As a child, I was one of those kids with the bleach-blonde hair and blue eyes. As I got older, my eyes darkened, as did my hair. I started to be more conscious about tanning and skin damage and all that jazz, so I stopped spending as much time outside in the sun. As a result, the blonde in my hair faded and went to this dull mousey brown/ash blonde colour. My hair itself was very shiney and healthy, but the colour just wasn’t very exciting.
I then spent some time browsing the internet, hitting forums, Google Images, Pinterest in search of advice about dying hair with henna.
I posted on my Facebook status that I was thinking about dying my hair with henna. Wow! What a blow up that turned out to be! I got a bunch of people all commenting and telling me how bad henna was and that I would regret dying my hair. A few people warned me that this was permanent and irreversible if I didn’t like it.
Between all these negative comments were one or two people saying that they never had any issues with henna and actually loved it.
I was initially quite discouraged at this reaction. Not nice wanting to do something & have everybody tell you what a bad idea it is!
After getting over the initial discouragement I set about to do even more research about henna. I found this incredibly helpful blog post about henna: Click here
I recommend reading that link as it talks about real henna vs other things that are dangerous and bad for your hair.
I had dyed my hair previous in 2010, and the colour faded and just generally looked “blah” after 2 months, so henna sounded like a good option.
One of my friends, Roxanne, helped me with doing my hair (she helped with the initial 2010 experiment, too). Roxanne and I have been friends for the last 10 years, and when I told her I wanted to dye my hair with henna & asked if she could help, she winced and then said ok, she’d help. A great friend – she knows telling me “no” would just make me more determined. (I found out later she just winced because she had no idea how to use henna)
As no post from me is complete without photos, here are they:
Before hair. This was taken months ago. Around May 2013.
These photos were from a shoot I did with a good friend & fellow photographer, Adele Kloppers for use on my website. She also curled my hair like this! (I’d have her curl it every day if I could…)
Had my hair cut at Neil James salon. (nicest hair cut I’ve ever had!)
Random back yard shot taken the week before dying my hair.
VERY IMPORTANT: I did a test strand first! I took a tiny bit of hair & dyed it with the henna to see how it would react & to see what colour it would go. This was the result:
It’s important to do this incase your hair reacts badly with the henna. You never know and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
I don’t have any photos of what the henna looked like in the pot, but mine came out quite brown instead of the green colour that many other’s reported.
I looked this up & figured out that henna can go stale & can turn brown as it gets old. Since mine had the right texture and smell, didn’t burn my hair off, I figured it was alright.
Henna goes the lovely texture of mud when you start to put it on. This makes it incredibly messy and difficult to apply. Get a friend to help out.
I wrapped my head in the towel & cling film for 4 hours. We watched series, spoke crap and ate a lot of food. (I went to the shop in this towel… :/ ) I also smeared Vaseline all over my hairline to stop my head from dying. I checked on it every now and then to make sure it was ok.
I then removed the towel & we washed my hair while kneeling in the shower. Not very glamourous. Roxanne then dried my hair with a hair dryer.
And ta-da! (there’s Roxanne in the background!)
Still slightly wet, in the sun immediately after: It was MUCH MUCH more orange than this. It was scary orange at first. However, henna does take a few days to “settle” and come to it’s true colour.
The next day:
And now, the truer colour: It is actually darker than this in person, but it’s SO difficult to get the colour right on camera compared to what my eyes see.
Check out that shine!!
A quick pros and cons list of using henna:
* No chemicals! True henna doesn’t have any chemicals or additives.
* You can use it repeatedly. Because there are no chemicals, you can use it a lot more often than conventional dyes.
* Makes your hair healthier & shinier. Also strengthens hair.
* It doesn’t make your hair darker/lighter, it just changes the colour of the hair by adding red/orange.
* Cheap compared to conventional dyes.
* Leaves hair feeling thicker & full of body
* Permanent colour. This is both a pro and a con because it means you have to wait for your hair to grow out. I have heard you can dye over henna, but I can’t vouch for that.
* Difficult to apply & very messy.
* Time consuming. I had to sit for 4 hours with the henna on my head, but I didn’t really mind.
* Can loosen natural curls (no idea why, I don’t have curls, but I have read that this happens.)
So there you go! For the people that told me not to do it… oopsy! Looks like I didn’t listen
I love the way my hair looks now, and when I decide not to continue with the henna, I will just let my hair grow out. I’m not fussed about that.
Have any henna experiences? Let me know below!
Here’s the pin-able photo: (Or click here to repin my pin)