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Henna, Tea and Vinegar are all you need for amazing hair color

Hey nature lovers out there! Many of you know my journey into natural living has included a thirst for discovering the best non-toxic products the Earth and the market have to offer. Some experiments have been a success, while others… not so much. Notably, my ten-month attempt at swapping out conventional skincare for a natural routine, which from time to time included honey, bentonite clay, rosewater and hempseed oil. I still find this gorgeous list of ingredients rather titillating. Alas, while they no doubt nourished my skin, unfortunately they also nourished a regular out-cropping of hormonal acne.

Whilst my purist routine didn’t agree with my skin, my hair has seemed ever so much more amenable to my hippie aspirations. Currently I’m loving Attitude Super Leaves Natural Shampoo, which is EWG certified and doesn’t break the bank at around $13 for a 16 oz. bottle. My short haircut requires no conditioner, and I have been using an awesome homemade pomade of beeswax, shea butter and jojoba oils for nearly a year, also with happy results! Recipe here. I was so glad my hair seemed to be on board with the natural stuff. Figured I’d take it a step further and try covering my grays with henna! For about a year I’ve been a bit ill at ease over the wispy hairs framing my face, given their increasing proportion of grays to my natural red hair color. Guys, I’m 36! I’m all about aging gracefully (or trying to), but I increasingly felt the concentration of gray in these obvious locations was unbecoming. Add in my baby sister’s bachelorette weekend away with a crew full of twenty-somethings and I was all too ready to do my first gray cover-up. Ever a DIY-er, I tried out Madison Reed for a few dye-cycles and it seemed pretty ok. But with my recent sights being set on trying to conceive a third child, my priorities have again centered on going chem-free wherever I can (check out this review of Madison Reed's ingredients for safety while preggo).

A little more web research turned up henna as a viable alternative. It is 100% natural, permanent, healthful and nourishing to hair, and comes in a variety of shades. So I ordered myself a jar of Rainbow Research brand henna powder in shade copper. Super economical! A single $6 jar should last me a year, at least with my narrow application area as of yet! I can portion out the amount I need, unlike traditional dye kits which make you use the entire bottle in one go. Plus, no need for all the associated one-use items like plastic gloves and application tools. The thrifty and eco-loving side of me rejoiced. So last night I followed the directions and mixed a few teaspoons of the henna powder, which was a curious shade of green, together with a few tablespoons of freshly brewed black tea and a splash of apple cider vinegar (advised for where gray-coverage is desired). I used my fingers to apply the yogurt-like goop to my hair, concentrating on the areas of concern with the grays, around my face. The package said not to worry about it staining my skin, so I wasn’t particularly careful with my application job. Then I watched TV with hubs for 75 minutes, and rinsed in the kitchen sink, first with hot then cold.

Et, voila! No staining of the skin as promised, and I actually really love the color! It looks closer to my natural shade than the Madison Reed Genoa Red I’d previously tried, and I think it amps up my natural color in a really pretty way I didn’t expect! Hey, use natural ingredients and get more natural looking color: it stands to reason I suppose, and red hair is notoriously difficult to shade match. Anyway, I’ll update this post with results as the weeks pass concerning how the color wears. Pretty psyched about this stuff! And you can tell everyone, YES, this color is natural! :) Verdict: Hooray for henna!

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