Henna in My Hair

I have a love/hate relationship with henna.  I love the color I eventually get when applying henna to my hair but I easily get tired of it and want to try something new…maybe there are times I don’t want to be a redhead but want to go to a dark honey blonde.

Well I am in the henna loving mood so I conjured up my favorite witches brew and thought that I would share it with you…pictures and all!  

I buy my henna not from just anywhere.  I have to drive all the way over to Moon Beauty Salon located in the in Souq Al Qadeem (Old Souk) area of Sharjah.  It is very popular (almost all the locals here know about it) and is always busy, MashaAllah.  I think that they add some special ingredient to their henna powder but the henna color comes out dark and I believe that their henna is fresh and not stored for a year or more.

Anyway, this is my ‘secret’ witches brew for making henna for my hair.

A package of henna powder from Moon Beauty Salon

You need several sticks of cinnamon, 2 star of anise, 5 cloves, a handful of karkaday (dried hibiscus), and 3 bags of tea

Add 2 cups of boiling water and let it sit covered for about 1 hour.  This will have a delicious aroma but don’t drink it!  It will be so strong and bitter!  

Sift the henna into a glass bowl (you can use plastic but not metal).

You need to sift the henna so that it will be a fine powder and there will not be any huge henna clumps when you mix in the witches brew.

Add enough witches brew to the henna (isn’t it a lovely color?).  Use a whisk to mix it all together until you get a nice and very thick paste that is not runny (sort of like icing).  Make sure you mix it until it is nice and smooth.

Now add the juice of one lemon to your henna mixture.  You need to add lemon so that it will “activate” the henna and help release the henna’s color.

The henna paste should look like this.

Now all you need to do is place a plate over the henna mix and let it set for about 1 to 2 hours.  You know that your henna is ready to use when you see an shiny-sheen on the surface of the henna.  It looks like a bit of oil has risen to the top.

All you have to do now is apply the henna to your just shampooed hair (your hair has to be clean and wet).  I suggest that you wear and old shirt or dress, some gloves on your hands, and apply Vaseline around your hairline and around your ears (or your skin around those edges will be ALL orange when you get done!!!

I just grab a handful of henna and work it into my hair like when I am shampooing.  Try to work it really well into each strand and then sort of paste the henna on, working your hair into a bun.  At this point, you can put on one of those plastic shower caps on your head or wrap your head with saran wrap.  Then tie a cotton scarf onto your head to hold it all into place.

Sometimes I will sleep with the henna on my head over night so that I can get a really dark tint on my hair.  You just need to make sure your head is covered up really well and you place several old towels on your pillow.

When it is time to rinse the henna out of your hair do not use shampoo.  Just rinse it out with water.  It might me a little dry and clumpy but when you wet your hair it will soften the dried parts.  Rinse out until the water runs clear.

One thing about henna, it will be light on your hair the first day or so (carrot top ).  Just be patient with it and by the third day your hair color will settle into a beautiful dark color.

If your hair feels very dry, do a deep conditioning with a jar of mayonnaise (good to use because the egg and oil) or an equal mixture of olive oil and honey.  You can even add an egg into the olive oil and honey mix.  Leave this homemade conditioner in your hair for at least 3o minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

I’ll be putting the henna in my hair tonight after Isha prayers, InshaAllah.  Tomorrow I’ll wake up and be a little sassy and brassy red head for a while. 

Oh….a word of warning to you.  I had mentioned at the beginning of my post that I eventually get tired of the henna on my head and want to try something new.  You should not attempt to dye your hair.  If you should do so you might end up with an ugly head of hair that looks like black-green sludge!!!  I kid you not!!! Before you attempt to add any hair dye to your head you must do a test on a strand of your hair (some hair from your hairbrush will work) to check how your hair will react.

Whenever I dye my hair after henna I will usually wait about 6-8 months to let my hair grow out.  I will then trim it and then apply the hair dye.

For more information on henna for your hair check out Reverend Bunny’s website.  Everything you want to know about henna for all hair types can be found here:  Henna For Hair

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