This weekend, I noticed a couple of grays shining through, and decided to do a henna hair mask. I ran out of dead sea mud last time and forgot to replace it, so I was hunting through my cabinet looking for an alternative. I found some powdered clove and a couple packets of bladderwrack (I've got lots of crazy stuff in my cupboards). Clove is one of the additives suggested on the henna instructions for a warm or reddish brown tone, so that seemed like a go. Seaweed is supposed to moisturize the hair, so that seemed like a good idea, too.
If you don't feel like making this yourself, you can buy some at Miri Botanicals.
Bladderwrack is a sea-algae. Lots of places sell it. Here's a reputable place: Mountain Rose Herbs. Make sure you get the powder.
1/3 cup henna
1/3 cup powdered cloves
1/3 cup bladderwrack
2 tablespoons organic black strap mollases
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the molasses. Slowly add water until you get a consistency you like. I like mine to be a thinnish paste so I can spread it easily on dry hair. If you want to wet your hair prior to applying the masque, you can make the paste a little thicker. It's up to you.
Apply generously to hair and cover with a plastic cap or bag or something.
This recipe is pretty grainy. I'm not sure if it was the cloves or the bladderwrack.
Leave it on for at least an hour, and then rinse out very very very well in the shower. I usually wash and do a vinegar rinse after, but you don't have to. Washing helps get out every little grain of the masque.
I was actually shocked by the color, consistency, and shine of my hair when it started to dry. Check this out:
Can you believe that? It's incredibly shiny and has a deep brown color with very subtle warm red highlights. I love it.
Why it works
HennaThe henna imparts lawsone molecules into the hair shaft, coloring it. These bind with the keratin already in your hair. The longer it sits on your hair, the more molecules get into the shaft. "Henna" can be one of three plants, powdered: Cassia obovata (Senna) is neutral and colorless; Lawsonia inermis (Red Henna) is the auburn reddish henna; and Indigofera tinctoria (Indigo or black henna) is dark. Most hair hennas are mixtures of different hennas and other plants such as walnut or and rhubarb. Here's a great website with lots of information about henna: hennaforhair.com
Clove (Caryophyllus aromaticus)Studies have shown that the primary constituent of clove (eugenol) is effective for the treatment of gray hair and for hair growth.