Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Orangic Henna Update
I used pure organic henna to permanently colour my hair red a couple of months ago. You can read the original post "Organic Hair Colour - Henna". I am thrilled with it!!
Since that first application I have learned a few things. Here is the sum of the henna knowledge that I have accumulated through research and my own experience.
I found a great source for pure Jamila henna powder, body art quality, summer 2011 crop! It's an EBay store Mehendi911. Her charge for the above is $6, which is the cheapest I have found for summer 2011 crop date. What impressed me was the postage. Postage for one box of 100g is only $3.90 to Canada and she's in California! It's even cheaper to send it to somewhere in the US. I ordered 2 boxes, 100g each and postage was only $4.90! Amazing! I got it in about a week and it was great quality stuff! Exactly what I ordered!
After shopping around for months and being appalled at the postage, or the cost of 2011 crop BAQ henna powder, I was thrilled to find this! I'm going to order from her all the time! The customer service was good too. I had a few questions and she answered them friendly and prompt.
I sleep with the henna on my head and rinse it out in the morning. I keep it on a full 8 hours, which is about as long as there is dye release. After that there is not much left, so you can leave it on longer if convenient without much change. (Sometimes I Iike to sit and have my coffee before I wash it out.) I wrap the muddy head in plastic wrap then cover with a thin toque to hold it all in place and keep it warm, then go to bed.
MOST IMPORT TIP:
1) One very important detail that I think everyone should know before they use henna it this: DO NOT MIX IT WITH LEMON JUICE - even though a lot of people online will tell you to do so.
It is not necessary and the lemon juice will fry your ends, especially if they are already slightly damaged from previous chemicals. I now need to trim about 3" off the ends of my hair. I will do this when it gets to my waist, which I figure should be in about next spring, 2013. In the mean time I keep it braided over my shoulder or, on the rare occasion that I wear it loose and down, the ends curled with sponge rollers or rolling in a scarf or bun. (I NEVER apply heat to my hair!) Henna is very good for your hair and will not damage it. It may even help repair some damage you have and protect it. It bonds with the keratin in the core, making it stronger.
If you mix your henna powder with just water as soon as you get it, then freeze it, you do not need anything else for dye release. The freezing breaks down the cell walls and releases the dye. You will, however, need to apply it as soon as it thaws, as the dye has been released. Don't let it sit and thaw too long before applying it to your hair.
I have bought henna and applied it a second time since that first application and the freezing worked wonderfully, nothing but water added.
2) You might need to do two entire applications. I did my whole head because the damaged ends have always been lighter than the roots growing in, two toned but without a line. It did look like a natural lightening. Everyone's hair is a bit lighter on the ends after a summer in the sun.
You will also get stronger dye with a fresher henna. Try to buy 2011 crop powder. I'm happy with the colour over the entire head, after the second application. It is a bit darker overall, but a beautiful and more even colour.
Remember! Henna will not lighten your hair at all and continued use will darken it. It will make your hair stronger and permanently red. If you are hennaing virgin hair, you may have to apply it twice to get strong and permanent coverage. I have read of some instances where it did not take permanently until applied twice but I don't believe those women were using pure henna. If you buy a box of organic henna hair colour off the drugstore shelf under the name "Lush Henna" or "Coloura" or some such, read the label. It's not pure henna and my not last. Make absolutely certain it is purely organic. Do not buy so called "henna hair colour" that is not labelled specifically 100% organic henna powder. Colouring previously chemically treated hair with a box of so called "henna hair colour" that is not pure 100% henna could give you a colour that is not what you want. I have even read of women getting "frog butt green" hair from doing this. Buy only 100% pure organic henna or a henna/cassia mix.
Better yet, buy pure henna powder for mehandi (body art). It's what the hand and feet body artist use and it's pure henna powder. You can also buy henna powder for hair that is pure but not as finely sifted. It works just as great as the body art quality (BAQ) henna but will be harder to rinse out.
This is my hair after the second overall application. If you look closely you can see that the ends are still lighter than the top of my head but it looks like a natural lightening without a line. This is curling the ends with sponge rollers overnight. The straighter right side is closer to the actual length. Curling makes it shorter. This is in natural light. It looks completely different in different light.
I missed a spot doing the roots the last time, so I just thawed a finger full and applied it there overnight again. Worked great! No way could I have done that with commercial hair dye. The overlap in that spot is a tad darker than the rest, since it was applied in that area a third time, but so slight it is only noticeable by me. Now I know that I will need to use an applicator bottle for roots in the future to keep it on the roots only as much as possible. I have a few of those saved from the commercial hair dye use.
This is a picture of my hair now (below right) indoors, fluorescent light. The top is still slightly damp. The above long picture of uneven hair was only two days ago. The colour has not changed but henna reflects light differently than commercial hair colour. It varies a great deal in different lighting.
3) I have found that mermaiding (dunking the head in water and swishing it back and forth) is the best way to remove the henna. After doing that a few times while massaging head, I then have to rinse and rinse and rinse until it runs clear. When I think I have it all rinsed out, I shampoo and condition and rinse again. That usually gets out most of it. If it feels a little straw like, you still have henna in it.
When I have hennaed my hair, I have not gotten all the henna out until the second wash, days later. There is still a surprising amount of henna left in it until then. When you truly have all the henna out, your hair will be very soft and manageable. When I say the "henna for hair" is harder to rinse out, now you can understand why that does make a difference. It is cheaper, however, and will give you the same result as long as you get the same pure henna powder 2011 harvest. The only difference is the fineness of the straining.
4) Different sources (locations grown) of henna are slightly different shades of red. Jamila henna will give a more copper and less brown shade, which is what I wanted, so the second time I bought Jamila only. I will continue to use only Jamila for the roots in the future. I have also read that Jamila doesn't get that dark cherry red or browner shade with continued applications, like henna grown in some other locations (Rajasthani, Yemen, Ashfan) but will stay copper. It will, however, continue to darken with further applications, so I will not be applying it to my ends again, just roots henceforth.
5) Henna gives it a bit of a different feel to my hair, heavier sort of, and less able to take a curl, which is ok with me. I don't like the natural wave in my hair and as it gets longer, will be glad that it remains straight.
All in all, it was a successful venture! I love the henna colour and the strength it gives to my hair. I would recommend this to anyone who wanted permanently red hair. Just be warned, it is permanent! I love it!
If you order from Mehendi911, please let her know that I recommended her (Artbysheryl). I won't get anything from it, I don't think, but I would like her to know how happy I am with her prices and service. I told her I was going to recommend her to everyone.
UPDATE: Covering Gray: Henna colours everything - period. Henna will cover gray but the gray hair will be a different colour than the dark hair. The base colour determines the lightness/brightness of the henna shade. Gray hairs will be a brighter copper than the virgin hair, unless your virgin hair is very blond.
If you are "salt and pepper" the resulting colour will have brighter copper highlights, something I am looking forward to as my natural, partially grayed hair grows out. My hair is more solid because I hennaed on top of an overall commercial hair colour, hiding the gray.
If you have a lot of gray, you may want to do a few overall applications to get the colour darker.
Posted by Providence Acres Farm at 4:32 AM