I am a natural redhead, but my color sometimes needs a boost. For the last year I have turned to henna to give my hair a little something extra and the results, in my opinion, are wonderful.
"Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead." Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was not a natural redhead but she sure wore her adopted hair color like she was born with it. Lucy achieved her fiery locks through the application of henna.
Using henna as a dye is nothing new, in fact it has been used for centuries and is even believed to be referenced to in the bible. The plant Henna, or Lawsonia inermis, produces a red colored molecule that likes to bond to protein, thus making it a suitable dye for hair and skin.
I purchase my henna, which comes in powdered form, from Mehandi.
Mehandi is a wonderful site containing lots of information on dying hair naturally.
Generally I buy a good sized bag of henna with a lower dye content, a small bag of high content and a small bag of cassia, which takes my hair towards a more coppery red rather than a burgundy.
Mixing up my henna is in no way a science. I generally create a mixture consisting of 1/2 low dye content henna, 1/4 high content, and 1/4 cassia. After combining the powders I add warm water and a touch of lemon juice to the mixture until it is a consistency I find I can work with, usually the same texture as yogurt.
Next, and most importantly, I cover the mixture and let it sit for several hours, sometimes over night. Application is a bit tricky but I try my best to cover my entire head in this mud. After spending several hours with my head wrapped in a shower cap, I rinse the henna from my hair. The longer the henna is left on the hair the more intense the color.
I am so incredibly happy that I discovered this way to color my hair. Not only does henna liven up my natural red without the use of harsh chemicals, it keeps my hair healthy and shiny too. Plus, when people ask, is that your natural color? I can honestly say "yes," this color does come from nature.
Not a redhead? Check out Mehandi's Henna for Hair page for other natural hues for hair.