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Henna for Hair

Saramay's Mix
Saramay before hennaSaramay

Saramay  before and after henna

This is a before and after picture in full sun of my hennaed hair.  I'd used henna 4 times when that picture was taken in summer of 05.  The before picture is my virgin hair.  You can’t really tell in the picture, but it was a lot redder on the ends than at the roots even thought it had never been dyed.  It was really noticeable (to me) especially when I wore it up and the ends were against the roots.  The henna really evened out the color, but it did make my ! overall hair darker. That was fine by me; I really love my hair color now.
My original mix was 250 g of henna from Catherine; the juice from 4 lemons and 2 oranges; a tablespoon of paprika; and distilled water.  I mixed the citrus juice with the henna and then added a little water until all the henna was wet and was a really thick paste.  I left this out for at least 12 hours for dye release.  Then I mixed more distilled water into the henna until it was custard like.  My husband helped me put it in my hair.  We divided my hair into 6 sections and started applying henna to the bottom first and worked forward.  I wrapped my head in saran wrap and then a towel to keep it warm. Then I left it in for about 10 hours – way longer than I needed to I think.  My head was really heavy and there was henna leaking down my neck and in my ears.  Washing it out was a task.  But in the end, my hair color was even and it felt thicker and healthier.
I kept this basic mix the same for the next 2 or 3 hennas.  I did cut the time do! wn.  I now leave it in for 4 to 6 hours.   I experimented with adding tumeric along with the paprika.  I did see more gold tones but I didn’t really care for them.  I’ve found the paprika helps tone down the orange of the henna during the first 3 days while it’s oxidizing.  Neither spice adds lasting color and I no longer bother with them.  I decided to try a gel mix that I found on your site.  It cut down the amount of henna I need by half and made applying it and rinsing it out sooo much easier.  Now I use a gel mix all the time; I’ll never deal with that mud again.
After hennaing 6 times or so I noticed that fade again.  The color had built up nicely on the ends and in comparison the roots seemed a bit lackluster.  I now only color the roots (well maybe more than just the roots.  I do about the first 5 inches of my hair on top and just the roots in the back).  I try to do root touchups every few weeks.  I’ll probably henna my whole head every 6 months.  The henna doesn’t fade like commercial dyes.
My final mix is pretty simple and very effective.
100 grams henna
Fresh citrus juice/distilled water (enough to turn henna into a very thick paste)
I leave this out overnight for dye release and then:
Boil 1 cup of distilled water and add ½ package of gelatin (I loosely follow the directions included for jelly).
Stir until thick. Allow to cool slightly. Then slowly add the gel to the henna paste until it has the consistency of yogurt.  I usually don’t add all the liquid, but most.  Apply to hair. (I need a buddy for this, Thanks honey!)
I love henna and will never color my hair with anything else!
- Saramay


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© 2005,  Alex Morgan: Spellstone

Unless otherwise noted, all material© 2004, 2005, 
Catherine Cartwright-Jones
Title Graphics © 2004,  Gwyneddh Jones