Henna experts! Advice please, want to try to dye my hair!

I am considering using henna to add some color to my very dark brown almost black chin length fine, 3a hair. I did dye it but only on some gray spots about a week ago.. but I am a little bored with it so instead of reaching for the scissors.. I thought Id try this instead. I'd like to get a golden-y or reddish tones.. just something to brighten it up. Suggestions or tips please!

1 Answer

I love Henna! I try to use it at least once a month or so. I use it for the conditioning and strengthening properties it has versus the coloring properties. As an avid Henna user, I can say that if your hair isnt already light, true Henna will not lighten it. If anything it will add rich dark red undertones after multiple applications. If you want to brighten or lighten your hair, you will need to use lifting agents prior to applying the Henna. If you want to see immediate color results from only one or two Henna applications- you will need to lighten your hair. My natural hair color is close to yours- its a deep sandy brown almost black. At the beginning of my kinky-curly hair journey, I used henna every two weeks (or three) to help my hair look thicker because it is very fine. My hair took this rich reddish brown hue that could only be seen in the sunlight but only after MULTIPLE henna applications. Being bored, I lightened my hair myself with baking/peroxide/olive oil/conditioner and then I applied the Henna (over the course of a few weeks). My hair became more of a rust color. Though this is not the best way to lighten hair, I experienced no ill side effects;in fact, my stylist said my hair was very moist and healthy considering the processing it went through. Again, my coloring process took a few weeks (about a month and a half total). I did this on purpose because I wanted to do things slowly and cautiously as I am not a professional and I did not want to cause major damage to my strands. I lightened my hair twice over the course of four weeks and then I did two henna applications over the course of two-three weeks. I believe that the Henna "balanced" the lightening process since it is supposed to have strengthening/conditioning properties in addition to the red color it possesses. I say all of that to say this: - In order to reap the most benefits of henna coloring, you should probably lighten your hair just a little to prepare it to take the color better.- It is possible to lighten your hair yourself as long as you do it cautiously and are cognizant of what is being applied to your hair and when. - If you do not wish to lighten your hair, you don't have to. However, it will take multiple henna uses for the color to truly shine through. If you are OK with the longer process then by all means go for it. If you prefer a quicker process then lighten your hair first and then apply the henna. Other henna notes:- true, real henna leaves a red stain- there is no such thing as black henna; "black henna'' is actually indigo and is a completely different beast-neutral henna is actually cassia obovata; it leaves a faintly yellow or "blonde" color on light hair but it does not lighten hair - there are many different recipes for mixing henna- you have to find and use (or create) the one that best suits you and your needs. Typically I mix my henna with a cheap slippery conditioner and oils. This makes it easier to apply and to rinse out. For a richer red color, I may add hibiscus tea. Hope this answers your questions! Please rich out to me if you have any more questions or concerns.