Is your hair dry?
Are you sick of plonking chemicals on your head?
Do you care about the effect of hair dyes on animal testing?
Then Henna could be for you!
In this tutorial i will show you how to achieve a natural red shade through the use of BAQ henna.
This is an art that has been practiced for thousands of years, it's natural, beautiful, theraputic, and really fun!
This tutorial is just designed as a starter block for those new to Henna, there are billions of different mixes you can make, and loads of different colours you can acheive (not just red ;D) this one is just a nice simple one. Check the link at the bottom of this tutorial for more mix ideas =)
PLEASE NOTE!!! *ALWAYS* make sure you purchase GENUINE Body Art Quality Henna, the metallic salts in other henna's are terrible for your hair!
Get your BAQ henna from wherever you had it stored (or take it out of the bag if you just got it! =D) and take a few minutes to sit and look at the pretty packaging, and contemplate your decision.
Plonk all your ingredients on a easily-cleaned surface.
Put your henna in a NON-METALLIC bowl. (This is VERY important, we don't want any nasty reactions! =D ) I'm using 100g of Jamilla Henna from <a href="www.henna-boy.co.uk">Henna Boy</a>.
I like to add some Paprika to my mix, as it's supposed to intensify the colour (and adding stuff is fun ^_^)
Add lemon juice! Some people make their whole mix with just lemon juice, but this can be quite drying on your hair, so go for about 1/4 of all your liquid additions as lemon juice.
Add warm tap water to dilute the lemon.
I also like to put some yogurt in mine! =D It helps to soften your hair :)
Olive oil is also a great thing to add, as it makes washing the mix out of your hair easier.
Mix it all up until it's somewhere between the consistency of mashed potato/brownie mix. I make mine quite hard, it makes it more difficult to apply and the henna doesn't go as far - but it means it doesn't drip as much while it's on.
Cover your henna mix with cling film, and put it in a warm place. (As you can see, mine's in front of my LCDTV, another idea is in the airing cupboard, or in warm water in the sink) You will need to leave your henna until the dye releases, depending on your batch, and how warm the area you've put it in is, it can release in anything from about 2-24 hours. Mine took 6 hours, and 3 of those were in a warm sink :)
This is what your henna will look like once it has seperated. Note the difference in colour from the henna on top and the henna underneath.
Double check for dye release if you're cautious. Pop a blob of henna on your palm, and wait a few minutes.
As you can see, after a couple of minutes, i washed off the henna, and it has left a stain, meaning the dye has released and we're ready to go! =D
DO A TEST STRIP IF YOU'VE NEVER HENNA'D BEFORE. This is SO IMPORANT i cannot stress how important it really is. You do this to ensure your henna is BAQ, as if it isn't, it could turn your hair green, black, or it can even break off!!
Pop some of the mixed henna on a strip of your hair, and wrap it up in cling film.
Keep the strip nice and toasty (note the hat ;) ) and check on it again in a couple of hours. Put your henna somewhere cooler now the dye has released so it doesn't spoil.
If your test strip came out ok, you're good to go! =D Wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo to get all the product out of it, and then thoroughly towel dry your hair. Apply the henna carefully, this stuff is messy! Not to mention it won't drip through your hair like regular dye, so you really need to smush it on thick!
Once that's all done, wrap your head up nice n' tight in cling film, and pop a hat on it to keep it warm and moist (note the hat, again). You can leave your henna for as little as 2 hours for a lighter stain or as long as you can stand it for a deeper one! Some people keep it on as long as 24 hours!
Wash the henna out of your hair. If it's being stubborn (and if it dried at all while you were applying, it will be. Try to avoid that happening!) use generous amounts of conditioner to work the henna out of your hair.
The image to the right is my hair before henna, this is a chemical colour over bleached hair. The colour was 2 weeks old, and as you can see it was faded, dull, and lacked and oomph.
The image to the left is my hair the morning after henna, nice and rich, highly pigmented (seriously, the shine and glimmer is blinding! =D), soft, and generally just lovely!
After about 3 days my colour will have oxidised and will be slightly deeper than this. But aside from that, a voila! Happy Henna'ing! =D
*****For more information on Henna and the benefits of using it on your hair please visit <a href="http://www.hennaforhair.com/">Hennaforhair.com</a>*****