Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Dye Hair Red Naturally with Henna Powder

Dying hair with henna is easy to do. I will explain the steps to dye your hair with henna in this blog post. We like using henna as a hair dye because it conditioning to the hair. Regular chemical hair dyes damage the hair cuticle. Henna is also is very compatible with our shampoo bars and diluted vinegar rinses. As hair dye, henna works best on lighter colored hair. Aquarian Bath is now offering powdered red Henna for hair dying, which is what I used to dye Tessa's hair (above).

How to Dye Hair with Henna

Preliminary precautions: Some people are allergic to henna. If you have never used henna before, then it is best to do a patch test on your skin. Make a patch test on the inside of your wrist with a little bit of henna mixed with water. Wait 24 hours to see if your skin has a reaction. If there is no reaction then you can begin the process below for dying your hair.  

Hair Prep: For best results, start out with clean dry hair that has been brushed and divided into smaller sections with clips. It is a messy job, so try to get help from a friend if you can. Wear your old work clothes, or black to avoid staining good fabrics.

8 oz of red henna powder now available at Aquarian Bath
Ingredients: The first step is to put your henna powder in a bowl with the juice of one half of a lemon and 1 tablespoon of oil such as Extra Virgin olive oil or grape seed oil. If you do not have lemon juice you could use vinegar instead. The lemon juice or vinegar helps the henna color stay in the hair for a long time. For short or thin hair you may only need a couple ounces of henna. For longer or thicker hair you will need more henna. Eight ounces works for my shoulder length thick hair. You can start out with a moderate amount of henna add more to the bowl if it looks like there is not enough. 

Form a Paste: Mix the henna, lemon juice and 1 T of oil with enough hot or boiling water to form a paste with the consistency of a creamy soup. At this point you need to decide if you have enough henna paste in your bowl to completely saturate your dry hair. If you think there may not be enough henna paste to completely cover your dry hair, then add more henna powder and water. Let the paste sit for around 30 minutes to allow the lemon juice to react with the henna powder.

Coat the hair evenly and wait: Next apply the henna paste to your hair completely covering each strand down to the roots. Avoid applying the paste to the forehead and around the ears and neck, because the henna paste will also stain the skin temporarily.  Leave the henna paste on your hair for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you leave the paste on your hair the stronger the final hair color will be. You can freeze any leftover paste in a jar for future use.

 Rinse clean: Here is Tessa's hair after approximately 30 minutes of dying.

Wash as usual: Here is her hair after a couple of washes.  You can see that the bright orange fades out to a more natural looking color.  

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