Henna - Light Mountain and Rainbow
by Janice Cáceres
(New Hartford, NY)
I've tried many of the natural pre-mixed products--I had most of them available to me when I owned a health food store in the 90's--but they all seemed to irritate my scalp, and they still do. So, when my hair became salt and pepper, and I started to look washed out, I decided to try henna again. I had used it when my hair was all-over dark, and loved the red highlights. I had no idea what it would do now that the dark was almost gone.
The only brand carried by my local health food store (upstate New York) was Rainbow. I could have ordered Light Mountain, which I had used before, but (typical of myself) I wanted to do it NOW!! I bought light brown, took it home and mixed it. I used some vinegar (recommended to "hold" for the gray), some olive oil (it makes it easier to rinse out), and hot, black coffee made with distilled water--not instant (the sites for henna say this does not help, but I've tried it with and without and like the results better with).
I wrapped it in plastic wrap (not exactly "green", but it works for this), a shower cap, and a towel and let it set for two hours. I washed it with Dr. Woods Lavender and Shea butter castile soap, dried it, and--WOW--it worked!
The color was not quite as deep as my natural color, but the gray was covered and it looked totally natural. The next time (6 weeks later) I got a darker shade of brown to mix with the rest of the light brown. This was two years ago.
Where I now live, the health food store carries Light Mountain--but not for gray hair--, so I just got the dark brown and used the same technique. I have been very happy with the results on my used-to-be dark brown hair. It has reddish highlights, but they are not unnatural, and the constant use has allowed more time between treatments.
I've let my hair grow to shoulder length from a short bob, and because of the coating effect, there are no split ends. I'm very pleased with a product which I was originally nervous about trying on my gray. I love Light Mountain, but was equally impressed with Rainbow, which I checked out for purity before I even went to the store (phone calls really help in these cases!)No more irritated scalp, and no more gray!
Thank you Janice for such a thorough description of your experience with Light Mountain and Rainbow henna.
Henna sounds like a great alternative for some women. There is a more narrow range of colors available but it sounds like these colors worked well for you and that it did a good job of covering the gray.