You’ve planned out your morning and it’s the perfect time to henna…except *screams in horror* you forgot to mix up your paste ahead of time! Whether it’s work, parenting, your lifestyle, or all of the above, finding time to henna can feel difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ve got enough going on; read below to find ways to make henna fit into busy schedule.
Tips for Finding Time to Henna
Prepping Tip #1
When I know I need to prepare paste, I set aside the items I need while I think about it, even if I don’t plan on mixing up stuff for a few days. I’ll get my distilled water jug, fruit acid powder, whisk, plastic wrap, and henna together and just put all of the items in a bowl and set it near where I plan on mixing it.
This not only makes it easy when I want to do the mixing, but it also gives me a visual reminder.
Read this article on dye releasing, if you’re not sure how to best prep your mix: https://www.ancientsunrise.blog/henna-101-dye-release-henna/
Prepping Tip #2
If you use henna and/or cassia, but no indigo…
Mix up a big batch of your henna and/or cassia powder and let this sit for 8 to 12 hours when you know you have 10 to 20 minutes to spare. You can do this before you go to sleep or when you wake up.
When the paste is done dye releasing, put it in a zip lock bag, flatten it out, and throw it in the freezer. You’ll just have to defrost it when you’re wanting to use it, which generally takes less time than dye releasing. Flattening the bag you stored the paste in, will help the thawing process be much faster.
If you use indigo with your mix…
You can still mix up a big batch of henna/cassia, but you’ll want to measure it out first. For example, if you use 10 tablespoons of henna (70g), you could measure out three separate bags, each with 70g of henna powder made into a paste. Watch the video below to see how you can save on using a lot of dishes. This method works great with reusable bags, as well!
Prepping Tip #3
It is important to note that while heat can speed up dye release, you should be careful. Too much heat can compromise your henna/cassia.
There are a few ways to speed up dye release. You can place your henna/cassia paste in a hot car for a few hours, place it outside in the sun on a hot day, or even place it in a room that heats up nicely from your heater. Starting on page 10, you can see charts for how long to leave henna paste in different temperatures: http://www.tapdancinglizard.com/AS_henna_for_hair/Chapter_7_Mixing_and_Testing.pdf
I’ve placed henna near space heaters for a couple of hours, rotating and mixing every 30 minutes and doing a little stain test (how to test: drop a bit of paste on a clean finger tip and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes – if you get a stain, it’s good to go). This works well, but you do have to carefully monitor the paste.
Prepping Tip #4
Instead of heat, you can do easily do the opposite with cooler temperatures. If you’re concerned about missing dye release or aren’t home enough to check on your paste to prevent missing the dye release, you can mix up your henna/cassia paste and immediately place it in the fridge and it will be ready to use in 2 weeks.
Application Tip #1
Just do your hairline and part line. If you’re in a time crunch, you don’t need to worry about all of the hair the people can’t see. A lot of our customers will touch up the roots around the hairline, their part line, and anywhere else that may be exposed and then get the roots all over on the next root application.
The trick is to look at how you mainly style your hair and apply where you see those roots.
Application Tip #2
Utilize one method for touching up the roots and stick with it. Getting adjusted to doing your hair can take time. If you’re a busy person, it’s important to stick with the same method so that you get faster each application.
Application Tip #3
Clean as you go. Keep one or two hand towels near you to wipe up any mess that may occur while you’re doing your application. Removing fresh paste off of a surface is so much easier and quicker than removing dried paste.
Processing Tip #1
Henna and/or Cassia (no indigo)
You can sleep in your paste. If finding time to henna is nearly impossible this tip may be for you. Lay down a towel over your pillow, apply some medical tape around your plastic wrap, and fall asleep. You can wash your hair in the morning.
Henna and/or Cassia with Indigo
It’s best to not leave indigo on past 6 hours to prevent the henna from taking over, but you can still take a nap if needed.
If you do a two step process for jet black, then you can sleep with your henna one night, and indigo the next night.
Processing Tip #2
Find a really cool scarf or hat that you can put over the plastic wrap. This is easy to do when it’s cold out, because a knitted cap covers the plastic so well. I’ve gone to the store with my paste on and no one knew. In warmer weather, a scarf can look really nice and cover the plastic really well. It may take some practice getting the scarf tied the way you like, but it’s realistic.
This can make it so you can still go to the store, or take your kids to the park, or even go on a walk.
Processing Tip #3
Make sure your paste is a good consistency, is applied thickly in thin sections, and covers everything nicely. It may seem odd to reiterate instructions, but the instructions are written to help you get consistent coverage every application. If you try skipping steps to speed things up, it can actually slow you down or worse, cause you to have to do a whole other application.
Processing Tip #4
Multitask! If you work from home, or in an office where you’re not face to face with the public, wear your henna to work and wash it out on a break or after your shift. You can leave your paste in when you work out, clean your home, make dinner, shop, work, help your kids with their homework etc, or all of the above. You know your limits, so work within those. If your boss says you can’t come to work with a hair full of goop or if your henna starts to leak on your kids homework…maybe don’t do those things, but you get the idea ;).
Processing Tip #5
This is the most important tip, because if you’re having trouble finding time to henna, you’re likely having trouble finding time to treat yourself. Make a date with yourself. Pamper yourself at the same time you do your hair. Whether you do a facial, paint your nails, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, take a bath…you deserve it. Self care is so important to our mental health as well as our physical health. As adults, we have so many responsibilities, but sometimes we forget that we still need to take care of ourselves.
While these tips may not work for everyone, hopefully one of these can help you find a time to do your hair with a busy schedule.
Maria • Ancient Sunrise Specialist • Licensed Cosmetologist