Thursday, August 22, 2013

Don't dye over your henna: A Public Service Announcement

So, here's the thing.  With my uber pale skin and my blue eyes, I was sort of meant to be a redhead.  While throughout the years I had come to accept my natural hair color (brown), whenever I wasn't a redhead, I felt like there was something missing.

For the past four(ish) years, I'd been a full-blown brunette.  I had vowed to use fewer chemicals in my life, so along with quitting smoking and drinking Diet Coke, I said goodbye to my beloved red hair dye, too.

But recently, I gave up. I wanted to be red.  I wanted to be Christina Hendricks, Karen Gillan RED.

I tried to be "healthy" about it at first.  I used "Rainbow" brand Henna (I had also used LUSH Henna years ago) but the red was nowhere near as vibrant as I wanted it to be, and it washed out quickly.  So after waiting 3 months, I headed to the hairstylist.

Even though I told her that I had dyed my hair with Henna, she didn't argue when I asked her to color my hair.  Personally, I knew there was some risk involved, but I figured three months was plenty of time for the Henna to grow/fade away.

Not true.

1) The color had some trouble "taking" to the thicker pieces of my hair.  I'm not sure how much of this was due to the fact that she applied the hair color backwards (to the roots first!) and how much of it was due to the Henna...
2) Even though my hair seemed fine at first, after the first few washes I quickly noticed a new problem--my hair WILL. NOT. DRY.

I spent 4 hours blowdrying my hair one night, only to finally admit defeat and go to bed with wet hair.  Apparently, the Henna (which bonds to the proteins in your hair, I believe) and the hair dye are having a not-so-pretty chemical reaction...which in the end, leaves me with hair that will not dry, and then ends up looking greasy the next day.  Yuck!  I have NEVER had greasy hair or skin--if anything, I'm usually a little on the dry side.

I've found a bit of relief by using hair masks (some people claim that mineral oil will strip Henna out of hair, but I didn't have any handy) but it is short lived.  I now have a very strange phenomenon: hair that looks cleaner when it's actually dirty, and looks greasy once it's clean!  Gross!

I'm hoping frequent washes will eventually get what's left of the Henna out of my hair.  When I dyed over my LUSH Henna years ago, I do NOT remember having a reaction like this (although I do vaguely remember posting on Facebook "WHY is my hair so greasy?!", but it seemed like a short-lived thing!)

So ladies, my advice to you: If you're thinking of dying your hair with Henna (but plan on dying it again later) or dying OVER your Henna---STEP AWAY FROM THE HAIR DYE!

You're welcome.

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