Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Henna



Today I am coloring my hair. Since SPD affects me greatly and I have allergic reactions and hives to most chemical products, I use pure Henna to color my hair. My hair is naturally a medium brunette with some greys, maybe 5% or less - but enough to be annoying and it doesn't look good on me. Henna gives my hair a slight burgundy tint and tons of shine. The first time I did it, it looked slightly orange until it oxidized, but I’ve been doing it for so many years now that it really doesn’t do much other than shine and thankfully cover greys.


If you are interested in using Henna, make sure you purchase body art quality Henna from the Middle East, as high quality as you can afford with no pesticides used and a lab guarantee on dye content. Many box mixes include carcinogens, coal tar, and other things that could make your hair turn green. There are many Henna suppliers online, so shop around and read reviews. I buy in bulk a year’s supply and freeze it to keep fresh. Because my hair is rarely longer than a few inches past my shoulders and I only use half a bag or less per time, it breaks down to about $6 every 2 months to Henna my hair - which is cheaper than most at home hair dye kits, and much less than having a professional dye your hair.


I often hear, “I didn’t know you could color your hair that way”. Yep, it is a very natural process. You take crushed Henna leaves, mix with water and an acid (eg: orange juice, ACV, pomegranate juice) to a yogurt consistency, let sit for 24 hours to let the acid break down the leaves and release dye, then apply just as you would any at home hair color. The longer you keep it on your hair, the darker the color. I usually let it sit on my hair for about 2-3 hours. I have slept a full 8 hours in it and have let it sit for only one hour once. For my hair type, 3 hours seems a good time for perfect coverage. It takes 24-48 hours to oxidize after rinsing out and once set, that will be your color. The Henna penetrates the keratin, unlike chemical hair dyes which only coat the hair strand. So with Henna, it will not fade, change color in the sun, wash out. It is permanent and thickens each hair strand. Indians use it as a cure for thinning hair & baldness. It also greatly conditions the hair and leaves it very shiny.


You can add natural indigo to your mix to achieve a darker, black, or blue tint to your color. You can add pure grape powder to achieve a purple tint. There are many natural ways to color your hair and change the tint.


Most of my life I have cut my own hair, but the first 2 times I went short (for a layered bob and then a pixie) I had a professional do it until I learned how to do it myself. Last week I chopped off at least 8 inches of my hair and am back to a pixie – my first time doing it 100% by myself, no professional to cut the original style. I think I did a good job. At first I thought I shouldn’t go so short with winter upon us, but it feels so good, free, easy to care for, I am happy I did. I’ll just have to get a new hat for colder weather!

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