Note: Our hair stylist friends have told us to use “hair color” in this article, as one doesn’t “dye” hair!
Most women have colored their hair. In fact, an “estimated 70 percent of women in the U.S. use hair-coloring products," according to The Atlantic. But, even with all the use of hair coloring (at home or in a salon), something we don’t think about when deciding what hair color is next is safety.
Various chemicals are regularly found in hair color products, including formaldehyde (chemical used to preserve specimens in jars), p-Phenylenediamine, which has been linked to bladder cancer and coal tar, which is sometimes used to seal cracks in asphalt.
But, luckily, there are more natural ways to color your hair – specifically, through the use of Henna. Henna is a flowering plant from India that has been used for thousands of years, to dye everything from saddlebags to decorative designs on skin for weddings. It’s also quite a bit less expensive than getting your hair colored at a salon!
Interestingly enough, Henna isn’t red! It’s actually a light green color. And, while some companies may try to sell “Blonde Henna,” it isn’t pure Henna! When you color your hair with henna, you can use “pure” henna that will result in a reddish brown color. Some companies mix henna in with other plants (like indigo) to get a different color.
An added bonus: Henna usually fades out of your hair naturally! Because it doesn’t use harsh chemicals, Henna is also proven to add strength and shine to your hair.
Tips for Using Henna
1. Prep: If you’re coloring your hair at home with Henna, the globs of henna can and will stain your beautiful bathroom! Cover your countertop with old newspaper or grocery bags, and be sure to use gloves to protect your hands! You may also want to use Vaseline or another thick lotion, and coat around your hairline – to avoid staining your face.
2. Test: Like with all new beauty products, test a patch of skin with the henna before applying to your head! Along the same lines, everyone’s hair reacts differently to Henna, so it may be a good idea to do a color test on hair that isn’t visible to other people (such as hair above the nape of your neck).
3. Get a Kit: Your best bet is to purchase a hair color kit from a local health food store. Mixing your own hair color is a little advanced, especially for those new to using henna! There’s a whole community of natural beauty bloggers who love to experiment with different Henna mixes, so if that interests you, head on over to Google!
4. Grab a Friend: Coloring your hair with Henna, especially if you have long hair, can get a little messy. Having a friend makes the process more fun, and they can help you keep your mess to a minimum!
5. Watch the Time: The longer the Henna is in your hair, the more dark or vibrant the color. Wrapping your hair in saran wrap will keep the temperature of the henna high, and make your hair more red! Leaving hair unwrapped results in darker colors.
Henna creates a beautiful color in your hair, without nasty toxins and chemicals found in salons and drugstores.
Have you used Henna to color your hair? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
Changing the way women around the world remove facial hair.