Many breakfast table conversations move into the areas of health and beauty. We have heard just about everything people do to enhance their natural looks and we have tried everything talked about. We don’t put everything out for you to try or know about because we want to make sure someone in the Network has tried it and thinks it is marvelous.
As you get older your hair ages just as your skin, your bones and everything else. So trying to “fix it”, “stop it”, “shape it up”, “strengthen it” and in this case “keep my beautiful locks” can become a constant pre-occupation. A fun pre-occupation, but time consuming – so, expecting great results goes along with the staying beautiful and always at my peak of perfection. My grandmother used to say “when you step out of that front door you should look as though you just stepped out of a band box.” During those years I knew what she meant. Today, I often wonder just what is a “band box”?
Entering into this discussion comes “Henna” – a hundreds of years old solution to all kinds of hair problems. One not so popular today because it is simply a plant which has been mashed and ground to a powder.
Several of us have been using Henna in different ways for several years and it has turned out to be fantastic. It has taken all those years to learn how to get the best results but it was worth the trial and error and the gnashing of teeth. My hair has never been so beautiful and we are 20 times (4) years old, or maybe its is 20 times (2) years old or maybe it is something else?
The Henna we found most usable is the kind which is pure organically grown Henna. No chemicals of any kind added; no preservatives; no anything else – just the crushed leaves of the Henna plant. If you are going to try Henna, make sure it is real and not a part of a mixture of other things.
Now to – how to use Henna for your hair:
First: Wash your hair with a good shampoo. The Henna we settled on advises that you wash your hair with a shampoo without essential oils. I use an organic shampoo with lavender essential oil and it seems to do fine although it is possible that the Henna would last longer if I listened to the experts.
Second: Decide with what you want to mix your Henna. We’ve tried eggs, organic apple cider vinegar, tea, coffee, yogurt and much more. I found eggs and organic apple cider vinegar works best in my hair which is naturally curly and can look unruly if it gets dry – which can be often.
Don’t try eggs and organic apple cider vinegar at the same time. Try one and next time try the other. Inbetween applying Henna I now use a raw egg in my hair after I shampoo. Crack the egg, beat it to mix yolk and white, cover your hair with the raw egg and make sure your all hair is covered while you sit with your hair and head wrapped in something like Saranwrap or a shower cap and wrapping a towel around my head for 1/2 hour or more depending upon what else I have to do. This is the same process I use for the Henna. If I mixed Henna with organic apple cider vinegar. then when I wash my hair in-between Henna applications I go back to using the egg as a conditioner.
I was totally amazed at what the raw egg did for my hair. At first I thought it was the Henna, but after many tries I realized it was the raw egg. My hair comes out softly curled in spite of my doing nothing to it after the egg application except drying the hair with a towel and putting on a bit of organic Avocado Oil to keep it from drying out. I know the effect has not come from the Avocado Oil because I used that before I started with Henna and eggs and after a day or two my hair dried out and looked as though it was breaking off and out of control. With the egg and Avocado Oil my hair lasts looking great for about a week before it needs to be re-washed.
I don’t use organic apple cider vinegar in-between Henna-ing my hair because I didn’t see what good it did. When I use it combined with the Henna the color seems brighter and shinier.
Third: Ready to apply Henna to freshly washed hair – mix the Henna powder (which is ONLY Henna leaves pounded into a powder) with one or two raw eggs which you have whipped before adding and then add enough water to this mixture to end up with something the consistency of a thick, wonderful yogurt – which, by the way, is something you can also add to Henna.(Instead of the egg or apple cider vinegar).
Those who used tea and coffee didn’t see any observable results. Their hair didn’t change in any way neither for the good nor the bad. It didn’t seem to affect the color nor did it seem to contribute to how long the Henna results lasted.
My results last for about two months. After that it is time to try again. It lasts two months not because the color changes or leaves the hair, but because the grey grows back in and I have that color line between the new growth which is grey and the Henna’d hair. What I really like is the new growth once I put in Henna, comes out a bit lighter than the old hair and it sort of mimics the grey and dark brown of my original hair. The lighter color around my face has a softening effect.
I also like the fact that my hair looks as though I have had it streaked as the grey throughout comes out lighter than the hair which is still dark brown and that is also an effect I love.
You have to experiment to finally get the results you like and if you enjoy variety you won’t stop there, but keep on going so each time you step out you have a new look. Not a drastic new look, but one of which you are aware. Friends notice how nice you look. It isn’t dramatic enough to notice and be able to see what the changes really have been.
Fourth: Once you have the Henna mixed the way you would like – making sure the water you add is very hot – apply Henna to your scalp and hair until you have used it all up and have a thick coating with every hair strand covered well down to the scalp and root.
Fifth: Wrap your head and hair with something like Saran Wrap or other material which will hold heat. If you have a salon type hair dryer – where you put your head in the bubble and turn on the heat; or a hand held dryer with the cap attached to the hose that is great. Go ahead with either of them.
If you use the Saran Wrap or a plastic shower cap – the ones you used to get from the airlines when you travel are great for this – after you have covered your hair completely then wrap a towel around your head to keep in the heat. If you have the salon dryer or cap style dryer turn them on for at least 1/2 hour. The darker your hair the longer you need to keep the Henna covered and heated.
Sixth: Once the time has passed – I keep Henna on my hair for one hour for best results for me (you have to decide your best time through trying different times) – rinse your hair thoroughly with very warm water until the Henna has all washed out. Be very thorough in this wash.
Seventh: After rinsing the Henna out of your hair completely, shampoo as usual, towel dry your hair, and add a bit of organic Avocado oil.
Eighth: After all of the above go about life as normal. If you set your hair on huge rollers, do that. If you shake your head, do nothing and go about your business do that also. If you comb and arrange your hair the way you would like it to look when dry and then put on a netting to keep your hair in place while it dries – do that also.
Let us know your results. This is a give and take article. We’ve given and now we are ready to take in your experiences. Let us know if you want your results published with or without your name. You do have to be a member of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community to have your results published in the Bettina Network blog.
Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!
Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to email@example.com or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you. Please also tell us if you want your name as your byline or if you want your article to appear without your name.
Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.
Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: firstname.lastname@example.org