Gray. What do you think of when you hear the word gray? Is it sad that the first thing that popped into my head was gray hair? Gray hair. I have more gray hair than I had yesterday. Yesterday, I had more gray hair than the day before. It crept up on me at first. It wasn’t so noticeable. Then I got more and I told myself it looked like highlights. It was still pretty in my mind.
As it continued to replace my dark hair, I didn’t like it so much. Was it time to start coloring it? I had never colored my hair. My sis–in- law and dear friend had stopped coloring her hair and started embracing her gray hair and she looked beautiful. I couldn’t decide if I should start coloring or try to embrace it as she did.
I really, really didn’t want to color my hair for a number of reasons. (1) I have allergies to chemicals and I was worried I would have an allergic reaction. (2) Coloring my hair would be a commitment and I knew that once I started the process, I would have to keep doing it because it doesn’t look good to have all those roots showing. (3) I have thinnish hair and I was worried the harshness of the chemicals would destroy what little I had left.
As an alternative, I looked at henna. The benefit would be that henna is actually supposed to be good for your hair. Big bonus! But everything about it looked complicated. Not only would I have the commitment of staying on top of coloring my hair, now the process looked even more complicated!
Then one day, my sister had stopped coloring her hair because she was worried the chemicals were actually causing her harm (hah! I knew it!). She didn’t mind coloring her so I told her about henna and she actually tried it. And it looked good! She found one that was pretty easy (or easier than some of the others) and so I gave it a try too.
My first attempt looked good but I messed it up. My sisters helped me apply it. What a mess we made! Henna is so messy. I left it on for one hour per the instructions. The sis who had tried it told me not use shampoo because the henna wouldn’t come out. She said to use dish washing liquid. Well, I, in my infinite wisdom, noticed it was coming out just fine with water alone, so I thought it would be fine with shampoo.
The first thing I noticed was that some of the gray was still showing through, but that was fine since most of it looked really good. When my sis saw it, she agreed it looked good but said all the gray showing through was because I used shampoo. Shampoo has conditioners and I was supposed to avoid conditioners immediately after because they strip the color. Hey, she didn’t say anything about that before! She said not to use it because it’s not strong enough to get the henna out. I should have listened.
What I liked about the henna was that it looked so natural. No one even noticed that I colored my hair. Granted, when you do something like coloring your hair, you want people to notice but I didn’t. My hair was just darker and had less gray. The grays looked brownish and looked like highlights. When it faded (henna fades), it faded naturally so it was less noticeable. I was very happy at how this was working out.
For my next attempt, I was armed with more knowledge. I threw an egg in the mix in an attempt to condition the hair. Henna can be drying. I also added vinegar. That is supposed to help it set. I also left it on way longer. When it was time to shower, I removed it with just plain water. It takes a long time but it takes a long time anyway. The results were beautiful. The hair was shiny and almost all the gray was covered. The best part for me is that if I don’t want to continue coloring it, it just fades away and it’s very subtle. The worry about the commitment is no longer a worry. So at least for now, it’s henna all the way. 🙂