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Henna for Hair

Renae's Mix

Hair background:  I'm 50 something, been coloring my hair for about 10 years with commercial dyes. My original hair color is auburn, now with mostly white and gray. Recent history--changed to Loreal because it was supposed to be better on my hair.  Not only did the color not take, it actually stripped out the color already on my hair. My hair turned almost strawberry blonde on the top.  Next two dyes went back to Clairol Ultress 5ro Auburn.  The first one took just fine, covered the damage from Loreal. Next Clairol was at the very end of September.  Couldn't tell after 24 hours that I had colored at all.

Ordered a sample from Mehandi, tested it, it didn't go up in smoke, turn frog butt green or sewage black. Encouraged I sent for more. I mixed it up in the middle of the night, realized I didn't have nearly enough lemon juice.  Added apple cider vinegar and some water.  Mixture was really lumpy and I couldn't get it to delump. Finally put it in a bag and squished out the lumps.  Let it sit for around 12 hours. Tested again because I couldn't tell if the dye released and to make sure the ACV wasn't going to cause a chemical reaction with my previous dye.

Gooped the stuff on, was not nearly as messy since we just cut a hole in the end of the bag and used it like a pastry bag.  Let it sit for 4 1/2 hours. I'm going for auburn and I wanted it to have a chance to cover the gray.

I kept reading how awful it was to get out of hair, so I took all my friends advice. I dunked my head as far as possible into a bucket of warm water and swooshed it around to get as much off as possible.  Then I turned on the shower and rinsed the grit out.  Then I used a lot of inexpensive conditioner to get most of the excess color out.  When it was looking fairly clean, I did an ACV rinse.  My hair felt too clean, it felt like a big matted mess, even after all that conditioner.  I switched to a new conditioner which worked better, three more rinses and the water was clear and my hair felt like it was not as tangled. I really feel the ACV rinse helped a lot getting extra color out.

The photos can't show it, but at first it was super bright, way too orangy for me although a pretty color on it's own.  I was prepared for this so it didn't really bother me. After 24 hours it has oxidized some already. I'll probably have to mix something with it next time to get it darker.  It was a bit messier and took longer than the chemical dyes, but it was much easier on my head, hair and lungs.  We missed a few spots, but I'm fully confident I can go in and retouch those with no problem. I hadn't used it before because I heard it didn't cover gray, until I got here. Several people on the Long Hair Loom loved it, so I thought I'd give it a try.  We're thinking of making up club jackets for henna addicts!

The first two shots you can see how my roots look and that even where it had covered, it wasn't covering well. I have that nasty cowlick which really shows once my roots get out a ways.

It was actually more intense than this, but I matched the colors to my cat there in the background so it's pretty close. No gray and it's the color you almost only ever see naturally on young kids. My husband says it's translucent in the sun. I'll try to send more photos as it oxidizes. Even too bright I am extremely happy with the results!

Well, this has turned out better than my wildest hopes! In my one week shot, I pulled the darker ends up to the roots to show the color difference. I think this is because of my natural hair color, it shades too gradually to tell the difference in real life lighting and I love both colors anyway. I'm not going to have to "de-orange" at all, at least not until my hair gets much whiter. My daughter came today, her hair is colored the same as I used to with Clairol. Last time she was here I was so jealous because it was such a beautiful color and I couldn't get it any more. After seeing my henna color, she's saving to switch over to henna! The henna is a much richer color. My husband did the application for me and I think he's enjoyed watching the changes almost as much as I have.


Renae, before and after henna


Renae--AKA WildCatDancer
All the gruesome play by play action is in my journal.  http://www.network54.com/Forum/293257


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Catherine Cartwright-Jones

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