It’s been a while since I spent my weekend doing my hair. With the New York subways shut down as Hurricane Irene draws near, we won’t be venturing out this weekend. This will give me a chance to catch up on my blog and watch You Tube videos 🙂 It also means I can finally Henna my hair!!!
I try to apply a Henna treatment every 3 months. It is a long process and I have to be in the mood to do it. The last time I did a treatment was in May so it is definitely time. Those gray hairs are starting to resurface 🙂
A lot of Naturals use Henna to color their hair. There is evidence it has been used for thousands of years to keep hair healthy and color gray hair. It’s also known to provide protein to your hair so you can use it as a natural protein treatment. Henna leaves are harvested, dried, and powdered. When mixed with a mildly acidic liquid, henna will stain skin, hair, and fingernails reddish-orange.
Today I’m using Ayur Rajasthani Henna. To make my treatment, I mixed it with the following:
- Hibiscus Petal powder – Hibiscus promotes hair growth, stops hairfall, gives hair a healthy luster with bounce, and delays premature graying. Hibiscus has been a wonderful ingredient in hair treatments that combine other ayurvedic herbs such as alma and brahmi. For henna color treatments, hibiscus is used to achieve a burgandy to black cherry color on hair. It is also slightly acidic and helps to aid in a faster henna dye release.
- Green Tea – Adds shine to your hair and helps reduce hair loss. The tannins in caffeinated tea help thicken the hair shaft and make hair appear fuller.
- Amla – Used in oil infused tonics or in powder form to provide added strength to hair roots, bring luster to hair, encourage hair growth, and addresses premature greying. Amla also adds texture, volume, wave, and curl to your hair.
- Honey – Honey retains water and moisture, allowing it to hydrate hair while providing vitamins and minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous and Vitamin B.
To help the dye release from Henna, it requires an acidic element to help develop the color. Some will use lemon juice of apple cider vinegar. The stain from henna mixed with lemon juice will gradually darken into a rich, natural deep red color. If you feel that lemon juice is harsh on your skin, mix half lemon juice and half distilled water. You can also use clear fruit juices or acidic teas, but do not use tap water. I prefer the tea option.
I let the green tea and hibiscus steep until it is cool before adding it to my Henna. You don’t want to add boiling water to your Henna. The stain from henna mixed with boiling water will fade to a brassy orange. To that I added Amla powder (2 tbsp) and honey (1 tbsp). You can add more. I really just eye balled it based on the amount of henna that I used (100 grams). I wanted the consistency of a nice thick paste so add enough liquid to achieve that result. This makes for easy application which can get a little messy 🙂
Cover your Henna and let your mixture rest for a few hours. Some leave it overnight but I just do it a few hours before use and leave it in a warm area. While that’s sitting, I de-tangled my hair and sectioned into 6 twists in preparation of shampooing my hair. You always want to apply Henna to clean hair. I used Aussie Moist conditioner (LOVE) and my Mason Pearson comb (LOVE). This is an awesome combo. It really makes for an effortless de-tangling session. Now to hop in the shower to wash my hair.
I’ve adopted a new method for washing my hair. I now use an applicator bottle to apply my shampoo. Since I wash my hair in sections, I need to make sure I’m getting the shampoo on to my scalp and with it in sections, I was finding it hard to do. Now I can get the shampoo in the right places one section at a time. Apply shampoo untwist the section, cleanse, rinse, and re-twist. Simple!!!
With all 6 sections done, I’m ready to come out and start the Henna process. I make sure to get most of the water out of my hair yet still leaving it damp so it is easier to work with. You don’t want to work with dry hair, this will lead to damage. To apply the Henna you must wear gloves. Henna will stain your hands so make sure to put on your gloves (I cannot stress this enough!). Thankfully those with darker complexions don’t have to worry if it gets on your face, neck, arms, and ears. If you don’t wipe it off quickly, the stain will not be visible and any trace of it will fade from your skin in 3 days. Those with lighter complexions, be sure to wipe it off immediately or be prepared to see some spots. Like I said, it is a messy process so be prepared to get some on you. Put on an old tshirt or drape an old towel around you and get ready to start! For those first timers, you may also want to lay down some newspaper in case you get some drips on to your floor.
Best method for application…Start from the back and work your way to the front. With my hair in the 6 twists (3 on each side), it works out perfectly. I untwist and apply until my entire head is done. You just take a handful of Henna paste and slather it on each section. It’s like icing a cake. The more Henna the better so be generous with the application. Make sure you get close to your scalp. You want to cover from root to end.
As I applied the Henna, I couldn’t believe how long my hair has become!
Once you’ve applied the paste to your entire head, cover your hair with a plastic cap and let it sit for a couple of hours. Some do 4 hours, some go overnight. I’ve done both and didn’t notice any difference so I’m fine with the 4 hour application. Sleeping with it can lead to a messed up pillow case if you aren’t careful. I’m spending my 4 hours to update my blog with this post 🙂
Stay tuned for Part 2 of My Hair Weekend. I’m pulling out the Huetiful Steamer and trying out their new Hair Masque treatment 🙂