Ever since I was little, a.k.a. 11 years old, I began a turbulent relationship with altering my hair color. It first started with helping my mom do her highlights with box color in her bathroom every 6-8 weeks. It seemed like magic, having the power to see something you didn’t like and fixing it yourself.
I grew up in artistic and independent household, let me preface. My mom was friends with local artists, whose homes I spent many an afternoon at for art lessons. My mother also raised my sisters and I to be independent from an early age, and if we wanted something, we had to get/do it ourselves.
With those attributes, I’ve always felt completely comfortable coloring my own hair. I’ve never been nervous about “messing up”, because if I don’t like the outcome, at least it’s in my control and not someone else’s mistake. It’s my own mistake, and I can move on from it. My hair is my canvas, and much like my art lessons, it’s whatever I want it to be.
I’ve spent years coloring my hair with chemical dye (6 years to be exact). And though I’ve loved every color and have always been happy with the color turnout, I don’t like the condition my hair is left in. Box dye always left my hair dry and prone to split ends, which left me to getting a haircut every 2 months and never seeing it get longer.
When I first dived into the real food world, I wanted to use the most natural ingredients in all aspects of life. Like, everything granola. Some things stuck, and some things didn’t. One thing that I have stuck with is staining my hair with henna.
I get the same color as if I were coloring my hair with box dye, since I always keep my hair darker. Henna is basically powdered plant that you use to stain your hair with. The color lasts 6-8 weeks, but the health of your hair never goes away. The plant powder is healthy for your hair, and actually leaves my hair softer and even more shiny.
Henna isn’t for everyone, because it can’t lighten hair, and some shades have a reddish tint to them. But, I’m a blond going brunette, and my hair already has a natural red tint to it, so this process works perfectly for me. The henna-ing of the hair takes longer than traditional box dye, but I don’t have to spend time getting hair cuts any more than once a year, so I’m probably saving more time using henna overall.
Not all companies selling henna are the same. Some companies use fillers in their ingredients, and some hennas last longer than others. My favorite company to order henna from is Morrocco Method. They have henna, hair masks and shampoos and conditioners. While I’m not a personal fan of the shampoo and conditioner, the henna is the best I have ever used.
Henna lets me still color my own hair and keep it happy and healthy. I love experimenting with colors, and henna allows me that without the harmful effects of chemical dye. If you’re looking for a non-toxic hair dye, definitely give henna a look.