Shutdown Brings Near Catastrophe to Mom's Hair!

Along with the state shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak came a long slew of simple things missed. Simple things taken for granted that suddenly, we all had a much bigger appreciation for since we were no longer able to just go and get what we wanted, whenever we wanted it.

Last year, I recall complaining about how the people in our country seem to want everything RIGHT NOW –like fast food. And if we are told to ‘pull up and wait’ for what we want, we grumble and complain.

Working full speed ahead leached into our entire being as we raced toward the finish line of every single day. Since the shutdown, we have all learned to sit back and WAIT!

Wait for the okay to venture from our homes.

Wait for the okay to go to the store.

Wait for more toilet paper to appear on the shelves at the store.

Wait to go to work.

… and yes, even continue to wait in the drive-thru for our fast food.

Miraculously, a little time spent waiting has meant that we are all getting a little better at waiting, and are thankful when simple things occur.

Throughout the shutdown, there have been so many things to be thankful for… good health, most especially!

But sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that help get us through every day as we continue to worry about whether or not we will fall victim to this plague.

When going to the store, snagging a simple bag of tortilla chips and cheese dip would make my week. Add a stray package of toilet paper or bottle of hand sanitizer, and it’s like winning the lottery.

Unfortunately, there are some things many people are getting downright tired of waiting for. A date with your favorite barber or beautician seems to be at the top of the list, and the need is now growing to a nerve-picking grate that irritates people more than getting stuck in the drive-thru.

I could’ve made a mint over the last month offering roadside haircuts.

Don’t get me wrong…

It’s not that I’m good at the craft, because I’m not. It’s because people are desperate. They need their hair cut NOW! And some people are also in drastic need of hair coloring. In fact, the need is so great it’s pissing people off to the point of taking drastic measures.

I know I shouldn’t laugh at those closest to me in need, but I never realized how furry some people get without access to a hair groomer. One guy, I’ve recently begun calling Grizzly Adams, and my brother is looking like a 70s television star.

The fact that they aren’t going it alone makes me feel a little better about teasing them, but after recently cutting my husband’s hair, I realized how serious of a problem this is.

When one of his friends demanded, “WHO CUT YOUR HAIR?!” I shrank back from view, not wishing to get wrangled into another side job. Yanking the hat off his extra fluffy head, he added, “I need a haircut, bad! I’ll pay anything!”

Before you go on making accusations, the answer is NO! I did not cut this guy’s hair.

Even though I have been cutting my husband’s hair since we first started dating (many moons ago), I am NOT a hair stylist, and I don’t want to be a hair stylist. I won’t be responsible for making a worse mess out of someone’s bushy hair, especially after the latest hair coloring fiasco that I must confess to you…

First, you have to know that I have been experimenting with a blend of all-natural Henna and Indigo hair coloring powders way before the shutdown ever happened. After successfully using these hair products, I have been extremely happy with the results as well as the all-natural coloring method that has left my hair healthier than it has been in years!

Thrilled that the all-natural henna recipe applied gave me back the dark, auburn locks of my youth without the use of harsh chemicals, I felt confident I could help my mom out with her COVID hair-coloring issues.

Looking up different recipes, I chose a mixture of Henna and Indigo powder that would provide a lighter brown than my own, and got busy stirring up both powders to let set a few hours prior to application.

This would be the first time I let either mixes set for any length of time before applying it, and although Henna is supposed to set for a minimum of 30 minutes (and up to 12 hours) prior to using it to release its dye, Indigo powder should be applied immediately after it is mixed up.


Nowhere in my search for Henna hair-color recipes did I find the Henna boo-boos that I should have known about prior to slathering mom’s head with the stuff. But she had complete trust all would all turn out fine, and so did I.

I left the mixture on her head for 3-1/2 hours. Since the documented wait times for setting the color are anywhere between 3 and 12 hours, this time wasn’t overly long and I figured at the worst, some of the gray wouldn’t cover with this first application.

Gently rinsing the green goo out of her hair revealed a bold red color at the scalp, and as soon as the towel drying was complete, I didn’t quite know what to say.

Mom’s hair had turned a bright orange… reminiscent of carrots, or even one of those florescent-colored, construction cones.

“Ummm… it’s kind of on the reddish side,” I stammered, wondering how I was going to fix this.

Ever the team player, mom said, “A little red is fine.”

Then she went into the bathroom to take a look for herself.

“A LITTLE RED?” she cried. “This is CARROT ORANGE!”

I knew I was in deep doo-doo and had to fix this error quick, but I couldn’t help the giggle that escaped. “The good news is, nobody will see it because you can’t go anywhere,” I said, grinning.

“No,” she said, “I can’t have this.”

Honestly, if it were my hair, I think I would have been a little more freaked out. Instead, mom kept her cool as I reassured her, “I can darken it with the Indigo.”

I recalled reading something about a 2-step process that would be required to cover gray hair, so figured this was the situation we were in now. At least, I hoped that was the situation, and that I could fix it. Otherwise, she’d be getting one of those payback hair-do’s from my youth… like the ‘Frankenstein Cut’ she loved giving me throughout my elementary school years.

“Just fix it,” she said.

Mixing up another bowl of goo, I attacked her hair again.

Being Indigo is used to make the hair black, I needed to make sure not to leave it on too long, but it also needed to be left on long enough to get rid of the orange. There was no specified time indicated for fixing henna-orange hair since the timing is different for every person’s specific hair make-up, so I chose 30 minutes to start.

As her hair cooked away, I continued reading other Henna Catastrophe stories and really began to worry. One story described how using Indigo for too long on the Henna-orange hair had turned BLUE, while another claimed their gray hair turned GREEN when using Indigo without Henna.

“What in the world have I done,” I wondered, thinking this was a very stupid idea offering hair coloring to mom when I wasn’t exactly sure how it would turn out.

When I peeled the saran-wrap from her head, I noticed a section of hair that appeared a little on the purple side and just about had a heart attack. “OMG! She’s going to kill me!” I panicked, trying to act like everything was fine.

The rinsing process seemed to take forever, but I was very happy to see the orange had tamed down, and most was covered by a dull, brownish-red. Thankfully, there wasn’t any purple, blue, or green hair to be seen (so far), but we needed to do it again to get more of the red out.

After another 10 minutes of gooey hair and a little more praying, we got most of the orange out decided to let it rest for the night.

The next day, she texted me, “Can you do the front one more time?”

I whipped up another batch of my quickly dwindling, indigo powder supply hoping we had enough to get her hair colored to an acceptable shade, and went to work at the red roots.

After messing around for another 30 minutes, her hair took on a very dark, reddish-brown color that very nearly matched my own. It wasn’t the light brown we were looking for, but definitely better than the orange shade that made her perfect for working road construction!

After the hair-coloring fiasco, the first few days of seeing mom with dark hair seemed strange. Even though the color was darker like it was in her younger years, the lighter colored, beauty shop hair has been the norm.

Luckily, the Covid shutdown kept her at home, waiting… and over the last couple of weeks, the color has calmed down to a beautiful, medium-brown. You can still see the red near the roots, but it’s not too bad looking.

Now I’m wondering if she’ll keep the darker hair when the beauty shops open back up?

I guess we will see…

In the meantime, if you are wondering what to do with your graying hair during the shutdown, I can’t say enough good things about using all-natural Henna and Indigo powders. But then again, my hair didn’t turn orange.

Would you ever try Henna and it’s all-natural, color counterparts? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

#Henna #hair #beautician #shutdown #COVID-19 #Catastrophe

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Henna References and Recipes:

Chou, Rebecca, 2017, “Henna for Hair 101: Don’t Put Food On Your Head,”

Carryl, Khadija Dawn, 2018, “Complete Guide How To Color Your Hair With Henna and Indigo,”

Morrocco Method Int’l, “Luxurious Hair Care 100% Naturally, Henna Hair Dye – Light Brown,”

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