Monday, 3 October 2016

Review: Coloring Hair Naturally with Henna & Other Herbs

First of all, Nigthblooming has a giveaway linked to this book too!

Go to Nightblooming garden to enter:
On September 27th there will be a special blog post with a Rafflecoptor (ensuring that winners are picked randomly).Between September 27th and October 4th, read Coloring Hair Naturally with Henna & Other Herbs: A GuideGo to the blog post mentioned in Step 1 and answer any one of the following questions:

  • What is your favorite quote from the book?
  • What did you learn in the book that surprised you the most?
  • What piece of advice, recipe, or technique in the book do you think will help you the most?
That's it! Then on October 5th I'll draw the winners and contact them for their shipping information. Winners of Henna Sooq products will have their prizes shipped direct from HennaSooq, but I'll take care of contacting her with all the needed information.

First impression: Holy crap. This thing is 136 pages!
I assumed that this was something I would read through like Rehabilitating damaged hair, with a cup of coffee near me on the couch, nodding along in agreement and learning something new along the way.
But this is a serious encyclopedia and recipe book. It contains formation on the herbs, all the preparations, tests and concerns before dyeing, basic knowledge, step by step guides and recipes.
Like with the first book, I find the layout really nice: It's clean, not cluttered and inviting. There are relevant pictures, diagrams and even comic strips (By Shinyspoon3) to enhance the points and offer guidance.

Once I got over the initial surprise over the length of this, I realized why Melissa had to be so thorough: Because as they say, you can't "date" henna, you marry it. This stuff is permanent. There are a lot of concerns and thoughts before you even purchase your herbs.

I never got that much into herbal hair care (CO washes and benign neglect just worked so well for me I never bothered to experiment much) and my herbal hair dye is limited to the 5 gram of henna (Which is almost ridiculously little for the amount of hair I have) I've added to my hair at more or less random intervals, so this is kind of new territory for me.

This book is really thorough and doesn't sugar coat the amount of concerns you could have and how much thought you should actually put into going in for a full dye. 

I had a chuckle at how once I had read through all the initial steps: If henna will actually be flattering for your skin tone and colours, all the pros, cons and potential problems, how to find and identify the quality herbs and what to mix your herbs with, how to strand test... Basically all the things you should go through before you even think of mixing up your herbs... I was some 60 pages into this!

I guess a lot of people will by this book and look for the recipes right away. So I really like the fact that the recipes doesn't start until all the initial concerns and information you should have before you dye, have been cleared up. The recipes themselves doesn't start until over 100 pages in!
Points for being so thorough!

When I first read the table of contents, I side-eyed the chapter called "The best time to henna". I wondered what could need several pages to discuss about that. But the chapter had some really good points (and a laugh!) and a suggested budgetting of your time until you have built a routine.

The book also goes into detail of how to store your herbs and what to do with leftovers.

It has a long chapter on how to remove herbal hair colour, where Melissa definitely gets the point through: This stuff is hard, and damaging to get rid of!

Personally I really enjoyed the step by step pictures of mixing a herbal treatment. The first time I tried it, I kept wondering "Is it really supposed to look like that?". It's a kind of insecurity you'd like to avoid when you try something new (And permanent!), so it's nice to see the pictures when a professional does it.

The recipe section also includes pictures on how to distribute a herbal treatment to different lengths of hair, something that can be rather challenging.
The how to's even include how to apply herbal hair dye on your eyebrows! Now I'm totally itching to do that. The bold, dark brow is still so trendy, and now I want to experiment with darker tones on my brows. That might not be the worst thing to do: It will get rid of the "itch" to change something and experiment with colours, but it will be something easier to grow out or remove if it turns out I dislike it.

My conclusion is that this is an amazing book to have if you have any sort of curiosity about herbal hair dyes for hair use (Scalp, eyebrows, beard)


  1. Looks like a very impressive work. I always cringe when girls talk about coloring...because so much damage can result from unintended outcomes. Thankfully there are some expert guides helping the community now.

  2. "First impression: Holy crap. This thing is 136 pages!" Is it strange I took this as a Supreme Compliment? XD