Natural Cosmetic Dye for Hair and Skin
Dyes Reddish Brown
1) Mix henna powder and liquid in a bowl.
2) Use enough liquid to make a smooth, slightly thick paste - about toothpaste consistency.
3) Cover the bowl and let this stand until you see dye release (this can take up to 24 hours).
4) You will see the color turn from greenish to brownish as the dye releases.
What kind of Liquid?
You can use anything to stir up your henna as long as it's sour. Rainwater or vinegar is slightly sour. Any citrus juice (fresh or bottled) or Cola drinks will do.
You can simmer dried lemons, limes or tamarind, strain off the sour liquid, and use that to
stir into your henna powder. If it degrades the cellulose enough that the hennotannic acid
is released from the plant cells... it's good! Experiment - see what works best for you.
Here's where it really gets fun! Create your own personal blend. Mix in additives while
the henna is releasing. Potential natural additives include:
Cardamom, Cloves, Citric Acid, Herbal Tea, Tamarind, Dried Lemons, Dried Limes, Hard Candy, Honey, Angostura Butters, Okra, Egg Whites, Spit, Black Pepper, Garlic, Vinegar, Sugar, Molasses, Jaggery, Citric Acid, Walnut Husks, Walnut Leaves, Walnut Root,
Rose Petals, Lemon Peel, Orange Flower Water, Fenugreek.
How Do I Know When It's Ready?
Your henna paste won't stain your skin until it releases the dye. The "sour" in the liquid breaks up
the cellulose of the henna leaves, and makes the dye available. This takes time.
How do you know if henna has released dye? If you have your henna in a container covered
loosely with plastic wrap, the paste surface will turn brownish. That shows dye release. The
henna dye has been released, and air is oxidizing it. You can check the difference between
the brown surface and the green paste beneath by pulling some back with a spoon. As soon
as you see this brownish color, you're ready to use the paste!
If you've put your paste in a plastic baggie, (a very good thing to do!) you can see dye release a different way. Place the baggie on white paper for a few hours. Released dye molecules will pass through the plastic and leave a faint orange color on the paper: if you
see the paper turn slightly orange under the baggie, you've got dye release!