Colouring of the hair is not really new. Since ancient times, Henna, Walnuts and Indigo have been used to colour hair and add shine. Today, hair colouring has caught on in a big way and various types of semi-permanent and temporary colouring methods are available. But a word of warning–hair colourants and dyes can cause a lot of hair damage, by drying up the hair and damaging the follicles.
The Sultana of beauty, Shahnaaz Husain shares some points on colouring your hair at home.
Permanent dyes and colours work by changing the structure of the hair. They actually strip off the outermost layer, in an uneven manner, in order to penetrate the inner layer. Semi permanent methods, like hair rinses and creams, last for 4 to 6 shampoos. They also work by penetrating the outermost layer of the hair, but do not cause as much damage as the permanent dyes.
Modern colourants made from vegetable dyes are also available in the form of “hair mascaras.” Hair mascaras are somewhat like crayons, which are used to “streak” strands of hair. They can disguise strands of grey hair quite effectively. They also help to add glamour to the hair, by giving strands a different colour from the normal hair colour. They can be used to sport a different look, just for fun, or to add another dimension to one’s looks. Hair mascaras are temporary methods of colouring the hair. They are easier to use and remove and the effect lasts till the next shampoo.The main advantage is that they assure safety from damage to hair structure and texture.
“We have also formulated Colourveda natural hair colour, which gives the hair a blackish brown colour. It is 100 % chemical-free and totally natural. It contains natural colourants like henna, indigo and catechu (kaththa). It also contains extracts that are beneficial to the hair. To use it at home, soak colourveda hair colour in lukewarm water to make a paste. Apply the paste immediately on hair with rubber gloves, evenly from top to ends. Leave on for 3 hours. Rinse off thoroughly and use hair dryer for 1-15 minutes to get better results.”
Amla is said to control greying. It is said that having the juice of one raw amla added to glass of water daily helps to control greying. “It is necessary to dilute it with a glass of water for proper absorption. It can also be added to henna powder. However, henna leaves a reddish brown colour on white hair, but it will not colour dark hair.”
“If you wish to colour the hair with henna, soak a handful of dry amla in about 2 to 3 cups water overnight. Next morning, strain the water, but do not throw the water away. Grind the amla. To the henna powder, add the ground amla, 4 teaspoons each lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons oil and enough amla water, mixing into a thick paste. Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply on the hair, so that the entire head is covered. Keep on for at least two hours and wash off with plain water.”
Make sure that your henna powder is of good quality. It should be a dull green colour. “We have used henna along with extracts of amla, brahmi, bhringaraj, bael, etc., to restore health to the hair and control hair problems.” You can test henna by the colour and its typical fragrance.
Wear rubber gloves to apply henna and put a towel over your shoulders. Use a tail comb to part the hair into sections. Apply the henna on both sides of each section and wrap it around the head, till the entire hair is covered. Wear a plastic shower cap over this.
One of the main benefits of henna is that it is a wonderful conditioner for the hair, with protective and restorative powers. In other words, henna can be used to bring back health to damaged hair and restore the natural acid-alkaline balance to the scalp. It has the ability to coat each hair shaft, thus adding strength, thickness and body to the hair. It is also a powerful natural cleanser leaving the hair healthy, clean, shiny and easy to manage.
“If you go in for permanent or semi-permanent colouring at home, these important points should be kept in mind”, says Shahnaz.
- The eyes should be protected from all colouring agents.
- Also, keep them away from the reach of children.
- If you are colouring hair yourself, read the instructions carefully.
- Condition the hair before and after colouring.
- Do not have your hair coloured, and straightened at the same time. You should wait for at least six weeks between the two processes.
- Protect your hair with a scarf from overexposure to the sun after colouring, as sun exposure can affect the colour.
- The first time you have your hair coloured, it may be a good idea to have it done at a beauty salon. This way you can see the procedure.
- It is best to use colourants which do not contain ammonia.
- If you have used a chemical colourant, avoid henna hair conditioning soon after.