Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm a Redhead

...although I was born a brunette. I showed up via King County Adoptive Services at eight days old with a shock of dark brown hair, kind of a baby "Calvin" but brunette. If only it had stayed so nice and dark, but, alas, 40 years later it's a kind of mousy brown. So I've turned, over the years, to various methods of enhancing the color.

In the '80s I would go to the cosmetology school in the "U" district and get a "cellophane" in a nice cinnamon brown color. Later, I discovered the joys of henna, and that's my MO these days. I like it because I know what it is (ground-up leaves of the lawsonia shrub), it goes back to pre-history as a home-made cosmetic, and it smells great! Plus, I can play with additives to keep the color subdued. I add walnut hull powder, clove oil, olive oil, and use coffee instead of water. Did I mention it smells great?

Last night I hennaed my hair and I can still smell it. Oh, and it's also mildly astringent, so it's great for your scalp in hot weather (like right now). Once, a few years ago, I decided to treat myself and actually go to a salon and have somebody else do it. The well-meaning gal who worked on me took the henna mixture...and added some nasty-smelling over-perfumed conditioner to the paste. The lovely green, spicy-smelling henna now smelled like a perfume counter. Bleh. Talk about "unclear on the concept." Anyway, I feel better now.


  1. Is henna the stuff that makes temporary tatoos too?

  2. Yup. You just have to sift it really fine so it doesn't clump, plus mixing in some lime peel juice to make it darker. I have trouble getting a good dark color on my whitebread N Euro skin, but it's fun to experiment with. Also: Staining the bottoms of the feet with henna helps in hot weather to cool and disinfect! Today's trivia from the Henna Council...