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Beauty Tips

Misadventures with Henna & An Unintended New Year's Resolution

The phrase 'A New Year, A New You' took on literal meaning for me this 2018. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you will know that I have been an avid user and fan of henna for a few years now. I have always used Henna Maiden's All Natural Red shade, meaning it is pure Lawsonia inermis. However, for a fresh start, I thought I’d try their Copper shade. This is a blend of henna, red clay, neem, etc. Now due to my general impatience and impulsiveness, I didn’t bother with a strand test. I foolishly thought that since the regular henna had always worked for me this would as well. 

For the next two hours I sat looking like the swamp thing and day dreaming of my soon to be reddish coppery locks glistening in the sunlight. Instead I soon found myself standing in front of the mirror, hair drenched, in horror. It looked black or purple, I wasn’t sure but it was definitely not copper. It couldn’t have been more opposite than what I intended. Then I did what I should have done in the beginning, read the instructions. The copper shade was a bit more tricky since it was a blend. Depending on your natural hair color, it could go more of the henna red shade or it could go the darker route. Mine clearly did the latter. There’s really no going back after you’ve henna’d your hair. Especially when it is a darker shade since you cannot lighten your hair with henna. Hence the importance of a strand test. I have definitely learned my lesson. 

It has been a couple of weeks since my misadventures with henna and I have come to terms with my dark auburn hair. What truly upset me the most about the unintended shade was the makeup implications. In my previous posts, I have discussed how the no-makeup-look has been my favorite this year. I’ve loved wearing the Genuine Ginger mascara, which gives my lashes a natural boost, along with a light gloss. It’s beautifully low maintenance. However, with dark auburn hair, I had to find a new makeup routine to match. Which, once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, was actually kind of exciting.

My current go-to routine is the True Brown Gingerlash Mascara- all day every day- paired with the Brow Love Gel in blonde, the 3-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer, a hint of the Ginger Crush Matte Blush, and, for the lips,…. Red Hot matte! I've always loved a good lipstick. When done right, you inevitably stand out in a crowd. And yet, I’ve always hesitated before putting on a red. Of course I wear one from time to time on special occasions. But never for just a regular night out. Now the new year compels me to ask: Why the hell not? What has been stopping me? And so, to list one of my 2018 resolutions: I will wear my Red Hot matte on a regular basis. Go bold or go home they say. Happy 2018!

Put together your own unique look for the new year and get 15% OFF any order of $60 or more! Just use the code: My2018 (offer expires February 1st)

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