How to Use Henna to Dye and Nourish Your Hair

The appearance of white hair is always a noteworthy event, especially since it raises the issue of dyeing. It is known that to cover white hair you have to resort to chemical dyes and do it at least once a month, but what if I told you that there is a totally natural method? You are surely familiar with henna, a powder made from the dried leaves of a shrub plant that releases a brick-red color. But as of today there are ready-made mixtures for all hair types, although it must be said that to cover whites it works best on light brown to black hair. But let’s see together how to cover white hair easily with henna!

Dirty hair or clean hair?

Somewhat because of chemical dyes that must be applied to dirty hair, it is thought that henna should also be applied in the same way. However, this is not really the case. When hair is dirty, the scales of the hair are closed and henna has a hard time anchoring and being absorbed, so it does not color as it should. For this reason, henna is always applied to clean hair, whether damp or dry. All henna does is create a protective membrane that bonds to the hair, which is why it is easier for this process to happen when our hair is sebum-free.

How to create the mixture

The henna blend recipe is a bit like Grandma’s cake recipe: everyone has their own version that they think is the best. But which one is actually the right one? After testing many, I can admit that the simplest is also the one that goes best: simply mix warm water and henna. However, each hair is its own, and if you feel you want to add a natural ingredient to help make your hair less dry, then I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, which has moisturizing power. On the other hand, if you don’t like the smell that remains on your hair after the pack, you can add a few drops of essential oil, even the kind used to flavor cakes can work, like vanilla. If you add lukewarm water, mix until the mixture becomes creamy and apply immediately without waiting further for oxidation time.

If, on the other hand, you want a more charged tint, put in cold water and let the mixture oxidize covered with a film for 2 hours or overnight.You can tell when it is fully oxidized if you move the surface layer and notice a mixture of a warmer green.

N.B. This should be stirred with a wooden ladle.

What is the double pass?

If you want to make a henna pack just to tone your hair and nourish it then just apply it once, keep it on for at least 3-4 hours. But if you want to cover grey hair well, I recommend doing the double pass, but what is it? Basically, you have to do two different wraps: the first pass should be done with pure henna, the classic red, which is meant to cover whites. The second pass should be done with the mixture of the tone of our hair, it has the function to tone the hair and make the red of the first pass less noticeable. For each pass the application time is at least 3 hours, you can choose to do both on the same day or do the first pass one day and the second pass on another day.

Blends and quantities

The mixture of the same tone as our hair that we apply in the second pass can be taken already formulated or you can create it yourself. Since the power to cling to the hair is typical only of lawsonia, the classic red henna, it is necessary that there be a percentage of lawsonia in each mixture.

For example, if you have dark brown hair, you can mix 50 percent lawsonia and the remaining 50 percent indigo, which gives the black color and together with the red makes a dark brown. But how much henna to use? It depends on the length of your hair: if you have short or medium-long hair, 3 oz to 5 oz of henna may be enough. For long, thick hair, on the other hand, you should use 5 oz to 7 oz of henna. After you finish the application, you can simply rinse it out and use conditioner to make your hair softer and you’re done!

Warnings

Avoid using henna if you have allergies or hypersensitivity. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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