So far 2014 has been a year of transformation and change inside and out for many of us. Last December I decided to henna over my natural blonde hair because I wanted a change and wanted to see for myself the amazing benefits natural henna has on the hair.
Starting the henna process slowly, I did cassia/ henna glosses for the first 3 or so applications before going full strength henna- henna gloss is a diluted henna mix- conditioner with henna- 80/ 20 conditioner to henna- this imparts the colour more subtly so it’s not so vibrant. Cassia is another plant that when mixed with henna tones down the red-mixed 80 cassia 20 henna turns blonde hair strawberry blonde.
Seeing that the colour of the henna gloss was really good I eventually went full strength henna and became a vibrant red head…Check out my henna video to see how I mixed my henna, how long to leave it on light hair etc.
Henna is a plant from India that has been used for thousands of years to colour, condition and thicken the hair and I can attest to this and additionally it gives the hair a luster like no other. For me, and I think many who are addicted to henna, it becomes a hair ritual that gives pleasure…I hennaed every 3 or so weeks for the thickening and conditioning benefits. Some people leave henna on for 4 hours up to overnight but for my hair the longest I ever had it on my hair was 1 1/2 hours. Henna darkens over time so if you leave it on a long time each application your hair will get richer and more saturated with colour. If you do this there will come a point where the colour gets really dark so if you are not wanting that you need to leave on for less time. As with anything, experiment to find out what works for you and your hair. Another cool thing about henna is that it looks different on everyone as we all have different hair. Henna is fun and I totally loved the experience- the ritual- and recommend it to anyone who wants red hair but doesn’t want to put chemical dyes on their hair and head.
In late summer I suddenly wanted my blonde locks back; something I knew would happen at some point because I like my natural colour and its no fuss. Henna does not come out of the hair easily. In my case the only way to get my colour back was to cut all my hair off and grow it out (do not henna your hair if you are not ready for a commitment). I understood this before jumping into henna. This summer, when I knew it was time again for change, I had to make the decision to either grow it out with length (maybe not so good) or cut it and grow. After much thought I opted for option 2 and got myself a pixie cut, cutting off about 8 inches of hair. …Yikes…hair shock! Although I have had a pixie cut in the past, I was not really wanting this cut so upon arriving home from “the big chop” I had a mini meltdown…to top it off I was away from my regular stylist and the person who cut my hair did some crazy asymmetrical cutting that I did not like. It was a nightmare! Little did I know what was coming when I had the surreal experience of phantom hair!!! It was very distressing that my hair was gone and I learned just how attached I’d become to hair. I love long hair.
Before my cut I stocked up on Diatomaceous Earth which is mostly silica (silica is a trace mineral that makes the hair and nails grow faster and stronger and it increases collagen in the body for skin and connective tissue- see my upcoming article on Diatomaceous Earth for more info) Amla (plant high in C and used in India for hair growth shine and health)and coconut oil. I bought some beanies to cover my hair (thankfully it was Sept when I cut my hair- good timing heading into fall/winter) got mentally prepared and focused to grow grow grow! So far it’s been amazing how fast my hair has grown…. In less than 2 months I have grown almost 2 inches! (It’s so exciting to see my real hair again and I’m loving it!) That’s crazy fast hair growth. The DE is definitely helping and I can see it in my nails too which are hard shiny and strong. In addition to the DE I eat a very clean diet and lead a clean lifestyle…no alcohol, drugs of any kind including pharma, my daily yoga practice, gym and interval training by the ocean, I eat only living foods mostly raw, don’t use chemicals on my face or in my home of any sort including shampoo and soaps- my soap has always been Dr Bronners hippie soap- you get the picture…O natural is how I fly. Diet and lifestyle have a huge impact on our bodies from head to toe so if you want healthy hair you need to treat your body like a temple no chemical dyes no toxic cosmetics and no toxic GMO food/processed foods, sugar, white flour etc.
In one short year I went from my natural colour to henna to short red pixie with blonde roots! Whoa that’s a lot of change! It’s going to be a long haul before I get back to where I was with my length but I’m OK with it and embrace change. It’s also kind of fun to have a hair project. In a strange parallel, my hair is reflecting all the changes that I have experienced internally this past year- so much shifting and transforming of the old self into a higher version of Self. It’s an incredible journey and reminds me of the practice of Yoga where we need to surrender to the things that make us uncomfortable in order to grow and move forward.
To say that cutting off my long hair made me uncomfortable is an understatement and yet it is liberating to be able to embrace such a dramatic change….. And guess what? HAIR GROWS!