A few months ago I made the decision to grow out my hair. I have been wearing it short for many years now. One night, I dreamed of me, but I had gypsy hair, with ribbons and trinkets. I was so comfortable in my dream, so serene and complete….so the odyssey began.

One benefit of short hair is that it forgives. My hair forgave all the highlighting, drying, curling, and hair dye every 3 weeks. Gray is the only color my hair was not..thanks to chemicals. Fast growing hair is a bitch when you go gray…..(I have my kids and my husband to thank for that.) I knew that if I wanted to let it grow, I would have to lay off of the chemicals.

I will now share my journey with you, just incase you are on the same path :)…and spare you the bumps.

First I tried natural dye. You can find it in the health food store. Let me tell you a secret: It is not natural. Duh. I don’t know what planet I was on as I mixed the color and developer. If you mix, it is not natural. It hit me like a brick when my head started burning. Ok, off to look for a different brand. Quite frankly, if you put on your bifocals and read the fine print, I have not found ONE brand, and I checked about 5 different ones, that does not have some type of synthetic, toxic, chemical in it.

Next, henna bar shampoo. Though I did like this shampoo, it did nothing for the color on my hair. I would leave it on for long time, since some people stated it helped their roots be less noticable. Not mine. Gray as ever, and my hair dried out from the shampoo.

(A picture of my hair this morning.)
I stayed away from henna, remembering the gritty, muddy, yucky gloop I had on my hair many years ago that took me weeks to get out. Then someone mentioned the easy application of henna with conditioner. I am always open for an experiment! When my mom was here, we hennaed. The application was pretty easy (still messy), but the results just did not wow me. I still had a ton of gray, plus my hair was a mousy, weird color. I did mix henna, cassia, and indigo. I tried using only henna as a base, but the color was drab.

While researching I found a henna mecca! The site, hennaforhair. As I read, I found that their application was very different. I was willing to give it one more try, and ordered henna. I read their hanna book, and was enthralled by the history and tradition of henna. Also, it explains very well how henna works on the hair, how to mix, and why you must let henna “cure”.

I finally received my henna yesterday and prepared it to sit overnight. This morning I covered my hair, and ran around the garden for 2.5 hours planting.

Voila’!

I love it!!

And since I really am keeping chemicals from my hair, here is my beer shampoo recipe. Your better half may cry at the sacrilage…but it is lovely, and does not dry out my hair. Taken from “Natural Beauty at Home” by Janice Cox:

Base:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup castille soap

Take 1 cup of beer, and cook down until it is about a 1/4 cup. Mix with the base. Done :). it is a bit runny, you may want to store it in a beer bottle, better put a big SHAMPOO sign on it to avoid any misunderstandings :).

Stale beer is great as a setting lotion too! Use instead of mousse…the beer smell goes away quickly, and your hair will be shiny & bouncy.

Enjoy!!!

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