How To Lighten Dark Hair with Henna

Blow-dryers, curling irons, and hair dyes are some of the common things that can alter the state of normally healthy hair. Heat damage is responsible for split ends while chronic blow dying is the most critical bi-product of overly processed, dry, and brittle hair. Nevertheless, while there are several ways to permanently damage the state of healthy hair, several natural methods exist to reverse hair damage while concurrently giving a more organic approach to obtaining a lighter hair color.

Lightening dark hair can be somewhat problematic due to chemical processing. It is almost impossible to accomplish near blond results on extremely dark hair hues such as blacks or rich dark browns with retail store box dyes. In order to achieve bleach blond results, this will only be possible with a bleaching kit in which the hair is stripped or lifted of its outer layer of hair color. With henna, the same can be expected; however, it is possible to lighten dark hair to some blond tones, light brows, and reds with henna.

Most henna powders can be purchased online or in herbal stores. It is best to check the expiration dates as it is best to utilize the freshest henna powder available - especially if the powder has not been cooled during its shelf life. Here's how to dye your hair with henna.

  1. First it is important to know that all henna powders are not created equal. Some types of henna are specifically formulated to deposit red onto hair or skin and others are formulated to deposit lighter colors into the hair shaft. For instance, most basic red henna hues will stain red. Additionally, the origin of the henna can also make a big difference in achievable color. African henna will deposit a warm red hue while Persian henna stains a deeper red hue. Indian henna contains both red and red-brown shades. Nonetheless, henna colors are equivalent to the hair color that you will be attempting to achieve. For example, yellow henna will color hair to blond shades, brown henna will color hair to brown shades and red henna will leave red shades on hair.
  2. Next, once you have selected your henna shade, while henna can be used alone with water, you can also choose to add other additives to enhance the overall effect that henna will have on your hair. Apple cider vinegar will help henna penetrate stubborn grey hair. Lemon juice acts as an enhanced lightening agent for blond tones. Black china tea will add deeper golden browns to brown henna. Red Zinger tea will enhance red henna while brewed coffee will tone down red tones. Moreover you can also utilize other additives such as egg and olive oil to henna if your hair is severely dry or over processed. Eggs add protein to the hair shaft while olive oil adds and seals in moisture to restore dry and brittle hair.
  3. Once you have your henna and additive, make sure that both are separate. It is important to perform a strand test as every type of hair is different. About 4 to 6 ounces of henna will completely cover a full head of hair. Mix henna with boiling water. The amount of water that it will take to make the solution is not definite. The concoction should not be water but should be creamy in texture. Do not be alarmed if your mixture seems grainy, as this is normal for henna mixtures. Taking hair from dark to light will take approximately forty five minutes to one hour with heat. Once you have determined how your hair will react to the henna solution, take equal amounts of henna and water and mix together. Make sure that you mix enough solution to fully saturate your hair. If you are opting to use another mixing agent to provide extra lightening such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, use two parts of each solution. Henna will stain hands and clothing. Make sure to use a petroleum based product around the hairline and ears to prevent skin stains. Once you have mixed the henna and your additive, place on hair for 45 minutes to 1 hour with heat, and 65 to 75 minutes without heat. Adding heat will allow the henna to deeply penetrate the hair shaft. After the allotted time is complete, rinse from hair using warm mineral oil. Apply the oil for approximately 30 minutes then use a clarifying shampoo to free all oil and impurities from the hair. Style your hair as you would normally do so. Henna can be used every 4 to 6 weeks.


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