Henna and Dreadlocks

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lucidrose
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Henna and Dreadlocks

I want to dye my dreadlocks red with henna but i am unsure as to how much henna to buy. I have long light brown dreads- past my shoulders by a few inches see photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucidrose/4765854700/
can you advise how much i will need?
also...is the henna application process any different?
and will i need to leave the henna in longer?

any tips to spare?

One more question:
I have had some really dry itchy scalp issues as of late and heard that henna is really good at easing/curing the issue. But i wonder...is it just straight henna that will do it or do i need to add anything extra to the mix other then the citrus?

Thanks for the help!
-LucidRose
 

xyz
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Very nice locks!

I would buy at least 500 grams of a henna crop that is very finely sifted, such as Celebration (or any of the crops recomended for African American hair), dye-release them all, and plan to freeze any leftovers you might have.  The fine sift will make it easier to rinse off the dreads.  A handheld shower head would be fantastic to have, but you could also do a "mermaid soak" (fill up the tub with as much water you need to submerge your head, let the henna paste soften, and softly squeeze/scrub it out of your hair).  You might need to change the bath tub water a couple of times.  Once most of the paste is rinsed off, stand up under the shower, apply lots of cheap conditioner, squeeze your dreads, and continue rinsing.  Shampooing is OK too and will help even further to get rid of the henna "dust".

Since you say you're prone to itchy scalp, instead of using citric juices, try dye-releasing your henna with apple juice or cooled green tea.  They are much milder. 

The application process is the same as often described, only that you want to make sure you squish the mix thoroughly into the dreads.  As for timing the application, do a strand test to determine how long you need to leave it on to get the intensity of red you want. 

Would you please post pictures after?  It'd be great for all of us to see more examples of henna on dreadlocked hair. 

lucidrose
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Thanks for your kind words and insights!

I read this message awhile after placing my order unfortunately so I ended up buying 500g Body Art Quality henna: Punjabi Prime( mainly because its said to give a nice natural “Irish red” which I am going for and it was less expensive seeming.) I hope its ok- I understand it has a lower “dye content.” what do ya think?

I think the “mermaid soak” idea is ideal and will give me some much needed time to relax and play mermaid :P

However I am reluctant to use conditioner on my dreads since conditioner has a tendency to leave a lot of residue which could turn into dread rot very quickly. I have not used conditioner for 2 years now and have used shampoo that is all natural/non residue based very very sparingly.

Is henna drying to the hair and scalp? Is that why you believe I should condition?

The henna help desk told me to use orange juice instead of lemon since I have a dry scalp- but I will see what is easiest to acquire( orange juice, tea or apple.) when I am ready to mix the henna.

As far as red intensity- id love a fire engine red which I don’t think I can get with henna- so I think ill try and leave it on for as long as I possibly can since I will enjoy intensity in color. I think I want it to be on my scalp for as long as possible to see if it will help with my scalp issues.

I really hope this helps with the itchy scalp-otherwise I think I will end up shaving my head at the end of this summer which would be a very very sad day.

one more question: how bad does henna stain the skin around the head, face, neck and ears? i know it stains the hands a lot. i am wondering if i should put vassiline around my face, ears and neck area to prevent a lot of staining? also...will my scalp be red for a few days from the henna?

Thanks so much for all the tips!

and yes indeed...i will be posting lots of pics!

-LucidRose

xyz
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

I ended up buying 500g Body Art Quality henna: Punjabi Prime

  • Punjabi Prime is very good.  I used that crop until I started getting more gray hairs and changed to a higher dye content henna. I found that PP mixes nice and creamy, it'll be fine for your dreads.  The color is a very pretty light auburn/soft red...too much contrast between my grays and the rest of my almost black hair but probably perfect for you.

Is henna drying to the hair and scalp? Is that why you believe I should condition?

  • No, for most people, henna isn't drying.  Occasionally we hear of "crunchy ends", which can be remedied with shampooing (to remove residue, aka "henna dust") or light applications of coconut, shea, or similar oils.  For the most part, however, what we hear is how silky and shiny hair becomes.  Most people write in awe of how much healthier their hair looks.  The conditioner tip stems from many users' experience who report that applying lots of cheap conditioner help loosen the henna and makes rinsing easier.  Since you don't want to use conditioner, you might want to plan to shampoo full-strength only after henna--really, it'll help get rid of the residue.  (We don't want to exacerbate your itchy scalp!)

The henna help desk told me to use orange juice instead of lemon since I have a dry scalp

  • They are the experts!  I can use lemon and orange juice just fine, but citric is citric and I'm afraid it might flare up not the dryness but the itchies you mentioned.  Chamomile and green teas are very mild, so is apple juice.  If you want, you can do half water half orange juice, a little apple juice with a splash of OJ, or if you choose tea, a strong-brewed tea (cooled down).  Here's more info on dye-releasing your henna: 
  • http://forums.hennapage.com/node/39

ill try and leave it on for as long as I possibly can since I will enjoy intensity in color

  • A few users apply their henna in the evening and leave it overnight, shampooing it next morning, mostly because they feel it's more convenient/time efficient that way.  For the majority of people, however, 4 hours is plenty, and there's probably little color added after that long. 

I really hope this helps with the itchy scalp

  • Hard to tell if it will, but henna has been reported to help eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin issues.  Up till now, it's all anecdotal (although Ms. CCJ, the owner of this site, is currently working with a university on researching medical uses for it.)  I can tell you that it feels fresh and cool against your scalp, it bet you'll like it.  (Make sure you wrap it well and tight against your head with cling film or a disposable shower cap; a knit hat over it helps it stay on and gives the warmth it needs to "process".)

I will end up shaving my head

  • Oh no, don't shave your head!  Perhaps you're allergic to something you are not aware of?  When my seasonal allergies flare up, my scalp itches too, right over my ears.  Have you tried natural remedies, like rinsing with a bit of tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar, or rubbing a tiny bit of coconut or shea butter on your scalp?

i am wondering if i should put vassiline around my face

  • Yes, Vaseline is a good idea.  My skin doesn't stain much, but I don't want to imply yours won't and have you write back to say you look like a jack-o-lantern!  The henna you buy through this site is great quality--it will be as fresh and powerful as henna can be.  Better safe than sorry!  And yes, your scalp will be slightly yellow...nothing terrible, though.  Again, try not going beyond 4 hours.  Colorwise you won't need it, and a limited application might prevent staining your skin more than usual.   

and yes indeed...i will be posting lots of pics!

  • Looking forward to them!

Here are two more links for you:  The Henna Page Q & A section (part of this site), and Curly Nikki's website (they discuss the care of locked and braided hair, and there's an interesting interview with dreadlocked Crystal Bowersox, from American Idol)

Welcome to the henna world!

lucidrose
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Ok. I would have henna dyed my locks by now but unfortunatly my henna never made it to my  mailbox on Saturday like it was due. I went out to get it around 3pm and instead found a big  hand written note from the mail woman that said she would not be delivering any mail to mailboxes for apts 1-23 until we have the mailbox "fixed."  :( i didn't realize you had to spay and neuter your mailboxes. furthermore i have been living at this apartment for months now and never had any problems with my mailbox or receiving mail. so it was just a fluke freak accident that made it so i could not henna my dreads. Now i am trying to deal with the postal service in locating my henna. what a drag!! my scalp is yelling at me too!

*deep breaths*

Yes...i regularly wash with teatree and calandula oil and that does help some. i think you are right in suggesting coconut oil- i have had others tell me the same. i will have to hunt down a bottle.

hopefully i can get my henna today or someday soon so i can try it out!

Will post photos and updates hopefully soon.

mauiangel
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Aloha LucidRose :)

your dreads are lovely.

back in the day many moons ago when I had dreads I tried a crappy crap henna from a beauty store that turned my dreads ( similar color to yours) a lame tangerine color. I was over it and actually shaved my head. Not telling you this story to scare you, mainly just to tell it and also to say that you just ordered some rad henna that's gonna rock your dreads goddess style :D ( not like the crap I put on mine) I've attached a link of my hair from last year or so when I used to use PP. my starting color pre henna was medium brown with lighter highlighted ends (much like yours) and PP made it vibrant! The attached pic is maybe two apps of PP over about 2 apps of Jamila.

So if you don't get the vibrant color you crave after your first app just do it again a week or a month later and you will get there.

oh, I'd also like to say that I think using tea would be best to avoid the possibility of itchy scalp. it could be hard to get all the henna out right away so you don't need a double whammy of itchies. right?

Your art is beautiful by the way!

Enjoy your new color!

http://flic.kr/p/6VPLuR

lucidrose
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

MauiAngel,

You and your bright locs are gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiring photo share, I see I do crave that beautiful fiery hennaed look so mayhaps I  will have to do a second dye batch as suggested.

Thanks for the info- so glad PP was a good choice. I was a lil nervous going with it since it’s description said it was a lower dye content but I decided to order PP cuz it was a lil less expensive then some of the other options on the website.

I finally got a hold of my 500G of PP and mixed it up last night. I ended up using orange juice since I had it already but I am nervous it may be too harsh for the scalp. I guess we shall try it this way and live/learn. If a second batch is needed I may certainly be trying the green tea.

I was amazed at how much 500g really is…especially after adding the orange juice. I cant imagine needing that much for my dreads but I am happy to know I can freeze any extra for later use.

I have very very thin hair- always have. So when I did my dreads I made them thick and fat in hopes that it would give me a fuller look which I think it did. So now looks are deceiving- I have a total of 23 fat dreads when most deadheads seem to have double or triple that amount- hence why I think this huge tub of henna may be too much. But I will be sure to lay and squish it in super duper thick.

I LOVE the smell of the henna, mixing it was so fun- and I look forward to having it on my head for hours J

I really do hope that this henna treatment can help tame the scalp issues…if it doesn’t I think my last resort may be some coconut oil…and very very last might end up being a shaved head. I hope it doesn’t come to that…I have only had my dreads for 2 years but I truly feel they are my lions mane.

Today when I get home from work the henna application will begin and I will take pictures throughout the process to share.

I have a feeling I am going to make a mess- tis my nature! So if I end up with a yellow face, neck and hands- don’t be too surprised :P

I had initially wanted to dye my dreads black with henna. I have always died my hair black( with chem. Dye) for many years and miss the contrast. The only reason I am not putting indigo over my dreads this time is because I sensed the dryscalp/dandruff would be a disaster with black dreads. So if in a few months  my scalp is back to normal I may be doing an indigo application for some raven locks. We shall see!

One last question- if I do have some henna left, is there a way to turn it into body art henna or must it stay hair henna cuz of the Orange juice?

Thanks for all the words of wisdom and encouragement!

mauiangel
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Hey LR :) How's it goin over there with the lions mane??

Girl, indigo is a monster to deal with. I sure hope you like the henna on it's own and decide not to go black. root upkeep is a ..itch and it's REALLY messy and drippy and smells like old wet cigars or an ash tray. serious. Anyway, pretty sure you won't be able to use your henna left overs for body art. However, you WILL for sure need your left overs for root touch ups etc... I used to zip lock mine but realized that putting it in approx 50g or 100g batch sized tupper (sp?)...ware containers is best. Store them in the freezer. That way, theres no wasting the henna you can't get out of the zip lock.  you can just thaw it out when you need it in the tupper ware and apply to roots with a small hair dye brush. no squishing it outta the zip lock and then throwing away the zip lock ( double waste) 

Also. you've probably tried Aubrey Organics but just in case you haven't, you may wanna give their shampoo and/or their CONDITIONER a try to help get that henna out. It's really moisturizing and natural. The honey suckle rose it my fave. I respect your "no poo" but maybe if only once a month when you do root touch ups to at least use the conditioner ( any of them for dry hair) to get the henna out and moisturize your scalp a bit.

oh, and using rubber gloves when applying your henna is the way to go ;)

Have fun! ~A~ :)

lucidrose
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

I did it!

When i got home from work i set up a henna freak out area on my patio because i absolutely knew i would make a crazy mess.

I went through almost ALL of that 500g! i am so surprised because it seemed like way way way too much. I made sure to pile i on super thick and work it deep into each dread. it felts soooooo amazing on my scalp!

Here is a picture of my henna mess...or my henna "bath" as it were:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucidrose/4925380815/

....i had fun making a dread/henna sculpture on the top of my head.

and as you can see i  got henna everywhere!

I was worried about being heavily stained on my ears, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, legs-everywhere! but the henna that did stain ended up pretty much disappearing during the super long shower and mermaid soak i took.  I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed, then squeezed and pressed the water out, then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed then used shampoo( a scalp medicated moisturizing shampoo) and then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed until all my fingers were pruney. i then filled the tub with hot water and soaked-mermaid style- for 20 mins while rolling them around in the water and squeezing. i then let the water drain and did a few more shower rinses and by then the water coming from my dreads was a very very light yellow-the yellow hard to detect. By then my neck and back ached so bad that i decided to call it quits.

I towl dried it and then braved a look in the mirror:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucidrose/4925380817/

its a big difference in color and i love it! i only hope it doesn’t darken much as it oxidizes.

I will take a better photo in natural lighting today when i am home...and then one in a few days to show how it oxidized.

big THANK YOU and many BLESSINGS to my dear henna sisters and their valuable words of wisdom and support.

today i can say there is no trace of dandruff!( WOW!!) and i have no itchy/tight feeling spots. Simply amazing.

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

I loved your pictures :)

I bet it will oxidize into something great!

dawna
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Wowza...it looks so beautiful with your skin and eyes.  It's just perfect.  Thank you for sharing your experience!  I also loved the henna-mud bath pic...charming.

Cheryl_hiccups
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Your locs came out lovely! I second that it looks great with your complexion & eyes.

Just a thought... if you wanted some black without getting the indigo near your scalp (where I've heard it can be drying) maybe just do your the ends of your locs in black?

mauiangel
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

ohhh precious girl :)

your a born natural red head! check it out! :D yes, suits you perfectly.

it will get "redder" (and also darker) with more apps but this ginger red suits you very well. don't forget "only root touch ups" if you love your color and wanna keep it that way. you should only need about 50,60 grams for just roots. order some more in a month, mix it up and freeze small portions like I suggested and you'll be set. waaaaaaaay less of a mess too. 

Looks gorgeous on ya.

*hugs* ~A~

xyz
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Lucid Rose!  What an awesome result you got!  The color looks even from roots to ends, and the shade is simply spectacular on you!  I'm so glad you took the plunge!

Thanks for sharing your pictures.  Sometimes people with locs "covet the henna" but psyche themselves out thinking it'll be too hard to apply and rinse.  Your description of the process, and the photos, show that with enough patience (and tolerance for messiness) it can be done...and with such gorgeous results!

Happily for you, the application will be much easier (and cheaper) from now on bc roots need little product in comparison.  I'm also thrilled to hear that you liked the sensation of the paste against your scalp and that it seemed to not aggravate your itchiness---all around a success.

Congratulations, new henna sis!

lucidrose
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Thanks again Henna sisters!

I am happy to say i think my henna oxidized very well. You are right- it got redder and less "brassy"...the color seems much more rich and i love it!

Here is an updated pic i thought to share:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucidrose/4935625488/

Much love and many blessings!

mauiangel
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

looks awesome :) still such a natural color on you! 

ps. love pic the pics of your "elephant ears" and of you and your dreaded man. looks as though you two really compliment each other.

*blessings from Maui *

gecko
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

I came across this forum while googling henna'd locks. I have collar-length dreads and would be over the moon if mine turn out as beautiful as yours have. My hair is only slightly darker than yours when you started so I have my fingers crossed.

Thankyou for sharing your pictures, you've convinced me that I can take the plunge with henna :)

jessinthedesert
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

LucidRose and everyone!

I'm a little late on this...so I hope you see it. I have done henna before and LOVE it (I get a random kind from an African refugee camp I work in for about 80 cents and won't bother trying anything else!) but haven't done it since I got DREADS a bit over a year ago. I've been contemplating it again and after seeing this post am INSPIRED! i wish i could post pics! Does facebook work?

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=522478318868&set=t.536840576&type=1&theater

These are them a year ago...the are a bit longer now. anyway...fun times ahead! Thanks! LudicRose- do you still have your dreadies? I hope so! They were GREAT!

jess

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Dreadlocks

Can't see your picture - you may need to make it viewable by everyone. (I am on facebook, btw).

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