Women have dyed their hair since forever and henna is one of the oldest natural dies. It can be very easy to mix and get the colors you want after a few trials. Luckily, there are some natural ingredients that can help it activate faster and stain the hair better. One such ingredient is Cajeput essential oil, along with others.
This article is all about darkening your hair color naturally, with henna and essential oils. Right from the first paragraphs, you’ll find many tips and useful information.
Find answers to how to use it for the best hair care and color, and why use Cajeput oil for that purpose. The connection lies in the chemical composition of the essential oil. I will tell you more about it in the first part of this post.
You will also find a how-to guide and a blend recipe in the second part of the article for darkening your hair color. The usual tips will not be missing, of course.
Mastering the use of henna may seem tricky now, but whatever “mistake” you might do, it can easily be corrected. That is the advantage and disadvantage of henna, if you like. The color might not last as long as you would want to. Or it may last too much, depending on the result. Just remember that it is all natural and safe for you and your hair.
Q & A about Using Cajeput Essential Oil in Henna Paste to Darken the Hair Color Naturally
Chemical dyes have been in the spotlight for quite a while in the past years. In the meantime, things progressed and the population increased. The demand became higher so companies had to do something to meet those demands. So they turned towards chemical and synthetic ingredients.
You all know how that turned out! Nowadays, people are more and more preoccupied with their safety and health. Because of that, they want to use natural products as often as possible. Whether it’s for food or cosmetics, natural ingredients will always be the best option for a healthy lifestyle. And now, they are more expensive too.
The advantage of chemical dyes was that they lasted longer and they were easy to apply and re-apply. Chemical hair dyes damage the hair on a deep level, so henna, which is a natural dye, is back in trend.
Henna may be easy to use, but it takes some practice at first. It never usually works the same for every person. The sex, age, condition of the hair, and the environment, are all factors that may influence the resulting color. The way you prepare your blend also matters for the end result.
It may be a rather lengthy dying process, but the benefits are well worth it. Your hair, not only will it be beautifully colored, but it will also shine and recover after all the chemical products it has seen over the years.
What is Henna and why use it for hair coloring?
Henna is a plant that grows in the Middle East, South East Asia and North Africa. It has been used as dye for centuries. Women would dye their skin, hair and nails with it, while merchants would dye their fabrics with it. Its botanical name is Lawsonia inermis and it is red.
Because of that, for dark colors you’d have to blend the henna with indigo, cassia or moss powders. You will also have to add some Amla powder to these darker pastes to fixate the color better.
Henna is all natural and non-toxic, and it also lasts quite a while on your hair. Once you’ve dyed your hair with henna, you should be waiting for at least 2 months to be able to use a permanent dye again. Semi-permanent dyes will catch on quite good, but you might have to apply them two times. This information is for those who are not content with their first results.
Before beginning to dye your hair with henna, keep in mind that there are many factors that can influence the result. From your original color, to the way you mix your paste or how long you leave it to macerate.
How warm it is when you dye the hair and for how long you leave it on, also matter. Darkening your hair color with henna may take up to 8 hours, and the process can be very messy!
So, why go through all that trouble?
- You’ll stop feeding your body harmful chemicals.
- You’ll have a shinier and thicker hair all the time.
- You can control the tones in your hair and the whole color.
- You will also have more natural body and a stronger hair root.
- Your hair will fall and break less.
- The scalp will produce less sebum.
- Henna can protect against fungi and bacteria that cause dandruff.
- Can also protect against lice.
- Your hair will be protected against UV rays too.
All these benefits really seem to make the effort and time worthwhile, doesn’t it? Well then, keep on reading to find out more.
Things to know about darkening your hair color with henna:
- You must mix henna (red) with indigo powder to get cool, dark colors.
- You must also add in some Amla powder to help the indigo fixate better.
- Henna keeps on depositing color as you continue to apply the paste on a regular basis.
- You must not wash your hair with shampoo for at least 2 days after dying it.
- You must always use some acidic substances to help the henna activate its dye. For that you can use lemon juice or vinegar when you make the paste.
- The paste can also be made with whole milk to make sure the henna doesn’t dry out the hair too much.
- You must also add in your paste certain essential oils to help the pigments stain the hair better. Cajeput essential oil is one such great oil that can help you get darker colors. It also brings a whole lot of benefits for the scalp and the hair, and for the mind also.
Why use the oil of Cajeput in your henna blends?
Cajeput is an essential oil and all essential oils have their own chemical structure. There are two classes of molecules and chemical substances that make an essential oil. They are non-terpenoids (less important) and terpenoids. The latter class is also called terpenes and have many health benefits. These terpenes are:
- Menthol, bisabolol, timol, carvacrol (alcohols).
- 1, 8 cineole (eucalyptol), linalool, menthol, santalol, borneol, and terpineol.
- Limonene and pinene.
- Citral, geranial and geraniol, thuyone, and camphor, etc.
Cajeput essential oil contains 50 – 65% eucalyptol, linalool and terpineol, among others. These constituents will enhance the effects of the henna paste.
They will add disinfectant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they will also improve the microcirculation. That will oxygenate the hair roots better and feed them more nutrients. That way your hair will also manage to grow easier and stronger.
Tea Tree has been found a bit more powerful in staining, but its smell is not exactly the best. Cajeput smells a lot better, so it is preferred because of the perfume and its high content of eucalyptol.
Henna doesn’t dissolve in water. It needs to be mixed with a mild acidic liquid to activate its dye. Adding some Cajeput oil in your paste, will help it stain the hair more deeply.
Other essential oils you could use for the same effect are:
- Tea Tree,
- And Lemon Verbena.
Others essential oils may be added too but some can cause scalp irritation, so be careful what you add. Better do a bit of research in advance. All these oils can help darken the stain of the dye on your hair.
How to Apply Henna Paste on Your Hair to Darken Its Natural Color (Short Guide)
Even if you know all the above mentioned details, and take all the right measures, you will still have to adjust your recipe. Especially after the first trial. It’s just how henna works. It’s a good thing if you think about all the ways you can personalize your henna blends!
You can also control all the colors and shades you can get in your hair. Somehow, I think (and hope) you will not mind trying until finding that perfect color for your hair. I know I don’t! 🙂
But let’s see what exactly you could do to get the best of your henna next time you try to darken your hair color.
Prepare your ingredients
You should know that the natural color of your hair will influence the final color of the henna. The fairer the color, the redder it will look after applying henna. Keep applying it until you get a dark, auburn red. You’ll then be 1 step closer to a beautiful brown color.
For hair that’s already brown, you can nail the right color even from the first try.
- True henna (red) Lawsonia inermis.
- Indigo powder Indigofera tinctoria.
- Amla powder Phyllanthus emblica.
- Whole milk.
- Lemon juice or apple vinegar.
- Cajeput essential oil.
- Protection gloves, plastic wrap, towels, etc.
Prepare the coloring paste
This is quite a fast process. You’ll just have to keep in mind a few things and you’ll be done.
- Mix the henna (red) in a separate bowl with milk and lemon juice.
- Add in the Cajeput oil and keep it stored in a warm environment for 24 hours. It takes this long to activate its dye. However, it will start losing its staining power if the paste is kept unused for three days!
- Mix the indigo powder in another bowl and leave it to activate for 3 hours. You can mix it just like the henna (with milk, lemon juice and Cajeput essential oil). The more indigo you add to your mix, the darker the color you’ll get.
- After the 3 hours have passed, you can combine the two pastes and mix very well until you get a thick, yogurt-like consistency.
Apply it on the whole hair and roots
Make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried with a towel. The hair still needs to be damp before applying the henna paste for it to spread easier.
- Apply a thick balm on the forehead, ears, behind the ears and neck to prevent skin staining. Also, wear clothes you can stain.
- Use a spatula or put on gloves and use your fingers.
- Start in the middle of the hair with a strand, cover it well with paste and then roll it like a tiny nest. Go on with all the hair strands and roll them around the initial strand until you make a bigger “nest”.
- Wrap all the hair in plastic wrap to keep it in one place. That way the scalp will produce heat that will help all the nutrients seep deep into the scalp and hair. Henna dye (aka lawsone, the main constituent in henna) will infuse the hair without altering it chemically or permanently. Hair is known to grow faster in warm environments. Henna dye doesn’t spread on like ink; it penetrates deep into the keratin to stain.
- The paste looks like mud and wears down on your hair and head. However hard this might be, you should keep it on for 3 – 8 hours. Yes, it is a lengthy and messy process! But, for a really dark color, it is necessary to keep it on for as long as possible.
Removing the paste
It can take a while until you manage to get rid of all the hardened paste in your hair. You could moist the hair in a smaller basin or bucket for a few good minutes. When the paste starts to fall off, you can rinse your hair with warm water only! Do not use shampoo for another two days. The color will darken within 48 hours.
If you’re not satisfied with the result, you can start applying another mask afterwards. You could make yourself a gentle shampoo with Amla powder for instance, to preserve the color for a longer time. Or you could apply a new treatment every month or so.
Blend Recipe for a Darker Hair Color
- Henna: 100 – 300 grams
- Indigo: 100 gr – 300 grams
- Amla: 3 – 4 tbsp. (for the indigo powder)
- Cajeput essential oil: 2 – 8 drops/2 tsp. of powder.
- Milk: enough to get the right consistency.
- Lemon juice from 1 lemon.
- Sugar: enough to get the right consistency.
The first step is to make the henna paste in a separate bowl and leave it on for the night. Then, prepare the indigo paste, in which you add Amla and the rest of ingredients as per suggestions. The sugar needs to be added after you’ve mixed the two pastes together to get the desired consistency.
The quantity of powders depends on the length of your hair. The total should be split into one third henna and two thirds indigo + Amla. Generally speaking, 200 grams (around 7 Oz.) of powders would be enough for shoulder length hair.
Like I said, it takes a bit of practice and getting used to all the process to nail the right nuance for your hair and complexion. And who knows, you might even come to like a certain tone better than what you first wanted.
Don’t forget to write down everything you add into your paste and in what quantity. Also write down the results of those measurements, so you know how to adjust next time.
The use of essential oils and especially Cajeput essential oil is very important. Especially if you want to get a really good stain. Every single ingredient you add into your henna paste will be beneficial to your scalp, hair, health and mood.
Essential oils have the ability to influence the mood and relax the body. It is exactly what you need to help you calm and really take that time off while dying your hair naturally.
Have you ever tried dying your hair with henna and essential oils? How did it go? Did you learn something new, something that I didn’t cover in this post? Please share as I am very curious and interested in learning all the tips and tricks for a great hair color too.