This is not about dyeing yarn, so if you’ve come here for knitting content, you might wanna skip over this entry and come back tomorrow.
A few days ago I stumbled upon this website: Henna for Hair. Be forewarned: if you have any interest in stuff like this, you’ll spend hours there.
I really like the idea of using something other than chemicals for dyeing my hair, so I did my research and ordered up some body art quality henna and some indigo. Henna will dye your hair red, but if you add indigo to the mix, you can achieve brown. Less indigo and you get reddish highlights, more indigo and you get brown. There’s other stuff you can add to make a cool rather than a warm brown.
Well, if you are interested, check out the website above, and you can read all about it.
I mixed 100 grams of my henna with lemon juice to make a thick paste — it needs the acidity to activate the dye release. I threw in some ginger to make it smell better. Henna naturally smells like hay, which isn’t too bad, but not one of my favorite scents. After letting it sit long enough to release the dye, I mixed 25 grams of the indigo with enough water to make a thick paste and mixed it in with the henna paste.
Then comes the fun part — applying it to the hair. This is a very messy process, so I put newspapers down in the bathroom (Lucy really enjoyed this part) and donned rubber gloves. I slathered it on my hair and covered every single hair from root to tip. After smooshing it all in thoroughly, I wrapped my head in plastic to keep the moisture in and waited.
How long to leave it on? the instructions tell you to leave it on from 1 to 5 hours, so I split the difference and left it on for 2.5 hours. You want to leave it on long enough for the dye to penetrate the hair well. Henna is pretty permanent because it is absorbed into the hair’s protein and really colors deeply. It’s also very good for your hair and strengthens it and gives it shine.
So after 2.5 hours, came the long and messy process of rinsing it out. I rinsed out as much as I could with water, and then slathered on a lot of conditioner and combed that through (no easy task) and then rinsed thoroughly.
I am very very pleased with the results.
Here is a “before” picture:
You can see the lovely mousy color with grey at the temples.
Here is an “after” picture:
And this is “after” in direct sunlight:
According to what I’ve read, it will darken/deepen a bit over the next couple of days. I got great grey coverage and the color on the roots blends nicely with the rest of my hair.
Once she discovered that there was to be no game with newspapers, Lucy lost interest.