What’s up, cool cat’s?
I’m finally sitting down to talk about my experience with henna hair dye! Holy cow, I am in love! For year’s I bleached my hair blonde. I loved it – truly. At the time I was single, actively modeling and had no visible tattoos. I could rock a Marilyn look no problem. When I got engaged I decided I wanted to have my natural hair color for my wedding and began to grow it out. Not too long after that I got pregnant and just kept on growing my natural color out. It was not the color I remembered. I guess years of compulsively bleaching it the second my roots would show my color had changed from a golden honey blonde with red highlights to a flat dirty blonde without me noticing. I hated it. But – I didn’t want to be blonde again. Who I was when I was blonde is not who I am now. She has been laid to rest. Plus, it was an extra expense I didn’t need. I wanted my hair color to express who I have become as a pin up loving wife and mother. I did not want to be a Brunette as everyone mistook my dark blonde for brown. I felt black hair, although lovely, would not work well with my skin tone. What was I left with?
Red. My mother is a natural redhead, a beautiful deep red. I’ve always loved Rita Hayworth. I decided to go for it. But I didn’t want to be dependent on a salon again. I didn’t want to be dependent on crappy box color either. I wanted something natural. I wanted my hair to look natural. I wanted my hair to be healthy for once. That’s when my search took me to henna hair dye. I never heard of using henna in your hair before. I almost feel silly now, never knowing of it. I did a ton of research before even buying henna. I watched a million YouTube videos and read through every henna hair dye forum I could find. After looking up different options, I felt the brand Light Mountain henna hair dye in red would be the best fit for me. I took bits and pieces from what I thought would work for me from all the videos I watched and went for it.
The process was a little intimidating. I was nervous, definitely. The whole point of me dying my own hair was to save time and money. I didn’t want to destroy my hair color and thus having to spend even more money on repairing it. The instructions are…particular. NO METAL is to be used throughout the entire process. But why? Apparently, most box hennas are a compound containing metallic salts to speed up the dye releasing process. When these metallic salts mix with metal you risk getting a reaction causing a yucky green color and not a red. No thanks. What if you’re using pure henna? Most of the ladies throughout the forums I read said not worth the risk and I agree. Once I had it in my head I couldn’t use metal, it was easy picking up that pyrex bowl and wooden spoon for mixing. But, you do need to boil water to add to the mix…
I was confused… you need to boil water…but it can’t touch metal…and you can’t add boiling water to the henna powder or you risk burning the henna. Oy. Like I said…particular. I decided to “boil” water in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. I can’t say for sure if it reached a boil but it was mighty hot. I let it cool a bit and added the warm water to my henna powder, a little bit at a time until it became a yogurt like texture. I put plastic wrap over the mixture and let it sit in a cool, dark place for three hours. Light Mountain henna say’s it’s not necessary to do that with their henna as it is quick releasing, but I just figured why not play it safe. I wanted the best color pay off as possible.
I showered and washed my hair with Shea Moisture Shampoo – no conditioner. I used Aquaphor around my hairline and on top of my ears to prevent my skin from staining. Then while my hair was still damp I started to apply my mixture. I wore plastic gloves. Light Mountain provides you with gloves and a plastic wrap for your head when you’re done. Not the best quality – if possible use different plastic gloves and plastic wrap for your head.
My first go at using henna I made my mix a bit too watery and really gooped it on. Once completely applied I covered my head with the provided plastic wrap. This is to insulate the mix and keep it contained. I also did my eye brows – that’s not for everybody but I wanted it to look as natural as possible. I didn’t want to be too risky with the color and simply used the box mix and water for the first time. However, if you add certain herbs or spices it’ll change the color slightly – I did this on my second go and was very happy with the results. You’re supposed to leave it on for at the very least two hours. I lasted an hour. The mix was sliding down my face and felt very heavy on my head. When I rinsed it out it was an absolute mess. This is something I anticipated. You can only use conditioner to help break up the dried henna (mine didn’t really get the time to dry) no shampoo this time! Once washed out you can’t wash your hair for at least three days to ensure the color stays. It came out very orange. Everything I read warned me of this so I wasn’t too upset, I knew I had a few days for the color to settle. But I looked like Bozo the clown for a solid three days. Once the color settled I was in love. IN LOVE. I got a ton of compliments and I can’t tell you how many people think it’s my natural color! Best compliment ever!
On my second go I was planning on doing just my roots. I added a table spoon of cayenne pepper – everything I read says it really brings out the red. I figured if I tried something different might as well do the entire head of hair. My mix was thicker this time and over all it was a much smoother experience. I left it on a little longer than an hour this time. I was happy with the color from my first experience and didn’t want to stray too far from that. The cayenne pepper burned a bit. More of a tingle, nothing too unpleasant. Until of course I got in the shower. Be very careful of where that henna mix travels in the shower if you catch my drift. I do think the cayenne helped the color truly pop and will be adding it in future mixes. Overall, I am thrilled with the results and the experience. The dye is cheap, you can do it at home and the color is beautiful. I’ve been warned not to use heat styling tools as it’ll burn the henna. I have risked it three weeks after application on a low heat and didn’t notice any changes. But that was my experience. I don’t plan on risking it often.
I did dye my natural hair with henna. I read you can not dye already color treated hair with henna. My ends were still bleached blonde and the henna did not absorb well into my ends. It left with me a streaky orange. It didn’t bother me. It looked kind of pretty with the rest of my hair until I ultimately cut it off. I want healthy hair that is one color.
Oh! Henna is a natural conditioner. One of the many perks!
With henna the pros absolutely outweigh the cons. For me the only cons is the process and the mess. Worth it. I highly recommend Henna hair dye. I highly recommend the brand Light Mountain. Be sure to do your own research! That’s the most important advice I can give. Watch endless YouTube videos, read a ton of Henna Hair Dye forums. Nobody knows you better than you! Figure out a plan that’ll work best for you and your needs and I’m sure it’ll be a rewarding experience! Good luck!
Below are some pictures for reference. The pictures with the henna are from my second experience.
The spider web dress I’m wearing above can be found here and this was at an event at Village Connection Network.