A head full of henna

So, here I am sitting with a headful of henna, because I will never dye my hair with anything chemical. My mother has managed to instill this fear of cancer thru hair dye in me, and I even sometimes buy dye thinking I can get over this fear. But I always end up exchanging the dye for lipstick. But a girl has to mess with her hair every now and then, right? So, what is better than henna? Yes, it’s messy. Yes, it might leave behind barely a hint of color. Yes, it will make you feel a bit cold (I guess mud on your head would be cooling, eh?). But! Will it give you cancer and cause you to live with tons of pain, and die without any hair? I don’t think so!

I have experimented with so many formulations for the perfect henna solution, and so far the one I am currently using is the best yet. What’s the recipe, some may ask? A twig’s worth of sage leaves and about a dozen rosemary leaves boiled in a pot of water until the water turns a lovely golden brown. Take about 3/4 cup of this water, mix in your fresh henna until it’s pasty. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of tea tree oil (a terpene that helps set the color faster and darker), and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a bit, till you see the color of the solution be more orange-y than green…and then slather it on!

I am letting it sit on my hair for about 4 hours, but I think a couple of hours would be enough, too. I can hardly wait to wash this out. I think it’s always the suspense of “will the color take or not” which makes it sooooo much more difficult to wait.

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18 Responses to A head full of henna

  1. I think I’ll stick with putting it on my nails…

    Although, my hair used to be slightly browner when I did put it on…just realized that recently. Oh well. The cold is not too appealing for me. 😕 😛

  2. aoife says:

    Does it get all over your scalp? I can just imagine having a bright orange part in my hair… 😀

  3. mehreen says:

    The last time I put henna on my head was when I was nine and my mother forced me. The last time I put henna on my nails, they turned a horribly bright orange color that made me the laughingstock of my class.(Granted, I wasn’t able to leave it on for long) Funny thing is, I still like henna and after reading this, you almost make me want to dye my hair again. Almost. I will be giving this recipe to my mom though, because she’s allergic to normal hair dye and is always putting on some futile henna mixture. 🙂

  4. DigiJ, yeah, it does make you feel cold…best suited for a scalding hot day!

    aoife, omG, yes it *does* get alllll over my scalp…it takes a couple of consecutive shampoo jobs to get rid of that oh-so-distinctive part. That’s where hijab comes real handy, I tell ya! 😆

    mehreen, no no the orange fingernails made you cool and unique, not a laughingstock! And what will it take for you to go from “almost” to “doing it now!” huh? 😀 I hope this is one of the less futile recipes your mom tries!

  5. simplymuslim says:

    The last time I used henna on my head was to remove dandruff. I used the henna leaves directly from the plant in my garden and grinded it into a paste. I guess you are curious to know whether I got rid of my my dandruff. Result: the dandruff turned orange!!

    Tell us Digital Nomad whether you like your ‘new hair’?

  6. simplymuslim, oh my….orange dandruff…I never would have thought that was possible! I feel your pain! As for me, lool my hair is not new, it’s just well conditioned…and ok, it has a nice auburn tint to it when the light hits it just right. Final verdict: I like! 😀

  7. Nisa says:

    Assalaamu ‘alaikum

    U know, someone told me that by putting henna in your hair, you encourage the growth of grey hairs!! I did put some on my hair a few months ago now, and have noticed a new patch of grey which was not there before!! (I’m in my 20’s so go figure lol)

    Your recipe sounds good…I too am against using chemicals in my hair but have read about herbal tints you can use to create more vibrant colours. Google herbatint and let me know what you think!

    Duas

  8. Arab Lady says:

    Cancer !

    :S

    i dye my hair every 3 months & each time i manage to change the color loool

    anyways “NA3iman”…

  9. falsa says:

    When I saw your henna post, I remembered how many years ago, I myself applied it. But it’s a hassle, little did I know, my grand mum would make me apply it just three days later. For two consecutive days. Whoa.

  10. athoofa says:

    awww mashaAllah! I agree about dyes. I havnt used henna either but I dont really want it to change my hair colour either…does it improve the hair texture?

    PS. I emailed you, never got a reply 😦 you ignoring meee *cryyyy*

  11. Nisa, wa ‘AlaykumSalaam, thanks for that tip! I will look up the herbatint thing! That’s so odd about the grey hair thing…never noticed that myself…hmmmmm!!! Well, I’ll take grey hair over cancer, anyday…

    Arab Lady, lol well, perhaps the cancer bit is an old wives tale, I don’t know. Dye just makes me nervous! 🙂

    falsa, talk about coincidence! I hope it was worth the effort!

    athoofa, Henna does improve the texture for sure…it makes it much more silky and manageable, for me.I never saw your email until just now when I read your comment…you’re getting a response ASAP, babe!

  12. Muslim Wife says:

    Salaam Ladies!! Oh how I’ve missed you!! Hope you still remember me : (

    Anyways, on to important things like heads and henna. I LOVE putting henna in my hair. Sadly, haven’t done it since getting married for fear of scaring poor husband into thinking he married a swamp woman. That and the fact I’m too lazy to do it to myself. Now if you want to come over and help, I wouldn’t object! hehe, smooches!

  13. Muslim Wife!!! Long time, hon…of course we remember you…we even visit you every so often 😛 Next time, will come with the henna and gloves 😀 And yeah, good strategy on not scaring the lucky dude away! *mwah*

  14. Assalaamu Alaikum sisters!

    I came across this post while browsing around the net. The things you can find right? mashaAllah!

    As for henna and any herbs promoting the growth of grey hair, that is surely pretty false. It is the sunnah to use henna and/or natural herbs (such as katam) on your hair. mashaAllah! If you noticed new greys perhaps it is just genetic. I have been using henna for the last 10 years and I don’t have any grey hair. I am now 30.

    If you apply henna onto damp hair it should go on easier.
    Always moisturize/oil your hair or add it to the henna mixture because herbal treatments can be drying.

    I have some very good natural hair care recipes posted on my own blog, please take a look insha Allah
    http://www.hennablogspot.com

    You should always get nice reddish tones in your hair if you use fresh, good quality henna powder, that is also stored well.

    I hope some this helps!
    jazakallahu khairan

  15. Teeninchee says:

    While surfing about toning down the red from henna coloring I came across this convo. Let me hurriedly assure those who think the possibility of cancer from chemical dye is an old wives tale, it is not. It is VERY real…it is the chemicals added MOSTLY to brown/black. Some blonds have it, too–( 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine (4MMPD) or 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine sulfate (4MMPD sulfate mostly prior to 1979, two coal-tar ingredients–used mostly before 1979, and PPD. You can check the research online or local library. If the dye stayed only on the hair, no prob, I guess. Problem is, what we put on the hair USUALLY also covers scalp. And scalp=skin=absorption. Google for further info. Henna causing gray hair? NEVER heard of it and I’ve been a “hennarincess” (to quote Lucy) for decades. Gray hair comes from an internal process, since hair grows out. Scientists say the body production of hydrogen peroxide “As hydrogen peroxide in our hair builds up as we age, we go gray, British researchers concluded.” –enzyme catalase stops breaking down the peroxide=gray hair.

    Henna leaves you cold? Never had that happen. Henna messy? No messier than other dying procedures, at least not for me. You heat your wetting ingredient, mix it up in nonmetal bowl, let it set for the length of time you’ve decided (overnight or whatever–which I have NEVER done. Rarely waited longer than 30 minutes–just til color starts changing green to brown. section hair, glove up, slather on, pile hair up, plastic wrap (plastic grocery bags work very well, just pull down and tie handles together) wrap up turban style with big towel and let body heat do its work.

    Results? Super thick feeling hair, fab shine, gorgeous color! Too dark? Lemon juice mixed with conditioning shampoo=soap cap. Let set 30 mins, rinse. Some darkness removed.

    It is the BEST conditioning, gray covering colorant I know. And yes, tint to get what you want! I’m using cassia and buxus dioica for my future coloring — just tired of toning down the red–(I just discovered them last night. I was using Hennalucent until it was revealed that they were adding that cancer-causing additive, too. I was highly peeved because I had been using that for years–bark brown changed gray (I’m 58) to the most beautiful gold highlights! Ah well! That’s my 2 cents!

    Happy hennaing! I will not trade the difference in the look and feel of my hair henna vs chemical coloring. MAJOR difference!

  16. SunFairy says:

    Help! Would any of you wise ladies please take pity on this henna newbie?
    I am naturally blond and used pure henna about 2 months ago and now I have bright orange hair! It has faded somewhat, but that glowing orange remains. Have any of you used katam to fade out the orange henna? Or anything else to tone down the color?

    Please help O’ Wise Ones!

    I just love the smell of henna, though the color might not be right for me:)

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