Going Red: One Year Later (Part 1)

It’s been a whole year since I took the plunge and went RED with my hair color. I have promised a post on why I went red in the past, so naturally the year anniversary is the perfect time to give you all the sordid details, LOL. I’m breaking this into a 2 part post because it got a little long! ;)

In all seriousness, here are actually a couple of reasons for the change and both are health related.

Reason #1:  The last time I colored my hair with chemicals (with over the counter hair color) back in November 2010, my scalp burned & tingled & felt white-hot. Scared me to death!!!! It got me to thinking that I might be just a little too vain trying to cover up all the grays and left me asking myself if coloring my hair really worth risking my health over? So I started researching problems associated with chemically coloring your hair and the symptoms people were experiencing. In one story I read, a woman had been coloring her hair since she was 18 but when she turned 38 she went in for a routine “touch-up” and ended up in the ER with her scalp blistering and hair coming out in clumps! Not what I call fun or worth covering up a few gray hairs!! This condition is known as Para-Phenylenediamine or PPD. I also found out that most stylists end up with cancer too!

Reason #2: Now here’s a personal note that I didn’t share while it was happening because it was just too much to handle at the time, but while I was preggers with Cavebaby, someone very close to me was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has since recovered. Before it was all over she had a double mastectomy along with chemo and radiation treatments. Afterwards, she & I were discussing the different factors and possibilities we believed that could have lead to her cancer. One such factor was about 6 years before, she began getting her hair colored with 2 or 3 colors each time at about six to 8 week intervals. Now she doesn’t go anywhere near the stuff because of the adverse reactions to the chemo and that it could cause the cancer to come back.

So all this got me to looking for natural alternatives to coloring your hair. I knew about peroxide and lemon juice, but in my Google search I came across coloring your hair with henna on The Henna for Hair website. I’d heard about henna years ago but didn’t really know that much about it other than it turned your hair red. I’ve always wanted to become a redhead! My grandmother was a redhead and I have always love auburn red. (Anne of Green Gables anyone?) After reading and reading The Henna for Hair website, I decided to order a couple of samples to test on my hair. Let me just stop here, if you didn’t catch it from my #1 reason above, but my hair was chemically fried light blonde. I was a little nervous about using henna on my fried hair because of the warnings I had read on coloring your chemically treated hair with henna. As stated on the warnings page, if you purchase “colored” henna from a local health store, your chemically colored hair will at the very least turn green and at the very worst come out in clumps – again not my idea of a good time, so do your research. If you are so inclined to try hennaing your hair, which I highly recommend obviously, please do your research and educate yourself. :)

Since henna is a plant and each crop contains different amounts of Lawsone, I wanted to see the differences in the different batches you can buy. As recommended on the Henna for Hair site, I collected a few bundles of my hair from my hair brush while I waited on the samples to arrive. Once they arrived I followed the instructions and reviewed the results. Overall I really didn’t learn that much from my samples, LOL, other than my hair turned slightly varying shades of bright red. Although I couldn’t tell that much difference in the samples, I decided on a batch to purchase and went for it with about 2″ of new dark-blonde growth and the rest being chemically treated fried light blonde.

Disclaimer Notice: This post is in no way paid for or sponsored by Henna for Hair, Mehandi.com, Catherine Cartwright-Jones or anyone from the Henna for Hair website. I am simply giving you the names and websites of the products I used and my experiences with them.