Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chemicals vs Henna?

As I have continued my Natural Hair Journey, one area that was not so natural was my hair coloring methods.  Several times I had planned to just keep the gray rather than use the chemical coloring processes. I even contemplated applying the color myself, but was afraid of leaving it in too long.  While perusing many natural hair sites, there were mentions of henna, but I hadn't paid much attention  until recently.  I don't recall which site gathered my most attention, but one did, then another, then another. The biggest draw was the longer you leave it in the better.  Opposite of chemical coloring...
So a few weeks ago I decided to try it.  First problem was trying to find the right henna.  I needed to find Body Art Quality henna.  I tried several places, but none could be found.  At the store I regularly purchase my hair products, the merchant reminded me of a Indian store located back in town.  They may have the henna I searched.  He gave me directions, but it would have to wait another day.
Days later I sought the store based on the merchant's directions to discover the store is not at that location anymore.  Vaguely recalling a Indi-Paki store recently opened near my workplace, it was my next choice.

This grocer did have two types of henna products.  The first the merchant presented advertised as different shades.  From my research, this brand would not be one I needed.  The other brand was not legible to me as I hoped. I recognized the Mehandi name from my research and it was labeled for Hair Color usage only.  For $1.99 a box, it was worth a try.

From my research on Henna For Hair, lemon juice was the recommended method of extracting the pigment from the henna plant powder. Gloved in latex in my newspapered bathroom I began the mixing process until the product was like pudding or yogurt.  The paste mixture was then covered in plastic wrap touching the mixture to restrict air penetration. I let it set overnight until late the next morning.

Henna - Lemon Juice mixture

Before application, I mixed in more lemon juice. During the wait time, I shampoo washed my hair.  Afterward, enjoying the fun gooey mess, starting at the nape of my neck, I began to heavily apply the mixture over my head as described in the Free Ebook provided on that website.

Applied mixture back

Applied mixture top

Once applied, I wrapped my head in plastic wrap. 

Post-application wrap-up

After about 5-6 hours, I rinsed then shampooed out the rest of the mixture and styled in to my most common style, THE AFRO.

It was a fun process.  I've read that some initially henna several times weekly, then weekly, then monthly.  Maybe it's because of the method used, but my color still looks great after these weeks have passed.  Next week being a holiday weekend, I may henna again.

You want to try it?


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