But I henna-ed my hair again today and have spent the past 2-3 hours reading about henna on the Internets.
Couple of points.
Henna is a natural dye that is absolutely safe for the majority of people to use, except if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. In that case, it can be extremely dangerous for you to use it as it will cause a hemolytic reaction and can be fatal. Also known as “can’t eat fava beans or will die” disease, so if you can’t eat fava beans without having to go to the ER — don’t henna, mmk?
Henna deposits dye molecules onto your hair shaft, so it will give your hair a reddish tint. It will not lighten your hair color — it’s very much like doing a red water-colour wash over tinted paper.
At this point in time, I have white hairs growing out, so henna-ing my blue-black hair isn’t an exercise in complete futility – but it’s pretty damn close.
I’ve read a lot of conflicting views on preparing mixtures, body art quality henna (BAQ) or simple natural food store henna, dye release times…etc.
I’ve concluded, after reading more than 11 pages into the forums at hennaforhair.com that henna apparently can work however way it pleases and there’s not necessarily rhyme or reason to it. Including to add oil or no, to acidulate or not, to wait for dye release or no…etc.
Actually, there’s actually multiple very logical reasons for why/how one way works and why it also works the other day. But I’ll go into that some other time if people are interested.
What I did today was I made tea with 1oz of hibiscus flowers and then put in 5 oz of henna powder and fucked up here cooked it for faster dye release. What I forgot was that you can’t over-heat it or the dye starts demising — which led to only a blonde tint on the white hairs.
At least, I know my henna shipment is in at the natural food store, so I think I’ll try again tomorrow. This time, I’ll just do what I’ve always done, which is to use hot tea to make the paste, and then just glop it on and sit around for 4+ hours.
What’s interesting, is that using henna almost always gives me a headache. I’ve also noticed that the headache gets worse progressively — the longer I sit around with it glopped on my head, the more my head hurts.
There’s a couple of hypotheses I have for that.
Some people say that it’s the weight of the hair. Considering I have waist length hair and the henna paste weighs a lot — that’s not implausible.
What I think is the real cause is that henna is supposed to have a cooling effect on the body. There’s also Chinese medicine theories that say that if your head is too cool, you will get headaches and be less healthy. The two theories combined explains the headaches.
Before I get slapped down for woo-woo voodoo henna Chinese mysticism crap — I have to say that sometimes when I don’t blowdry my hair and my head stays cold, I get terrible headaches that only get better once I break out the blowdryer.
More likely to believe in the latter, with that personal anecdote.
Anyways. Henna! More henna tomorrow, possibly!