Tag Archive | brahmi

My Henna Mix

Continuing on the subject of hair care as I’ve been doing for the past few months, I thought I’d share the current henna mix that I’m using these days.

Of course, when you mix up your henna you can always just use the pure powdered henna leaf all by itself and that’s just groovy.

But I like to enrich my mixture with other Ayurvedic herbs as well. I think it really helps to strengthen the hair more, make it thicker as well as conditioning the scalp and stimulating hair growth.

But I wouldn’t know if that’s really true. However you can read up about how I’ve grown my hair back after postpartum hair loss…….. that never recovered.

I do experiment a lot. So three months from now I might not be stirring up the same mix anymore.

But today, these are the ingredients of my henna mix:

My henna mix Ayurvedic herbs

I have long, thick hair. So I need a total of about 300g of powder.

  • 200g pure henna
  • 50g cassia obovata

I use cassia because since my hair is black you can’t see the henna in it at all. Nope, none at all. Cassia helps to lighten the colour a bit, I don’t know how or why it works but it does.

I also use cassia so the henna doesn’t loosen my curls, because I love my curls!

  • 50g manjistha

Manjistha is an herb that dyes red. It turns my hair a brilliant ruby red. I love it!

Red hennaed hair
  • spoonful of brahmi
  • spoonful of bhringraj
  • spoonful of powdered hibiscus
  • dash of apple cider vinegar
  • a good squirt of aloe vera gel
  • hibiscus infusion
  • few drops essential oils

I mix all the powders together in a non-metallic pot except manjistha. I squirt in the vinegar and aloe vera gel.

In a saucepan I infuse hibiscus petals by boiling them in hot water. I can find these at any herb shop.

When the water is hot (but not boiling) I pour it into the henna and, using a plastic spoon (but any non-metallic spoon will do like bamboo, wood, porcelain etc.), I mix it up until it’s a smooth, dense paste.

Then I let it sit for dye release.

Different types of henna require different dye release times.

My trick for obtaining intense ruby red hair is to dye release for about 8 hours, then store the henna in the fridge until I’m ready to use it.

This seems to bring out intense tones.

Dye releasing for shorter periods of time seems to bring out a lighter, more coppery shade. Which is also cool, sometimes one does feel like a change after all.

An hour before I want to apply the henna, I pour manjistha into a small bowl. I like to add a pinch of baking soda, they say it makes for a bluer red. I don’t know if it’s true but it never seemed to hurt.

Then I add more of the hibiscus infusion I used in the henna. Manjistha only needs to sit for about half an hour to release its gorgeous, scintillating colour.

When I’m ready to apply the henna I mix in the manjistha and stir it all up together. Add a few drops of whichever essential oils I feel like.

I don’t use essential oils for the fragrance. Personally I enjoy the smell of henna. I’ve learnt to associate it with anticipating beautiful hair haha.

I use essential oils to help the henna stick to the greys which I unfortunately sport now. Fortunately, though, I don’t sport too many hehe.

And now henna is ready to apply.

And here is the result:

Hennaed red hair

Oh and by the way I purchase henna and Ayurvedic herbs from one of the many online shops that have sprung up since covid began. It has become a lot easier thanks to online shopping now to find these products than, say, 5 years ago.

You can just do a google search for these herbs. Or if you are in the US I have heard that Henna Sooq is a really neat online store where they sell everything mentioned in this post. I’ve never purchased from them before, after all I am not in the US. But if you are, I’ve heard that they are good.

So do you have your own favourite henna mix? Don’t hesitate to share it with me in the comments down below.

And while you’re sitting around waiting for the dye to act in your hair, why don’t you read one of my thriller novels? You can find out more about them here: Thrillers by Moi.

Hibiscus flowers

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My Current, Almost All-Natural, Low-Waste Hair Routine

Essential Oils for Hair

I thought I’d start off the new year with a new series on All-Natural Hair Care. So here is the first instalment.

I have been no-poo (that is, no shampoo) for about 3 years now. You can read about how I transitioned to no-poo here.

Recently I’ve also decided to add zero-waste to my hair and general routine as well. That is not the easiest thing in the world to do when you have dry, frizzy, curly hair.

Ayurvedic Herbal Powders

However, after about a full TWO YEARS! of experimenting and watching a gazillion YouTube videos, I think I’ve FINALLY found a minimalist, natural and low-waste (not zero-waste, however) hair routine that works for me.

It’s not the simplest, most minimalistic, most low-maintenance routine that’s ever existed but then again I figure girls with curly hair can’t follow the same routine as people with straight hair. Curly hair is drier so it needs more care. And my hair in particular is especially tangly (I’ve always called it self-tangling hair because it tangles around everything), with a naturally coarse, rough, wiry texture.

So here is my………

Complete All-Natural Zero Waste Hair Routine:

Week 1:

  • I begin by brushing my hair with a wooden brush. I brush it right side up and then upside down to get out tangles and stimulate hair growth.
  • Then I rub in hair oil. On the scalp I use a concoction that I made myself. In a jar I mix castor oil + olive oil + a teaspoon of bhringraj and let it sit. When I’m going to oil my hair, I just pour out the required amount into a small bowl and add a couple drops of rosemary and tea tree essentials oils. When it’s getting low on oil I simply add more oil. After a few weeks I throw out the bhringraj (I have no idea how long it would be good for though or if it ever goes bad) and add a new teaspoonful of this herb.
  • On the lengths I use coconut oil or olive oil. Then tie in a bun.
  • I leave this on for 2-3 hours. You can also leave it on overnight and sleep on it if you prefer.
  • Wash with solid shampoo or all-natural handmade soap.
  • Condition with solid conditioner.
  • Style as usual.

Hair OIling

Oiled Hair

Notes:

*I’ve been experimenting with solid conditioner for a few weeks now and I’m a bit on the fence about it. On the one hand, I like that it’s zero-waste, all-natural and silicone-free. And it smells fantastic.

But on the other hand, it takes forever to rub it through my extra-tangly, self-tangling rough, coarse hair. It also doesn’t leave my hair feeling as soft and hydrated as a cream conditioner.

I’ll be putting up a separate post soon all about solid conditioner. So stay tuned for it!

Since my hair is so naturally rough and coarse, I have a hard time trying to make it soft. If your hair is fine and naturally soft, it might work better for you though.

For this reason, even though I love the concept, I find that every now and then I still need to fall back on a creamy, liquidy conditioner in a plastic bottle, or my hair gets very dry, frizzy, flyaway and extra tangly (and it’s already tangly enough as it is!).

Week 2:

  • Don’t oil hair. But do brush it.
  • Wash with a mixture of aritha + sidr or shikakai and methi (ground fenugreek), mix with lemon juice or flaxseed gel or warm water to form a dense paste similar to shampoo. Apply like shampoo, leave on a couple minutes and rinse out.
  • Mix amla and brahmi with warm water to form a thick paste similar to conditioner. Apply to length of hair, detangle, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off.
  • Style as usual.

Notes:

*I have been using sidr instead of shikakai because I’m able to get it at the same online shop where I buy the rest of the powders. And because shikakai can sting your eyes.

I also wasn’t too wowed by shikakai when I used it before. But if you can’t find sidr in your neck of the woods, it’s fine to use shikakai as well.

Sidr is the powdered leaves of a tree that grows in Persia (Iran) and the Middle East. Like aritha, it has saponins, natural soap, so it cleans your hair gently.

To make flaxseed gel, simply boil a teaspoon of flax seeds in a cup of water for about 15 minutes. Then strain out the flax seeds with a strainer, cool the liquid down until it’s warm and doesn’t burn and use it to mix up the herbal shampoo.

Because I have curly hair using some sort of styling / curling / hold product is a must. If I want to be completely natural and zero-waste I use flax seed gel by itself. But I get bored always using the same product so I like to switch things up. Then I do need to add in some commercial product in a plastic container.

Where I Buy These Products

I buy these ayurvedic powdered herbs at an online shop here in Spain. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the presence of an Indian community in your city, they’re sure to boast physical shops where you can acquire them as well.

I’m not that lucky as there are perhaps only 2 people of Indian origin living in my part of the world. But if you happen to live in Barcelona, where I used to live, you can scout the shops of the Raval. I used to buy these herbs there.

It’s not easy to find solid conditioner here in Spain, unless you live in a large city. I don’t. But I was soooooo lucky to find an ecological, green shop downtown. It’s called Verda.

However they are also available on Amazon.

Aloe Vera Scalp Massage

Every once in a while, when I get in the mood, I’ll massage my scalp with some aloe vera gel. I add rosemary, lavender, mint and tea tree essential oils in the gel. Then I rinse it out after a couple hours in the shower. It’s a gel and not an oil so it doesn’t leave hair greasy, so it’s not necessary to use shampoo.

Aloe Vera Gel for Hair

My son prefers to do this after he washes his hair. It really doesn’t make any difference in the appearance of your hair, it won’t make it look greasy, so you can do it either way.

Henna

I henna my hair about once every 2 months. Because…….. I have a few grey hairs already! Hush, it’s a secret. Don’t tell anyone.

Hennaed Hair à la The Ring

My hair doesn’t turn out too red because it’s naturally very dark. Although I imagine if I hennaed it more often it would get redder. But I’m too lazy for that haha. It also looks redder in the sun.

Hair With Henna

I love henna hehe.

Heatless Hair Straightener

Although I LOVE having curls, I can get bored with them always looking the same and I want to change them. Then I make braids and thus stretch the hair out a bit to create beach waves.

My hair is very healthy. It’s about to the middle of my back. And I never have split ends.

So I think this routine is working quite well for me. [:smile hehe:]

And now that we’ve reached the end of this post, if you feel like doing some more reading I’ve got plenty of offerings for you. Check out my collection of thriller novels and horror stories here at Thrillers By Moi.

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