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Henna!

Hair is on my mind tonight. I decided last night that I am going to do a 30-day trial of not-repeating hairstyles. That is, I want to wear my hair a different way for a month straight. Before I start that, I thought I would post some pictures and feedback from my very first time using henna on my hair. When I first started thinking of hennaing my hair, I went to the Henna For Hair site, and researched extensively. I highly recommend that site to anyone even remotely interested in henna for hair or body art (it is a sister site with The Henna Page). Since my hair was so long at the time, I was super nervous about it – I must have done 3 separate strand tests! – but ever since I’ve gone red I haven’t regretted it once. For the record, I use body art quality (BAQ) henna on my hair, and usually I don’t bother squeezing lemons but just use apple cider vinegar, a stinky but effective process. Also, I have learned I don’t need to make it nearly as thick as these photos from my first time indicate! My experience has always been that I need to wash my hair twice before all the henna is out. I do this in the same day, just let it dry, comb it out, and wash it again. However, this may be due to the sheer volume of hair that I have, so ymmv! Last but not least….GLOVES.

Pictures from 2006

My hair before any henna

Twisting into sections to make applying the henna easier

Demetrius applying the henna. This has a huge mess-potential as the henna is like mud that stains super fast. He abandoned the gloves. Don’t make his mistake LOL – his hands and nails were orange and red for weeks!

After the henna was applied

Close-ups of my hennaed hair

After I wrapped my hair in plastic (to conserve heat and keep it from drying out)

Wrapped up and ready to go do my laundry! Yes, absolutely, I have NO FEAR, even when I look a total dork. 🙂

Notes from that day:
It took an hour in the shower to wash it all out, and it still has some henna dust in it today, so I will be washing it again tonight. When I took the hennaed coils down in the shower, covered in goop as they were, and the “water” coming off them like pure mud, I felt like nothing so much as that I was in The Ring, having just stepped out of a viscous swamp. When the water FINALLY ran lighter (say, tea-colored), I was able to rinse more thoroughly. I finished with a rosemary-fennel infusion rinse, mainly because it smells nice.

The color looks great, and many many people have told me it looks like I “went back” to my natural color. The henna I used was Body-Art Quality henna mixed with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and plain vinegar to the consistency of yogurt. Nothing else was added, and I waited (at least partly) for the dye to release first. I kept it on my hair for about 7 hours (counting from when the application was finished, which itself took at least an hour.)

Demetrius also put some in his hair, I am told it had a very subtle warm-chocolate look when he washed it out. I will see it tonight – and I know he is very excited to see mine! But I have my class tonight so he won’t be seeing it for a while.

The end result:

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