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DYEING YOUR HAIR GINGER WITH HENNA

Most of you know I've been dyeing my hair ginger for years now, I've been through virtually every box dye in existence. I need to touch up my roots every two or three weeks, so it's just way too much of a faff to do with chemical dye, and I'm giving up on that now for good. 

You've probably heard of henna in one form or another, it's been around for hundreds of years as a natural dye for body art and hair. A few years ago I used it to dye my hair ginger, and one thing you should know about henna is that it is PERMANENT. Like, majorly permanent. I decided to bleach it again like 6 months later, and it ended up so damaged that I cut about 8 inches off. What I'm trying to say is that you should only dye your hair using henna if you're absolutely certain.

If I've not put you off yet then let's get crackin'.

PREP

Firstly you will need: 

100% pure mehndi - body art quality henna powder. For my length hair I used about 70g, but it's always good to make more because you can freeze it and touch up your roots with it in whenever you need to

Teabags 

Lemon Juice

Gloves

Vaseline/Ultrabland

Plastic Tupperware

Plastic spoon 

Newspapers 

Before you do anything, you'll need to prepare the henna for use. I put the powder into a tupperware and mixed in about a shot glass full of lemon juice and used a plastic spoon to start mixing it up into a paste. It's

very

important that you use plastic and not metal, because metal and henna are practically enemies. It totally tarnishes it, which makes for patchy black bits in your hair. 

Then boil a kettle and put 3 standard breakfast tea bags into a pint glass. Fill it about half way with boiling water and leave it to brew for a similar amount of time that a normal cup of tea would take. Then fill it up to the top with cold water. Slowly add the tea bit at a time until the henna is mixing into a consistency that's a bit like yoghurt. 

Loosely snap half the lid of the tupperware on and leave the spoon in so that it has room to breathe. Then leave in a warm place for 12 hours or so. I left mine overnight.

APPLICATION

Prepare your bathroom, and when I say this I mean it sincerely - put newspaper EVERYWHERE. Henna is unbelievably messy, so just be warned, it stains everything it touches. With this in mind, line your hairline with Vaseline or Ultrabland, basically anything greasy so that the henna doesn't stick to it. 

Put on a pair of gloves. I didn't get the chance to go and buy some hair dressing ones, so I just used bog standard kitchen gloves. As you can see, the gloves are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY unless you want oompa-loompa hands. 

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If your mix has dried up a bit, add some warm water until the texture is kinda like brownie mix. Application can be tricky, so be patient. Start at the top, take a small piece of hair and using your fingers, work it in to the roots and through the lengths as much as possible. 

After each piece is coated, I swirl it into a bun at the top of my head. I find doing it from the top down a lot easier, it avoids touching your back or shoulders and the less staining, the better. 

Since the dye has already released a fair bit from the warm tea and the time left to brew overnight, the amount of time it'll need to be on your hair reduces. Put a carrier bag or cling film on your head to avoid dripping and to keep the heat in, and wrap it up in a towel for extra cooking. I left mine on for about 3.5 hours altogether.

After a couple of shampoos, your hair should be running almost clear. Henna generally makes your hair far more conditioned, thick and bouncy but the first rinse definitely requires leaving conditioner on for 5 minutes or so. I'd recommend using a shampoo and conditioner with a floral scent to counteract the earthiness of the henna. 

If it comes out a bit bright at first, don't worry. Over the next few days it'll get slightly darker. If it's the wrong colour altogether, you can apply another round and your hair will suffer

zero

damage.  

The colour here is how it came out straight after adding Argan Oil to damp hair and then blow drying, so keep an eye on my

Twitter

and

Instagram

for updates in a few days for photos of its development! 

Let me know if you end up dyeing your hair with henna. I'd love to see some photos!