Real People, Real Henna: "Adriana"

Ixchel uses Ancient sunrise henna to cover her mother's greys

This is my mom’s hair. Her name is Adriana and she has naturally medium brown hair with golden highlights. She had been using “light” and “medium brown” commercial hair dyes for about 7 years before she decided to switch to henna. Commercial hair dyes washed out of her hair too quickly and her grey hair emerged after only two weeks. I’m not talking about grey roots; I’m talking about whole strands of hair.

We did a strand test with harvested hair from her brush and a few grey hairs that were plucked specifically for that purpose. Nothing went wrong with the strand test even though she had just dyed her hair two weeks prior to using henna, so I mixed up a batch and put it on her hair.

I mixed the powder with a mildly acidic juice mix. Then I covered the container with plastic wrap. Normally I let the dye release over night, but since my mom was still “iffy” about her decision, I decided to speed up the process by leaving the covered henna container out in the sun. I think it was about 90 something degrees Fahrenheit that day. Anyway, I left it out there in the sun for about an hour and then I put it inside my car, on top of the dashboard, for another hour. By that time, the dye had already released and the henna was nice and warm.

I sectioned off her hair and applied the henna, making sure that her grey hairs were completely buried under it. Then I covered her head with plastic wrap and blow dried it for about 5 minutes. She didn’t want to leave the henna on overnight so she only left it on for about 2 hours.

Her hair came out a nice medium red (not Lucille Ball, but not that dark either). It is much shinier now and her grey hairs look like coppery highlights. She’s had more compliments now about her hair than ever before.

Notes and References
Henna time and temperature: pp. 10-13