Throwback Thursday - this is by far my most popular post from my old gluten-free blog. And, yes, Zoolander fans, this is definitely a mommy version of blue steel (ha ha), but I like it anyway.
In preparing one's body for conscious conception, one of the biggest toxins we can eliminate is conventional hair dye. Henna is one option, but I also love that young women are rocking their silver locks with confidence more and more. There are also purportedly ways to mix henna and amla powder to create a pretty ash blonde color. As my hair gets greyer and greyer, I'm really tempted to try it. Will make another post about it if I do!
Not a month goes by where some random stranger doesn't comment on my hair color and ask me how I get my hair to it's particular shade of red. I excitedly reply, "It's henna!" and they are intrigued and often want to try it, but don't know where to begin. This post is a reference point for those future random encounters because I think a lot of people want to try henna, but a) don't know where to buy the good quality stuff, and b) don't know what to do with it once they've purchased it. This is part of my natural beauty series but if you don't entertain thoughts of going ginger anytime soon, you may want to skip this post.
Every three to four weeks I apply henna to my hair. It's a process that I never look forward to, but I'm always happy with the result once it's done. It's messy, and inconvenient, but it does leave my hair shiny, soft, healthy and covers up the grey. I began going grey at around age eleven, which is not uncommon when thyroid issues are present. I was chronically exposed to fluoride from infancy to around age twelve and fluoride is a known thyroid depressant. I cringe when I see "nursery water" as it is nothing more than distilled water with fluoride added and I believe it is setting a future generation up for thyroid troubles, but I'm pretty biased on this topic. Through my teenage years I just rolled with the ever-increasing grey hair, but by my early twenties I had this white streak and I was feeling quite self-conscious about it. I decided to dye it, but after the chemical treatments, my hair was getting pretty thrashed. Not to mention all those nasty chemicals that inevitably seep into the scalp. I knew this was not something I could do for the rest of my life. I had never planned on going red, but as it turns out, the color does suit my complexion. I've been using henna for over twelve years now and I've learned a few tricks:
If you are considering trying henna and already dye your hair, first and foremost, do a tester strip somewhere not so obvious as henna can react with certain dyes and literally FRY your hair. Tread cautiously if there is already chemical dye in your hair.
I buy my henna from Mehndi Skin Art located on Vancouver Island. The customer service is exceptional, the shipping is reasonably priced and very, very fast and the product is of very good quality Don't bother buying from one of the better known sellers in the States. I did that for several years before learning of Mehndi Skin Art and paid way too much. I'm partial to Jamila brand henna, but I'm not picky when it comes to the type of amla powder or indigo. Just make sure your indigo does not contain paraphenylenediamine (PPD) or you could experience an extremely bad allergic reaction. Mehndi Skin Art is a safe source of indigo. (*Note - since first writing this blog post many years ago, I now purchase my henna in Indian Grocery stores for convenience and economy. Noorani is my current favorite brand, but Jamila mentioned above is great too.)
Henna adheres to the hair best if you mix something acidic with it. When I order my henna, I also order amla powder which is a powdered Indian gooseberry that is very high in vitamin C content. I use about two ta