One day I'll make a more informative article or a how-to, but for now I just want to express my sheer happiness (and vanity) at how my hair feels.
I've been dying my hair with henna for the past few months, because it's the first red dye I've found that doesn't fade in one week (it takes 3-4 weeks for it to start fading, and if you keep dying it every 3-4 weeks it never really fades after that). Not only that, but it's completely free of dangerous chemicals that are usually packed into pharmacy box dyes. It comes as a powder and you have to mix it yourself, which also gives you a lot of freedom to tweak recipes and figure out what's best for you. The only drawback is that it takes anywhere from 4-12 hours to do it, depending on what you use, how you use it, and whether you feel comfortable sleeping with a head full of green goop under an untrustworthy plastic cap (I have permanent brown stains on one of my pillows now D-:).
Anyway, I've also spent a lot of time researching other natural hair care methods, and it turns out there is a metric shit ton of vegetable-based oils, essential oils, herbs, and food ingredients that you can put on your hair to make it nicer. I ended up recently purchasing a $3 bottle of hair oil at a local indian store called "Heenara hair oil," which contains coconut oil and nine herbs traditionally used for strengthening hair, adding shine, and encouraging hair growth. Whether or not those herbs actually work (I think they tend to, from what I read), it does have coconut oil which is proven to make hair awesome, and it was cheeeeap.
I also have Dr. Bronner's shikakai conditioning hair rinse, which I originally was using to help rinse out castile soap in the hard water conditions of rural northern Minnesota. I had stopped using it because one of the ingredients is lemon juice, the purpose of which was to balance the high pH of the castile soap.... but lemon juice can be harsh on your hair after a while. I also stopped using the castile soap as shampoo (it was just too tough to wash my long hair with).
Sooo yea, I'm going somewhere with all of this. When I went to mix my Henna hair dye a couple of days ago, I found out the house I'm staying out was out of lemon juice. I usually put lemon juice in the Henna to keep the color lighter/brighter. BUT I remembered I still had the dr. Bronner's stuff with lemon juice lying around. It also has Shikakai powder, which is used to make hair soft and shiny, and Jojoba oil, which helps the scalp balance its natural oils. It has coconut oil, hemp oil, and a few essential oils too. So I used the Dr. Bronner's for the lemon juice content, and then I figured if I was adding all these different oils to the henna mix, why not add the Haneera oil too? After all, the fun of Henna is that you get to experiment.
So I did, and then did the whole Henna thing. You're not supposed to really shampoo your hair until a day a later, in order to give the color a little more time to settle. And when I did eventually shampoo my hair and it finally dried... HOLY SHIT. My hair has *never* been this soft. It's red and soft and shiny and I just want to sleep on a bed made of my hair. I can't get over it.
If you can't tell, I've really gotten into natural hair care methods recently. and holy fuuuuuuck has it paid off!
Now excuse me while I go stroke my hair. I'll try to get a picture up soon if anyone is interested, though a picture won't properly convey the current snuggly softness of my locks. :->
Resident almost-but-not-admittedly Trekkie
MFS: Darwinism is failing
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