Sunday, March 8, 2015

So you swore never to dye your hair again?

A few years back, I chopped my hair short after a dye-disaster. I'd hennaed my hair for a long time, and got annoyed with red. I dyed over it with a store-bought brown, and.. well, it went black. I can't pull off pitch-black hair, so I decided to want my natural colour back. As I am both impulsive and impatient, I grew it for three months, and chopped it off. 

Short hair was fun for a while, but I started missing long hair pretty quick. Good thing this grows fast, so last spring I had gained both length and my natural tone. 
Which is brown. A nice, lively brown, but still very brown. 
And a bit boring actually. 
This pic is about 11 months old, but it shows my natural tone pretty well. 

A week ago, my annual spring breakdown culminated with me staring into the mirror wondering what the hell I was thinking when I figured a natural brown would look really nice on me. I wear black all the time, and it makes my hair look bland and dull. 
So the impulsive Heather sighed, and remembered the last package of henna safely stored into a cupboard. 

Mmm, red, I thought, and literally slapped myself on the wrist. Last time, I loved the red. But. Maintaining it isn't a real picnic. It takes a whole day every two months, and henna smells funky, and it's messy, and it's hard to find good quality henna here in Finland. 
Twirling a strand of mousy brown around my fingers, I sighed again, and prepared the witch's brew. 

I use natural henna powder with no added ingredients. The powder is green to begin with (the photo is from the internet, btw), and smells like dried hay. It's very fine, and turns into dust as it's poured out of the bag. I add warm water (not too hot, boiling water can be lethal to henna) and a bit of coffee, and mix the stuff into a smooth, silky gunk. I let it sit for two hours, and apply. To hair. 

I've given up wearing gloves when applying. Rubber clings to hair, pulls at it painfully, and since henna isn't poisonous (you shouldn't eat it, though), I just let it stain my hands. It'll rub off in a week or so. 

This is also old, I snapped it after the last times I did henna. My hands looked the same after this time, though!

So. A week ago, I was home alone as I made the choice to go red. I warmed up the sauna, added the gunk to my hair and walked half naked into the living room not knowing Husband had returned. I was dripping with reddish brown liquid, and made my cool-as-a-cucumber Husband say "what the fuck have you done". It was fun. After a quick explanation of "I wanted to be red", he said OK, and I spent the next four hours in the sauna. 

Henna-gunk is drippy and messy, so it's a good idea to wrap something, anything, around it. I used a piece of cotton, and looked very fetching in my stained head wrap <3

Previously, henna has been a right bitch (sorry) to rinse out, and I was very worried this time since our water pressure is a bit low. I was very surprised to find it wash off really easily. 
After a thorough wash, it was orange. And I was happy. 
It takes a few days for hennaed hair to settle. During this time, the colour turns from orange to a deeper tone of red, depending on your natural tone. I got a subtle shade of auburn, and I'm really happy with it. Since my hair had natural lighter streaks, my red has multiple tones. 

This is my hair in natural light. The tone changes according to light and angle, so I'm still staring at myself in the mirror more than usual. 

As suspected, one can no longer find pure henna in Finland. But not to worry, ebay came to the rescue. Once I get my order of henna, I'll do another coat to all of my hair. After, I'll only have to do all of it maybe once a year since henna doesn't fade like commercial dyes. 
So. All the red clothes I have now look bad on me <3



  1. Lovely new hair colour! And I feel you with the indecisiveness about hair colour, I always want what I don't have as well...

  2. lol i nodded so hard reading your post XD. was me with green/blue. but next time orange. yes. wondering how long that will last though

  3. I use organic red hairdye. I'm happy with the outcome.

  4. I know that impatience and indecisiveness very well. I think I had black and every colour of the rainbow and then settled on red for a while. After half a year it got so tiring to keep dyeing! And eventually to keep myself from further damaging it I went back to my old chestnut brown which I find a bore really.. So yeah, almost the same story for me haha. I have a feeling that very soon I'll be dying my hair black again

    That subtle reddish tone in your hair looks lovely. I recon it is brighter in real life?

    1. Hair, I think, is the one thing in life we have total control over. It's the only thing we can really, truly change, and that's why it's so fun to mess with it. And what ever you do, it will grow back.

      Cheers, it is a bit brighter irl, and I'm hoping a second treatment will enhance the tone further.

  5. HAPPY SPRING! :D My husband does the same sort of "WHAT THE HELL?" It humors me to no end. That color looks fabulous. I'm a big fan of henna hair -- the Body Shop used to sell this henna rinse that was absolutely wonderful. It kept the henna nice and vibrant. This was a million years ago and I haven't seen it here in the States since the early 90s.

    I'm getting impatient, too. I want a change, but I can't decide what. I don't think I'll touch my hair ... but that doesn't mean things can't be pierced or tattooed. MWHAHAHAHA!

    1. Thanks, and happy spring to you as well. I've always found this time of year to be a time of change. It's when hair changes, and wardrobes alter, and skin gets new holes. Wonder if they put something in the water...


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