First time I colored my hair was at 6th or 7th grade in school, and I only got one small piece of hair RED. Bright red. My hair is naturally medium brown and very “blah” looking, and one red hair piece was looking good on a head of a 13 year old :) I think my mom was dyeing her hair red at that time and when she was doing hers, she did mine too. Girls at school LOVED it and were jealous. I remember that about a month later, the two “coolest” girl in the class did that too, but little weirdly, the both had one red piece and one GREEN piece (I think they wanted to be cooler than me, but it looked ridiculous, haha). I didn’t feel cool, I was very shy and honestly everything that was bringing attention to myself was VERY uncomfortable. I didn’t understand why that tiny piece of red hair got that much attention and I was on one side happy that the other girls stated doing it too, so everyone was looking at them, and not me. :) Later (about 2-3 years later) mom allowed me to color my whole hair red. I loved it. And that was the last time I showed my natural haircolor to the world :D So by now I have like 15 years of hair dyeing experiences. I was a readhair, black haired, brunette, with blonde highlights, half red/half black, purple, blueblack… I had a very very short hair, loooong wavy permed hair, and over all those years DAMAGED hair. At the age of 21 I chopped all my hair off to make a “fresh new start” for them (picture below, with my two brothers).
For the longest time I regreted this :D but I was able to grow a new healthy hair pretty quickly, they grow really fast!!! In April 2011 I chopped it off again and that was the last time I did so. So to compare how fast my hair grows, see pictures below :D (I did cut my ends several times during this short time).
OCTOBER 2012 – With Hartwigs and bangs :))
TODAY, JULY 2013
With all the paleo eating, paleo lifestyle and getting rid of all chemical stuff I put inside or on my body, I decided to stop coloring my hair with regular drugstore hairdyes. And I wanted to do something good for my hair, that became really long, dry and damaged again. I use no hair gels, hairsprays or masks or any other treatments, no conditioners, just regular drugstore shampoos, I very rarely blowdry my hair or flatiron them. Recently I started using the ‘no-poo’ method of just baking soda+apple cider vinegar to wash them (can’t really say anything about how it works, since I only did it once so far and then used henna, so next soda+vinegar washing is coming up probably at the end of this weeks).
Hayley from Food Lovers blogged about her henna experience on their blog which inspired me to try henna too. I always wanted to buy a Lush Henna, but I could not imagine leaving it on my hair for HOURS AND HOURS, I am very impatient person. I am the person who paints her nails with a nice polish and the second I am done, I need to DO SOMETHING WITH MY HANDS so I screw up all the pretty work I’ve done on my nails. Or I paint my nails and need to go to the bathroom. After reading Hayley’s post I was convinced.
Last week I ordered my bar of Caca Brun henna from Lush, and started with reading about the process, since I never tried henna again and I don’t know anyone in person who did either. The bar arrived on Thursday, so I decided to put it on on Friday, after work. Yay, I was sooooo looking forward to it!!!
Here is my hair pre-treatment. There is really no shine to the hair, it is kinda dry and dull looking. About a year ago I experimented with “ombre” look and I lightened the bottom half of my hair (yeah, looked cool until EVERYONE AROUND started doing it, once again…), and then I dyed it back brown, but the ends were still visibly lighter and “orangey” looking.
I’ve had enough of reddish hair and I really wanted to achieve dark chocolate brown shade, more of a cool tone than warm tone, without that reddish “gloss” to it. I always prefered black hair on me (I am pretty pale and have green eyes and I liked myself with black hair), but it does look unnatural on me, so I was really going for the best dark brown possible. I looked it up on google, Lush website and different blogposts to see HOW to get the BROWN out of that Caca Brun, the result that Hayley has was kinda what I was looking for.
I read that coloring with this henna is “buildable” and it is good to use it two or three days in a row. Also I learned that it is still developing even after finishing the process, so my hair will possibly go even darked in 2-3 days after coloring them. So I decided to use 4 squares of the bar to cover all of my hair, and if the ends will still look lighter than the rest of the hair, I will use the rest of the bar the next day just on the ends. So I put on my rubber gloves and started the process!!!
You are supposed to melt the henna (and crumble it first to make the melting easier, some people use the cheese grater to grate it, but I found it too messy, so I just broke the square into 4-5 smaller pieces) with hot water, and stir it until it is this medium thick paste (not too runny, not to dry, if you are coloring your hair for years, you kinda know what type of consistency are you looking for). What was really funny and a bit scary was the color of the melted mixture – it was very GREEN. It smelled amazing though, very natural, earthy, herbaly smell, I loved it. Chemical hairdyes usually smell horrible and sometimes make my eyes watery.
I started applying it from the roots to the ends, from the back of my head to the top. I was working rather quickly, I didn’t want my henna to dry in the bowl before I put it on, so I had a pot of hot water under the glass bowl. When I was done, I cleaned the sink and all the stains I had on my neck, ears, face and hands. It was very easy to remove, with chemical dyes you have to clean the stains immediately, or you end up having dark spots on your skin, but with henna it was very very clean and easy. I usually have black ears for days after using a regular hairdye :D
So! With a green muddy helmet on my head, I set up my stopwatch on 5 hours and left my hair to its destiny.
5 hours later I had a hard coat of hardened henna on my head, haha, it was pretty funny and heavy :D I washed it all off (took a while before the water was coming out clear) and realized that I didn’t know if I am suppose to shampoo it afterwards. So I didn’t and the next morning I woke up with the oiliest hair EVER :D
But it looked pretty dark, with ends still lighter than the rest of the hair. So that was a time for ROUND 2! :) I applied one more square of melted henna on my ends only (10-15cm) and waited another 4 hours with two hard dreadlocks on my head :)
To make the long story short, it worked and here is the final result after shampooing and airdrying (in the sunlight). My hair has never been this shiny and healthy looking, ever.
WHAT A SHINE!!! :)
So I think my first henna experience is PRETTY POSITIVE :) I am loving how my hair looks and feels, I can’t stop touching, haha. The color is just perfect, not really without the red gloss, but I am LOVING it and I will for sure use henna again next time! :)