Monday, March 13, 2006

Nature Girl

Lest you think I have disappeared, I should write about something. You probably don't want to know about how the ancient Romans "cleaned" their clothes with urine and sulfur, so I'll tell you about something just as exciting. Henna.

Yes, henna. Apparently for centuries, women have used henna to dye their hair and skin naturally, without any of the chemicals that dry out and bleach hair. Unfortunately, henna looks like baby diarrhea and smells like moldy hay. The process involves mixing up a greenish brown paste, trying not to get it on your skin, because it will, in fact, turn it orange. (With a great sigh of relief I realized that it does not turn bathroom fixtures orange.) Next you put on some gloves, and if you're me, are proud of yourself because you've created a squeezy pastry-type bag out of a sandwich bag. And then, if you're me, quickly realize that it would be so much easier to glop your muddy mess straight onto your head with your hands.

After fully saturating your head to the point where it looks like you have bathed in the banks of the Rio Grande (which consists of muddy quicksand - don't ask how I know this), you wrap your head in plastic wrap. And leave it for FOUR hours. If you're lucky, like me, you have a roommate from Pakistan who actually knows what you're doing when she walks in and see you watching Grey's Anatomy with a saran wrapped green head, and doesn't look at you suspiciously as she runs and hides.

Four hours later, I hopped (well, not really "hopped," just stepped) into the shower and rinsed off the mud, which of course splattered all over the shower. Luckily, as I mentioned before, henna does not stain tile or porcelain, but certainly gets everywhere. With great anticipation, I dried my hair and looked at myself in the mirror. What had been a faded hot pink was now a sunset-orange, much more obvious on the previously dyed portion than on my dark roots, which I had been trying to cover up. It certainly looks more natural than before, but smells "natural" too, if by "natural" you mean "moldy hay."

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