Since middle school, I’ve always been active in changing up my hair color and style. Lately however, primarily for financial reasons, I have been removed from the hair industry and haven’t done much to upkeep my color or style. It’s too much money to spend when I know I will need to go back in to have the color fixed in a matter of weeks, so this time I opted for a more natural option to try at home. I have tried several times in the past to color my hair myself with boxed dyes from drugstores, and every time the job turned out terribly and I had to spend far more money getting it fixed professionally than I saved. Boxed dyes are the enemy, but this time I did it different. It’s called “Light Mountain” Natural hair color and conditioner. It was very inexpensive, I purchased it at the Wedge co-op in Minneapolis for $6.99. It is made from henna, a flowering plant that has been used as dye for tattoos, fabrics and hair since Ancient Egyptian times. It is all natural, with no ammonium or peroxide, and USDA certified organic. After being reassured it wouldn’t cause any dramatic change and it was very conditioning, I decided it was worth a shot.
It was a fairly easy process to set up with very clear directions, boil water in a non metal container and mix in the powdered plant mixture, stir thoroughly and let set for about 30-45 minutes. The smell was a little funky, very hippie-esque and not chemical like a boxed dye. The mixture was a bit intimidating in color, a dark green with a lumpy consistency, but vigorous stirring smoothed it out to a more desirable texture.
Applying it was a bit messier than normal boxed dyes, it is a much thicker mixture than any color I’ve worked with before and it doesn’t blend into hair strands quite the same way. Care must be taken to ensure no clumps fall out and stain carpet or clothing. My roommate Katie helped to work it through my hair to ensure even coverage.
Definitely kind of gross in appearance, but overall pretty fun to experiment with. After letting it sit in my hair for just over an hour, I hopped back in the shower to shampoo it out. This was the tricky part. It was messy, making my shower look like it was covered in mud, and it took two shampoos to fully clear all the product that caked on to strands. It was conditioning, but I still used my own conditioner to smooth out my hair. The plant smell also lingered for a few days even with shampooing. It’s not unpleasant, just different from what I am used to.
The end result: Richer hair color without a dramatic change or any catastrophe. What I would do differently next time would be to buy an even darker shade to have a bit more dramatic of results, knowing that the color isn’t damaging or extremely permanent.