If you are someone who regularly colors your hair, one of the concerns you might have about using commercial products is chemical build up and hair damage. It’s no secret that using hair color products can wreak havoc on our hair and strip it of moisture. That is why special care is needed to keep color treated hair healthy.
Another general concern about the regular use of commercial hair color products is the cancer causing potential of the chemicals that are deposited on the hair and the scalp. As a result, many hair color enthusiasts are looking into natural products that can provide a safe and non toxic alternative to hair color.
An alternative to commercial hair color is henna hair color. Henna hair color uses dyes made from the leaves of various plants. Henna itself is a plant with leaves that can be ground into a red-orange dye.
To create henna hair dye, this red-orange dye is mixed with the blue from the Indigoferae leaf and a natural conditioner made from the Cassia auriculata plant. The leaves are ground until they turn to powder. This mixture is mixed with water to form a thick paste which you apply to your hair.
Henna hair dye colors the hair by coating the cuticle, which is the outer part of the hair. What happens is it envelops the hair and locks in the moisture, leaving colored hair that is shiny and vibrant.
To a certain extent, there’s a bit of unpredictability with the use of henna hair color. You can adjust the color of the henna hair dye by varying the ratio of the quantity of the red henna leaves to the blue indigo leaves. This makes a big difference in the outcome. The original color and state of your hear (healthy or damaged) will also influence the color and the fastness of the dye.
There are several brands that purport to sell henna hair dyes. But care must be taken when choosing these products. Some commercial claim to be made from natural henna, but are actually compound henna dyes which have undergone chemical processes and may contain hair damaging chemicals like metallic salts and synthetic dyes. The best henna dyes to use are the ones that are used for body painting. These henna dyes are taken from the top 2% of the henna crop.
When applying henna to your hair, knowing the proper techniques will give you satisfying results. To avoid surprises in color, you might want to test the color of your henna mixture on a few strands of hair. Grab fallen hair from a comb and use these for your test. Brush the henna paste on the strands and then put cling wrap around it.
Check the color every 5 minutes, and time how long it takes before it reaches the color that you want. That’s how you determine how long to leave the product on on your hair. Repeat the process with the whole head.
Be aware that henna can stain skin and clothes. When coloring your hair, use gloves to protect your hands and nails, and put on an old wrap around your shoulders to protect your clothes.