Women are divided on dyeing hair with chemicals or with henna with a lot of arguments for and against both methods. Personally, I prefer henna and indigo and usually do a treatment every 4 – 6 months when the henna begins to wear off. If I’m protective styling, I do it in-between styles. It’s natural and doesn’t damage my hair. While the process is a bit long, I still prefer this to chemical dyeing.
However, some women have complained of several henna disasters ranging from orange hair to increased hair fall. This isn’t always the fault of the henna and sometimes has to do with something done prior to or during the process so here are my best tips to follow in order to avoid a henna hair dyeing disaster:
Get the Right Type of Henna
You should always buy body-art quality (BAQ) henna. This type of henna is made out of dried, powdered lawsonia inermis leaves. It is natural and pure, and has been cleaned and sifted thoroughly. It will make your hair softer and stronger and protect it from damage.
Do a Strand Test
Even if you’ve dyed your hair a million times before, always do a stand test before you dye with henna. Do the test at least 72 hours before you dye your hair. You can see how the end result will look on your hair and if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t go through with it. Use the strands of hair in your comb or brush.
Prepare the Dye Beforehand
Mix all the other components at least 48 hours before you’re ready to dye your hair. The acid will allow the henna to release its dye so it can stain your hair adequately and lead to a rich and shiny end result.
The gloves will protect your hands from being stained orange. Additionally, the smooth surface will allow you to distribute the henna evenly through your hair so that every strand is thoroughly coated.
Cover Your Ears
This prevents the henna from bleeding onto your hairs and staining them, which will take some time to wear off. If the dye accidentally gets on your ears during the process, wipe off immediately with a wet towel.
Follow the Instructions
This will depend on which brand of henna you buy. Don’t improvise or remove anything. The instructions are there to protect your skin and hair from a disaster. If you plan to improvise in some way, do it on the strand test and allow a week afterwards to see how the strands look like before you proceed with the rest of your hair.
Don’t Shampoo Less Than 24 Hours Before
Your hair shouldn’t be dirty with a lot of build up though as that will be counterintuitive. As a rule of thumb, shampoo 48 hours before you apply henna and indigo. Colour penetrates better when your hair isn’t freshly washed.
Following these tips ensures your hair comes out looking great after dyeing with henna. By the way, you don’t have to follow up with indigo if you’re ok with a deep brown colour but if you want it a deep bluish-black then a follow up with the indigo is recommended. My henna and indigo recommendations are below: