Free Herbalism Class at The Sojourner!

Free Herbalism Class!

Intro to Herbalism – Teas – Infusions

Saturday, June 16 at 12 PM – 1 PM
Open to the Public

Hosted by: The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions
414 Evans St, Greenville, North Carolina 27858

252-758-7656 (SOJO)

Free Herbalism class at The Sojourner with Courtney Varnadoe

Join local herbalist Courtney Varnadoe for a FREE community herbalism class! Reclaim the people’s knowledge and practice of gentle healing with the earth.

During this talk I will be discussing basic at-home herbalism, and demonstrating the preparation of teas, infusions, and decoctions. Be prepared to take notes; I may have instructional take-home booklets for sale (to cover the cost of printing) after class, but it’s not a guarantee!

A message from Courtney:
I spend a lot of time thinking about purpose, values, career, and how I’m supposed to align all of those major things into one life. I’ve felt for a long time that humanity needs a revolution that inspires us to connect with the world around us, and protect it from people who would do it harm.

Getting to know plants, how we can use them to help us, and how we can help them is, to me, an integral part of that process. I’ve been holding classes on how to use herbs for many years now, but recently I’ve come to a realization: If I’m truly going to spread this message around, and possibly help people take control of their health and lives within their means (in a healthcare and cultural system that makes it unreasonably expensive to live a healthy life) I’m going to have to make it accessible to absolutely everyone.

So here we are. Starting now, I’m teaching these classes for free to anyone who shows up. No, I’m not a doctor, physician, or healthcare provider of any sort (And I have no interest in becoming one) but I do seek to remind people that there is an entire spectrum of healing. And partnership with the Earth and it’s bounty is a part of that.

~Courtney

Tips/donations are appreciated to further my work, but **not required!**

The Sojo News: First Friday Drum Circles, Closed Memorial Day

Happy Summer, Sojourners!

Happy Memorial Day! The shop will be closed in observance of the holiday on Monday, May 28th. We also wish Jupiter Melchizedek a very happy upcoming birthday!

Starting Friday, June 1st during the First Friday Art Walk, (6:30-until) we welcome Love Joy Drumming in partnership to host a drumming circle, free to all. When the weather is nice, find them across from the Sojourner in the grassy lot on Evans street (where the hammocks are located.) Alternate rain location is inside the Sojourner. We will be open until 9:00 during First Fridays throughout the summer.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in liquid and bars – 6 scents

We are packed to the rafters in beautiful new merchandise to kick off the summer. Natural locally-made soaps, bug repellents, and bite soother spray is a must have around these parts. We’ve expanded our apothecary to include 6 scents of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soaps in both liquid and bar form.

Natural Bug repellents at The Sojourner

While you are enjoying the outdoors, remember that burning Ceremonial White sage is a deterrent to uninvited guests at the cook-out, namely the mosquitoes, and we have plenty!

Ceremonial White Sage bundles to repel banefulness of all sorts – especially mosquitoes!

Books and decks are fully stocked, and we have an abundance of beautiful statuary, including most of the Greek Gods of Olympus, and many Norse, Celtic, Hindu, Buddhist and Egyptian Deities.

Egyptian Statuary at The Sojourner

Prisms, dream catchers, light catchers and wind chimes are a lovely addition to the windows and patios this season.  Lanterns, bamboo wind chimes, crystal prisms and strands of bells adorn every arbor of the shop this season!

Dream, Light and Wind Catchers at The Sojourner

Shoyeido all-natural Japanese incense is now back in stock! We have restocked favorites from their daily incense line (Including Nokiba/Moss Garden, the most popular) Kyoto Moon, Zen incense, and Jewel series, along with incense ash, bamboo charcoal, and ceramic incense bowls. We also have a new boxed incense to try, Madoka, which is formulated to produce less smoke than other incenses. This brand is truly high quality and my absolute favorite, and I have been proud to watch our selection grow over the years! You have to come try it out if you haven’t!

Shoyeido Incense restocked at The Sojourner

A note: Yes, these incenses are around $5-$6 for a standard box. They contain no synthetic ingredients or smelly charcoal/saltpeter. However: They contain 35 or more sticks per box! In comparison to our $2.00 eight count boxes of nag champa, they are the higher quality *and* the better deal! 🙂 Something to consider when making your next purchase.

Shipments expected this week:

  • New stones in tumbled, raw and flats of specimens
  • 4mm and 8mm stone bracelets in many new varieties
  • Back-flow incense cones and new burners

Come see us soon!

Product Spotlight: Smoke Cleansing Supplies

This week in the shop we are offering our 20% off sale on all of our smoke cleansing supplies.  White sage, sweetgrass, lavender, rosemary, juniper, cedar and many more cleansing and purifying herbs are  rolled up and tied into bundles and then carefully burned in a variety of rituals. So why don’t I use the more accepted term smudging? Smudging refers to a very specific Native ritual that is closed to outsiders. Members of the Neo-pagan and New Age movements have borrowed this term for the act of smoke cleansing. In reality us non- Natives should stick to using smoke cleansing as our term as we don’t actually smudge anything. Using the word ‘smudge’ in an incorrect sense can slowly over time erase the actual culture basis and be harmful to the Native population as well.  In the same vein, White Ceremonial Sage has been harvested and over harvested to support the increasing demand from the New Age and Neo-pagan movements. I always suggest you support ethical harvesting in all of your plants, and remember that in Eastern NC you can grow white sage for a season and have enough to dry and use all year. This keeps the plant from becoming severely endangered and adds a personal element to your sage bundle.

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Loose White Sage- Photo from Mountain Rose Herbs

 

Smoke Cleansing for those not in the know, is a way of removing any baneful energies from your space. I always say that its like energetic sweeping. It completely clears and resets a space. This is very beneficial to do! Good energetic hygiene as it were. Customers at the shop always ask if there is a special way to cleanse using these bundles. They want to know if there’s a super secret chant they must say for it to work, or a prayer to recite. Like most of my personal feelings on witchcraft and spirituality related issues, its all a matter of personal preference, tradition and doing what feels right. There’s no right way to light a hunk of herbs on fire and waft it around your home. As long as you don’t set anything on fire, I think you are doing it right.

Rule 1. There are no rules

Rule 2. You make your own rules.

Each different herb is going to have slightly different meanings and uses, they will also have different smells. White ceremonial sage is the most popular, most well known. It also has a specific odor that can be a bit much for sensitive folk. If lighting a bunch of herbs on fire and waving their smoldering remains through your house is not to your taste, we have Palo Santo wood that has a softer sweeter smell, or copal resin. We even have cleansing sprays that are smoke-free for those asthmatic Sojourners. AS always, anyone behind the counter is ready and able to help you answer any questions and we can steer you towards the herbal bundle that best fits your needs.

-Liz

 

Book Sale!: Top Three Summer Picks

We’ve hit one of my favorite weeks of the summer sale: Books! Glorious, crisp, brand-spanking-new books, discounted without the mega-corporate stench of big retailers. The Sojourner will be giving 20% off all books and calendars through Friday night, making this a great opportunity to stock up for summer reading and crafting (Of all sorts!)

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We have a large and varied selection of specialty books, on topics such as paganism, wicca, druidism, asatru, herbalism, shamanism, tarot, runes, meditation, crystals, and many more! Definitely the largest selection of occult books in Greenville, NC!

Summer, to me, screams “Plant! Create! Prepare!” The Earth is overflowing with an abundance of plant life in our backyards, parks, forest paths, and wild places, providing so that we may thrive now and prepare for the barrenness of the winter months to come. There is no better time to brush up on herb craft while you are harvesting, drying, and daydreaming of fully stocked apothecary shelves! I also like to think ahead to the coming late-summer and autumnal sabbats and festivals, giving myself time to create and prepare meaningful celebrations and activities for friends and family.

So, prepare yourselves: Here are my top three user-friendly summer reading picks! (If I had the time it’d be top thirty!)

#1: Llewellyn’s 2016 Herbal Almanac: Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

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Llewellyn has a wide and varied array of yearly almanacs, for topics ranging from astrology to magic to sabbats, and my favorite: Herbs! This almanac is full-t0-the-brim with crafts, activities, information, and articles perfectly relevant to this abundant time of year. It is organized into thirty short, interesting articles that are great for readers who prefer occasional reading. The instructions for the crafts are clear and concise, and often written by notable, published authors in the pagan community. It is priced at $11.99, and is a must for anyone looking to fit herbalism into their summer schedule!

#2: The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, & Brews by Scott Cunningham

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Scott Cunningham is widely regarded as one of the most accessible authors in the pagan community. This book is a classic for those looking to create their own incenses, anointing oils, bath salts, inks, sachets, ointments, and more, all with a spiritual purpose and meaning. This book is a compendium of recipes, making it a great expansion for those who may already own the Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs or Magical Aromatherapy by Cunningham as well. Be prepared to put those plants to use when you crack this one open! Cunningham’s books are also well-known for being well-priced, and when you apply our sale to the cover price of $16.95, it’s hard to pass up!

#3: Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials Series: Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas

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Llewellyn has recently created a line of adorable, pocket-sized reference books for each sabbat, and I find them invaluable for quick information when needed! Lughnasadh, or Lammas, is the next sabbat approaching us, and this little book is packed with history, references, ideas, and suggestions to flesh out your celebration! For those who like to procrastinate, it also contains a couple of pre-written ritual celebrations for those practicing alone or with a group, including written invocations and prayers. For those going the less formal route, recipes, crafts, and activities are also detailed to make the day special without a bunch of fuss! I really cannot recommend this little series enough, especially for pagan parents seeking to explain and celebrate the sabbats with children who need a basic introduction. At $11.99, it’s worth a look!

The summer is our slowest time of year, so please consider stopping by and checking out what we have to offer. Comfy chairs and good smells free of charge. 😉

Happy reading!

Courtney

Product Review: Shoyeido Daily Incense Series

There are few sensual treasures in this world as great as incense. The gentle wafting of smoke in the air, the lingering aroma, the feeling of presence in a space otherwise unoccupied… Incense has been around as long as humans have been torching their surroundings, and (Fortunately.) greatly refined over time.

The product of that refinement can be found in many commercially available incenses on the market today; But if you are looking for a high quality, low smoke, masterfully blended olfactory symphony, you will eventually find yourself staring down a box of Shoyeido.

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Shoyeido is a Japanese koh incense company that has been around for centuries, passing their techniques and recipes down over time. Their processes and scents have truly been refined into an art form. With respect for the environment, Shoyeido uses only natural materials in their incense. With respect for culture, they encourage the world to contemplate the Ten Virtues of Koh*. Incense ascends past a simple consumer “fragrance” product, into the realm of true spiritual and sensory experience.

Shoyeido offers many incense lines, but today I will be breaking down and reviewing their most popular series: Shoyeido Daily Incense.

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The daily incense line consists of eight uniquely blended incenses crafted from high-quality natural materials. Each scent has a Japanese name and English interpretation of the name printed on the front of a beautifully colored box. If you examine the ingredients listed on each, you will find that many of these scents are composed of five or so similar ingredients: Sandalwood. Cinnamon. Clove. Camphor. Patchouli. Yet each variety, only enhanced with few extra spices, is remarkably distinctive in it’s scent and presentation.

Daigen-koh: Great Origin

“Sandalwood and cinnamon combine to promote comfort and insight.”

30 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, cinnamon, camphor, and spices. The stick itself upon first lighting is more reminiscent of campfire than the other blends; Very woodsy, without a strong presence of other scents. It almost seems to be a smoky cedar, but as it burns the sandalwood comes through more strongly in the background. This incense is clearly suited to those who enjoy the smell of a wood burn more than sweet sandalwoods or florals. As a result, this scent does not have a strong presence in a room much longer than the burning time.

Hoyei-koh: Eternal Treasure

“One of Shoyeido’s oldest recipes, to nurture abundance and fortune.”

40 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, clove, cinnamon, and spices. This is what I would consider your basic incense. It’s smoke is balanced with a strong presence of cinnamon and sandalwood, counterbalancing each other to create that unique smell which I associate and name purely as “incense.” As it burns, the cinnamon really comes through as the strongest note, without that “mom’s making snickerdoodles” feeling. It strikes me as a great incense for housework, a true companion in solitude lending our daily work a subtle layer of significance and meaning.

Nokiba: Moss Garden

“Sandalwood, patchouli, and benzoin mix to create a light hearted mood.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, benzoin, patchouli, and spices. This is, by far, our best-selling Shoyeido blend. And why not? It’s scent is utterly enchanting, not unlike what I imagine an enchanted forest filled with night blooms might smell of at night. It’s scent is sweet without the sickly feeling of synthetic incenses; A great replacement for the blue-box nag champa addict. The scent is indescribable based on it’s contents, though it is closest to a musky, sweet sandalwood (Due almost certainly to the presence of patchouli.) with some hint of a mysterious floral in the background. If you try no other scent in this series, you must try Nokiba if for nothing but to wonder how they created such a stick without sneaking in any less-than-natural ingredients. It has a great presence in the room, and a long hang-time; My house often smells of Nokiba twelve to twenty-four hours later!

Kyo-nishiki: Autumn Leaves

“Created to inspire one’s inner spirit, a blend of sandalwood and cinnamon.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, benzoin, and spices. This stick is a straight-up physical manifestation of fall. We’re talking hot chai lattes, decomposing leaves, and light sweaters. The spice aspect of this stick really comes through the sandalwood base, with a vanilla undertone that is so completely reminiscent of the last few months of the year. It smells almost like baking, if you’re looking for the “mom’s making snickerdoodles” feeling mentioned before. It is a great stick to burn for company, as it lends an air of sneaky warmth and coziness to a space that will encourage guests to an at-home comfort. It’s smell slowly tapers throughout the day, with evidence lingering in corners and small spaces a delightful amount of time.

Kin-kaku: Golden Pavilion

“A recipe of patchouli and cinnamon, to create a positive atmosphere.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are cinnamon, sandalwood, clove, patchouli, and spices. I would consider this incense to be a more elevated version of the Hoyei-koh incense. The presence of cinnamon is in the front, with a little bit of the enchanted sweetness behind Nokiba bringing up the background. It is truly a noble, zen-inducing incense, well suited for temples and sacred spaces. It invokes a feeling of harmony and serenity unmatched in the previous blends. This incense lives up to the seventh virtue of koh: When it is plentiful, one never tires of it. Daily use cannot diminish the presence of this incense, which we burn near-daily in The Sojourner.

Kyo-zakura: Cherry Blossoms

“Rhubarb, clove, and cinnamon merge to inspire awareness and regeneration.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, cinnamon, benzoin, clove, and spices, but you would swear there was cherry tree hiding somewhere in this box! There is a sweet, fruity and floral tone to this stick that is quite unlike it’s predecessors, and reminiscent of a tree in bloom. The wood in this stick is only a base, setting the stage for the other notes to intermingle. There is a truly resinous quality to this also, thanks to the benzoin, which has thus far been indistinguishable in the other blends. If you are looking for the smell of a cherry slush, you thankfully will not find it here. What you will find is the sweetness that scent memories are composed of, respectfully hearkening to a scent that truly exists only in it’s natural form.

Gozan: Five Hills

“A blend of clove and sandalwood promotes an air of calm and contemplation.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are sandalwood, patchouli, clove, and spices. The clove and benzoin really come through in this blend, whose presence during it’s burn time is really quite strong. As it burns, the sharpness of the resin dissipates into a sort of crisp herbiness, not unlike cardamom. This blend is serene like a rainy day, yet more internally energizing than the others in my point of view; As it hangs in the air, it seems to remind you of what you needed to do that day, and why you needed to do it. It is one of the more expensive in the series, reflecting the higher quality of ingredients contained in each stick.

Haku-un: White Cloud

“An earthy-sweet scent to help bring a moment of peace and solitude.”

35 sticks per bundle.

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The listed ingredients are benzoin, sandalwood, clove, camphor, and spices. This incense is the most expensive in the series, and rightfully so. The blend is so masterful that it is truly difficult to pinpoint one major scent. It is truly it’s own being. There is something very chai-like about how it hits your brain, the complementary nature of the clove and spices really coming through. Honestly, lighting up a stick of this incense is an event for me. It seems to change the longer you “listen” to it, the longer you experience it, and this continues even after a stick is long past burned. It is a true balance of wood, resin, and spice, and I cannot recommend it enough for someone who is truly interested in experiencing incense as an entity itself, rather as a background to other tasks. Meditation and contemplation are fine companions to this unique stick.

I’ve been enjoying incense for over seventeen years so take my word as you will, but there is no comparison to experiencing these scents for yourself. Every person, and every memory and experience unique to that person, will change the response to and enjoyment of every stick of incense. I hope you will come to know and enjoy Shoyeido and all of their fine products as much as I do!

Best smells and wishes,

Courtney


*”The Ten Virtues of Koh (As written in Japan thereabout the 16th century:)

It brings communication with the transcendent.

It refreshes mind and body.

It removes impurity.

It brings alertness.

It is a companion in solitude.

In the midst of busy affairs, it brings a moment of peace.

When it is plentiful, one never tires of it.

When there is little, still one is satisfied.

Age does not change it’s efficacy.

Used everyday, it does no harm.


 

 

 

 

How-To: Hair Dyeing with Henna

Are you ready for a new look this summer? Want to avoid the harsh chemicals and cost associated with salon hair dyeing? It may be time for you to try out henna!

Henna is the common name for the Lawsonia inermis plant. This plant, when dried, ground into a powder and properly prepared, stains organic materials with a reddish color ranging from copper to dark auburn. Henna has been commonly used over the centuries to dye leather, fabric, skin, and of course, hair!

Treating hair with henna provides multiple benefits in addition to color, depending on how you prepare and apply the mixture. Henna treatments condition the hair, lend it shine and strength, help control split ends, and can help to loosen or straighten natural curls and waves.

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So why doesn’t everyone do this? Henna has a few traits you may want to be aware of before starting. When prepared for dyeing, it is a natural, chunky, pudding-like mixture that does not apply like store-bought hair dye. As a result, it can be difficult to apply and rinse out without patience. It has a natural, earthy smell that some find difficult to tolerate. It must sit in your hair for at least four hours in order for the dye to fully take permanent hold. The color will not always be a drastic change; Henna is moreso a transparent red over whatever color you already have. For blondes, henna will turn hair a fiery, ginger red. For darker colors, it may only lend a red shine in high-lighting situations. Lastly, while henna is permanent, it oxidizes over time. What starts out as a bright copper may age to a deep auburn over time. Monthly applications will build on the depth of the color in your hair, and keep it’s effects visible.

Think you’re ready to get started? Great! First, and most importantly:

What henna should I buy, and where should I buy it?

There are many products on the market sold as “henna.” You may find products claiming to sell henna in a variety of colors, ranging from colorless to red to brown to black. These products are often sold in beauty supply shops, and are not what we are talking about today. These “henna” products are almost always a mixture of cassia, henna, or indigo, with some not containing henna at all! At worst, some varieties will contain natural materials mixed with chemical hair dyeing powders. So how do you avoid this? Stick to buying bulk henna leaf powder from a herb resource, such as a local or online herb retailer or health food store. The package should be labeled with the botanical name of the plant Lawsonia inermis, and preferably with the year in which it was harvested. If you are able to look at the powder itself, it should be a relatively bright sage green color. It should smell earthy and herbal. The Sojourner carries henna in a variety of packages, all checked for quality and consistency over the years. If you are unable to make it to a local store, Mountainroseherbs.com, Starwest-botanicals.com, and Jamila brand henna powder all provide quality henna suitable for hair dyeing.

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How much henna do I need?

Speaking from personal experience, having more is better than not having enough! If you are able, go ahead and buy a full pound of henna powder in bulk, no matter what length your hair. Any excess prepared henna can be frozen and used for up to six months, and most people are able to use it up well within that time frame. Otherwise, it may be up to you to find the perfect amount for your hair. I have long, thick hair that is between 20-30 inches in length. I prepare a full pound, and normally use about 75% of the prepared mixture. Based on this, I would personally recommend at least a standard 4oz package of henna powder per every ten inches of hair. If you feel like it will not be enough, buy more!

How do I prepare it?

To prepare your henna, you will need a plastic bowl, whisk, plastic wrap, and plain bottled lemon juice. For a full pound of henna, you will need up to two 32oz bottles of lemon juice. An acidic liquid must be added to henna powder in order to release the dye. You will find individuals and articles that will recommend using coffee, orange juice, water, tea, beet root powder, and any number of other additives or liquids to help your henna release dye. I have personally found that straight lemon juice has the acid content to produce the most reliable and consistent color and dye release of any product out there. In addition, tea, coffee, and other dark liquids will not cause your henna to stain any darker or different that it would have with other liquids. Henna is a product that is easy and safe to experiment with, but keep in mind: The higher the water content of your liquid, the less consistent and reliable is the stain you will create on your hair.

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Place your henna powder into your plastic bowl, and slowly begin to incorporate the lemon juice. You will find that it drinks up a lot of liquid! Alternate adding a bit of liquid, and whisking to incorporate. Liquid, whisk, liquid, whisk, until you begin to have a mixture that resembles a thick pudding. Place your whisk in a sink, or on a non-porous surface to reduce the chance of staining any surrounding material or area. Tear off a large sheet of plastic wrap, and lightly press down to cover the surface of the henna in the bowl. This helps to prevent a “skin” of thick, oxidized henna from forming on the surface of the mixture. After this is finished, allow the henna bowl to sit in a relatively warm place to 24-48 hours. This time period will allow the acids to penetrate the henna leaf, and fully release the dye for use!

Now that you have your product purchased and prepared, it’s time to get started!

How-To: Hair Dyeing with Henna by Courtney V.


Supplies you will need:

Prepared henna. Spatula. Two or three pairs of vinyl or latex gloves. Plastic wrap. An old towel. An old shirt. Salve or lotion to prevent staining at your hair-line. Patience.

Optional: Shower caps. Plastic clips and combs for separating. Rain poncho.


  1. Wash your hair with a non-conditioning shampoo. Clear shampoos are a safe bet here; You will want to avoid coating your hair shaft with anything before applying the henna. Gently towel dry your hair, and brush thoroughly. Allow to air dry until only slightly damp. At this point in the process I like to have a friend or family member take “before” pictures of my hair. It will be easier to witness how the henna helps and changes your hair with a comparison photo!13288449_688767467941292_1117295107_o [One year since my last henna treatment. The split ends! The color transition! The dullness! The horror!]

  2. Prepare your area. A bathroom with a large mirror is the best place for henna treatments. Please avoid anywhere with carpet or expensive wood furniture! Henna will stain anything it touches that is even slightly porous! I like to cut a large trash bag along two sides, and lay it on top of my sink/vanity area. Afterward, gather anything that you will need handy, including: Gloves, plastic wrap, hair clips, combs, shower caps, prepared henna, damp rags or towels for skin cleanup, and salve.13340596_10156882629330123_1362949551_o

  3. Suit up. Wear an old t-shirt or other items of clothing that you would not mind being permanently stained. If you are able, a cheap rain poncho works well for keeping the henna off your clothes and skin! At this point, go ahead and apply salve or lotion on your face and neck from the hairline. Up to two inches is what I consider to be the “danger zone” for facial staining, while the back of the neck is almost guaranteed to endure some staining, somewhere. The ears are typically waxy enough to avoid stain.

  4. Apply the henna. Put on a pair of vinyl or latex gloves. This is important, as henna will stain skin and fingernails for up to two weeks! After donning your gloves, your technique will be up to you. If you are able, seperate your hair into sections and apply henna from root to tip. Realistically? My best hairdressing efforts almost always devolve into grabbing henna into my gloved hand directly from the bowl, and massaging/glopping/smashing it in. The goal is to coat every bit of hair, root to tip, with the henna mixture. It will be very messy! You may need to change gloves a few times to maintain dexterity.13287935_688767444607961_227206421_o[Just get it in there, any way you can!]

  5. Wrap your henna. At this point, there may be pounds of extra weight on your fully-hennaed head. I find it easiest, and most comfortable, to pile the hair as neatly as possible on top of my head. Use extra henna to sculpt and smooth it upward if you find it difficult. The Fonz is a good inspiration here. After it is piled atop, take the roll of saran wrap out of the cardboard box. Unroll a long piece, and cradle the back of your head/hair down to the hairline at the neck in the middle of the outstretched plastic, and begin to wrap from there. Try to cover all of the wet henna on your head with at least two layers of saran wrap. One continuous piece wrapped around the head two or three times provides the best strength and hold. Cut the wrap, and tuck in the edges. At this point, if you have a shower cap or two, place them over the saran wrap. This provides extra hold and support against leaks. In addition to that, I normally wrap an old towel around the other wraps. This helps keep in heat, which is good for setting henna color, and provide extra protection against dripping henna. 13313699_688767431274629_374453852_o[Try not to imagine what it actually looks like. …You did, didn’t you?]

  6. Clean up. And wait. At this point, what you have is a big mess, a wet head, and time! You will need to leave the henna on your hair for the next four hours or more in order for the dye to fully take and do its job. If you plan accordingly, you can henna right before bed and sleep with towel-covered pillows. This method also helps with the weight of the henna if you happen to have long hair.13324022_10156882629925123_655122789_o[There is unspeakable horror beneath this towel.]

  7. Wash it out. FINALLY. Step into a shower with water as cool as you can tolerate, and begin to rinse out your henna. If possible, avoid using shampoo. A lot of material will come out of your hair, but none should clog your drain. Rinse as many times as necessary, until you no longer feel grit or material in your hair. The water may or may not run clear, and this is okay. Typically, you will wash brownish, oxidized henna out of your hair three or more times, up to a week later. The smell of henna will linger for a few days; A small price to pay for the gorgeous color that awaits!

  8. Enjoy! Take an after picture, and compare your results. How does the henna affect your unique hair type and color? What differences can you note? Henna is an exercise in personal experimentation and governance over hair care. I like to use argan oil on my hair after a henna treatment to enhance the natural post-treatment softness. Whatever you do, enjoy the beauty and health of your naturally treated hair!13287920_689151494569556_1825327336_o[Before//After]

Cheers, and happy hennaing!

❤ Courtney ❤