DIY Henna gloss treatment, 101

7U6A7019Hey there guys. How are you all? I’m pretty good. I’m just sittin in my little blogging corner in the window of the gallery at Vain Beautyworld, waiting for my next client to come in for a touch up trim. I just took a sip of my coffee and their was a long hair floating in it. #hairdresserproblems

Today, I have some info to share with you about Henna.

My first henna experience was a disaster. But it was not the henna’s fault. I can blame no one but myself. I put henna on top of my hair that had been bleached with Sun-in and permed, and henna turned my hair green.

I have shied away from the fine green powder since then. I’ve encountered henna-d hair in the salon many times, and had to explain to clients that when you want to color over henna, there is just no telling what can happen. Sometimes, it is no problem. Sometimes, hair melts off. A strand test is a MUST.

The outcome of henna on previously colored hair is totally dependent on several things……. Is the henna pure or cut with other ingredients? ( If it is advertised as anything other than ‘red,’ it has other ingredients that can react strangely when applied on hair that has been previously color treated.) Does your hair have buildup from very soft or hard water? has your hair been treated with other chemicals in the past? Again, a strand test is a MUST when using henna over color treated hair, or when trying to color over henna. It is not impossible to have good results, but it is better safe than sorry. #strandtest

For the first time in my life my hair is all natural, with a tiny bit of bleach on some ends. I had been reading a lot about henna on Natural Hair blogs. I liked what I read about using henna as a gloss and moisturizing treatment rather than a color. What finally got me on board was Curly Nikki,  who swears by henna treatments to strengthen and add shine to her curls. She convinced me to try it in her book Better Than Good Hair.

henna color“….Henna also helps protect hair from sun damage. As a matter of fact, Henna has gained commercial leverage as a hair conditioner and to stimulate hair growth; scientific studies have even proven that Henna is a better hair conditioner than other commercial conditioners. Regular use texturizes hair, giving it more body and making it visibly fuller.”

-Mountain Rose Herbs

How does henna work?

Henna is another name for a Lawsonia plant. When activated with water, powdered Lawsonia produces a red-orange pigment that bonds to the cuticle of the hair and coats it, much like a protein treatment with added color. The longer it stays on the hair and skin, the more pigment it leaves behind, thus the redder it will be and the longer it will stick around. Here is a bit more on the subject.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 10.53.44 AMA light henna treatment will coat the hair gently to strengthen it and leave behind a subtle, translucent red gold shade. To the experienced hair color-er, a good solid 8WG.

I decided to try a henna gloss treatment. Here is what I learned…..

Henna is kind of magical. Henna is messy. Henna will stain your hands. I like how it smells, you might not. Henna is weird to apply, and next time I will use conditioner instead of oil to give it more slip for an easier application.

beforeAll of this said, it was an adventure, I felt like Cleopatra applying herb paste to my head, and I loved the results. I have done it 3 more times since! Here is a before and after, which shows you the subtle red prettiness and shine that the henna imparted which was the perfect winter hair perk up. The color has faded back to my natural with just a whisper of extra gold, which I’m totally cool with. I did a little ombre on my ends the other day, and It was no problem. BUT, I did do a strand test first, to be sure:)

What you need for a henna gloss treatment?

Step 1.

A plastic color bowl and brush.

Apple Cider Vinegar.

A measuring spoon or scoop.


Your favorite hair oil ( I used my Beautiful Curls hair oil which I love.)

Hot water.

Saran wrap or a processing cap.

A scrub brush for your hands.

Henna ( I used Avigal, which is a great quality henna that comes in many shades and is easy to mix. I ordered it from Amazon, and it came 2 days later in a 17 oz can that was lovely to behold. )


 How to do a Henna Gloss treatment


Step 2. Use your scoop to measure 3 tablespoons of henna powder with 1 tablespoon of hot water.

Step 3. Mix in your color bowl with your color brush.

Step 4. Measure 1 tablespoon of hair oil.

Step 5. Mix it into your henna.

Step 6. Measure 1/2 tablespoon of Vinegar. Mix it in.

Step 7. Measure one spoonful of honey.

Step 8. Mix it in.

Step 9. Mix everything into a smooth thin paste.


Applying Henna

hennaapplyFolks, It seems there is no easy or mess-free way to apply henna. Don’t let that stop you though, just be prepared for a bit of clean-up and have a good scrub brush and soap ready to thoroughly brush your hands off after applying your henna so that they don’t get stained!

Step 1. Begin by brushing to the henna into your roots at your hairline. Avoid getting it on the skin around your face, it will stain.

Step 2. Apply it to the roots on the sides.

Step 3. Apply it to the roots along the back hairline.

Step 4. Starting in the front on one side, work henna through small sections of hair, starting at the roots, pulling it all the way through the ends.

Step. 5 Work your way around the head, applying henna through small sections.

Step 6. Once done applying it through small sections, make sure the ends are all well covered.

Step 7. Check all throughout, making sure there are no dry spots.

Step 8. Admire yourself for a moment. Not often do we get to rub mud on our own heads.

Step 9. Gather all the hair in the back and twist it into a bun.

Step 10. Cover hair with processing cap or wrap Saran wrap around your head.

Step  9. Scrub hands thoroughly with soap.

Now, put a beanie over your plastic wrapped head and let the henna sit for a 1/2 to an hour. Depending on how much color you want. For a very deep red, leave the henna on over night.

When you are ready, jump in the shower and rinse the hair really well. Use a castille soap like Dr. Bronners to wash the remaining henna out of the hair. Finish with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.

xoxo, HTHG

Guest Post…..DIY Coconut Sugar Perfect facial cleanser!

Reader Submission!

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 3.28.02 PMThis post comes from AJ in Reykjavík, Iceland! She wrote in to tell me how much she was loving her ShamPHree hair, and wanted to share this recipe for a DIY facial cleanser.

*The Photo came from a sugar scrub recipe on a blog called Doula Notes. Yum!

” I’d like to share with you my latest recipe for facial cleanser. I use it twice a day ( ok, I plan on using it twice a day… But sometimes.. you know:)

Coconut Sugar Perfect Facial Cleanser Recipe


2 tblsp coconut oil
1 tblsp honey
1/2 tblsp sugar
1/2 tblsp baking soda
2 drops sandalwood EO
2 drops orange EO
1 drop lavender EO

How to use it……

mix, I saw you already know about the “mixing coconut oil and honey”-problem, apply generously to face, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse with a wash cloth and warm water. Afterwards I moisturize with coconut oil+lavender EO. My skin has never been better, I’ve been following this routine for years and haven’t bought any commercial skin care products. And haven’t missed them.”

Herbal Facial Steams!

Reader submission!

7U6A3540This is a comment left by an HTHG reader Danielle on last months Tea your Hair post! Danielle is developing a line of medicinal products and medicines that you can check out here:)

I loved the idea of herbal facial steams and so appreciated the great info and step-by-steps so I thought I’d share with you another great way to use herbs in your personal beauty routine. You can do this technique as you are brewing your Hair tea to get more out of your herbs!vin5

Here is a list of great Beauty Herbs that can be used for Hair and Skin wellness.

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 12.19.32 PM

And here is a great recipe from a cool Natural Beauty and wellness blog!



Herbal Facial Steams

Hi there! Just wanted to say thanks to HTHG for this amazing post, and wanted to share my herbal experience with you as well! I’m an herbalist in WA state, and have been incorporating herbs into by beauty routine for a long time. The results are always astounding, and HTHG has highlighted some powerful herbs for hair.

To take using herbs in hair one step further, I incorporate the herbs into a facial steam, and then use the resultant tea from the steam in my hair routine. Below are the steps I take, approx once every 2 weeks. This provides me with a great facial, plus enough tea to last for a while…I’m lazy so I don’t want to make tea every time I want to ShamPHree… To complete this pampering cycle, allow approx 1 hour from start to finish:

1. Cleanse your face with your favorite exfoliating scrub
2. Tone the face with your fav toner (or use one of HTHG’s infused vinegars or rose hydrosol!)
3. Choose your herbs of choice from this article (I personally like hibiscus, horsetail and lavender). Place them in a large stock pot with water to cover. Bring this to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and steep the herbal tea for 5-10 min.
4. Get a towel to create a tent over your head to trap steam. Remove the lid from your herbal tea and steam your face for 5-10 min)
5. Splash cold water on your face.
6. Follow this up with a clay mask..kaolin clay is nice for dry skin, while green clay is good for those with oil…let sit for 10-15 min.
7. While your mask is sitting on, take some of the warm tea from your steam, and place in another cup with some green tea leaves. (I use this as a facial toner; green tea is anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory).
8. Strain the rest of the tea from your steam and use it instead of water in your BS or ACV rinses for your ShamPHree routine!

Then, when you run out of tea for dilution, it’s time for another facial! I feel that this method really utilizes all aspects of the herbs.

Have fun with the plants!


5 holistic tips to make your hair grow faster.

longer hairToday we will be delving into some light science to talk about ways to support healthy and rapid hair growth. If I could find the secret ingredient to making your hair grow faster and turn it into some sort of pill or goo, I would be the richest and most loved woman on the planet, next to Oprah. The truth is, it is much more complicated than that.

There are many variables that contribute to healthy and rapid cell division or ‘mitosis.’  Mitosis is when your cells split apart and form new cells, or regenerate. These regenerating cells are the building blocks of the protein that make up our hair. To ensure rapid and healthy mitosis, the first ingredient is healthy circulation.

For the systems of your body to run smoothly, you need a steady circulation of blood. Your blood is what distributes oxygen to all your organs, allowing the ‘breath of life’ to infuse every part of your body. Cells, like every living organism, need oxygen to generate. Are you following me?

On the most basic level, the best ways to ensure healthy circulation throughout the body are to get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet. ( Here is my recipe for juicing for faster hair growth). Once you have that part down, you are ready for 2nd ingredient for optimizing healthy and rapid hair growth.grow hair, grow

Fact. Cells divide faster when they are heated and/or stimulated. This is valuable and undervalued information when we are talking about hair growth. Although you can not get your hair to grow inches overnight by putting a hot water bottle under your pillow while you sleep, you can help stimulate mitosis on your own head by using the magic of heat and friction together. What are the best ways to stimulate your hair with heat and friction?……Drum roll please……..

1. Brushing. It is proven that tension stimulates cell regeneration. In the same way that cross-fibrous massage helps to heal torn ligaments, brushing your hair creates stimulation and tension in your hair follicles, where mitosis happens. You will see your hair grow more rapidly if you brush your hair daily. Yet another reason to brush your hair! Check out this article for some info on my favorite hairbrush ever made:)

2. Heat+scalp massage=Optimal conditions for healthy hair growth. When you combine the stimulation of massage with the warmth of hot oil, you get a powerful punch of growth support. Here is how to do it.

Heat a teaspoon of Coconut Oil in the microwave or in a double boiler until it is fully melted. Let it cool until it is warm to the touch, then add a couple of drops of Organic Rosemary Essential Oil.

Give your scalp a vigorous hot-oil massage with your fingers for 5 minutes. Then, soak a medium sized towel in hot water, wring it out and wrap it around your head. Keep it there for 10 minutes.

Remove the towel, and finish with a thorough brushing to pull the oil down into your ends. Then ShamPHree out the oil, using nice warm water. Do this once a week. I promise you will see results. And, you will feel like the queen of self-love.

3. Circulation-inducing foods and remedies. Some foods promote circulation throughout the entire body when eaten. These foods include oranges, ginger, dark chocolate, cayenne pepper, and sunflower seeds. Here is an article on the subject. 

There are many powerful herbs that increase circulation when applied topically. The best herbs to increase blood flow are cayenne pepper, rosemary, ginger, and cinnamon. Here is a list of all my favorite herbs for hair and beauty. You can easily make herbal infusions to use on your scalp in your own kitchen. My favorite way to infuse herbs for my hair and scalp is to make hair tea and use it as a rinse.

Another great way to use herbs to stimulate hair growth is to make infused scalp oil. To do this, get a small dropper bottle and fill it half way with your herbs, and then top it off with your favorite light oil. I like to use olive oil for infusions. Put the top on the bottle and then let it sit in a warm place for a couple days. Use it in your hot oil scalp massage!

Along with circulation stimulating foods and remedies, it is very important to make sure you are getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet, because this increases general efficiancy within the systems of body. Loading up on antioxidants keeps everything running smoother, in general. Horsetail is a plant that is literally packed full of silica, which is Nature’s most powerful antioxidant. Horsetail tea has been used for thousands of years as an antioxidant and hair growth stimulant. Drink up!

4. Drink plenty of water. Filtered water. This one is a no-brainer. Staying hydrated optimizes your body’s performance on all levels. Filtered water is better. And Alkalized water is the best. If I could afford a Kangan water machine I would go for it because the water it churns out is amazing. Until then, I drink my filtered water with a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to help alkalize my body and increase absorption.

5. Protection and regular trims. If you want long healthy hair, it is important to protect it and treat it nicely. This means protecting your hair while you sleep, adopting a less-is-more hair care routine (like ShamPHree! :) , and getting regular trims. Does your hair grow faster if you trim it? No. It doesn’t. But your ends will split and break at the same rate that your hair grows after it reaches a certain length, if you don’t trim the split ends off regularly. So it is fair to say that your hair grows longer and healthier with regular trims. Get a regular trim every 8 weeks. I do mine myself…..Here is how.

Part of protecting your hair is avoiding certain ingredients in your hair care routine. Most important ingredient to avoid, if you ask me, is silicone. Once upon a time, silicone was the golden child of hair product ingredients. When processed into a nano-particle, silicone coats the hair and fills in gaps where the hair shaft is damaged, rendering a perfectly smooth and shiny hair strand. This is a nice short-term fix. In the long term, silicone seals out moisture, making hair brittle and dry and dull. Yuck. Look for silicone on the back of all your product bottles. Ditch ‘em if you see it in the ingredient list. Dimethicone too, while we are on the subject. And basically anything that ends in ‘icone’

If you crave the silicone effect, my favorite natural alternative is the lovely Argan skin and hair oil from Maijan.

This wraps up my advice for making your hair grow faster. If these tips don’t work, well I’ll be darned. They will work.

Do you have any tips or ingredients to add to my list? I’d love to hear them! Grow hair, Grow!!!

Need some more help growing out your hair? Check this post out!

xo, HTHG





Rough it Up hair mud for fine hair and max texture.

roughStoked for this one, friends. As you know, I love tinkering in the kitchen with ingredients and making hair products that actually work really well. Here is DIY hair product success story.

Every so often, a game-changing hair product graces my hands. The first one was a thickening spray for blondes by…….I can’t even remember the brand. It is discontinued anyway. Then Vain had their own product brand and they made a shine spray called Glass Blower. It blew my mind into shards of glass.

Then, there was the B&B curl creme. Then Aveda anti-humectant pomade. Then Cusco-Murphy Alley paste (discontinued because Kusco and Murphy broke up) then, Deva Curl Set it free spray. Most of these products I still use to this day on clients, although many of them have been reformulated into slightly less great versions of their original selves.

As a consumer, re-formulation can be a real bitch because essentially you end up paying the same amount of money for a product that is no longer what you expected it to be. We fall in love with products because they are what they are and once in a while they are perfect for our unique hair. Until they get reformulated. Then they become something else. And no one tells you. You just start to notice that it doesn’t work like it used to.

One day, Murphy of Aussie product line Cusco Murphy started a line called KM. They launched with several products, one of them called Gritty Business.

Gritty business was the perfect blend of gritty sandy mud that gave the hair perfect dry texture and matte finish and never got greasy or too heavy. For short hair and textured styles, It worked like fine concrete dust works in the hair of Engllish brick-layers. Thick, gritty, perfection. And it smelled all earthy and great like Nag Champa.

Then one day, out of the blue, it smelled like dish detergent and felt oily and made the hair limp and sad. And I shed an internal tear for short fine hair everywhere. (At least we still have Pine Tar! Check it out:)

7U6A0666So I decided to figure out how to make Gritty Business myself. And I tried several different times. And then, I nailed it.

IMG_1152Now, I use it on my newly-short haired man and my fine haired kids and for mustache taming. No not my own! Although I’m almost 30 and I am growing one all of a sudden. This mud is the perfect all purpose product for making too-clean hair look a bit dirty but not in a greasy way. Think dry matte finish clay-wax. You are gonna love it.

Here is how to make the mud.

Rough it Up Hair Mud!

manmudHere is what you need to get started.

A small container with a lid. You can use a small squatty jar of any kind. For this recipe, you will need at least a 3 oz container.

A tablespoon.

A pan to double-boil in.

A fine strainer.

You will need the following ingredients which can be purchased online or at your local Apothecary or natural foods store. These ingredients are great to have in your DIY hair apothecary so they are definitely worth the investment……..

At least 2 oz of raw Shea Butter

A chunk of beeswax ( We use about a tablespoon.)

Essential oil scent of your choice. ( I use Nag Champa oil)

A tablespoon of Myrrh Gum Powder
. ( A tacky resinous coarse natural powder )

A teaspoon of Arrowroot Powder

A teaspoon of 100% Pure Bentonite clay.

A teaspoon of Baking Soda.


1. Assemble your ingredients.

2. Combine your powders and set aside.

3. Grab your strainer

4. Combine about an 2 ounces of Shea Butter with a tablespoon-ish chunk or scoop of Beeswax in a double boiler.

5. Slowly melt them together.

6. Slowly stir them as they melt into one smooth golden liquid.

7. Put the strainer over your liquid and pour your powder mixture into it. Slowly sift powder into liquid.

8. Use a fork to stir in powder until it is smoothly blended.

9. Add a couple drops of your scent and stir in.

Now, pour your mixture into your container and set aside to cool. It will be dark and muddy with a smoothly blended but grainy texture and a heavenly smell.

Let it sit in the fridge overnight to harden. Now, use a little finger scoop of it any time you need some texture.

Please try this one and share it. It is a really great natural hair product! YAY!

Want more DIY hair remedy inspiration? Check out Liquid gold curl butter, Sea Spray, Honey silk and shine, and Babe Air vinegar rinses!








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