Henna in my hair!

So, lots of women like to dye their hair.  When I was younger I tried kool aid and also boxed dye.  As my natural color is brown, with red highlights when the sun hits it, and I liked the red highlights, I always tried red colors.  About two years ago I started reading about henna on Henna For Hair. I bought my first body art quality henna and right before thanksgiving went to it.  It turned out great.  I even had enough left over to use for root touch ups for the next 1.5 years.  My roots didn’t really show that much, just some sparkle from the gray that’s starting to slowly trickle in.  However, I wanted a change without frying my hair or my scalp. So I ordered more henna.

I mixed it with lemon juice and water and left it to sit 12 hours to dye release.

henna doing its dye release

Gathered my supplies: dye released henna, gloves to prevent stained hands, applicator bottle (can be used for roots), hair pick/comb, plastic shower cap, alligator clips to keep hair sectioned while applying henna. Plastic bag cut open to use as a cape (keeps henna off my back). Not shown, plastic wrap, paper towels, bobby pins.

bag used as a cape

my supplies



looks like mud

Clean up the henna on my ears/forehead/neck and wrap it up.

all wrapped up

paper towel to keep the drips away



All wrapped up and shower cap/ plastic wrap bobby pinned into place, then four hours until I rinse it out…. Speaking of rinsing here you go:

time to rinse my hair

this is not chocolate

second rinse

1st conditioner rinse


Am I done yet?


still not clear


Oh, come on already!


lets try conditioner again


I’ve been rinsing for an hour. That’s it, I’m done for the night.  Here’s what it looks like:


it's red!

And this is what it looked like last week:

original color

Both are pretty, but the henna adds some fiery spice!  It should mellow out in the next week or so.  In the mean time it will turn shower water yellow/orange as it finishes rinsing out.


Uh, make sure you clean out your tub afterwards if you ever decide to try this! And wipe up those henna globs on the counter and floor!


Any interesting hair dying experience? Share them in the comments!


Ice Bath

I’m in the last few weeks of training for the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Yesterday I ran 9 miles.  I haven’t run this far since the Broad Street Run.  This time around, I’ve started doing ice baths after my long runs and really tough workouts.  Basically after my hot shower, I run a cold bath with enough water to cover my legs and lower hips. Then I toss in a bag of ice and a tray or two of ice cubes.  After the first two minutes it’s not that bad (the first minute  is “oh sh*t this is cold”.  A cup of hot tea, a book to read, my clock ticking beside me and I’m set for the next 25 minutes.  This results in  not having to hobble around for the next two days from sore muscles.  Crazy? Yes.  But it’s working.   

Summer View of Pemberton House, Philadelphia, PA

Homemade Shea Butter Moisturizer

I have very dry, flakey skin that still breaks out along the T zone (thank you hormones).  I’ve tried many facial moisturizers and while I found one that works pretty well for me (Lush Skin Nanny), I don’t really like the price ($50/1.7oz.).  As my pot started running out I tried using straight pure unrefined Shea Butter.  That worked ok, but my face still felt tight and was a little bit flakey.  I decided it was time to make my own moisturizer.  After doing some google searches and not finding quite what I was looking for I put together this:

ExtraGrunty’s Shea Butter Moisturizer

1 Tablespoon pure Shea Butter

1 Teaspoon Jojoba Oil

¼ Teaspoon Glycerin

2 drops Essential oil of your choice (I used Lavender)

Using a small pot and metal bowl, set up a double boiler and bring water to a boil in the pot.  Add your Shea butter to the bowl and stir until melted.  Add jojoba oil and stir in.  Add in glycerin, stir in and remove bowl from pot.  Stir in two drops of essential oil.  Using hand mixer (I used one beater), mix until ingredients start to solidify and turn creamy.  This process can be sped up using an ice water bath.  Make sure you scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl during the mixing process as you want all of the ingredients to be evenly incorporated in the final product.  If the mixture is lumpy, it can be reheated by placing your bowl back over your pan, melting your ingredients (this won’t take long) and remixing.  Once cool, scoop into a clean container and enjoy.

I’ve been using this for the past week and it’s working great so far.  My skin is supple and flake free, it absorbs well, doesn’t leave a greasy feeling, and my breakouts seem to be lessening.  I also think it smells better than my previous store-bought moisturizer.