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Beauty Tips

How To Dye Your Hair With Henna: A Confessional

Full disclosure: I dye my hair red. Now to clarify, I was born a redhead and for most of my life I had natural red hair. But there is a curse in my family. A curse that is most evident when you look at 'then & now' pics of my dad. Once a full blown ginger in his youth, he now sports mousy brown hair. The only evidence of his glorious youth is a bright red mustache. I never thought it would happen to me. I was a redhead to the core, it was a part of my identity. Being part of the 2% does that to a person. You feel special, unique, even if it is just because you won the genetic lottery. But let's be honest, red hair is awesome. You stand out in the crowd and you get cool nicknames like 'Firecrotch'.... I mean, nobody cares about a blonde or brunettes pubes- we are special. 

When my fiery locks began to fade, I refused to acknowledge it. People would say that my hair looked less red, but I dismissed them. I was, after all, a redhead to the core. It wasn't until someone outright said that my hair was blonde not red that I realized the truth. The cold hard truth- the curse had won. This may sound dramatic but for the redheads out there (be you natural or bottled) you understand. There is something different about being a redhead. It's not just a hair color, it's a part of your identity. 

Well anyways, I instantly went to a hair salon to remedy the situation. If my hair was determined to betray me, then I would fake it. Three hours later and I was on my tenth shower, desperately trying to wash Ronald McDonald out of my hair. I'm not sure how "just a nice strawberry blonde... you know, like Jessica Chastain," translated to Ron Weasley x100. It was a disaster. My attempt to beat nature and defy genetics had just blown up in my face big time.

A few months later, after my hair was back to normal and I had psychologically recovered, I decided to try again. This time I would not only do it myself, but I would use Henna for the first time. Another potential disaster, but I thought it was worth it. Now, finally, the point of this post: Why/ How to use henna for your hair.

Henna (Lawsomia Inermis) is a flowering plant whose leaves contain a natural orange/red pigment. Henna comes in a fine green powder and activates once combined with water. Because it is such an effective dye, people have been using it to stain their skin and hair for thousands of years. 

Why henna? Well, for starters it's all natural. Drugstore hair dye is full of nasty chemicals that can damage your hair over time. Henna actually nourishes and revives your hair. After using henna people notice more bounce and silkiness. Henna is even used without the dying effects to deep condition damaged hair. Hell, if it's good enough for Lucille Ball, it's good enough for me.

How to use henna? I chose to use Henna Maiden, because it's good quality for a good price (about $10 + it came with gloves and shower cap). Although, Lush features henna combined with cocoa butter for extra nourishing effects. 

Step 1: Combine the henna powder with water and mix into something of a paste (not too thick or too watery). Everybody has their own set of recipe tricks when it comes to henna. Some add olive oil, sugar, etc. I just added a squirt of lemon to brighten it up. Note: It retains it's green color until you wash it out. So don't freak out if you find yourself resembling the Swamp Thing. 

Step 2: Apply to your hair and make sure you get the roots. I recommend putting some Vaseline around your scalp and ears so as to not stain them in the process. If you didn't make your paste too watery, the whole process will be easier.

Step 3: Wait.... for about 2-3 hours.

Step 4: Wash it out and Voila! Henna lasts up to 4-8 weeks, much like other hair dye. Note: henna has been described as smelling like fresh cut grass or hay in a barn. Regardless, you will smell like a hippie for a day or two. 

 

Let us know how it goes at https://www.facebook.com/redheadrevo

 

  • Author avatar
    Kate Loveless
  • hair tips for redheadshenna hair dyehenna maidenhow to dye your hair with hennahow to henna hair dyelush hennared hairredheads

Comments on this post ( 8 )

  • Aug 30, 2016

    Thanks for th he infor I’m only 32 and starting to go “blonde” from my beautiful red fiery locks. I’m going to try the henna thank you.

    — sarah d lavender

  • Jan 06, 2015

    I was born with bright red “Weasley” hair, which as I grew older, turned blonde (weirdly enough) and then finally settled on Auburn. As I’ve gotten older the red that I loved in my hair began to fade to a blah brown. When it finally became unbearable I turned to henna as well, and I’m so glad I did!

    — Once a Redhead Always a Redhead

  • Dec 07, 2014

    I’m so glad you all found this post so helpful! I just touched up my roots (months after I dyed it- which is fantastic) and I’m still in love with henna. If you want to see how it turned out, check out the About page.

    — Kate

  • Nov 30, 2014

    I’ve used henna for 2 years to cover mousy brown (redhead years ago, like you) and quite a bit of gray. My favorite thing is that it takes a long time for roots to look like roots. For the first 2 months or so it just blends so beautifully that it isn’t noticeable.

    — Cow

  • Nov 26, 2014

    I am SOOO happy you wrote this! My hair is starting to fade too, and I’m only 27, and not to be dramatic or anything…but it feels like I’m losing a baby! Glad to hear I’m not the only one, and that there is a natural solution!!!

    I’ve also considered getting a wig made of my own hair since you can’t dye it this color…crazy? Maybe. I think I’ll be thankful for it when I’m much older though.

    — Ellen

  • Sep 15, 2014

    Hi!
    Can you post a picture so I can see what color your hair turned?

    pleaaaaaase :)

    — Reut

  • Sep 03, 2014

    Hi Meg! Roots will usually start to show after 2-4 weeks (much the same as regular hair dye). To touch them up you need about 4 Tbl of henna. This is actually one of the really nice things about henna, you don’t have to use the whole package like other hair dyes. You can just take as much as you need and then store the rest of the powder for later. Anyways, make your usual henna mix and then apply it to the roots using a brush. In addition to covering the roots, go into the dyed strands an inch or so to ensure blending of the root coverage. Then wait an hour (which is about half the time for full hair coverage).
    I hope this helps!

    — Kate Loveless

  • Aug 27, 2014

    Roots! How do you prevent/dye roots with henna?

    — Meg Martin

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