Henna again.

Needed to henna my hair again since the old grays are more than 1/4 inch long. I do like how henna blends them better than commercial hair dyes because the way my hair grows with henna I'd be doing it like every other week.

Mixed Henna Sooq Organic Rajasthani Indian Henna 100g powder with strong black tea & a little apple cider vinegar (added about a tablespoon each Amla, Brahmi, Bhringraj powders into the henna powder before mixing in liquid) until consistency of pudding. I let it have dye release overnight & then froze since I didn't have time to do henna that next morning.

Today I thawed the henna paste in sink with warm water (store it in a ziplock freezer bag & just place that in the water.) While that was thawing, I mixed 1 Tablespoon indigo & a bit of salt, with warm water & let dye release. Mixed about 4 tablespoons of the henna paste into the indigo paste & added some conditioner. Smeared this mixture onto roots first & then rest of length (with gloved hands.) I applied Vaseline along the hairline so I would not get staining on my face. Wrapped hennaed hair in plastic wrap. Topped with a cheap plastic shower cap & then my head wrap. Left on my hair for about 3 hours while I finished a book & did chores around the house. Rinsed out using cheap conditioner to help get the henna paste out. Viola finish product with wonderful coppery highlights rather than grays.

I truly love my change to henna hair coloring because of these natural highlights and how they help blend the grays for longer than traditional dye. I no longer have that root demarcation where you can easily tell where the virgin hair begins. Even if I would match my hair to the roots- the dye would fade & my colored hair would be a different color than the roots. Henna doesn't strip the color out first so you can't see this line.

A few photos of my newly hennaed hair.

I visited my old blog http://daynahooze.typepad.com/blog/  and it made me miss VOX so much. I miss all the posting we used to do back then. The other thing I noticed was how young I look with the old weight. I had seen Brooke Shields on Good Morning America saying how she thinks she looks years younger when she has 10 extra pounds on her- I can relate. I never looked heavy in my face so I kind of wish I could maintain all the face fat I had while losing the weight.  I have some serious cheekbones now and I kind of want the little bit of chubby cheeks I used to have only a few years ago. Last week I found 2 pairs of size 2 jeans that fit me really well. Somehow I've lost additional inches when the scale is still reading the same. I am guessing I'm losing a little fat but maintaining good muscle so I'll take it. I wore one of the jeans this weekend and I felt so much better in them. I hadn't realized how baggy the size 4's were until I did that. It's funny because I still don't see myself as "skinny"because I still have lots of curves everywhere. I'm not trying to lose additional weight- just maintain what I have now although if I did continue this trend of losing inches but not weighing less I will be happy because it will just mean that I am getting leaner.

Beauty Musings.

So it is a beautiful Friday morning but I am inside- sitting under a hair dryer while ApHogee 2-step protein treatment dries to a helmet on my head. Might as well put this time to work by updating my blog with some beauty musings that have been rattling around my head for a while.

Last night I hennaed my hair since it has grown out a good 1/4 inch since I did it the last time & the grays were getting distracting. I swear my hair grows much faster since I started doing henna & even though the henna makes it grow out sooner, the grays blend better (at least for a while) because the henna turns them into coppery highlights. My daughter is actually a little jealous of my grays since they do add so much dimension to my hair. LOL.

Today I am doing the protein treatment because my hair is just baby fine and can use the added treatment. The treatment is kind of a PITA since it does feel very sticky/gluey as you wait for it to dry & do it's magic. I buy it from Sally's Beauty- not exactly cheap at like $20 a big bottle & then you have to buy the special condition (2-step) too but it does make a significant difference in my hair's texture. It's also good to have a whole head hair dryer (got one for daughter since she likes to use curlers in her hair) for the drying process. Your hair will dry to a stiff helmet which can cause breakage if you try to bend it too much in this state so this kind of hairdryer seems to work best. The rest is rinse & condition which is easy.

So my various beauty thoughts.

*Really rather tired of my pant fit problem of late. Yesterday I hit TJ Maxx and tried on about 10 bottoms. I bought ZERO. I even tried on specifically made ones in "Curvy" fit (graphic showed a Kim Kardashian-esque rear) and STILL had significant gaping at the waist. I am guessing that I am a size 2 waistline with size 4-6 rear & thighs. =( It is very frustrating to not be able to find decent fitting bottoms. I guess I am just a freak-- or I was born in the wrong fashion decade. Still upsetting to see gutty women being able to wear pants (bulging out on top just because they can fit their pancake arses and pencil thighs into them.
*Along the same lines I was telling my daughter how I feel sorry for her generation because I am guessing the vast majority will have weight problems. Her comment was "I'm not worried because I will never let myself get fat." but I told her it will still affect her because she won't be able to find clothing to fit or have to pay an arm & a leg to have everything altered. Already have that issue with her- like when she needed black pants for Steak N Shake-- Kohl's had ONE pair of size 2 black pants that were appropriate. The black pants in the junior's dept. were all made super long flares which was against the dress code at SNS. We went to the girls dept and found size 16 ones that fit her but I had to take in about 2 inches on the waist to make them fit decent. Several years ago she was looking through my yearbooks and said "You didn't have fat people back then." I pointed out examples of what we considered "fat" back then-- I even considered myself borderline "fat" since I was stocky compared to my peers. Her response was "Oh, all of those would be normal now." That to me is sad. It is also sad that my 44 year old not perfectly fit body is often times in better shape than many of the "athletes" let alone the majority of her peers. Her work at SNS definitely has changed her mind about weight issues. She would often complain about the customers who were seriously obese requiring  5 or more refills of sugary drinks. Other times she would be melancholy that a "loving" parent would buy more food for kids that are already obese because the kids don't know the difference between hunger and being so packed with food one can't move.
It is truly an epidemic- recently our health insurance sent us notice of the latest premium increase- since getting it 3 years ago, the premiums have increased to over 33%-- that's absurd to me- how many individuals' had that amount of increase in their paychecks??? We as a family have not had a single sick office visit- so I know we aren't causing "increases in health care costs." I don't blame the insurance company, nor the government, I blame us-- I happen to live in one of the fattest states, one that has one of the highest # of smokers, and I have to pay for these people's poor health habits. I'd have no bitterness if they were even TRYING but here is a typical scenario I would have (even before my weight loss.) Football practice morning- ME-- running in the park while practice is going on. Another mom- seriously overweight- sitting on the bleachers. After I finish up, she says how she wishes she could do what I do- not saying she has to be running but she could have used the time to walk rather than just sitting watching me workout. It's when people don't make the connection that they can do something about this. We'd all be a lot better off if people started taking responsibility of things they do have control over. Not saying everyone needs to be a size zero but saying that everyone can make healthier choices-- rather than sitting on the couch watching TV- get moving & think about what you actually eat. A lot of times people will say "I don't eat much" but if they really tracked everything they ate/drank- they may be amazed at the calories consumed. Starting to think we need to start charging for health insurance like life insurance-- not saying that people who have some sort of health issue out of their control should pay more-- but those things that are within a person's control weight & smoking should pay more- maybe that would motivate change?

*EYEBROWS!!! This is a pet peeve of mine- see so many "commas" as eye brows, especially in young girls. Thicker eyebrows are in yet I see so many young girls with barely there brows but the worst of it is that they have plucked them into commas- thick dot & skinny tail. I may not even take issue with the over plucking IF they weren't true arches-- NO ONE HAS ROUND ARCHES in their eyebrows naturally. It just drives me crazy because these otherwise beautiful girls just look surprised and ridiculous. Like a beautiful picture frame eyebrows are important!!!

*I HATE ALL MASCARA COMMERCIALS/ADS--- most seem to have the model in full falsies while purporting get the look of false lashes with just this mascara!! Even when it's not full on false lashes they'll say-- "lashes added to increase lash count" & yet you can see that the length was also increased.  ARGH!!!!

*Nothing to do with beauty but really happy with our switch to just cell phones. Not a single political call. There are days when my phone hasn't had a call for nearly a week. So seriously did not need a landline. Only questionable thing is that my youngest had 5001 texts last month... apparently his friends are VERY into texting & happy to see him have that. My older son was in second place with 1500 plus, and daughter took 3rd with 1300 plus- I came in last with a measly 200 & some. LOL Came in second with minute usage-- daughter used up the most which was shocking since I am the one doing the "home" calls like calling the sewage co. to get adjustment when we water our lawn. Well, this is my latest installment of tidbits.

The "trouble" with henna and "It"

The "trouble" with henna isn't really a bad thing- my trouble with henna is that my hair is so much healthier and the results are so much nicer than traditional hair dye that I henna way more often than I used to do dye. I swear the henna is making my hair grow faster since I notice a good 1/4 inch of gray roots after 3 weeks when it would be around 4 weeks to get this kind of growth. So after only 3 weeks since my last henna application I did it again. What I love about henna is that the results is what I always wanted from hair dyes that would say "gives natural tone & highlights." This application I grabbed the frozen henna paste & thawed it out.  Then applied to the roots only after freshly washing my hair- the only time I wash my hair with shampoo is right before hennaing- otherwise I do cleansing conditioner. Wrapped my head in plastic wrap and then a cheap plastic shower cap. Topped with a copper fabric scarf and waited for 2 hours while doing normal housework. Unfortunately the painter that gets me a lot of home decoration sewing jobs stopped by while I was sporting this lovely look. LOL 

After 2 hours, I rinsed thoroughly using cheap Suave coconut conditioner to help get the henna paste out. I really like the coconut one because it seems thicker than some of the other scents which is very nice for this use. One of the things I LOVE about hennaed hair v. hair dye is that it really does give tonal coverage- just henna makes my "virgin" hair (the growth since I stopped doing hair dye) have a lovely red glow and makes the gray a lovely copper. Now that I have my previously dyed hair to a decent match to my virgin roots, I can see just doing henna and turning my grays into copper highlights rather than having to deal with monotone hair until the dye starts fading or following up with highlighting like I did with regular dyes. As soon as the paste is washed out my hair is the perfect color. Another plus to henna is that it's much more cost effective than commercial dyes. This is at least application #3 out of this 100g of henna- at $7 per $100 g and mixing with ACV it's inexpensive and best of all GOOD for my hair. 

Freshly hennaed hair in full sun. Redder in sunlight.

Redder tones in sunlight. 

Still outside but in shade. Still reddish.

In shade outside- notice tonal difference in grays/previously highlighted hair being red with darker brown hair. 

Inside near window. Chocolate brown. Notice the lovely elastic mark from the shower cap? Note to self do not just slap shower cap on- adjust elastic so it's not leaving indentation in forehead. DUH!

Inside- love that there's so much depth to my hair color & the shine. 

Inside- another look. 

Notice the coppery strands- this is the color my grays/formerly highlighted hair turns whereas the virgin hair stays deep brown. So looking forward to my hair growing out so that the color will be the dark brown/copper grays combination rather than the more red lighter hair of that already dyed with commercial dyes- which the lightening makes that hair take henna differently than my natural hair. 
It Cosmetics Hello Lashes
 Here's some mascara photos of IT cosmetics Hello Lashes. I mentioned it in my previous post about being a new one I've tried. It's a lovely lengthening mascara and I have been using it as my base mascara and then topping with Maybelline The Falsies Volume Express Flared waterproof mascara. In the photo I am only wearing IT mascara because I wanted to show how it gives you lots of long lashes. The tube has an interesting aspect that the wand is wrapped with foamy material so you have a good grip while applying. The wand is rather long but very flexible. The plastic spines are not too long so you can really get next to the base of lashes and coat each one individually. On the end is the orb of coverage. This gives you the ability to do detail work with this mascara. even the very end is tipped with tiny spines. I use the orb to do the small lashes on inner corner and especially like to use it to really flare the outer corner lashes. It's like adding false lashes to your outer corner with this nifty little wand. I ordered a two pack of this mascara from QVC and it's a bit pricy but worthy. My daughter is in love with this mascara too so I will be getting more.

Wand for Hello Lashes

Close up of orb on end that gives great detail work ability.

Missing VOX still musings.

I miss VOX. Since VOX shut down there has been no good replacement for our little online community of beauty fans. I liked how much we could control who was seeing the content on the blogs because I felt like it enabled us to blog like we were sharing with friends rather than worrying about all the weirdos who may be reading this. I still keep up with most on Facebook but it's not the same because VOX was my little beauty world- whereas Facebook is all encompassing- HS, college, current acquaintances, family- it's too much. I liked my little beauty room where posting a bazillion photos of myself didn't mean the interpretation of  narcissistic Dayna but "hey, she's trying to capture the MMU on camera- not an easy task." LOL I liked being able to read beauty recs from our more private VOXERS like our one-eyed (but great lips) LT. I admit that I barely bother with beauty blogs since our little community disbanded. That makes me sad because I do often think "Ohh, this is good- I should share it with my MMU buddies." but without VOX that sharing doesn't have the same impact.

So for those of you that want a little content to this post- Hoozey beauty likes

*Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream- I still love me some emu oil but I like to top emu with this gel moisturizer. It's very light feeling and seems to give additional moisture to my skin all day. I like to apply my MMU right after because it makes it set up great- like real skin.

*IT Cosmetics "Hello Lashes"- bought this off QVC in a two pack. It has an interesting wand that is the plastic spiky (although closer together than most) tipped with the "orb of coverage" for detail work. The formula is very much lengthening so it's not a LOVE- but great base mascara for me. It's not WP so awesome to top with a waterproof mascara- been liking Maybeline's "The Falsies Volume Express Flared" WP mascara. My DD LOVES the It mascara so this is a good Xmas gift idea.

*Laura Geller THE REAL DEAL CONCEALER- our mall recently got an ULTA and DD was saying how her roommate had a good concealer (high end a la not beauty store but cosmetic counters like at Dilliards) but DD couldn't see paying that price. Saw Laura Geller on QVC demonstrating The Real Deal and so that as impressive coverage but didn't feel like paying shipping & possibly sending it back so checked it out at ULTA. The tube is 0.70 oz for $20 but seriously you use the tiniest amount to cover everything. I had purchased the medium only to find that surprisingly DD needed the lightest shade (since she's decided that she feels more like herself as a redhead, she's avoided the sun so her skin is super pale.) I kept the medium for myself and rely on it to cover all kinds of stuff before my foundation.

*I am addicted to henna/indigo as my hair color option. I updated my hair again- remember how I said that the roots (virgin- never been chemically colored) weren't the same color as the length due to chemical process lightening then adding color (thus the fading results.) So yesterday I did 1/2 henna 1/2 indigo for about 1 hour and no more roots. The color is pretty dark (hubby says last night "Your hair is really dark, I thought you were only doing 'henna' now?") but it matches my roots so it's the right color. I am happy with it because from here on out- no more experiments to get things to match up. =) I'll post photos. I love how my hair feels with henna/indigo and it's exciting to be able to use something like this to get rid of my grays- I'm too vain to not do that- and actually benefit my hair rather than make it weaker.

So that's about it as far as beauty picks in the time since VOX disappeared... I told you how uninspired I am as far as things beauty when I can't share with my VOX groupies. =( Or you may interpret this as, "this is all Hoozey can remember since the last time she blogged about beauty stuff.

The odd thing about my weight loss- my head still hasn't caught up with my body. I still think of myself as the 30 pounds heavier Dayna most times. I know when I go into stores I am a size 4 jeans at least in waist size (still have to try on to see if the rear & thighs make it in) but I don't think of myself as small- yet DD I see as small & I'm only one size bigger than her. I actually have to check tags of jeans if we both have the same kind because I can't tell otherwise if they are mine or hers. It still doesn't sink in how dramatic my change has been. The other day I was helping a friend move window treatments into her new house and she was saying something to her girls about probably not recognizing me because I've become so small. Then the next day the neighbor commented on my weight loss and said "I thought you were your daughter."  I still don't think of myself as skinny because I have way too many curves to be that word. I am definitely an hourglass figure- Hoozey has boobs and "back." I'm glad about the boobs because I also have huge ribs (got from my dad) - if I were smaller in that department I may look like I have a double set. LOL So even though my being large on top tends to make me look heavier than peers that have less, I'll take it over looking like having 2 sets. I also like having a rear end- mostly because it works with my big thighs & legs. I've come to appreciate my curves- it's the body I have to work with. I still get irked when I see some big gutted, but pencil-legged woman because I know that clothing manufacturers are fitting things to HER body instead of mine. Even my size 4's are a little big in the waist and I'd prefer a little more "relaxed" fit in the thighs & rear. So clothing just isn't made for that much curve going on. I find that most of my pants end up riding lower on my hips rather than at where the waist is supposed to be due to my small waist but big rear & thighs. I've accepted this as my fit issue. I'm also very picky about my tops- like T-shirts can't be boxy- if they don't have any waist to it, I won't wear it unless it's for working out in or a T-shirt supporting the track team. If the shirt is a button down, I find I have to tailor it quite a bit. I usually a wear a large for my shoulders/boobs and even with darts the waist is so baggy. I take a good 6 inches in at the waist to get a decent silhouette where the waist doesn't bulge out because there's just too much excess there. On some of my favorite old shorts, I've taken them in this dramatically also- but only bothered with ones like these cargo ones that I just can't find a decent fitting replacement in my current size. I went through my closet this spring and really got brutal with giving up the way too big stuff. I only kept some work clothes in "too big" items and really culled my closet to clothing that fits and makes me feel good. I even ordered a few more bikinis before our beach trip because a lot of my old ones are too saggy/baggy. I felt at ease in them - I don't have a perfect body but it's not too bad for 44 and definitely nothing to be ashamed of by hiding in a 1 piece when those tend to not fit well with my dimensions- plus I find that they are never as supportive for the girls as the bikini tops I go for- VS ones that are more bra like- liking the retro ones they've got going on because they tend to have more support and wide straps. Hubby approved of my purchases. ; ) I also treated myself to some decent fitting jean shorts- Levi's 515's- got in pale wash, dark wash and (GASP) white- they are actually quite becoming because these shorts seem to nip in at the waist and highlight that aspect. Wish they had made them in a few more cute colors like turquoise, yellow, green- because I can see these being a staple in my summer wardrobe for a while. Also found a pair of plaid shorts- don't like them as much as the Levi's because the inseam is shorter (like a little thigh coverage)  and the waist is a little bigger- but they are a nice change from same old boring summer shorts.
My DD has similar fit issues- although she doesn't have the top heavy issue. She recently got a waitressing job at Steak N Shake and bought black pants for her uniform. She must have tried on a dozen different brands of black pants at Kohl's- her favorite ones were size 2 petites but they only had one pair- she eventually tried on girls size 16 pants which fit everywhere but the waist. So nice me, I took in a good 2 inches on those waistbands so she didn't have the gunnysack look under her belt. I also chopped the sleeves off of the white button downs (boys dept.) because they were getting so grungy and I couldn't seem to find any short sleeved ones in her size. I have to admit that this job kind of cracks me up on many levels. First- it's Steak N Shake- but her uniform requires IRONING. Hubby's job is high level & well paying- most days his uniform is plain colored t-shirt (Mossimo brand from Target) and blue jeans.

Daughter's Hennaed Hair

For those who have been waiting on photos of DD's hennaed hair. This was taken in the sunlight (obviously it's from the beach) and is after 2 henna applications. Inside her hair looks dark auburn rather than this red. She prefers herself as a redhead and thus spent our week at the beach in multiple applications of 50 SPF and hiding under an umbrella to maintain light skin to pull off the redhead look. She was mocked all week by both of her brothers- especially the older one who has for the first time in many years achieved a decent tan before heading to the beach from pole vaulting in the back yard without his shirt on- he has more of my skin tone whereas the youngest is blond and tans well for a blond but not as dark as brunette brother.

Henna again & still loving it

So after about 3 weeks of enjoying my hennaed hair I was starting to notice grays showing up in my roots. So one morning last week I thawed out the leftover henna past while I mixed approximately 1 Tablespoon of indigo powder with warm water to make a yogurt consistency. I allowed the indigo to get dye release for about 15 minutes while the henna thawed in warm water. 
I then mixed about 3 tablespoons of henna paste with the indigo paste and then added approximately an equal amount of conditioner to this paste. I smooshed the hendigo paste into my roots and then covered the lengths with this mixture. Once I had covered my hair with the mixture I wrapped it all up with some plastic wrap and popped a cheap plastic shower cap on top. 
I then spent about 1/2 hour checking Facebook and such. Then I rinsed my hair with the help of cheap conditioner to help get the henna bits out of my hair. 

Once again I was impressed at the difference in my hair compared to chemical dyes. Instead of feeling spongy and fragile after coloring, my hair felt sleek and soft after henna/indigo glaze. 

 As you can see in the photos after the glaze- you can see a difference in my virgin hair (non-chemically colored hair) and the henna/indigo roots. Unlike chemical dyes, the process does not lighten the hair first- so the henna/indigo mixture adds depth to my hair, makes grays coppery but can't give the color to the already lightened hair that was chemically processed. I am actually looking forward to when my hair is longer because I actually prefer the virgin hair coloration than the stuff that was chemically processed. I like the darker richer color of my natural hair with henna. I am planning to add additional indigo to my next glazing session to maybe match my roots better. I don't mind the red tone of the chemically processed then hennaed hair but prefer the richer brown of my roots with the lovely coppery highlights rather than grays.
That's the really nice part about henna- it gives so many variations in color in your hair unlike any chemical dye can- because it adds color to what's already there rather than strip and then "recolor" like chemicals do.
See coppery color variations for grays/old highlights - that's the beauty of henna vs. chemical dyes- it lays color into the hair already there so you get much more natural results. Mono-chromatic hair is a sure sign of dying it. LOL

Instead of grays0 they are strawberry blond to copper strands- that's much better than grays.

The color looks very different depending on the light. Sometimes my hair looks redder. Sometimes it looks browner like in these pictures. But I think the color variations make it look very natural in all of them- whereas I would feel self-conscious of my just dyed- monochromatic hair with chemical dyes.  The shine and softness is impressive. I'm a henna head-- can't go back to chemical dyes. It's nice that I'm doing something good for my hair, making it thicker and stronger rather than damaging it every time I need to hide my grays. 


Loving my hennaed hair

Biggest response I got from comments after my post about my first try at hennaing my hair was "sounds complicated" or "too much work." As my daughter said, "It's more like baking fresh bread- takes a long time between start and finish but not all that much actual work involved." And like homemade bread- results are worth the wait time and little work that it actually takes. 

While working on yesterday's post I did a henna gloss to oomph up the red tone in my hair after old highlights/grays were slightly green cast after henna & indigo. This was super easy- I had mixed the henna (more lawsone content) the night before and let rest overnight for dye release. I grab the baggy of henna paste and added about 3/4 cup of (cheap- Suave) conditioner and about the same amount of henna paste. Slathered this on my hair with gloved hands, popped a cheap disposable shower cap on top with a bit of paper towel under the elastic to prevent drips, and wrote my blog while waiting a bit. A half hour later I rinsed well (easier to rinse gloss out than henna/indigo pastes) and eagerly looked to the mirror for the results-- PERFECTION!! The perfect brown with auburn slant that I was looking for but with bonus of thicker, silkier, stronger, shinier hair. My hair was really thin- more like invisible thread whereas I'd say now they are nearly double the size. 

Henna doesn't have to be as "complicated" as my first time. My problem was my starting color was complicated- my typical color routine was to dye my hair some sort of ash brown and then do highlights to blend grays and I always hated the way boxed dyes made my hair way too mono-chromatic... no matter how much they said "dimensional" they left it pretty much the same color all over which in my opinion is NOT natural on medium brown hair. The other reason my henna session was complicated is that with my skin tone, I had to be very picky about balancing the color- it could be auburn but not copper/orange with my olive tan skin color. 

So if your hair color is close to normal- the recipe for success doesn't take 3 attempts like it did me. If you can take more red toned hair- then just the henna session would have worked on you. If you had darker hair (no highlights) the henna session would have just provided you with lovely red highlights in the sun. If you had black hair to start with, you could have achieved lovely black hair by following freshly hennaed hair with indigo only- indigo doesn't take well to hair without a henna session first. Most of the video tutorials I found on henna/indigo were on African American hair- so that tells you something about the beneficial effects of using henna & indigo. For those wanting just to oomph color- a gloss like my 3rd session would have been perfect. Really not much more time than a box hair color other than the preparing the henna the night before. Plus the next time you want to gloss your hair all you have to do is thaw out the leftover paste. 

I will never go back to commercial dyes- my hair feels way too amazing and the color is totally me. Plus I know I can hide the grays easily with a glaze whenever I need to- no more need to wait to give my hair a rest between dying (drying) like before. After this first venture I have learned so much already- I only need a little indigo to tone down the red. I've even learned that the higher lawsone content in my henna is actually better than the weaker ones. My hair can take the red but the weaker ones tend to take it to orange which doesn't look right on me. I think from here on out, it's more maintenance glosses (30 minute sessions) rather than full on henna day- the total time I had henna/indigo/henna gloss on my hair was 2 hours/1 hour/30 minutes. Less than a typical henna session due to my hair being thin and taking up color easily. I can't stop stroking my hair since my henna sessions-- it's really that silky soft. I also notice another big change after henna- I used to shed like mad-- enough so that it kind of grossed out MIL when I would visit because my dark hair would show up on the pillows/bedding. I haven't found a stray hair since. I find this amazing because can't tell you how many times I'd be searching my shirt for a hair that was tickling my arm- I see this interpretive dance becoming less daily-- my brush (which was cleaned out to do strand test) had about 5 hairs in it since hennaing. That's a major deal to me. Plus you can henna your brows to make match your hair-- anyone that's ever gone red knows how wrong brown brows look with red hair-- but if you do with commercial dyes you could lose your eyesight. 

I leave you with these shots taken yesterday after doing the 3rd henna only gloss of 30 minutes. 
3rd time's the charm- after 30 minute henna gloss

Not too orange, not too green- brown with red flare and look at the shine- never got that with box dyes

Love the dimension the henna process has given my hair. This is what I've always been trying to achieve with traditional dyes. 

Henna Happenings with Hoozey.

Howdy all. Long time, no blog. Sorry about that but "RL" got in the way- as in real life. I have been super busy which I will fill you in on in another blog but today's venture into henna hair color demanded a blog.

Silly me did not take a before photo. I meant to but in eagerness to try henna for the first time I forgot until it was too late. So I'll try to describe my before hair color- the bottom and back of my hair were intentionally darker- like a medium slightly ashy brown. The front and top were highlighted to make the gray blend in better as they grew in.

What drew me to henna was my daughter reading up on it because she has always craved auburn hair. She's been dying her hair with the demi-permanent hair colors for about 2 years and considers herself a redhead- that's what she feels is her true color- rather than the mousy brown she naturally has. She worried about the damage she may be doing to her hair by dying it and the roots always show up extremely green looking against the auburn so it only looked good at the very beginning. Plus everyone knows that red is the hardest color to keep from fading. She said that it actually makes your hair healthier. I worried about doing henna and it not working out right and never being able to go back to commercial dyes- you know how many say not to use on henna hair. That is actually a misconception on henna. You can go back IF you get 100% pure body art grade henna- it's those "hennas" that have metallic salts in them that are the bad ones.

So I started researching henna myself. First thing I learned henna is only red toned. All the henna kits that say brown or black colors are not just henna. That's not to say that you can't get brown or black hair using henna and other natural herbal hair dyes. Second I learned that henna will not lighten your hair- it will coat it with red pigment- so the color you end up with depends on the color of your hair to begin with. White hair dyed with henna will be vibrant red but dark hair will only have some red highlights in the sunshine.

Henna can strengthen, condition and thicken hair. It is also known to loosen curl pattern so frizzy hair can be tamed a bit by henna. It gives lots of shine since it only adds color without stripping hair like commercial dyes do.

Other herbs like Cassia Obovata (neutral henna) will add golden tones and shine. Indigo can be added to your henna regime to get brown and black results. There is also a long list of herbs for hair but I will focus on those for coloring hair naturally in this post.

I ordered body quality henna from Henna Sooq per Michelle's recommendation. I ordered almost every "color" of henna since daughter wanted red and I wanted browner results. The difference in these hennas is only in the amount of lawsone (dye henna contains) in the plant. The more lawsone in the henna the more intense red the results will be. I also ordered amla, indigo, bhringraj, bhrami and shikakai--some to make henna more brown, others just for their herbal haircare benefits. I'll blog about these as I use them but I was definitely interested since my hair has been described as "a forest of skinny trees" meaning I have a lot of hairs but they are baby fine- so my hair can use some fattening up.

The downside of henna is the time commitment- unlike commercial dyes- henna needs to be mixed in advance for dye release (about 12 hours) and then needs to be on one's hair for much longer than the typical 30 minutes (now some even only 10 minutes) of box dyes. It is also a learning curve to achieve the color you want and henna is permanent. The upside is that one is left with healthier hair and you don't have to wait for your hair to recover from coloring.

So I mixed 100g of the henna with the least amount of lawsone with ACV and strong coffee to make it the consistency of pudding the night before doing strand test- hair from my brush. I let this sit overnight for dye release. I also mixed 2 different 100g packages of henna with higher lawsone content for DD's use- she has thick, slightly longer hair so I knew she'd need more than one package since she needs 2 packages of traditional dye to get all her hair. I mixed these with lemon juice (bottled kind) and water until I got the pudding consistency and let it sit overnight. The next day I added a tiny bit of amla to my mix for one trial and just the henna mix on the other for my strand tests. I added a little paprika (for redder results) to one of DD's strand tests. Left these mixtures on the strands for about 4 hours (wrapped in plastic wrap.) Upon rinsing all the strand tests were definitely red-toned and no noticeable difference between the amla/paprika additions. I wore gloves for this- henna stains hands easily-- drier areas take the dye better than moisturized areas so I did apply moisturizer to my hairline to help prevent staining.

I placed the henna mixtures in the freezer for storage. Monday morning I got the mixtures out and placed in hot water to thaw while I mixed up about 3 tablespoons of amla with strong tea and instant coffee. I also mixed a whole jar of inexpensive paprika with hot water for DD's henna. I mixed the amla and henna together and placed in a carrot bag-- cake decorating plastic bag. I woke DD to help pipe the mixture onto my head. As predicted my hair was coated with less than the full mixture- I had about 1/3 left after application. We wrapped my head in plastic wrap then I topped with a cheap plastic shower cap and wrapped with a pre made wrap I found in the ethnic hair area of Walmart. Then I mixed paprika in DD's mix and applied to her head-- took the whole amount. We placed a little of the henna mixture on her eyebrows- one of the perks about henna is that it's safe to dye brows the same color. We wrapped her head in the same manner and put two small pieces of plastic wrap over her brows to keep the mixture wet. She then proceeded to go back to bed (she had worked at Steak N Shake the night before.) After 2 hours I checked a small piece of my hair and found that the henna definitely took. So I started rinsing it out of my hair. Most of the places recommended using an inexpensive conditioner to help rinse the muddy paste out so I did that. I rinsed many times this way- using about 1/3 of a big bottle of conditioner. After I felt like my hair was pretty clean, I packed on some heavy duty conditioner and placed a cheap shower cap over it to deep condition about 1/2 hour. Eventually DD woke and we rinsed her hair out after about 4 hours with the henna on it. During this time, my hair had dried naturally and I found it too red/orange for my liking so I thawed the leftover henna and mixed about 35g of indigo with hot water and let it rest for about 20 minutes for dye release. I then mixed the two together and applied to my hair, wrapped in plastic wrap & shower cap and waited about an hour. I repeated the rinsing process this time with another Suave conditioner (Coconut) which I found was actually a little better for getting the henna mixture out quicker. The results were much closer to my natural hair color although the highlights were ever so slightly green tinged from the indigo. Indigo is a can't go back choice because lightening it will produce frog butt green. Henna can be lightened. I was OK with the results with this second hendigo application-- I may do a henna gloss (henna mixture mixed with conditioner) to redden it up slightly. In the future I will probably opt for redder henna mixed with less indigo-- I'm OK with red tones to my hair but not ORANGE. I don't blame henna but more about all the stuff done to my hair before that made getting things right a little more challenging. I needed to get my hair darker all over with indigo addition but think in future doing just henna could look fine the next time around.
Henna only application-- too orange 
Highlights too orange with henna only.
After application of henna & indigo. Took down the orange
After Henna & Indigo- Indigo made it ashy/greenish but more natural than the orange

Henna Only- too orange in the previous highlights/grays