So, I am allergic to the boxed hair dye you get in the store. You know, like, itchy, can't breathe allergic reaction. Not anything to (ha) sneeze at. I am also, um, old enough to have a few grey hairs.
Oh wait...did you think this was about healthy eating or maybe a recipe? Sorry. You'll see how I got my title in a second.
Anyway, I was at Whole Foods and found a section of hair products. They had some henna dyes. I thought I would try one. (There are only TWO ingredients! Neither of which are chemicals.)
I finally had the time to try it recently. Yes, I did the skin patch test and didn't react. Good start. Oh. And did you know? I'm allergic to bandage glue. NOT latex. The glue.
Then I checked the instructions. It was going to take me at least an hour to do this. Good thing the kids were out of the house. Permanent color and kiddos make me nervous.
I started mixing the powder (yes, I had to mix it) with the water. It is a two step process, so I had to mix two types of powders to make a paste. Then I had to let them sit for awhile to cure.
Let's talk about texture first. They are to be mixed the consistency of yogurt. But after curing, they are the consistency of toothpaste. The kind you find on the counter after your kids have brushed their teeth. The kind that takes your fingernail scraping to get off.
Now, let's talk about the smell. If I were an all-natural, organic vegetarian kind of gal, I would tell you that it smells a lot like one of those green smoothies you see healthy people drinking. The kind with algae or wheatgrass or kelp. Since I'm from the midwest and I've been on a few farms, I would say the smell reminded me of a lovely mix of compost and dog poop. Or rotten hay and cow patties. Or, well, you get the idea.
Lastly is the color. I have dark hair, so I require a dark dye. The two powders are dark. Here. I'll show you.
Sorry. I didn't have the presence of mind to take a lot of pictures. I was too busy holding my breath and when I do that most of my brain cells rebel. But you can see. Step 1: Sickly dog poop color and consistency. Step 2: Decomposing plant smell and toothpaste consistency.
After all of this mixing and curing. I got to slop this stuff in my hair. The sickly dog poop step went on relatively easy. You remember the song: Some people think it's funny but it's really dark and runny.... I get to keep this stuff on for 15 minutes, then rinse with water.
The decomposing plant stuff was a little harder. I think this is where the ground henna is, because there are flakes of stuff in the paste. Now imagine trying to spread drying toothpaste in your hair. But it's green and has flakes in it. It's thick, hard to spread, and it's dropping off my head like dried bits of frosting. Everywhere. In the sink, on the mirror, the counter, the floor. Everywhere. I have NEVER made such a mess. I finally dilute it down a little, just so I can get it to permeate the crust of goo I have already applied. Much better. Throw on the plastic bag they give me for a shower cap. And I wait for at least 45 minutes to let it work.
In the meantime, I am supposed to add heat. Anybody know how hot compost smells? Yeah. As I am blow drying my hair, small rivulets of green sewage flow down my neck, shoulders, back. I throw all caution to the wind and put on my robe, knowing I very well may have sacrificed it for the temporary feeling of looking 5 years younger.
After 45 minutes of this loveliness, I take it off, and try not to gag as I get into the shower. Green has turned to black, and the water that hits the drain looks, and smells, like a cesspool. I shake off a mini-panic attack and rinse for all I'm worth. I don't get to shampoo today, because the people that make this stuff WANT me to smell like a rancid pile of grass until tomorrow. Or to let the color set. I can't decide which I believe.
I step out of the shower, towel off, and look. It hasn't covered every grey, but it is noticeably better. At least to me. Nobody said anything. I'm hoping it's because I look so natural, and not because they're avoiding the stench of fertilizer that's emanating from my head.
I still haven't decided if the time and smell was worth it. Kinda still waiting to see if I'll need my Epipen sometime in the night, too. That might be the deal breaker. If so, I can literally say, My Pride is Killing Me.
Also, if this stuff washes out in a week I will probably just throw the rest in my garden. We're running low on compost.