Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My first henna experience

Hello beauties!

I'm loving the rain! I'm also very thankful for my tumble dryer, since Mondays are laundry days for me, and I couldn't finish the laundry yesterday because of the rain. But snuggling with Jan and Cupcake in the cold and rainy weather is awesome, and I wouldn't trade it!

First order of business, I got email replies from both Avon (who also sells Justine, it seems, since I requested an email from Justine and Avon answered...) and Revlon. I have both emails, and I'll send them on to anyone who wants to read them. Avon states that it does tests on animals where the law requires it. I'd be ashamed to admit it if I were them, after more than 20 years of cruelty free behaviour.

Revlon didn't really answer my question. They state that they comply with both American and European laws, and do not test on animals there. But I asked if they conduct animal testing in countries that require it, like China. I replied to them and asked again. Since starting to compile my list, I found Luxury Cosmetics, who sells Smashbox as one of their brands. They state that none of their products or ingredients are tested on animals, nor do any other companies conduct these tests on their behalf, except where required by law. I informed Luxury Cosmetics of this, and the friendly people who work there actually did further research into the matter. They came back to me with the promise from Smashbox that they only test on human volunteers in countries where the law requires it. That is a truly cruelty free company. If Revlon can give me an answer like that, my faith will be restored, but at this point, I simply feel they're dodging me. But I'll keep you updated.

Anyway, because of this whole uncertainty with Revlon, I had to find alternative means to colour my hair. I've been dyeing it for so long, I actually had my uncle ask me on his visit from Canada what my natural colour is. I don't even have a digital picture of it. My hair has been pink, purple, bright red and orange on the crazy side, and it's been black, any shade of brown and red too. I've never been completely blonde, but I've had highlights in all different blondes too, so I've been around the block with my hair!

This is why the thought of having to grow it out and never colour it again kind of freaked me out! I've done a lot of research into alternative methods of colouring, and I found a bunch of stuff, like tea and coffee dyeing and other natural ways of doing it, but the problem is that your hair would smell like coffee for about four washes, and it's still not permanent. And I've always been afraid of henna, since you can't use other dyes over it. But I mean, given the situation I'm in, I may never be able to use normal dyes again, and I honestly don't know if I care!

 I found this brand of henna dye (cruelty free of course) at Dischem, and it cost me R49.95. It has six applications inside, and I used two, so if I use two packets each times, I have three hair dyes left inside. For 50 bucks?! That's incredible. Also, it is all natural, ammonia free, safe for pregnant women and I can use it as often as I like, since it isn't damaging to my hair.

It's also really simple to get ready, since you really only cut open the packet, pour it into a plastic bowl and add 35 ml water to it. Then you simply mix it until it forms a thick paste, and apply it to your hair. It's really that simple. The paste forms quickly enough, and you just have to make sure it mixes well, so there are no powder lumps in between, but this is really easy.

The drawbacks are that the particular powder I bought is green. And not a nice green. I told my hubby that if it flopped I could at least tell people I went green for earth day. I've never had green hair before... I also applied the paste to dry hair, since the instructions don't specify. That made it a little more difficult to spread evenly, but I'll try it on damp hair next time. Most people prefer the damp hair method, and apparently it makes no difference in the outcome of the colour.

It also doesn't smell bad or sharp like store bought dyes. It has a herbal, tea-ish kind of smell that doesn't hang for hours or sting your nose and eyes.

The development time is 30 minutes, though some people leave it on for hours. I simply combed through my hair once or twice, and then left it in a bun for the half hour, playing Peggle on my computer. It washed out dark brown, like tree bark and I was amazed at how my hair felt. After traditional hair dyes, my hair always feels extremely dry and kind of stiff. This won't go away until I've put in the conditioner they add with the dye, and then my hair feels OK, but you can see it's been dried out. With the henna, my hair didn't fee damaged at all. I could run my fingers through my hair without resistance immediately!

Anyway, I washed and conditioned my hair like normal, and I dried it. Here are the before and after pics :

The big thing I found with the henna is this : it covered my roots perfectly. With other dyes, I usually have a pretty hard time getting my roots to match the other hair, even when I colour the roots first. This stuff just covered it all and I mean, you can clearly see in what bad shape my roots were... It also has a nice reddish shine to it that I love.

All in all, I'm impressed. Not only is it saving me a buck or two, but it's doing the job other dyes did better. Now I know a bunch of hairdressers are going to crucify me for this post. To them I say this : if our world wasn't so cruel, I would never have tried the henna. But there are no hair dyes in South Africa that are cruelty free, not even those they use in salons. The few cruelty free products in my country cost more than a salon colour, and my hair grows so fast that by the third week it's just roots. In fact, the before pic was on three weeks.

I hope you have an awesome day! Remember to vote in the poll and follow the blog if you love it.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


  1. This stuff is amazing (from what I just saw). Will try it on my sister who had her hair colored few months back and her hair now looks weak. Thanks for the review

    1. Glad I could help!! I started mixing the henna directly into my conditioner with time, which makes it even easier and cuts out a step.

  2. Going to take the henna plunge. I'm tired of paying a thousand bucks and a couple for a salon trip and my hair is so wrecked from blonde highlights to cover the grey. I hope this henna covers it well. (:

    1. As far as I hear, it works really well on grey!

  3. Hi Yolandie! only saw this article now i would just like to find out where you got the henna?

    1. I actually bought it from Dischem! It's right there with all the hair dyes. :)