Hennaing your hair for the first time is exciting, but may also feel overwhelming because there is so much conflicting information on the internet. If you’re using Ancient Sunrise® henna, then you can follow this short guide to be more successful at coloring your hair. Here are 5 tips to avoid a henna mishap.
1. Don’t skip the dye release.
Henna leaves contain a dye molecule called lawsone. When the leaves are dried and crushed, they can be mixed with an acidic liquid (or acidic powder and distilled water) to allow this dye to be released (hence the name “dye release”). While using a hot liquid can do this, the benefit of dye releasing with an acid is what helps bind the henna to keratin in the hair, thus making it permanent whereas hot water leaves a brassy color that fades.
In short: skipping dye release can also prevent you from reaching your hair goals.
2. Avoid spring, tap, or filtered water.
If you are using a fruit acid powder, such as citric acid or Amla, you’re going to need water. Distilled is best because it is free of minerals. Minerals can cause the dye molecules to shift to undesirable shades or be inconsistent. RO or reverse osmosis water may work in a pinch, but can still contain minerals especially if the proper upkeep is being neglected. If pipes have rust or other buildup in them, this can impact the water, too.
Distilled water helps with consistency.
3. Leave out the oils.
Oils can have a pleasant smell. They are wonderful in lotions, hair perfumes, and more, but do they have any benefit to henna? Nope. While oils high in monoterpene alcohol can help a henna stain be darker on the skin, it can do the opposite on the hair. Too many additives in general can prevent a good uptake, but oil is a major culprit. If you want something to mask the smell, ginger root powder or cardamom seed powder works great in henna.
Basically, adding oils to your mix will cause you to waste your time and money.
4. Apply to clean hair
Not only do you want to leave out oils and minerals out of your henna mix, you also want to remove them from your hair before your application. Using a clarifying shampoo or Rainwash treatment will help remove build up. While clarifying shampoo will remove oils (as long as it’s not “hydrating” or “moisturizing”), Rainwash will not. You can use Dawn dish soap to remove excess oils after Rainwashing.
For best results, get rid of all speed bumps that slow you down from getting your desired color.
5. Avoid caffeine in your henna.
Skip the coffee and caffeinated teas in your paste. There is no added benefit from these ingredients and the caffeine can give you a headache. This is because the caffeine is able to get into the bloodstream through the scalp. Plus, the smell of henna and coffee is kind of gross.
Caffeine in your henna is a great way to get some extra jitters, but nothing else.
We here at Mehandi want you to get the most out of your henna. These 5 tips to avoid a henna mishap are a great way to help you get a long lasting color. For more detailed assistance, our customer service team will be happy to help!
Maria • Ancient Sunrise® Specialist • Licensed Cosmetologist