How I dye my hair – vegan hair dye

Hi everyone

In the past few years I have had lots of different hair colours and my poor hair has been well and truly destroyed, I’ve been blonde (many different shades), red, purple, brown and lack and probably a few I have forget. Add that too all the straightening and styling.

This situation actually got worse by going vegan initially as I made the transition to go cruelty free with my hair and beauty products before even going vegetarian never mind fully vegan and that meant grabbing the first hair dye I saw that was cruelty free. This was cheap and really damaging for my hair on top of some really bad damage that was already happening. My hairdresser was telling me off and my hair was really stretchy and breaking off to the point that it almost looked like layer ripped into my hair (not a good look).

It was at this point that I found Henna, I had gone back and forth with the thought of using Henna as I didn’t have much faith that it would actually dye my hair and more importantly cover greys, I thought it was more to tone your hair. I can safely say though that it was the best thing I have ever done!

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I use the Henna from Lush in the shade Brun which I believe is the brownest of the four colours. For those of you who are new to Henna there is a red undertone to Henna so the colours range in how much red they have in them and the end result is different based on that. My hair in some lights has a red glow to it but generally if you saw my hair you would say it was dark brown.

Please do note that my hair was dark brown before applying Brun and so the colour has maintained but not changed. I would recommend that you talk to a Lush consultant before trying any of these shades as different people will see different effect depending on the colour you hair is at time of dying.

The way Henna works is that is coats the strands of hair rather than penetrates the hair therefore it doesn’t damage the hair. It is also know for its moisturising properties so when you have it on your hair dying it is almost like a conditioning treatment. Long storey short my hair finally is getting over the damage, it is growing, shiny and my hair dresser actually complimented my hair. I love Henna!

So how do you use Henna….

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Henna comes in a block, the above picture is aprox half of a block and the whole block costs £10.95. It doesnt show it very well in the picture but it is split into about 6 chunks. In order to make this useable you need to melt the block in boiling hot water until the consistency is similar to normal hair dye. The Lush website describes the consistency as the same of hot chocolate.

So firstly you need to decide how much liquid you need to dye your hair (depending if its the full head or just roots). For me when I do the whole head I use aprox 4 chunks of the 6 so slightly more than is in the picture (I have hair just past my shoulder but it is quite thick) for my roots I use aprox 2 pieces.

The tricky bit is how much water to add, again for me for the whole head I use a mug of boiling hot water and for the roots I use just over half a mug of boiling water. I would suggest for the first time add really slowly as you don’t want the consistency to be too runny.

So the process:

  1. Break off the piece of the block of Henna (you might find this is a bit trial and error, it took me about 3 attempts to get the perfect amount.
  2. Add water (slowly) and leave the block in the boiling water turning slowly to cover all the bit until you can feel the block breaking up
  3. Make sure you put on gloves, use something like Vaseline on your ears, forehead and neck (although I normally don’t find I get any staining  but better safe than sorry).
  4. Keep breaking the block with a spoon and mixing until all of the lumps have gone and you have the consistency you need (again you might find this is trial and error). The colour will look very green and be a bit clay like – don’t be alarmed your hair doesn’t come out this way.
  5. Once it is well on its way to melting partition your hair off how you would like, and apply in the same way you would apply any package dyes (or the way you will have seen it don at the hairdressers). I type half my hair up and then slowly take it down layer by layer.
  6. Then apply with your fingers to your hair (or roots) are covered. It is a very messy process, I tend to get it all over my face, neck, shoulders and bathroom so make sure you get rid off all towels and wear minimal clothing unless you have scruffs you don’t care about. For me it has never stained my bathroom laminate floor or the sink but please take precautions.
  7. Once you have the correct coverage then you need to wrap your head in something to cover it completely, I use cling film but you could use a shower cap.
  8. I personally leave mine on for between 3 and 4 hours as I find anything less and my greys do get covered but are lighter than the rest of my hair if I do 3/4 hours my greys match the rest of my hair.
  9. Once you are ready to wash the dye off you will find that it has dried and gone clay like, this is normal. To wash this off you just use your normal shampoo and conditioner. Once in the shower wash off as much of the dye as you can, the hotter the water the easier it is as it kind of melts off then I find I need to shampoo twice and use slightly more than my normal conditioner.

While you are washing your hair it will feel like a birds nest, I started to panic the first time I used it as I thought my hair would be matted and stuck forever, it wont! Just keep rinsing until your hair feels normal.

Then dry and style as normal and you should find your hair is glossy and freshly dyed.

Have you tried Henna, what are your thoughts. I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have.

Thanks for reading

AKL