I have been debating for quite some time if I was going to dye my hair since recently it started turning grey. I actually like the way grey hair looks, when it is all grey that is. But for some reason my hair wasn’t really going all grey it was just grey strands growing in along with my brown hair and well, that didn’t look as nice as I wanted it to. However I didn’t really want to dye my hair either.
If you know me you know I take care of my own hair. Not that I am against going to the salon but I find that I do a better job with my hair than most professional stylists. My ability to do my own hair probably came from the fact that I have always been natural. And back in the day having natural hair as a black woman was pretty much unheard of. Stylists didn’t want to do my hair because it wasn’t relaxed and it was very long and they ALWAYS charged me extra. On top of that I was never truly satisfied with how they styled my hair. They would either cause heat damage to my curls or cut it too short. So I gave up on stylists and learned how to do my own hair.
But back to the grey, I finally got to the point where I was like “To dye or not dye?” Well I decided that I wanted to color the grey but that I didn’t really want to use a chemical hair dye on my hair. (What can I say? I am a natural!) So I started looking into henna dyes since they are natural plant dyes. I did some research into it and a lot of the reviews said that henna may not take to grey hair. However, I decided I would try it out anyway. I purchased a dark brown henna which is a combination of henna and indigo dyes.
Now I want to warn you, henna dye is not a quick process and it’s quite messy. I didn’t think about blogging about this until after I was done. I probably would have taken more photos had I decided to blog about this beforehand. But anyway I will try to describe the process as best as I can. First I sectioned my hair and pinned it. I did take a before pic because I wanted to be able to compare.
I mixed up the henna according to the directions. The directions recommended that if you are using the dark brown henna that you mix it with hot coffee instead of hot water (because henna is heat activated) and add a couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. You are also supposed mix the henna in a glass bowl with a non metal spoon. Not sure why that is but I followed the package directions. You end up with a bowl of warm interesting smelling greenish mud. I say mud because I promise you it’s like mud.
Next you are supposed to saturate your hair while the henna is warm starting at the roots down to the ends. You will definitely need gloves for this process and you need to wear something that is either too dark to stain or you won’t mind getting it stained. I have A LOT of hair so the process of just getting the henna onto my hair took some time. And again, it’s like putting mud on your head. I methodically started at the roots of each section of my hair and worked the mud down to the ends. I then repinned my hair back into the sections. I had plenty of the “mud” leftover so I added more on top of it after it was pinned. Also I noticed some stubborn greys that decided to stick out so I slathered them down too.
During my research I found out a lot of people just cover their henna covered hair with a plastic cap and wrap it in a towel and wear it for up to 6 hours! 😱 I can’t wear mud on my head for 6 hours… So I decided to try the other method which was sitting under the dryer. Again henna is heat activated so this seemed like the way for me to go.
Interestingly the mud goes from kind of a greenish color to a darker greenish almost black after being in the heat.
I sat under the dryer fro about 90 minutes (which for me is torture). After the 90 minutes I rinsed out the henna with hot water according to the directions. Again, this is a messy process, the henna is like mud so understand this is like rinsing a bunch of mud out of your hair so pick a place to rinse it out that you don’t mind getting a bit messy. I had to run an errand after I rinsed the henna out of my hair so I couldn’t shampoo it right away which is recommended. So I pinned my hair up for an hour or so. During that time little bits of henna were falling out of my hair… After I ran my errand I immediately shampood my hair. It was weird because the henna looked blue as I washed the rest of it out. Also the grit takes a lot of washing and rinsing to get it all out.
The end results where definitely noticeable. The dark brown henna is slightly darker than my natural hair color so my hair looks darker over all to me. But what was really noticeable was the change in the grey.
The henna did make the grey a lot less noticeable. The color was exactly what I wanted to do. There are a few stubborn greys in my hair that the henna didn’t take to and I am ok with that. But over all I am very happy with my henna experience even though it’s a bit messy. But when you factor in the cost, the jar of henna I used cost me about $6 (yep, six bucks!) it was totally worth it!
And on top of that my hair has been super soft and my curls look great. Henna is also a great conditioner. So all in all I recommend henna for grey hair if you don’t mind getting a little messy!