because in other places I read the longer it sits the better the color will hold in your hair. Not sure how true that is but I did it anyway.
Once I was ready to put the dye on my hair, I had someone help with the application process. Gloves were needed, and lots of Vaseline was used on my ears, hairline, neckline and behind my ears. I wore an old shirt that I did not care to get stained. Note: I did not wash my hair, and it had been about 2 days since my last wash. I read that if you freshly wash your hair, that you will end up staining your scalp orange, because your natural grease will have been washed away. However some do wash hair before they apply, so it's up to you what you feel is best. I went with the dirty hair for my 1st application of henna.
I got my henna down from the closet and added another 1/4 cup of lemon juice. As I was mixing this thick mud together, I decided to add about 3 tablespoons of water (this is not in the link above) then as I stirred I continued adding lemon juice till I got a yogurt like consistency. Once I got the right consistency I went outside so I would not stain anything in the house because henna does not come out very easily.
This is where I needed help. My friend put on her gloves, took my hair dye application brush and started gooping it onto my head. Now if I would have mixed the correct amount I would not have ran out of mixture, so being that I didn't know I did not have as much henna on my hair as I should have. I did miss some spots, but because the color looks so natural it blends in very nicely.
After all was put on my head (took about an hour), then I wrapped my hair completely with plastic wrap. I quickly wiped all the dye off my face and neck to avoid staining. Then I got the hair dryer and got my hair and the plastic wrap hot. I used the blow dryer for about 5 minutes, moving it around my entire head. This also was not on the link above, I read this somewhere else and it said by heating it up, it will help the color to cling to the hair better. It stated that heating it up causes the color to be more vibrant. True? Not sure, but again this is my first try so I'm going all in.
Then I waited....and waited....and waited! Ok so the above link said to keep it on your hair anywhere from 3 to 4 hours and the longer you keep it on your hair the darker it gets! Being that I wanted a lighter, brighter color I decided to only leave mine on for 2 1/2 hours.
This was the gross part! I got in the tub placing my head under the faucet. This is because Henna stains and if you stand in the shower, you may end up with red stains down your back. I got on my hands and knees and started rubbing the dry mud out of my hair. It smells like spinach and dirt. I was sitting in a pool full of brown mud and it took quite a while to get all the caked mud out of my hair. Once I didn't feel the mud in my hair as much I turned on the shower and washed the rest of it out like taking a normal shower. I put conditioner in it for color treated hair. It helped to get more out. I stayed in the shower until the water started running clear. I still got a tea color from the water but it very light.
When I got out of the shower I decided to blow dry it right away, because I was anxious to see the color. Some places said you should let it air dry, but I could not wait. My final results was a beautiful bright orangey red. Yes orange. I'm not a huge fan of the orange look, however it looks very natural, and according to the link above it will only be orange for 3 days until the color sets. I really love it. Being that it was my 1st try, and I made some mistakes I think my hair looks really nice. I will be dying my hair with Henna forever more ;)! Below are the before hair shot, so you can see the color. This is my hair in plastic wrap This is what my hair looks like the day I dyed it with henna for the 1st time