Posted in Natural Hair

Back to the Henna!

So with my ever-changing taste in hairstyles and hair colors, I now have a frozen batch of henna in my freezer along with a bag of indigo in my bathroom!

Yes, sometimes I enjoy the bright red highlights that appear when the sun casts its golden rays upon my hair, while burning my back and shoulders. Sometimes, I look at the hairs that might have been untouched by the previous applications, and I see how dark it is. How beautifully it reflects the lights.

Therefore, I have moments when I indigo my hair and relish in the darkness of my locks. This was not one of those moments.

Granted, I have to henna my hair before I indigo it, so that the color sticks and doesn’t come out some weird washed out greenish color.

This time, since it’s the end of summer and I can already feel the chill of a Wisconsin fall setting in, I decided that the brownish-red color (in the sun) was the way to go.

So, if you decide that you want to go with henna here’s what you should do!

  1. Get body art quality henna. Jamila henna is what I use, but Mehandi henna also has really good reviews. Their website along with also has a lot of good information.
  2. Depending on the length of your hair, mix a box (or two) of the henna into hot water. You can add hibiscus tea for even redder color.
  3. Let it sit, covered, for over 12 hours for the color to release.
  4. Section your hair into at least six sections. Though you could do less depending on the length and thickness of your hair.
  5. Apply henna using gloves (or else the color will stick to your hand for a while).
  6. Cover hair and find something to do for at least four hours.
  7. Wash henna out with cheap conditioner. I prefer to use V05, since it’s like 95 cents.
  8. Deeeeeeep condition, because it will have your hair feeling pretty dry.
  9. Style!

I really like using henna for its ability to naturally color my hair and thicken/smooth my strands. I find that my hair has less frizz and is a bit shinier.

A few words of warning:

  • Make sure that you do a strand test to make sure that you’re not allergic to henna.
  • Do not use anything that you see that says “henna hair dye,” it’s not henna.
  • Henna does NOT come in other colors. So if you see something stating that it’ll dye your hair black they’ve probably added other chemicals to it and it might not go very well for you.
  • It might take a few applications for you to see the color, especially if you have very dark hair.
  • If you’re thinking of dying your hair some other color, henna might not be for you. It coats your hair, so you probably will have to bleach it off or wait for it to grow out.
  • If you have loose curls, henna might loosen them even further. If you have wavy hair, your waves are probably going to disappear. For us kinky haired ladies, I haven’t experienced or heard of much loosening luckily.
  • It’s a very long process, so if you’re impatient, henna definitely is not for you.

Otherwise, sit back and enjoy those highlights! For the lighter haired women, enjoy your new hair color!

Yep, just slight highlights

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