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Home Spa Treatment: Henna Your Hair

Since I have dark hair, lemon juice doesn't do a thing to add natural highlights to my hair. I've even experimented with cranberry juice, but I never really noticed much of a difference. Many years ago a friend turned me on to using henna. It doesn't contain a bunch of synthetic chemicals, instead it is a plant based dye. The green leaves are dried and then crushed into a powder. You just add water to the powder to make a paste that you apply to your hair.

Despite what hairdressers say, henna is good for your hair. Not only is it a natural colorant (much better than chemical dyes), but it strengthens and conditions your hair, and as an added bonus, it gets rid of dandruff.

When I want to add a color to my hair, I use the pure henna powder you order online - it works much better than the Rainbow Henna you see at heath food stores. It's the same henna women use to decorate a bride's hands and feet before an Indian wedding.

Putting henna in your hair can be a bit messy, but the color is absolutely gorgeous. It creates shiny reddish highlights that look completely natural. Want to know how to do it, then

Wash your hair, don't condition it and then towel it dry. Place the entire box of henna powder (about 100 grams or 1 cup) into a glass or metal bowl. Then gradually add 1 cup of warm water. Use a metal spoon to mix it together to make a creamy paste similar to frosting.
Wear rubber or latex gloves (so your hands don't get stained - if you don't wear gloves, it's not a big deal - the stain will go away in a day or two). Using your fingers, scoop up some of the paste and begin to smear it all along your hair. I always do the hair around my face first and then work my way back. After all the henna is in your hair, if you hair is long enough, pull it back and then twist it in a bun.
Now place a plastic bag over your hair and tie it in the back. Then check your face, ears, neck, and shoulders and wash off any henna that didn't make it into your hair. Check the floor too.

The first time I did this, I only left the henna in my hair for 45-60 minutes. Then every other time, I increased the amount of time until I realized that I could sleep with it overnight. My hair is really dark though, so the longer the better. I would NOT recommend you do this your first time or if your hair is light.

When you are ready to wash it out, get into one of those shower/tubs. Turn the water on for the tub, squat down, and wash as much of the henna out as possible. Then you can turn on the shower part and rinse the rest of your hair and body. Don't wash your hair, just condition it once or twice - it makes your hair silky smooth and helps to get all the extra henna out. The water will be brown, so don't be alarmed. It'll probably be brown the next few times you get it wet too.

So that's it. I know it sounds a little complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it's just as easy as washing your hair.

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