Henna like a pro!
by Angi Diller, cosmetologist and esthethician
Henna paste (in carrot bags or tint bottles)
Plastic Cape (if you have one)
Shower Cap or Saran Wrap Large size bowl covers (these are disposable and work great!)
Mix the henna, if you are used to mixing it for body art you will need a thinner mixture than you usually make. Make it this enough that it’s not drippy, but it is easy to dispense. I do believe that terps added will produce a darker result over a few days so if terps make you woozy when they are applied directly onto the scalp, make one bag of unterped for your root/scalp application.
“Cape” yourself. Double fold a long piece of paper towel around your neck and fasten the cape/towels over that. Also drape your chair if you are afraid of being messy/drippy.
Section your hair. If your hair is super short you don’t need to do this, but if it is more that 4 inches long or so it’s the best and easiest way. Make a part front to back, and ear to ear. Clip each section, your hair will be split into equal “quarters”. If you tend to get henna all over your skin, you can use a ring of Vaseline applied all the way around your hairline on the skin and this will help to keep it from staining your forehead, ears, etc.
Apply the henna. Choose one of the front sections and outline it with henna all the way around. This marks the section you will be working on and really helps you to not miss areas, especially if you have lots of hair. Continue with strips of hair from the middle part working your way down toward the ear. Make each strip thin (about ¼ inch) Don’t be tempted to do big thick sections! You won’t get the good coverage and could end up with “Dry” spots in the middle of the sections. Put the hair up on the top of your head as you do each section and work your way down. If you have short hair, this will be easy. If your hair is long, longer, longest it will be more challenging. For long hair, hold the section between your thumb and index finger, thumb towards you. Squirt the henna behind your thumb (closest side facing your chest) and slowly draw your hand down the hair strand as you squeeze henna on. This gets a good coverage all the way down, without having to try and spread a big blob that will drip. If your hair is long clip it up on top as you go, but clip it loosely. Try and not mush it together so tight that you get no heat/air flow between the sections.
Note: If you want to terp, but get woozy, follow these directions but do this: Do the technique above but do the roots only, about an inch out from the scalp…use the unterped henna. Then, after the roots are done flip them back down off the top of your head. These should separate and flip down easily and fairly separately. Then go back and finish “pulling through” each section with your terped henna. You can do this on the whole head first and then go back, but it is probably easier to do section by section as far as neatness and snarling are concerned.
Cover it up with a cap. This will keep it moist and keep heat in. Wipe up any mess on your face or ears. Once you get the hang of this method af application you should have a pretty easy time of it and end up with henna on just your hair (and not everything else!)
Apply heat. Heat it up for a good long time. If you normally keep henna on your hair for an hour, use at least 30 minutes of that time with heat. If you don’t have a “sit under” hairdryer, use a blowdryer. Try to keep in mind that heat opens the hair shaft and cold closes it. So you want to heat it up good, but use cool water when you wash and rinse it. But DON’T wash it till your head has completely cooled off!
Wash out the henna. Don’t forget to use cool water to “seal” the hair shaft and keep the henna in. Use a great conditioner, and don’t go crazy rinsing it out. Leave the hair a little “slimy”. This will coat the hair and help fill in any little “pits” you may still have on the surface of the hair shaft. It really helps retain the color! The color retention conditioners are great because they have a base that won’t rinse off completely enabling them to “seal” the color in.
Enjoy your gorgeous hair!!
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