What is Henna?
How to Choose a Shade?
How to Apply?
Decide on a shade, my hair is medium brown and I wanted a hint of red to it so I used a mix of dark brown (next time I will be getting medium brown though because the dark brown is a bit too dark) and burgundy. The first time I used henna I used half and half because I was afraid it would be too red, instead it was really dark with only a hint of dark red in the sunlight. I found I like a mix of one part dark brown and three parts burgundy for an auburn look, I could even do a little more burgundy if I wanted. For my long hair I used 3/4 cup burgundy and 1/2 cup of dark brown, but I recently cut it to shoulder length and this time I used 3/8 cup burgundy and 1/4 cup dark brown. Mix together in a bowl or large measuring cup and pour in boiling water until the henna is the consistency of oatmeal. I used a little too much water for this batch so make it a little thicker. Add 2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (I use my herbal vinegar hair rinse) and 30 drops of essential oil of your choice. You can choose one from the hair care list, I like to use rosemary essential oil.
Your hair does not need to be clean and washed, in fact Rosemary Gladstar discourages it. Just dampen your hair and towel dry. Massage a small amount of coconut or olive oil into your hair - especially the ends.
- Plastic gloves
- Brush for "painting" on your henna - you can use an actual dye brush or I just used an actual paint brush
- An old towel you don't care to get stained
- Plastic wrap or shower cap
Separate your hair into 1" sections and "paint" the henna on beginning at the root and moving to the ends. Apply is thickly all over and continue until all your hair is completely covered. This would be a great girls night activity since it is much easier having someone do this for you but I always do my own. "Grease" it thickly over all the hair and then cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap and then cover with a towel. Leave on 90 minutes up to 2 hours, I just watch a movie while I wait and know I am finished when the movie is over. If you have lots of gray though you only want to leave it on for 30 minutes.
Wash out the best you can knowing that you are not going to get it all out. Let your hair dry and then brush through it real well, outside, believe me lots of henna that was left will now come out in your brush and on the ground. It will usually take a couple of washes to get it completely out.