This is going to be quite the saga, so bear with me please.
Okay, so at Thanksgiving, my sister was visiting and we decided to dye my hair. My hair is naturally a blondish-brownish honey color with occasional reddish highlights, especially after I have had a baby. Very nice really, but I was bored and you know what happens when you hang out with your sisters for several days.... Here is a pic of my natural hair color.
Okay we had actually dyed my hair once before, using a wash out color called "chestnut" which hardly changed the color of my hair at all. It just added more red tones in sunlight. So this time, I wanted a real change, so we picked one called "red." Here is the only picture I have of that color.
Actually it looks pretty nice in this picture. The red dyed my hair a very fake reddish-purplish color. At the time it seemed very halloweenish to me, but it was probably just the shock of drastic change. I probably would have left it alone, but my sister didn't get the dye in good enough along my hairline, so it was like the roots were already grown out.
So 3 days later, my AUNT mixed up a batch of henna and we over-dyed the red with henna. IN A BIT I WILL EXPLAIN HOW CRAZY THIS WAS, THOUGH I DID NOT KNOW IT AT THE TIME!!! For about a week my hair was a brilliant copper and then it mellowed to a really nice, very natural looking red- as if I had been born with red hair. Here is a pic of my henna hair, now 5-6 weeks after. You can see the lovely color. And, you can see my brown roots coming in.
I decided I wanted to do something about my roots and that I wanted to go back to brown, so I bought some brown chemical dye. I was reading through the instructions and it said "If you have previously dyed your hair with henna, you must wait until it is grown out and cut off before using this dye." WOA!!
WHY? I wondered. So I googled Henna plus chemical dye and found some crazy people saying that henna plus chemical dye will either turn your hair frog-butt green or melt your hair off. CRAZY! I researched some more and found some really good info at MOOKY CHICK and here at Henna for Hair
Actually, it is only cheap, commercially mixed henna dyes that have metallic salts in them that react with the ammonia in chemical hair dye. If you get the pure stuff and mix it yourself, you are safe. So, I am really lucky that my aunt does things the homemade, all natural way--I could have melted my hair off!!!!!
The good news is that henna is way delicious to your hair. It makes it smooth and shiny and repairs damage that chemical dyes have done to it. If you have naturally frizzy curly hair, henna relaxes and straitens it. (My sister and aunt can both testify to that. I can't because my hair never curls or frizzes ever.) You can even get henna that does not add any color, just relaxes the hair. Wow! (see Henna for hair link above for details)
The bad news is, for me, that when you henna your hair, it fills up all the cracks and seals the hair shaft. So, subsequent dyes have nowhere to bond with. You just have to let the henna grow and cut it off. So all this boils down to no brown hair for me and living with the roots growing in, which look pretty natural and not bad at all, my Dear Husband says. I could re-henna my hair, but then I have red hair still.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Henna is beautiful and delicious to your hair, but make sure you get pure henna and only do it if you want your hair dyed for keeps because it isn't the "gone in 28 washes" type of dye.