I let my henna sit for a total of 4.75 hours. As I am prone to do, I got impatient, so I did some research on what the most-anticipated “dye release” looks like. I found this page, a sister of the very informative Henna for Hair I used to mix my henna. I never saw the actual dye “release” as that page says, but in all honesty, I think I waited too long.
After your henna releases dye, it is in contact with oxygen (unless you have a way to inert the paste). If oxygen combines with the dye, it won’t bind with the keratin in your skin, and you’ll get a poor stain. This is “demise“, when henna stains poorly because you have waited too long to use it.
I’m pretty sure that’s what my dye did, because it looked like this:
I think I never saw the dye because I stirred it too much, but it was also really hot that day so I’m not sure if my dye was as potent as it could have been, but because I’m me, I went ahead with the dyeing procedure.
First, I mixed the henna paste with a moisturizing conditioner, using three times as much conditioner as henna paste as per Kris’s suggestion
which used up about half of the paste and ended up looking like this:
Next I put the paste all over my head. Oh yes.
And then I saran-wrapped my head.
After an hour of letting this soak in, I got in the shower and rinsed it all away. It was then I decided to nix the chamomile next time, because the smell was getting to be too much and the tea leaves were very difficult to rinse out of my hair.
When it dried, my hair looked like this:
I liked it at first, but no one in my family could tell the difference. My mom said she could a bit, but I’m pretty sure she was lying. It’s a REALLY pretty color, but like I said, I had half of my henna paste left and a new penchant for natural hair dyeing. So I repeated the entire process, using the same technique, leaving it in for about an hour and a half this time, however.
Now, in bright fluorescent lighting, I’m a regular carrot-top!
Don’t worry, it doesn’t look that bright all the time. It is, however, definitely strawberry blonde! I’m not sure if it will rinse out any, many Henna for Hair writers suggested it did wear off some during the first few washes, but I washed mine this morning and it hasn’t seemed to. I’m excited to be a redhead for summer!