Saturday, 8 November 2014

About henna

Buchfreundin (love that username btw) commented:
Just to add: Your haircolor is so beautiful and very even! I really hope you write a bit more about it, like, does it fade, would you do it again, etc.

And sure, I’d love to!

For me, henna was something I had rattling around in my head for some years.
It would “fix” two of my hair-annoyances for me:
  • I know it’s silly, but I have a real hate/love relationship with my natural hair colour. It’s not really blonde, not really brunette and not really red. Ideally I would love it to be both lighter (blonder) and redder, but that would require some bleach. That’s absolutely out of the question. So, I could get the “more red”.
  • I’m closing up on 13 years since I shaved my head, so naturally I have some fade going on at the ends. Unless you dye the fade away, you will have fade. Again, completely natural, everyone has it, etc, but I still get annoyed by it. Some indigo would fix it damage free, but indigo needs henna (first) to be able to bond with hair.

But I had two things that kept me from it:
  • That henna is permanent. Once you start henna, it requires upkeep. Getting out of a “normal” henna dose is painful and requires a ton of work.
  • That is seems henna is such a “thing” for the super-longhairs. Call me weird, but it really rubbed me the wrong way that it seems everyone with super long hair eventually turns to henna.

Of course then I realised I could get out of most of the issues by using a super low henna dose (Including the high risk of staining).

The procedure itself turned out to be extremely annoying though: I thought I was good with the super long deep conditionings, but henna is a whole other game. I guess it’s both heavier than normal deep conditioners, and when it dries (The dripping. The horrible, horrible dripping!) I guess it will pull on the hairs and the “updo” under the cling wrap and warm hats.
But the dripping… Argh. I really need to figure something out with that one.

It has a noticeable red tint for the first 48 hours, then it fades into a tone that I can’t really tell apart from my natural tone. My hair has a tendency to fluctuate in colour depending on light, products used and how freshly washed it is, so it already shifts a lot in colour. I’ve been asking Hubby since he sees my hair in all conditions, but he can’t tell the difference either.

I hope with my low, low henna dose I won’t be so stuck with upkeep. As far as I can tell, I don’t have any roots showing in a different colour. That’s a very good thing!
So I’m thinking I will do my super low henna dose for the full length and then the indigo for some length of ends maybe every two months? Of course I might be eager to try it again soon… With such a low dose and no roots showing, I guess I can more or less do it whenever I feel like it.

I guess that’s another thing I have learned from having such long hair: You get a special kind of patience.
So I can’t tell any remarkable difference right away, but my hair seems to be pretty neutral. No sudden splits, no sudden tangles, no loss of glossiness.
Some times that’s the only response you get from your hair, and you should take that as a thumbs up.
My red didn’t go much redder, my fade didn’t get remarkable unfaded.
But a year and 6-12 treatments down the road and I probably will notice a difference from when I started.
Some times “Do No Harm” is a perfectly fine strategy instead of chasing an imaginary (Produced in a photo studio with a bunch of stylists and photo shopped!) kind of magic.

I like the non-commitment aspect of doing henna and indigo like this.
I get what I want with no commitment, and I get all the good stuff and none of the bad.

They say you can’t date henna, you have to marry it.

Well. I guess I just made henna my friend with benefits.


  1. Great commentary. Hope it continues to work well.

  2. Woohoo, thank you so much for writing that article, it was really interesting! I also believe that the henna will build up for you. It did for me and it was so practical, you never saw any roots and when, it could have been natural lightning. It's quite awesome to have so much red in your natural color.
    I still suspect that the color you get from henna is also depending on your hair structure. I mainly have M hair, but also C hair and those never really showed any color, but the finer the strand, the redder it got. Since you have coarse hair, it might also be due to that, the henna doesn't seem to take as well.
    I found that chemical dye nearly behaves the same way for me, it almost seemed to slide out when I tried semi-permanent dyes.

    Oh, and I love that you like my name, I didn't know that you spoke German! I know Swedish, but not Danish. I recently was in Copenhagen and was surprised, how differently Swedish and Danish are pronounced (though I knew before, but never heard it in person....). I mean, our languages are all quite similar, but I always like it to discover something else about them.