Friday, April 4, 2014

Henna Hair Color Update

Wanted to give an update on how the Henna Hair Dye was going.  It's been about a year now since I started coloring my hair with "Red" Henna about once a month.  Have to say I love this stuff.  It's a beautiful color and pretty easy and pleasant to do.  But, I've heard a few suggestion for adding various things to the henna to get different results, such as essential oils, lemon juice or tea.  One was that vinegar would help set the color.

I have noticed that even weeks after I'd washed my hair I would still see color bleeding out into the drain. Thought I'd give the vinegar a shot.  I tried rinsing my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) diluted 50/50 with water after shampooing.  The next wash, I didn't see the color in the drain anymore.  So, I've come to the conclusion that it must either set the color or rinse the excess out.  But, thankfully I didn't notice any change in the color of my hair.



So, yesterday I tried using the ACV with the Henna for the first time.  This is the first time I've altered the mixture from just tap water and henna.  I used about 2 parts water to 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar with the henna.  After one hour (as usual) I rinsed with water and let set overnight. This time I also applied Coconut Oil to my hair after rinsing and slept with it in until morning when I washed my hair thoroughly with color safe shampoo.  I think it is a slight bit darker, but this could be due to the coconut oil conditioner, too.

Vinegar is supposed to make the mix more acidic, which is why it is used in other dying like fabric and Easter eggs.  I guess it works by stripping the oil/residue off so the dye can penetrate better.  I'm sure if I'd used more vinegar it may have also gone even darker.  Others have suggested using lemon juice for an even darker color, but this will also dry out your hair quickly and may produce a brassier orangish color.

The Coconut Oil is good for smoothing hair.  A little goes a REALLY long way.  Use sparingly.  It can also clog your drains.  But, it makes hair soft and can be used as a detangler.

So far, I'm not sure the vinegar is worth the added trouble of adding it to the mixture.  At least it doesn't cost much.  But, I do think rinsing with it afterwards helps prevent the color from staining the shower and towels.  I'll keep you posted if I try any other ingredients or techniques.  To read about my first experiments with henna check out this post.

2 comments:

Magpie said...

woo! I know you posted this a long time ago, but...

1) acid helps henna release the dye from its cells (you can use lemon juice, vinegar, strong black tea, citric acid)

2) heat helps henna release the dye as well, sometimes too much (don't let it sit outside in high heat in a dark container to develop the dye, you'll be sad, b/c it will "exhaust" before you get to dye)

3) hmmm... the acidity should be opening up the cuticle of the hair to allow the henna to penetrate farther. This is different somewhat from other types of dye, but it's a complicated subject :)

4) adding "terp" oils like eujenol, tea tree and some others helps the dye penetrate farther. They are used more in staining skin than in hair, since you don't shed the outer layers of hair like you do with skin.

Other oils just make it smell better :)

When I do my husband's hair, I use lemon juice or citric acid, mixed in equal amounts with the henna powder and let sit in a warm area until I get dye release (I mix it in a plastic baggie and set on a paper towel, when the towel is stained, it's ready to go). Then I thin it to a workable consistency with orange flower water or plain water with some lavender or lemon grass oil in so it smells less like hay. He keeps it wrapped in plastic and a plastic bag for 6-10 hrs. He's never said that the color washes out in the shower...

sorry for the unrequested input, but thought I'd share what I know. your hair is gorgeous, btw!

mieljolie said...

Thank you, Magpie, for the useful information. I've found I like using an ACV rinse before dying. Then, I just use plain tap water to mix the henna. And, sometimes coconut oil just after the first rinse.

Seems the most important thing to getting the color to absorb into my hair is keeping it wet while it sits on the hair. But, I'm sure different hair types will have different experiences.

Now that I dye mine at least once a month regularly, I don't notice much fading, just color run off for the first few washes depending on how much we use. Not so much just for root touch-ups.

Thanks again for the input! I might get brave and try some different things.

Mieljolie