I’ve been dying my hair off and on since high school. My natural color is a somewhat mousey brown and never felt vibrant enough for who I am and the me I want to express to the world.
When I started my “chemical free” phase and went a little crunchy, I began using henna to color my hair rather than mainstream toxic dye. I’ve now been experimenting with henna for 10 years off and on. If you want to learn more, I wrote an entire article on the what, why, and how of using henna. Before you ask, I use the brand Light Mountain Natural. 😉
I find that what keeps women from doing henna on themselves is often feeling it’s too hard or messy.
These reasons apply to any at-home hair dye, mainstream or not. I haven’t found a hair salon that will dye my hair with henna
(though I’m sure they’re out there somewhere) so doing it at home is necessary.
Luckily, over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks to keep it simple(r) and clean(er).
Here are my 7 tips I wish I had known when I first started henna:
Enlist your husband. Or sister or best friend.
Critical advice. It will keep your stress level down and your bathroom walls will stay clean.
Use plastic hair clips.
You need to keep your hair up and away from your face to avoid having a tattoo in the shape of a Rorschach ink blot test on your cheek.
Keep your henna mix thick.
If you have really long hair this may mean purchasing two boxes. Do it. I used to try and thin it out in order to conserve material. But then it just ended up dripping down my face or back, making that hour leave-in period miserable.
Wear your painting clothes. Or wrap your shoulders with an old towel.
You never know when a big blob of dark dye goo is going to randomly plop down on your shoulder, even if your henna assistant is being super careful. And you probably don’t want to apply henna in the buff or you’re going to be getting those Rorschach tattoos in unmentionable places.
Use a shower cap and gloves.
Duh. But also make sure each person involved (including yourself if there is someone else helping you) has gloves to keep fingers unstained. To go even further, you can wear gloves when you rinse your hair afterwards in the shower.
Don’t get too fancy with application.
If you have short hair, just plop huge globs on there and massage around. If your hair is long, it may take more precision, but the beauty of henna is that, most of the time, it’s a more subtle color transition so no one will know if its not perfect.
Wear dark colors after your next two showers.
For the next few washes, your hair will rinse out a light yellow stain. Best to be prepared – use a dark towel also during this time.
Now your turn.
Do you henna your hair? If so, what are your best tips to make it a smoother process? If not, what’s keeping you from trying it? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.