I had been wanting a change in haircolor and had started researching how to dye hair with henna. I decided to take the plunge and loved my results so i figured i could make an informative post for others who might be interested. I have dark brown hair naturally.
I used 200g Jamila Henna 2012 crop Supersift. i aquired it from amazon.com at 15$ for 300 grams (which is pretty cheap. free shipping as well)
Chamomile tea and about 2-3 tablespoons lime juice (acidic mixtures cause dye release). teas release in 1-4 hours, more acidic mixtures take 8-12 hours or whenever you see dye release. lemon juice can be drying/damaging so tea would probably better. i heard that more acidic mixtures darken more over time and the tea makes it brighter longer. i just wanted a happy medium so i used and tea.
Tempurature plays apart in how long dye release takes as well. i used water that was hot bath temp. hot but i could put my fingers in it. my mixture caused immediate dye release. most prefer to do it with cooler liquids so they dont risk missing the dye window. if you let it sit after dye release for too long the dye demises.
the mixture should be the consistency of smooth mashed potatos at first and then thinned to the texture of thick yogurt right before application.
mixes generally consist of henna (my hair is a little past shoulder length and thick so i probably could have went with 300g. a person with waist length hair should use about 500g)
i wanted to do a test dread first to see if i liked the color. Seeing immediate dye release (which i didnt expect) i put the henna 'mud' on the selected dread. the application needs to be thick. i wouldnt recommend squishing it in too deep because it can be a b*tch to get out. Just make sure it is really coated thoroughly.
i then saran wrapped the dread and let it sit for about 3 hours. after i appied it to the dread i put the remainder in the freezer. i feel like the color would have been better all over if i had applied it immediately because i did get such quick dye release, but i wanted to make sure i liked it first.so i recommend using a liquid thats lukewarm to cool so you have a bigger time window.
Freezing henna after dye release can cause more of the dye molecles to burst. i think i had too much dye release to capture the benefits of this. freezing should be done after dye release or it can damage it and make it less bright.
the next day i did my whole head. For the ordeal you need : towel you dont mind staining, shirt you dont mind staining, rubber gloves (it can seepthrough),saran wrap. hairdryer/heatbonnet not necessary, but they can cut application time, dye brushes arent really useful. its best to just glop it on liberally. i had my hubby apply it for me, but it is possible to do alone.its kinda time consuming so make sure you dont have anything to do for a while. also, it stains the scalp orange for a couple of days, but goes away. you can also dye eyebrows with it. some people put vaseline around the neck and on the ears to prevent staining. just wipe up any drips quickly. after you are done, wrap in saran wrap/plastic shower cap a then a scarf or towel if you choose. leave on for3-12 hours, less if heat is applied.
after leaving it on a while ( next time i willsleep with it on), rinse it out. i would maybenot use baking soda rightaway if that what you wash with. just sqeeze your dreads in the running water until you see no more henna. this might take a while. if there is some in the lock,it certainly wont be as bad as ifyou were to accidently leave some chemical dye in thelock. that can cause them to break years down the road.the hennawill wash out.
there areother plants you can use to dye hair, andyou can mix henna with a variety of things to get different shades from blonde to black. only buy henna that is BAQ or body artquality. STAY AWAY from brands like "henna hut". they sell a variety of shades that are not natural the only color hennacan be is red-orange.companys that offer many shades mix the henna with chemicals and metal salts that can have catastrophic affects on previously chemical dyed hair from melting to burning. REAL henna is perfectly safe on mostpeople. always do a test patch on your skin to rule out allergy. an allergy to henna is rare, but possible. also test on dread underneath to see if you like it or on some harvested hair out ofan old brush if you have one.do NOT useanything called "black" henna. it most likey contains "PPD" which can severely burn/damage skin.Indigo, however can be referred to as "black henna" but its actually a dark blue dye when mixed with henna produces brown in varying shades depending on the ratio of henna to indigo. if applied after henna, it dyes the hairblack.cassia has a glod dye molecule and can be used alone or wih henna to enrich the hair or give it a gold sheen.
i am sorry if this is kinda jumbled. for all questions Henna related, go to hennaforhair.com. THE BEST henna info i have found is there. they also talk about other dye plants as well and delve into the science and rich history of henna.
updated by @knotlady: 02/05/15 10:12:49AM