Using Henna to Safely Dye Your Hair
The practice of dyeing one’s hair is age-old. Whether it is to cover the natural grey strands that creep in with time, or to simply experiment with a new color and look, hair dyeing is a common activity. These days, with the advent of technology in the fashion industry, there is a large range of hair dyes with varying mix of chemicals and natural ingredients. However, when one wants to go the all-natural route, there is one clear winner that emerges as an effective, safe hair dye that shines in appearance as well as performance: henna.
Henna is favored the world over for not just the rich red color it imparts to hair, but also for its beneficial properties to the health of the scalp. It is safe enough to be used repeatedly by an individual while adding to their hair’s shine, bounce, volume and overall nourishment. The process of henna dyeing usually does take longer than salon or over-the counter dyes. But the result is much safer and actually of a far more permanent nature.
Some general facts before you go shopping for your first henna dye pack:
- Henna dyeing takes time. Henna leaves are available in a powdered form, which is then mixed with water to create a thick paste. This needs to be left for about twelve hours for the natural hair dye to release. Also, being a natural colorant, henna takes time to seep in and therefore needs to be left on your hair for at least 4 hours to take the desired effect.
- The shade of red that you achieve with henna is different for each individual, because it is influenced by your hair color before dyeing.
- Henna can be used for all types of hair and is even considered safe on chemically treated hair.
Listed below are the materials and simple steps that can help you dye your hair safely with henna:
Ingredients: 100-500 grams of good quality henna. The rule of thumb is 100 g for short hair, 200 g for collar-length hair, 300 g for shoulder-length and 500 g for waist-length hair. 50 ml lemon juice (optional, but recommended). Water-as required for getting a yoghurt-like consistency. If you have overly sensitive skin, you could choose to have a runny paste.
- Make the henna paste using the ingredients listed above and let it rest for a period of about twelve hours after covering the bowl used for mixing it.
- Using a pair of latex gloves (to avoid henna stains), mix it again to get rid of any skin that may have formed underneath it.
- Divide your hair into even sections for easy and uniform application, as henna is harder to apply being quite thick unlike the box-dye variety.
- Begin applying the henna section-wise, in generous quantities. Do not be conservative in using it, since it is required to be in larger proportions for a richer result.
- After your hair is completely covered, wrap it in plastic/saran wrap. Remove your gloves and clean out any specks left behind after application on your forehead, neck etc.
- The optimum time for leaving henna in your hair is about 3 hours. This allows it to penetrate the hair shafts evenly and dye it a deep, dark color.
Now, sit back and bask in the compliments!
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