Friday, October 26

Using Henna Hair Color for the First Time

For my birthday I wanted to switch up my hair routine and try a new color. As some of you already know, I wasn't born with bright red hair. It's all thanks to my trusty chemical hair dye, which is something I'm not proud of, but I love the vibrant color so I continue to poison myself in the name of beauty. It's a guilty pleasure for sure, however, I know that putting toxic junk on my head every month is beyond evil and I wanted to stop.

I told myself that after my birthday I was going to switch over to natural henna hair dye. This made me both excited and nervous. Excited because it's all natural henna (it's a flowering plant used to dye skin, hair, and nails) that colors hair without damaging it, but nervous because it's something new and I didn't know if it would turn out good. That, and I read that it's extremely messy and takes a long time to process.

Mahogany Powder Henna $6.99

So I finally got the courage to try it, and went to my local beauty store to pick out a box of bright red Colora Henna Powder in the color Mahogany. Now I already knew that the sample color, like most products, was an exaggeration of the color and that it wouldn't be an exact match. I could live with something a bit more natural as long as it wasn't that drastic. Henna is more of a subtle change, especially for dark hair.

Instructions and Henna Powder Before Mixing

A Plastic Bag to Cover My Head and Plastic Gloves

On the day that I decided to dye my hair, I took all of my belongings out of the bathroom and laid newspaper down on the counter tops and the floor. I'm good at dyeing my hair traditionally, and rarely make a mess, but I was warned that this was different. It's like putting mud on your hair. So I followed the instructions careful, and mixed the powder with water until the desired consistence was achieve. Then I started slapping it on my head. It was such an odd feeling. It was cold and it smelt wonderful, like a soft tea-like aroma. I didn't do too bad, but it was a little messier than cream products. So I was grateful that I put newspaper on the counter, but the paper on the floor wasn't necessary.

Henna After Mixing With Water

Then it was time to wait for a whole hour. This wasn't fun, because I noticed that as the henna dried that it was flaking off, so I didn't want to leave my bathroom. As a matter of fact, I just stood in the bathtub because I didn't want to get it anywhere. It was boring, so I decided to do squats for an hour as I watched videos on my iPad. I'm sure it would have been an entertaining sight to see.

After the excruciating hour was up, I used my handheld showerhead to wash it out completely and made sure to keep my head down to not get it all over the shower walls. This took forever it seemed, because it was like washing dry sand out of hair. A messy process indeed.

When I got out to look at the color I was completely disappointed (so much so that I didn't even want to take a photo). It didn't change my dark color at all. I did read that it's best to keep henna on for a few hours, but I didn't have the patience for it. That, and I wanted to follow the instructions precisely to see what would happen, which stated to only leave it for one hour. Also, henna is suppose to make one's hair thicker by coating the follicle and tame frizz. Not that I have a problem in this area, but I didn't notice a different in my hair texture at all. So I was disappointed by that as well.

This hair experiment was still worth it because now I know that I tried and it wasn't right for me. I'm sure that blondes would have a much better experience because light hair is easier to color. At least I went one month without chemical dye, but it's back to my old ways next time. Also I didn't use compound henna, which makes it okay to switch back without a bad reaction. Lastly, I've decided that I'm going natural next year though, so the countdown begins. Ten more months of bright red and then I'm calling it quits. I'm excited for the change, but I'll also enjoy my last few months as a redhead.

If you've tried henna hair dye, or have any coloring tips in general, feel free to share them. 
I would love to hear about your experience. 

Cheers and happy hair dyeing.
~Claudia