Enough henna and indigo (2:1 ratio) to cover hair (100 grams will cover the identical amount of hair as a box of chemical dye, so guesstimate from there. I exploit 250 grams to cover bra-strap length, medium thick hair)
– Lemon juice, purchased, hand-squeezed provides no benefit and must be carefully strained so in generally more trouble than it is worth for this.
– A glass or ceramic bowl large enough to hold the combo (preferably glass as ceramic can stain)
– a wooden or plastic utensil for mixing. I take advantage of wooden chopsticks (never use anything metal)
– A truly ridiculous amount of plastic wrap
– Optional add-ins that are worth your time: cocoa butter and/or shea butter, about 1/2 oz per 100 grams of henna to make the combination even more beneficial for your hair (I started using this after trying Lush’s henna, which is generally not worth it but adding cocoa butter was a good suggestion), and essential oils that blend well with the smell of henna, I like jasmine and ylang-ylang
– Add-ins that are not worth your time: spices reminiscent of cloves and ginger that are supposed to intensify the color but do no such thing and might irritate your scalp, some people use many alternative liquids corresponding to tea, coffee, or wine, in the idea that this effects the color, but they mostly don’t. Wine gives the color a very temporary nudge within the direction of purple, but meh. Coffee and tea don’t seem to do anything and since I leave my henna on overnight and caffeine might be absorbed through the skin….
I recently started dyeing my hair with henna and indigo again after a brief absence and had the concept of posting a probably overly detailed tutorial. I decided to reserve it for Sophitique Noir’s wonderful Red and Black week because you employ henna to dye hair red and indigo to dye it black, and I’m abstract and a little cheesy like that. I promise there will probably be outfit posts to follow. I’ve dyed my hair this manner for greater than six years, with a brief break because I believed I wanted to go back to my natural hair color, after which to verify I wanted to return to it (more on that later).
Why or Why not dye with henna and/or indigo:
The advantages are that it’s: not just not harmful but actually really good for many hair types, also better in your scalp, less toxic to you and the environment than chemical dyes, and can be fun! Additionally I’ve read that these dyes act as mild relaxers on natural African hair (but can’t corroborate that from my own experience, obvs.) and are obviously much less damaging than chemical relaxers.
The drawbacks: it really is potentially messy, sort of smelly, far more time consuming, and results are a bit unpredictable (no, you will not turn your hair green unless you’ve bought something that is not really henna from an unscrupulous dealer). Personally, I enjoy the method, it is type of like turning your hair into an extended science process, and consider it self-care time. The main thing to contemplate however, is that neither henna nor indigo might be bleached out and attempting to take action will fundamentally damage the structure of your hair (I had clumps of hair literally melt off in my hands). They are going to fade somewhat (indigo more so than henna), and you can always dye over them to get a darker color, but generally the only way to do away with the color is to cut it out.
I have started dying my hair dark auburn and can explain that process in detail, then will add notes on how one can get straight red or pure black hair.
– Enough henna and indigo (2:1 ratio) to cover hair (100 grams will cover the identical amount of hair as a box of chemical dye, so guesstimate from there. I take advantage of 250 grams to cover bra-strap length, medium thick hair)
– Lemon juice, purchased, hand-squeezed provides no benefit and must be carefully strained so in generally more trouble than it’s worth for this.
– A glass or ceramic bowl large enough to hold the combination (preferably glass as ceramic can stain)
– a wooden or plastic utensil for mixing. I use wooden chopsticks (never use anything metal)
– A truly ridiculous amount of plastic wrap
– Optional add-ins which might be worth your time: cocoa butter and/or shea butter, about 1/2 oz per 100 grams of henna to make the mix even more beneficial in your hair (I started using this after trying Lush’s henna, which is generally not worth it but adding cocoa butter was a good idea), and essential oils that blend well with the smell of henna, I like jasmine and ylang-ylang
– Add-ins that are not worth your time: spices similar to cloves and ginger which are supposed to intensify the color but do no such thing and can irritate your scalp, some people use many various liquids akin to tea, coffee, or wine, in the assumption that this effects the color, but they mostly don’t. Wine gives the color a very temporary nudge within the direction of purple, but meh. Coffee and tea do not seem to do anything and since I leave my henna on overnight and caffeine may be absorbed through the skin….
Choosing a brand of henna: what makes a henna good or bad is the concentration of pigment (something you can’t tell until you’ve tried it normally) and the fineness or coarseness of the sift. Most of the main complaints henna n00bs have could be attributed to purchasing henna that has a extremely coarse sift, which just makes it harder to get in your hair (especially if it is thick), harder to clean out, and usually give poorer results. A lot of the kinds you’ll find in places like Whole Foods (Light Mountain, Rainbow, or Avigal brands for instance) are super coarse and terrible. In actual fact, if henna comes in colors, miss that brand, that is almost always an indication or crappy quality. Sometimes the perfect are the sort you get for a few bucks at an Indian grocery (or Amazon), Jamila is for instance high quality always, just make sure it says “100% henna” or “100% inidgo” and do a test swatch when using a brand new brand. Another reliable shop mehandi.com, actually they have the very best quality of anything I’ve used; I’m just usually too cheap.
Step 1: Mix henna with just enough lemon juice to moisten
add a wee little bit of water and allow to sit down for a number of hours to allow the dye to release.
Step 2: Add indigo and cocoa butter then stir in enough very popular water (just below boiling) for the mixture to have the approximate consistency of sour cream
Step 3: Let cool for about half an hour, but less than an hour. Stir in any essential oils at this point.
Step 4: Rub petroleum jelly along your hairline, ears, and probably whole neck
I am a cone head
Step 5: Put mix in your head. Generally just section out your hair and, starting from the underside/ at the neck squish mixture into your hair. Be certain that all of your hair and the roots are well covered and pile your hair on the highest of your head and cover with a crazy amount of plastic wrap. Mild heat helps the process so, if you’ll be able to stand it, wrap a towel or something around as well.
Step 6: Leave in for so long as you possibly can stand. Generally if you cannot leave it in for at the least an hour don’t bother. Fours hours seems to be the form of max time for really intense color and longer than that doesn’t impact the color that much. I generally leave it on overnight, because that is the most convenient, and I have enough hair that the load of it covered in henna paste is tough to deal with for any length of time in any position but lying down.
Step 7: wash out. I find that after an initial rinse out, adding conditioner to my hair makes the remaining rinse out actually very easily. Dry and elegance as usual
I am modeling this hair with my Applejack Ketylo hairsticks so as to add something to the Red and Black theme)
I ultimately want it redder than this but just as dark, so I may dye with just henna next time, but not necessarily. An important thing to know about henna is that the color builds so that the primary time you utilize it, it may be a reasonably mild color change, but do it a number of times and it will be more intense. This is a few years of pure henna dyeing, and it was more atomically red in real life.
To dye hair black: In case your hair is light (to illustrate medium brown or lighter) follow the steps to dye with henna (the lemon juice, wait, add more water, put in hair), only leaving henna in for about an hour, rinse out, dry, then dye with indigo (mix indigo with just water, put in hair without letting sit) and let sit for as long another hour. The pure color or henna is red-orange, and indigo is green-blue. For those who just use indigo on light hair, it will likely be green-ish (that is probably what happened to Anne of Green Gables, unless she had adulterated dye), so the henna cancels out that unfortunate tint to present a neutral black. If your hair is darker you may be able to skip the henna step for a dark, blue-black. Do a test swatch.
To dye hair red: Leave out the indigo (yeah, pretty obvious) otherwise following the above instructions and note what I said above about how the color builds. Since henna is nice on your hair, if you would like intense red ASAP there isn’t any reason you can’t dye it ever weekend (or day to be honest) until you get it such as you like it.
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