Today I’m posting the first of a series of posts about chemical free beauty, something that I’ve been looking in to over the last few years. I’m not claiming to know a lot about this type of thing but, in my mind, it’s only logical to look for alternatives to beauty products that have 15 strange ingredients in them that I can’t even pronounce! This is even more important for people with allergies and sensitive skin.
This post is going to be about hair. I started chemically dyeing my hair when I was about 12 (blond streaks for anyone who is wondering) and since then I’ve just kept going. I went on to copper red after that and then dyed it purple, blue, black, red and finally blonde.
I do admit that it was the blonde that finally ruined my hair. I ended up chopping it off to just below my ears as the condition of it was so bad. It was dry, thin and brittle and I had given up on my idea of long, shiny hair…
…..but! There was an alternative. My friend Mai started using henna from Lush and I couldn’t help but notice how nice and healthy her hair looked! After some thinking (once you’ve got henna in your hair you can’t really dye it chemically and hence you can’t get rid of the colour if you’re not happy) I decided that I was going to try it. That was a year ago and I can honestly say that it was a great decision!
Now, I’m not going to do a tutorial on this. I was thinking about it but Lush already has a brilliant description on their website and there are several video tutorials out there so I decided to skip this part.
What is henna?
Henna is a plant that has traditionally been used to dye hair, skin, nails and fabrics. According to Wikipedia it’s been used for around 6000 years in places such as Egypt and South Asia. Most people will probably think of henna body art that is used in a lot of religions as decorations for weddings.
Lush henna is what I use for my hair, it costs less than £10 for one block (325 grams) and I use half for my hair (it will depend on your hair’s length and thickness) so it actually works out slightly cheaper than a chemical dye (obviously depending on the brand of dye). It consists of henna powder mixed with coconut butter (and a few other natural ingredients like coffee and lemon juice depending on the shade) and is therefore amazingly moisturising as well as completely natural.
The blocks come in four different shades, Rouge (fiery red, this is the one I use), Brun (deep, chocolate brown), Marron (shiny chestnut) and Noir (blue-black with red tones), so there is something there for everyone!
My thoughts on henna
Henna is probably one of the messiest ways of dyeing your hair, it takes some time to prepare and it takes even longer to develop. I keep mine in for six hours which means that I can’t leave the house during this period as my hair is covered with cling film. This is not an issue for me however as I like an excuse to stay home all day ;). You can also leave it in over night but I get too paranoid about staining my bed to do this. I amuse myself by reading, playing video games, cleaning or in this case writing a blog post!
The smell is herby and rich and in my opinion quite pleasant, but I’ve seen people online who say they can’t stand it so sniff it before you purchase to see if you can cope with six hours of this smell! Buy it from your local Lush store or online.
Henna has definitely helped my hair grow and it feels ten times nicer than it used to be, I get frequent compliments on how rich the colour looks and I LOVE being a red head! :)
If you want to learn more about henna and why you should switch to this from chemical dyes you can read this article.
Next time… Coconut oil (my go-to all rounder and saviour)!