Real People, Real Henna: "Cindy"

Cindy, before and after henna

I've been coloring my hair for about 25 years now, Strawberry Blonde for about 10. I'm 44 now and totally gray in the front with mostly ashy brown and a bit of gray mix in the back.

I dislike the chemical stuff. It's fried my hair after all these years and I need to do something different. 3 years ago I tried henna and got the frog butt green. It was (commonly known brand name of ‘henna’) and I didn't do a strand test. It was about 3 weeks after my last coloring with (name of chemical hair color). This was very traumatizing and I cut all my hair off, from about bra strap length to a very short boy-cut.

I went back to (names of three chemical hair color brands) every 3 weeks.

I've been wanting to try henna again, but still pretty hesitant. I like my hair red and I like it long and I definitely do not want frog butt again.

I had about 75 grams of Ancient Sunrise henna. I mixed it all together with a mildly acidic liquid and let it sit for about 20 hours. Then I thinned it with bottled water and put it on my hair, roots first. I wrapped my head in a plastic bag and then a towel and let it sit for 3 hours.

I rinsed by swishing my head in a bucket of water first, then under the tub faucet and the mud came out relatively easy.

The pictures don't show how bright it was…really, it glowed! After a few days, the color darkened to a bright auburn, darker then the "3 days later" pic. Maybe the flash on the camera lightened it some.

The gray coverage is great! Maybe because you rub the henna into your scalp and the chemical colorings you do not, but for whatever reason, that's one of my favorite things about it. The color took more evenly then I expected too…my gray roots, brown roots, and colored length blended nicely.

I've very glad I finally made the switch to henna and there are many recipes I want to try….turmeric for a more golden color….adding some cassia to see if I can get the color lighter and a little less intense…an Amla pack to see if I can tone the red just a bit and tighten my waves. Thanks so much for all the ideas and advice this site offers. I'm so much more confident using henna in my hair then I ever was, even before the terrible frog butt green incident!

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 time and temperature: pp. 10-13

Video How-To
Going red with henna: