Red in the head...
9:21 a.m. - 2007-07-26

Being pregnant takes a toll on my body image. I'm swollen, getting fatter every day, and my face looks like it belongs to a fifteen year old teenage boy who slathers grease on his face every fifteen minutes for the to make his cystic acne more prominent. Yuck.

So about a week ago I decided to make a change. I've read about henna for years, always thinking that it sounded interesting but like a big commitment. I never managed to work up the nerve to slather my head with 5 or 10 pounds of mud and leave it there for upwards of 4 hours. Plus, I'd heard that it was really messy, stains everything it touches, and doesn't smell all that hot.

But it's safe to use during pregnancy, all natural, and makes your hair and scalp healthier. And all of the pictures I saw showed shiny, gorgeous red hair, and I've always wanted hair like that. So I did some more research at this site, figured out how much I needed and placed an order.

It came within a week, and I decided that I'd use it the next day. I talked Alan into helping me with it because I knew there was NO way I could manage by myself. So the night before, I mixed up 250 grams (my hair is SUPER thick) of body art quality henna with about two and a half small bottles of lemon juice (until it was about the consistency of cake frosting) and let it sit for thirteen hours while the dye released.

The next morning we armed ourselves with lots of towels, latex gloves, a brush, a comb, saran wrap and plastic shower caps. I sat in a chair in the bathroom while Alan sectioned my hair off and slathered the goo (which smelled not unlike wet hay and the inside of a horse barn) all over my hair. When he was done my hair felt like it weighed about 20 pounds. We piled it on top of my head, wrapped it with saran wrap, put a plastic shower cap over that, and then a thermal shower cap (acquired from my grandmother) over everything. And then there was nothing to do except wait.

I'd planned on doing some cleaning while the henna did its job, but it only took about half an hour before my head started hurting. I decided the time would be better spent relaxing, so I watched some t.v., read a book, played on the internet, and watched the clock like a hawk. I'd planned on leaving it on for 6 hours, but after four my head and neck were hurting so badly that I couldn't stand it anymore.

Rinsing it out took nearly as long as getting it in, and by the time I was done my shower looked like they'd filmed that scene from Psycho in it, only with brownish blood. I got out to go blow dry my hair, but running the brush through it revealed that I hadn't even come close to getting everything out, so I had to go rinse some more. Half a bottle of shampoo and conditioner later, I decided that my hair was as clean as it was going to get.

My first glance in the mirror while it was wet told me that it had worked. My hair was definitely red. I got the top half dry, and surveyed the dye job. Alan had missed a couple of spots near the roots, but parting my hair a different way hid that nicely. The color was a vibrant reddish orange, but everything I'd read said that it would darken and lose the brassiness over the next couple of days.

Now, two days later, I like it even more than I did in the beginning. The henna picked up on my natural highlights, so it looks quite natural. And the shine is incredible. It SPARKLES in the sunshine. My split ends are gone. (The henna coats your hair with a protective sheath.) It still smells like wet hay even after two washings, but I'm sure that'll go away in another day or two.

All in all, I really, really like it. I've got enough left to do it again in a month or so, and I'll probably keep it up for even longer than that. My neck muscles were incredibly sore the next day, but the soreness is gone now.

Two thumbs up!

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I am: so very many things. A mother, a wife, a dreamer, a lover of animals and babies, a friend. I've been called a bitch, but if that's what you call someone who stands up for what they believe in and refuses to settle, then I guess the title fits.

loves: my family, horses, a full night's sleep, puppy breath, my daughter's laughter, thunderstorms, bubble baths, makeup, soft sheets, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, wine, massages, the written word, and sour straws.

dislikes: closed minds, depression, pimples, extreme heat, math, panic attacks, black licorice, doing laundry, white chocolate, gin, Bush.