Art of Living DIY

DIY: Henna your Hair

By Audrey Bonfig, CG Lifestyles & People

Henna is a great all-natural solution to coloring your hair! Photo by Audrey Bonfig.

Now that summer is in the air, it’s the perfect time to try out a fun, new hair color.

But before you pick up that box of commercial hair dye, consider all the damage that it could potentially do to your hair. Commercial dyes are known to be chock full of harmful chemicals and additives that can do everything from stripping your hair to drying it to causing breakage and damage. So if you want to try a different color, try henna instead.

Henna is an all-natural dye that comes from a flowering plant. Henna has been used as a dye since antiquity, where it was commonly used in ancient Egypt, India, and Africa. Henna spread to the west around the turn of the century, when bright red hair was considered desirable and beautiful. Today henna can be readily and easily found and has risen in popularity in recent years.

As far as choosing your henna goes, there are various options. Henna hair dye can be found in cream, solid, liquid, and powdered forms. This particular how-to will focus on the powdered version; powdered henna is the most natural and non-abrasive form of the dye, as it usually contains no additives.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• Powdered henna dye (I found mine at the Farmacy), the number of bags
needed will depend on how long your hair is.
• A bowl
• Water
• A plastic bag
• Plastic gloves
• Lemon juice (optional)

Instructions:

1. Pour your powdered henna into a bowl and mix it with enough water until
the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.
2. (Optional Step) Add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice; the lemon just
brightens the color.
3. Smear the henna around your hair. (Make sure to wear your gloves, henna
can stain your hands if you don’t!) If your hair is longer, clip up sections and
coat them a section at a time, you want every strand of hair to be covered
4. Massage the henna into your hair so it is evenly coated.
5. Tie the plastic bag around your head, this will add warmth and help the color
to absorb better.
6. Let the henna sit anywhere from 40 minutes to 4 hours, depending on how
dark you want the color to be.
7. Rinse the henna from your hair and add a conditioner, do not shampoo.
8. Dry your hair, and enjoy your beautiful new color!