Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ancient Sunrise Yemen Henna

Yes, I know I promised something on-topic, but that post will follow soon. I just wanted to put something positive on here, and I was pretty excited about hennaing my hair. I always like to use natural henna since regular hair color doesn't last very long. For the price, natural henna is the better buy, even if it costs more to start with. The color is permanent and does not wash out. So it can last a year or more. Mine was last done about 2 years ago or more. Probably more like 3. Anyway, my natural color is odd and hard to describe. It did not look natural, but looked like a bad dye job. It was dark at the roots, red in the middle, and blonde on the ends. I always got nasty comments made about how horrible my hair looked, sometimes to my face and not behind my back. So, I started coloring my hair a darker color, since people have a stereotype about Mexicans that they have dark hair. Maybe that's why they didn't think it was natural, but probably not the only reason. Now all I get are compliments. Of course, I originally used regular dye, which only lasted about 4 weeks, if I was lucky. I usually picked a dark red (which is closer to my natural color, but darker) or else a dark brown. However, the chemicals were very harsh (I'm lucky that I'm not allergic because I didn't burn, but it was hard on my sinuses, etc.). Plus, I was doing it so often that it began to cost quite a bit. I heard about natural henna and wanted to try it, but the henna itself was a little expensive. Plus, I had to buy stuff to put in my mix (you want to pick all natural products and no chemicals, since that can make the color more unpredictable--or you can have your hair turn green or something). I usually put tea, wine, coffee (something acidic), then a scented oil. Usually people use tea tree oil, since this makes the dye release faster. I use lavender oil, since the smell isn't as off-putting. But I believe there are other oils that are okay as well (not all oils make the dye release faster). I also add pectin, since that thickens it up and makes it not so runny.

I always get my henna from as Catherine always has the best quality hennas. If possible, you want to use body-art quality henna (boxed henna made for hair color usually has chemicals added). She usually only had one kind and I always bought it because I knew it was good. It's been a while since I did this, so when I looked recently, she had a whole selection. In the forums, the one people liked the most was the Yemen henna as it was supposed to mature to a deep ruby or burgundy color. Since my problem is that my hair is usually brassy or fairly golden, this appealed to me, so that's what I bought. It came to $14.75 with shipping, however that could change depending on what she has to do to get the next shipment. It varies. She also had a henna that was similar called Celebration, which I almost chose, but the Yemen henna ended up being cheaper this time, so that's the one I chose. Every now and then she gets one called Dark of the Moon, but it is much more expensive.

I bought my henna and had a bottle of wine that was beautifully-colored, but didn't taste very good (way too bitter for me). I didn't quite have enough wine for my mix, since you need 2 full cups. One cup you add the day before (just anything acidic--you can use lemon juice or something if you want), plus the oil. The next day, I boiled the last 1/2 cup of wine and made a strong raspberry hibiscus tea (2 tea bags for the 1/2 cup of water). I bought the wrong pectin, or this would have worked perfectly. But I bought the regular pectin instead of the no sugar needed pectin. Stupid of me. So, it didn't set properly and was very clumpy and runny. If you use the other pectin, add it to the boiled liquid and stir, then mix it into the henna mixture. Wait about 20 minutes, then apply to your hair. It didn't work for me, so the mixture was very runny and clumpy. I left it on for 3 hours and that was about as long as I could stand. The longer you leave it on the better. It makes you hot because you have to wrap your hair in cling wrap or something (I use 2 processing caps that are the type for relaxing your hair). As I sweated, though, the mixture was dripping down my face, and I had to wipe it off immediately. If I left it just a few seconds my face was stained a little yellow. This particular henna has a VERY high dye content, which I was not used to. So, I had to stay by the mirror and the bathroom, which made finding things to do a little difficult. Instead, I put down a length of canvas under my easel and worked on a painting that I'm having a difficult time finishing. I also answered some e-mail and that seemed to take most of the time. I rinsed in the sink for a while, until most of the large clumps were gone, then rinsed in the shower and shampooed and conditioned until the water ran clear. The color I got was still a reddish brown, but was less golden red than my natural color and was very pretty. Today it has oxidized a little, and it is a little more ruby red than yesterday. Tomorrow will let me see what the color will stay like, if it isn't the same as today. I wore a dark teal silk top today, which seemed to bring out the redness in my dark hair and I got loads of compliments on how I looked. I don't get a lot of compliments, so this made me feel great. I have low self-esteem, but you can imagine me wearing that top a lot from now on! : )

I will have to write at one point on how my moods are now and what my prescriptions are. They are changing a lot very quickly and I am seeing a new doctor now. There are more changes coming. Our request for review (on my disability case) was denied. I'm not terribly surprised, but extremely disappointed that they didn't even consider it. Really, I got screwed big time, considering how the "experts" and the "judge" treated me during the hearing, and now they won't even review it. Our only chance now is to file a civil suit against them. Not sure if my lawyer will want to do that, considering how low our chances are of winning. If it hadn't been for the judge we ended up with, she said we had a good case and would have won. However, I don't think another judge will want to go against the other guy. If I don't win any back pay, however, I do not have to pay her, so I know she will want to do whatever she can. Will talk to her Monday.

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