Real People, Real Henna: "Chrissy"

Chrissy, before and after henna

Nature comes up with the coolest stuff. Put lovely henna among the top on the list!

I am a very hippie-ish girl and had never, in all my twenty-one years, felt the urge to slather my head with toxic chemicals in order to be different. Yes, I lusted after the look of dazzling red hair(had always wanted it!) but knew it could never be. I just couldn't zap my all-natural goodness.

AND THEN...I found henna!!!! And wowie-kazowie! It is fantabulous! This site was so helpful in giving me the courage to do it. All the beautiful pictures of the awesome results turned this sceptic into a believer! Yes, a girl can have truly beautiful and natural looking red hair without marinading her brains in chemical sludge! Hip hip hooray!

So, here is what I did...

Ordered a bunch of Ancient sunrise henna from

Mixed 120 grams of henna in a big glass bowl with oodles of lemon juice (not sure how much) until it was thicky mashed potato-ish. I let this sit near the woodstove all night wrapped in a plastic bag and towel.

In the morning I added some more liquid. Letting this sit for another few hours, I contemplated other things to toss in while I drove to get my sister (helper!). I let this sit for just a few more hours... All together about 24 hours of dye release time.

*deep breath*

I went to the mirror, said goodbye to my dark blonde locks, ran to the kitchen before I could chicken out, bent over a trash bag on the floor and had my sister gloop it in, starting at the nape of my neck. My hair is over two feet long, so it took a little while. It smelled kinda like spicy swamp goo. :)

When I was fully sloppified with lovely duck turd colored henna mush, I curled my hair on top of my head, saran wrapped it and threw on a bucket hat to hold in heat. I practiced my henna body art on my sister for nearly three hours while I stewed, but couldn't take it any longer. I was soooo curious!

Rinsing it out was interesting... Use lots of conditioner ladies and gents! It makes all the difference in being able to wash it to henna after life.

I was amazed!!! Very bright coppery orange! Yowza! I liked it lots, but was apprehensive about the tangerine hue. I decided to sleep on it, and see how it was in the morning. I awoke to loveliness! It had deepened a bit, redder than the night before. My sister took these pictures that morning, in the bright sunlight.

Over the next few days it got much redder, I love it so much!!! Going to apply again, go for the gusto! Happy henna-ing girls! It is so much fun, a very personal experience mixing it yourself, and then watching it change over time.

Notes and References
Don’t have fruit juice on hand? Keep some fruit acid powders in your cupboard.
Mildly acidic liquid:
More info on mildly acidic mixes:
Ancient Sunrise henna for hair kits with everything included:
Henna color oxidizing ("rusting"): pp.25-29

Video How-To
Going red with henna: