On Tuesday I received samples of the henna, cassia and buxus I ordered from Mehandi. I ordered three samples of each, just to make sure I had plenty to play with, and here they are:
The smell of each reminds me of the dried, cut grass from our fields that Mike is piling up next to the garden for adding to our compost heap, and I like it. I wonder how it smells once mixed up and wet. I'm hoping I'm of the ilk who likes the smell while it's sitting on my head.
I have a few things to do before I actually start testing colors, etc. I need to get our water tested before proceeding. Until March of this year, we had city water that was full of chlorine and fluoride - and I really hated it. But it was probably safe for hennaing hair. Now we're on well water without any chemicals, and I'm happy about that, but I'm not sure about minerals, etc. and if they are hanging onto my hair. I don't seem to have excessively hard or soft water because everything behaves just as it did in the city, but since henna and herbs can react to different things that might be holding on my hair, I just need to get it checked out. It's bad enough that I will be coloring over chemical color; I have to make sure everything else gets the green light. Destroying my hair isn't an option!
In the meantime, I've been poking around LHC a lot and found this picture from Tapioca, who said she wouldn't mind if I posted her picture here (thank you!). I really like her color, though it's darker than I will be able to go since I'm very blonde and grey to begin with. But, what I like about her color is that it looks natural and isn't too red, which is what I want. She posted her recipe:
8 parts henna
1 part cassia
1 part fenugreek (adds slip)
1 part hibiscus powder (helps smell)
I will certainly test her proportions. Since my hair is quite a bit lighter than what she started with, my results should turn out lighter, which is what I want... a light strawberry blonde. Of course I must say that I wish I had her thick, wavy hair. Just gimme gimme gimme.
This will all be experimental and I've got a lot to mess with. Getting a color I like that also covers gray could be a challenge. And once achieving the color I want, will it be difficult to maintain?
I do love being a kitchen witch, so am looking forward to experimenting and see what I come up with... stay tuned!