Dye your hair, naturally!
Over the years my hair has been a lot of fun colors. Pink, grey, bluish, etc. But my natural hair color is a very deep brown, almost black. Unfortunately I’ve been getting some grey since I was 20, and my hair was also feeling a little damaged from having previously been bleached (to achieve those fun colors 😀)
I had thought to just let it grow out grey, after all, grey is in style now… but it turns out it’s really not THAT grey, the grey just really stands out against such a dark color. And apprennly I don’t like the salt and pepper look. So, I wanted to cover it, but also not cause any more damage to my previously bleached and dyed hair. That’s when I discovered the centuries old secret of using henna 👍🏻 (no really, its that old)
Now, full disclosure, this won’t work for everyone’s natural color. But if you are looking for red, brown, or black then read on!
First, you need some pure henna, and if you want brown or black, also some pure indigo. I buy mine on Amazon, and it only has one ingredient, ground up henna or indigo. If it has more ingredients, don’t buy it. I have read that if you have an Indian grocery store in your neighborhood you can often get it much cheeper there than online, but I don’t so Amazon it is. Also, this is going to take some time.
Henna will stain so don’t wear anything you don’t mind throwing away! First put the henna in a glass (or something that it won’t stain) bowl. I used about 100g on my thick (just touching the shoulders) hair and add about 1/4 cup of olive oil to it. This is optional but it keeps your hair from drying out. I imagine if you use a different type of oil on your hair, that would be just as good. Stir it in, then add warm water a little bit at a time stirring it until it has the consistency of a thin yogurt. I also put a squeeze of lemon in it (it’s suppose to help release the dye) but if you don’t have lemon on hand it’s not a big deal.
Now, cover it up and let it set overnight, or for at least 8 hours. This is a very important step, don’t skip it.
The next day, get your indigo powder. Henna alone gives a very red color, but as you add in indigo you darken it. With a 50/50 mix you get a dark brown. If you want it lighter, put in less indigo. This might take some experimenting on your part. So, in my case I then stirred in 100g of indigo powder, again adding warm water as I stirred to thin it out. Also a couple shakes of salt, because again I read this helped release the indigo dye.
Next, you apply this all over your hair. Even when it seems like you’ve thinned it out, it is still pretty thick. It’s like applying mud to your hair, which sometimes makes it challenging to really get everything covered. Defiantly wear gloves, this WILL stain your hands. There is no need to rush, nothing in here will damage your hair (in fact the opposite is true!) so take your time and do your best to cover everything. Be sure to get your grey area’s really good.
Next cover your hair with a shower cap or some plastic kitchen wrap. This prevents the “mud” from drying out too much, and keeps you from making a mess everywhere. Keep this on your hair from two hours. Longer is fine, no need to stop your Netflix binge mid-episode to wash it out, it won’t hurt anything 😀 Rinse it well, then use shampoo and conditioner as normal to help get out the rest of the grit.
If you want a still darker (almost black) color you will repeat the process again (the same day, the next day, two weeks later, whatever) only this time just using Indigo (I used 100g with olive oil, water, and a dash of salt) and again leave it for two hours.
From what I have read, the henna bonds to your hair really well, and the indigo bonds to the henna really well, but indigo straight to your hair with no henna doesn’t work.
The main pro of using this over a boxed dye is that it is completely non-damaging. Actually, the henna is a conditioning agent so over time your hair may actually improve. The down side is that it takes some time (it’s not a 30 min process) and you are limited to colors in the red/brown/black shades.