I wrote a post a couple years ago about how to dye your hair with henna. I had been dyeing my hair with henna for about a year and pretty much had the process down to a super easy science- then I decided it was time to change things up and dye my hair black. Usually I keep my hair in some shade of red but about once every 5 years I go a little crazy and break out the black hair dye.Then it takes the better part of a year to get all the dark out and go back to red.
So now I am back to hennaing my hair once again and all is well and my hair is on the road to recovery from chemical dyes. I’m going to share my process with you on how I made the sometimes tedious regimen of using henna a lot easier.
Feel free to read up on henna basics from the post I did a couple years ago if you aren’t familiar with the process then come on back to learn some henna tricks.
Once thing I have learned whenever I dye my hair no matter what the color is, is to do it on the weekend when I have a couple days off from work. Freshly dyed hair can look pretty intense and it can take a few days to tone down. If your head gets stained at all from the color, it just looks odd. I do mine on Fridays after work and by Monday it looks great.
Mix up the henna according to the instructions. This usually means making a yogurt like paste of henna powder and water or lemon juice. I cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for several hours. I mix up the batch in the morning and after 3-4 hours its ready.
Once I am ready to get started I dilute the henna with conditioner. Yes, this is the secret tip! Mix it almost 50/50 with conditioner right before you apply it to your hair.
This does several things:
One- It acts as a deep conditioning treatment as you are processing the color
Two- it makes the henna so much easier to wash out when the time comes.
Three- It can dilute the intensity of the red tones in the henna. Since my hair is already red and my roots that grow in a dark ashy blonde the henna will always make my hair flaming and that’s the way I like it but if you have darker hair and don’t want an intense red, making a “gloss” with conditioner is a good way to do it.
Four- You end up needing less henna powder since you can get away with making a smaller batch. This saves money long term
Wearing gloves (always wear gloves!) Apply they henna in sections with an old brush and then place a shower cap over your head to keep the heat in. If the henna dries the color will stop processing.
Keep the henna on your head for at least an hour then rinse out in the shower. I rinse then shampoo, then condition, then shampoo again and one more round of conditioner.
The red tones will naturally darken over the next few days (another reason I do this on the weekends)
To maintain I apply the henna once a month to cover the root regrowth.
Here is a before from when my hair was really dark
After about 7 months and using Color Oops color remover a couple of times and then finally bleach on the ends I finally got my hair to the point where I could use henna over top to even out the color and make it red again
Here is the after:
I think the red looks much better on me but I’m sure in about 5 years I will end up going black again 🙂