When people talk of “henna” they usually think about the material used for drawing temporary tattoos for stylish body art.
They forget that henna was originally made as a dye, to color hair. Henna is organic, all-natural, and safe, without any harsh chemicals in it. If you’re thinking of changing your hair color, it’s a good idea to use this material. It’s not easy though, but if you want to try it, here’s how to dye your hair with henna.
What You’ll Need
- Plastic container
- Plastic wrap, shower cap or saran wrap
- Old t-shirt
- Latex or rubber gloves
- Plastic spoon
- Citrus juice, such as from grapefruit, lemon or orange
First Part: Preparing The Henna
When bought, henna usually comes in powder form. You can get some from a beauty store, a special store over the Internet, or from a Middle Eastern specialty shop. Get the same kind they use for body art. How much you buy depends on how long your hair is.
For short hair, 100 grams will do, while 200 grams is okay for collar length hair. 300 grams is good for shoulder length hair, and 500 grams for waist-length hair.
Spoon the henna into a plastic container, like a bowl.
Add a small amount of citrus juice. Mix, until you have a liquid that’s as thick as yogurt.
Cover the container using a plastic wrap, and leave overnight. The room temperature must be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This will make the dye release lasting and vibrant results.
Second Part: Applying The Henna
Wash your hair thoroughly, then cover it into sections. Remember, this can be very messy, so wear an old t-shirt while doing this. Draping towels around your shoulder is also a good idea.
Wear the rubber gloves before you touch the henna. Very carefully, work the henna into your scalp and hair, beginning at the nape. You can either put it with your gloved hand, use a piping bag or use a squeeze bottle.
Apply the henna as thick as possible, as if it’s cake frosting.
Section your hair as you apply the henna. Don’t leave any dry spots below the top layer, and there should be no dry spots.
Keep the henna moist and warm while it’s processing, by wrapping your head with plastic wrap, saran wrap or covering it with a shower cap.
Clean up your face, especially your forehead, ears, neck and the sides. Wipe any trace of henna away.
Leave the henna on your head for two to four hours. If your hair is dye-resistant, leave it on for longer.
Using water, rinse out the henna as much as possible. Shampoo, then use some conditioner to release remaining henna from the hair. It’s advisable to use cold water when doing this, since it seals the hair shaft, making it look healthy and shiny.
Henna Dyeing Tips
Ask a friend to help you with this task. It can be messy doing it all by yourself, and you might not apply enough henna around your head.
Do a “strand test” before you use the dye all over your head. Practice using an stray hair strand or a section at the nape.
Don’t be surprised if the henna color is overly bright at first. It needs a couple of days before it can develop, and once it oxidizes, it’ll be darker.
To avoid dye staining, put some lotion all over your hairline and around your neck and ears.
Very few people have henna allergies, but just in case, do an allergy test before using this product. Mix a small amount, put it on your forearm and wait for an hour. If no symptoms appear, then it’s safe to use.
For those looking for a safe and effective dyeing material, henna tattoo is a good option. Just use it the right way, though, to avoid any hairstyle malfunctions.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with us here at yourhaircolors.com? Let us know in the comments below!