January 18, 2010

Henna Happiness

I had Henna for Hair look over this post and this is what they added:
Hi TJ,
It was great to read your ode to henna!  However, for clarity's sake, we don't refer to cassia as henna, since it is a different plant.  And cassia, mixed with lemon juice and dye-released overnight, will stain hair a light golden blonde.  This, of course, will only be visible on hair that's blonde, gray or white.  Cassia mixed with water won't release dye and is strictly a conditioner when left on for one hour.

Thanks so much for the positive information you're putting out about natural hair dyes!  And your little boy is a charmer!

Customer Service

Tell me this:

is your hair frizzy?
do you have split ends?
do you wish your hair had more shine and bounce?
do you want those grey hairs to just go away?
are you searching for a natural alternative to box dyes? 

Hmm, that sounds like an infomercial.

Oh well, doesn't matter because I love henna and I'd talk about it to a fox. I'd talk about it in a box.  I'd talk about it here and there...
(who's been reading Dr. Seuss lately?)

Skeptical?  Let me tell you a little background first.

Henna is made from the pulverized leaves of the henna plant.  These leaves have lawsone in them which can dye your hair (or your skin) in a variety of ways depending on the amount of dye content they carry.  While lawsone carries a red dye content, thus dying your hair varying shades of gorgeous auburn, red isn't the ONLY color you can henna your hair with.

This is where it gets confusing for some.  Think of "henna" as a verb to describe the action of dyeing your hair with plant particles rather than the action of making your hair look like Ronald MacDonald.

Because it's not.  It's way cooler that that.

My story with henna began the year I was pregnant with Bear.  I had been coloring my hair since Senior year in high school and I was a chameleon with my color choices. Once I knew I was pregnant, I questioned the box dyes.  

Yeah sure, there's no true negative research out there on hair dye affecting baby's development, but still...

was there a more natural way to color my hair? (because I really didn't want to stop dyeing it, pregnant women already tend to have self esteem complexes!)

Turns out there was.  Henna was my answer and while I will stop with the why and move on to the "how to", you should go check out Henna for Hair to find out more.

Remember when had a bag on her head?  Well, we were hennaing actually Cassia Obovata-ing

her hair.  Cassia is a neutral dye, so it doesn't really change a hair's color unless it is extremely blonde to begin with, but it gives all kinds of added shine, body and health to hair.

I mixed up the plant powder with lemon juice.  The lemon's acidity interacts with the plant in some kind of special, friendly way.

I then put it in a warm place where it could do it's think for 12 hours.

When we were ready to henna, J and I put on crummy clothes, smeared her hairline with coconut oil as a color barrier for her skin and then began the process.

This part is very similar to normal dyeing, henna just goes on a lot thicker.  When  I finished, my lovely friend looked like this

a cute look.  We threw a bag over her hair to keep the henna contained and warm and then we baked cookies.  After 2 hours she rinsed it all out.  Yes, henna needs to stay on for hours, not minutes, but it's not a drag at all and the results are so very worth it.

The next day, her hair looked like this...


I think henna is like a magic beauty trick and I love getting others in to it.  If your curious about henna and want to know more, ask away in the comments and I'll tell ya what I know!


Jennifer Campbell said...

Wow... wish I knew this when I was pregnant with both and stopped dying my hair!!! Awesome... i will have to look into it!

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