Hair colouring is not really new. Much before the ammonia-free mixtures came in, henna, walnuts and indigo leaves were used to add some shine and colour to the hair. Today, this trend has caught on in a big way and more often than not, people complain of damage to their tresses caused by these dyes and colourants.
Permanent dyes and colours actually work by changing the structure of the hair. It strips off the outermost layer, in an uneven manner, in order to penetrate the inner layer and even heavy hair creams cannot undo the damage as they last only for 4 to 6 shampoos. Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain tells us of various alternatives and tips to remember to get gorgeous coloured hair.
* Amla is said to control greying. Drinking the juice of one raw amla with a glass of water daily is an effective way to keep your black tresses shining. However, it is necessary to dilute it with a glass of water for proper absorption. Amla can also be added to henna powder. Since, henna leaves a reddish brown colour on white hair, and doesn’t colour dark hair, you can soak a handful of dry amla in about 2 to 3 cups water overnight for a nice brown colour. Next morning, strain the water, but do not throw it away. Grind the amla and add it to the henna powder along with 4 teaspoons of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons oil and enough amla water, to turn it into a thick paste. Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply on the hair, so that the entire head is covered. Keep on for at least two hours and wash off with plain water.
* Try and use henna if possible. It is a natural alternative to colourants and is a wonderful conditioner for the hair, with protective and restorative powers. In other words, henna can be used to bring back health to damaged hair and restore the natural acid-alkaline balance to the scalp. It has the ability of coating each hair shaft, thus adding strength, thickness and body to the hair. It is also a powerful natural cleanser. It cleanses without disturbing the natural balances. It leaves the hair healthy, clean, shiny and easy to manage. Just make sure that your henna powder is a dull green.
* These days natural hair colours are available in the market, take the example of Colourveda. It gives the hair a blackish brown colour and contains natural colourants like henna, indigo and catechu (kaththa). To use it at home, soak the hair colour in luke warm water to make a paste. Apply the paste immediately on hair with rubber gloves, evenly from top to ends. Leave it on for 3 hours. Rinse off thoroughly and use hair dryer for 1-15 minutes to get better results.
* These days, modern colourants made from vegetable dyes are available in the form of hair mascaras. They are somewhat like crayons, which are used to streak strands of hair. If you only need colour to hide your greys then opt for hair mascaras as they are much easier to use and remove and the effect lasts till the next shampoo.
* Just in case you are going for the permanent or semi-permanent colouring options at home, remember to condition your hair before and after colouring and protect it from the harsh rays of the sun with the scarf as sun exposure can affect the colour. Also, avoid conditioning your hair with henna soon after.