I`ve used henna to colour my hair for the past years, but this autumn I snapped and went crazy with some peroxide in an attempt to lighten my hair.
I absolutely love henna. It did wonders for my hair. The colour never fades, it stays beautiful, shiny and glossy forever. And I mean forever. Although the list of benefits for henna is long, there is one inconvenience: once you go henna, there`s no turning back. Henna coats the shaft of the hair making it impossible to remove. You can`t really mix it with chemical hair dyes as this can destroy, literally destroy, hair and give out really weird colours. Been there, done that and recovered from it before. The main problem with henna for me, was the fact that I have no control over the colour outcome. As much as I have played with terpenes, plants, essential oils, coffee, rooibos tea, etc I always had to cross my fingers and pray the colour would be to my liking, and well, I didn`t always get lucky.
This autumn I got so sick of the same shade of (gorgeous, mind you) auburn hair and I went ahead and lightened my hair. I didn’t use bleach this time, as a few years back this got me a gorgeous shade of green, but opted for peroxide. The colour was light indeed, but boy, was my hair damaged. After numerous attempts to resurrect it with protein treatments and deep moisturizing masks and conditioners I finally chopped half off, embraced my bob, and me and my locks decided to have a fresh start.
This whole prologue, I find, was necessary to give you an idea of the current state my hair is in right now. I am not keen on conventional hair dyes for obvious reasons, in my opinion. They damage the hair, contain harmful chemicals and they can take a toll on my already frail locks. I am also very much for natural… anything. Herbatint is one of the many semi-natural hair dyes out there, and while not 100% natural (like henna) seemed to meet me sort of in the middle. I could still play with the colour, while not completely damaging my hair.
I chose to go for their `Henna Red` colour. The actual product has no henna in it, the name its just supposed to help characterize what seemed to be (on the hair colour chart) a beautifully rich vibrant red. Herbatint has no Ammonia, No Parabens, less Peroxide, etc; it`s supposed to cover grey hair and is infused with plant extracts to help your mane.
The formula is liquid. You get a developer and the colour, both liquid as well as gloves and a conditioner. I had to mix the colour and developer in a separate dish, the result being a syrupy coloured liquid.
I had a very hard time distributing the product through my hair. The liquid texture kept dripping everywhere and made is incredibly hard to get an even distribution and ensure that I actually coated every strand. Very frustrating. I let the dye act for a good 40 minutes before removing. The little conditioner package provided in the box was definitely not enough for my medium length hair, I needed to use my own hair mask to have enough to coat my entire head and get that moisture to help me detangle and soften my abrasive mess of a hair. The dye might have been more natural than conventional drugstore ones, but still manage to be harsh and turn my already fragile hair into a huge tangled mess.
The next day, after letting my hair air dry I was disappointed to see that my hair was nothing like the fire red colour the little hair mesh in the catalog had, but rather a deep burgundy colour. I need to be fair, my hair was damaged to begin with so I cannot asses how well Herbatint was able to nourish or protect my hair, nor to compare its qualities to its drugstore, “chemical” counterparts. However, my hair felt more abrasive than ever, and I had a very hard time managing it. I guess I had hoped Herbatint would have made things better…
The colour didn’t last very long, which is not unusual for reds. It slowly faded to a much lighter colour, much faster than I’ve expected to.
Overall this hair dye failed to impress me. I know plenty of people that are perfectly happy with it and the results, I just happen not to be one of them. Application was hard/messy, my hair was still distressed and the colour didn’t come out as expected and washed out quickly. I guess my search for a good semi natural hair dye continues…