So. It’s spring.
Around here that can only mean one thing… time for my annual post about how warm temps give me a restlessness to do something to my hair.
So yes, this is a rambling post about my hair with no real point!
And yes its probably a long one.
But this year we have a twist!
Yes, I actually did something this time! LOL
recapping previous years posts:
– hair is dark brown, reddish tones to it that usually only come out in bright sunlight or at the end of the summer when I’ve been outside enough.
– Love long hair, but being a low maintenance person I’d much prefer the effort of short hair
– especially because mine has enough curl to just scrunch and go when short, but the longer it gets, the more the waves stretch out and become too curly to just brush out as straight without tons of frizz but not wavy enough to just put product in it and scrunch anymore
So every year about this time, I get the urge to chop it back short. And in the process of talking myself out of that urge, get the urge to change color.
And I’m feeling especially brave this year… so not only did I actually do something about it this year… but, i’m actually going to put up pics for anyone still actually reading this far down!
Hey, this is brave for me anyway. lol
So, here’s what I’m talking about.
This was towards the end of summer… bit of reddish tint showing in it even inside, and at shoulder length its still short enough to be mostly wavy with just scrunching in some mousse and calling it good. Normally when I’d cut it short it would be just below chin length, so a bit shorter than here. (Yeah, its a weird pic angle.. was a random pic, but shows what I mean on the hair better than most of the others)
And… here’s before the current changes.
Not the best for showing the semi-waves, but yes, its much longer… mostly waist length at the lowest middle sections. and nowhere near as wavy. and brown.
But it’s not just a flat brown… it does still have some variation in it… especially in the sun. (this was sort of indirect sun outside on the porch midmorning, no products in…)
So, I didn’t really want to just dye it and have it look more of a flat tone but in a different color… or put in color weave to try and recreate the different tones.
Nor do I really feel like messing with roots constantly from too big of a change.
But I did still want to bring out the reddish tones more as a general thing, not just a short term sun bleaching thing in the summer.
So I’ve played around with various glosses and such before that coat the hair rather than completely changing the color, with mixed results. But even the best ones still wear off rather soon.
But I’d heard about using henna on hair. It’s the same plant and same sort of idea as using henna on skin as a temporary body art… but with a slightly different mix… and because hair doesn’t shed cells like skin does, it has a basically permanent coloring instead of being temporary.
Thus a good part of my hesitation. Because it actually transfers molecules to the hair, its known for being really really hard to color over if you don’t like how it turns out. And because it’s just tinting your current color, it tends to be a bit unpredictable as to exactly what that tint will be.
We’ve gone a while since a pic, so here’s a pic of my adorable kitty in a box. LOL
So I’d been reading about it off and on, and earlier this year discovered a site that discussed doing mixes on henna with another plant called cassia. Cassia is fairly similar as far as the process to apply it goes, and has the same sort of added strenth and shine to the hair that henna does, but cassia has a very soft yellow color that really only shows on pale blond hair.
So if you use it alone, you get just the conditioning effects, but it you mix it with the henna, then you get a not quite as strong effect from the henna.
Which sounded like exactly what I was going for. A bit more reddish, but not quite the full on red.
And so I ordered both the cassia and the henna.
And I tried the cassia on its own first.
And I am very glad I did, otherwise my entire bathroom would be dyed orange right now! All of the online instructions for henna make it sound a ton more easy than it is.
Henna and cassia is nowhere near as simple as just squirting on a bottle of gloss. The mix you want is thicker, like the consistency of yogurt or pancake batter… but it’s totally and completely a different ballgame.
This is basically a game of turn your head into a giant army green mudpie and mush it all around.
Which might be a whole lot easier when you don’t have quite as much hair. Or maybe when your helper is a toddler recently experienced with mudpies. I totally need to borrow a toddler to help with this.
This is the gloop as I was putting some of it into a ziplock, as I also discovered their estimated amounts you will need for each length are way way off, and I used less than half of the recommended amount that I’d prepared for the cassia alone attempt. No, there are no pics of my head and the entire bathroom covered in this gloop, as there was no way I’d let my camera in the middle of that mess. It was everywhere!
So you let that sit, and it darkens to a deeper brown. Which makes it look a lot like… well… lets just say cleaning the bathroom was a priority.
And then you rinse it out. Which again, seems fairly standard.
Until you stop to realize this is mud, not just a thick liquid. And at this point, your hair is basically a huge dreadlock.
And it rinses out about like trying to rinse out mud. The instructions said to let water run through it until it ran clear, then work conditioner through it, rinse that out then wash and condition as usual.
Reality… hot water ran out long before I could even get my fingers through this tangled still somewhat gritty mess. So I turned the water off to let it regroup… dumped on gobs and gobs of conditioner, and grabbed my daughter’s tangle teezer that happened to be in the bathroom.
Now, tangle teezers are pretty much a miracle brush. They can take on anything without ripping through the hair or damaging it, and are the only hairbrush or comb my daughter will allow through her hair without a fight. And this mess was a challenge even for it! It’s the first time I think I’ve ever had to go inch by inch with a teezer the way I’d have to do with very fine tooth comb normally.
But eventually it made it through it. My daughter having her own teezer may have been worth it just for this accomplishment alone. (And boy am I glad that they rinse clean with running water… LOL)
From there it didn’t go too badly to get it the rest of the way out.
And it did make my hair feel softer and look shiny, even though I think it actually made it behave a bit more flighty.
And so… having survived this. And having over half of the cassia mix left over. And reading that cassia builds up more over repeated applications…
Yes, I’m crazy. I did it again a few days later. And it went better, I think because I knew what to expect.
But… cassia doesn’t stain when it gets all over the place. Henna can.
And so it was a couple weeks later… when finally…. over spring break… either boredom or restlessness got the better of me. And I finally got brave enough to make a mix of 50 henna to 250 of cassia.
And I did it! LOL
And even with the previous experiences, it got all over the place, and at several points I was worried I’d have an orangish arm/chin/eyebrow/everywhere for quite a while… but amazingly it faded off and doesn’t show anywhere but the hair where it was supposed to be.
And now… it’s more pic time finally!
(First, a disclaimer. Henna oxidizes and darkens a bit over the first few days. So the end result will be less bright.)
(Disclaimer #2.. after the whole event, I didn’t put product in afterwards because I wanted to see how it turned out… so hair is a bit all over the place in these… lol)
first off…. inside lighting..
not too much of a difference to me inside honestly. touch redder, but still basically brown.
but when you go out to the porch….
auburn! yay! pretty much what i was aiming at for outdoors!
after vs just before.. not sure how much the change in lighting with time effected these, but neither have product in
same variation in tones, but redder.
(the before was earlier the same morning… so it was technically after cassia, but before henna)
and then out in the direct sun…
honestly a bit redder in the direct sun than i was aiming for… so will see what it looks like in a few days when its done oxidizing..
and back in the bathroom with early evening sunlight through the window
Ok.. so that oughta kill that urge for this year! LOL
May update in a few days depending on how dramatic the darkening is. But definitely with anti-friz stuff in at least 🙂