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Friday, January 8, 2016

Mixing henna during Winter

This past month has been unbearably cold in the Henna Caravan office. We have radiators going all day to keep our toes and noses warm. How cold is it, you ask? We won't tell you. Our midwest and east coast friends will make fun of us for being wimps. Suffice it to say that the adhesive has come home for a sleepover until the warm weather returns.

You may not know this, but adhesive isn't the only thing here that dislikes the cold. Henna is not a fan either, and mixing paste when the weather gets chilly can be frustrating and confounding if you don't account for the few degree difference.

Why does heat this matter? Here's a quick visual of what henna molecules do in different temperatures. (totally scientific examples, we swear!)

When henna is warm, its Joan dancing at the holiday party!

When henna is cold, it has this face.

So, what is the best way to mix henna when the birds fly south for the winter? Our advice is pretty simple- keep it cozy.

You need:

incandescent light source
digital thermometer

When its in the 20s and 30s outside, your home temperatures are a little less predictable. You may keep your heat or radiator on low overnight but blast it in the morning and evening. You may like it to be a bit more roasty toasty with the temperature set up near 75, but there's a draft through that old door. Its important that your henna have a steady, warm temperature to sit at.

Here's a few tricks to help find a nice place for your henna bowl to sit no matter what the weather is doing outside.

  1. Stove Light - we make a tower of bowls and canned goods to make sure our henna has a steady temp during chilly nights. 
  2. Oven Light - a cool oven with the light on will make just enough warmth for your henna to process consistently even if your house is very cold. 
  3. Gooseneck Lamp - this kind of lamp can be positioned easily, and as long as you have an incandescent bulb it will provide a steady source of heat to keep your henna from becoming too cold.
  4. Next to your electronics or appliances - many people have a cozy spot on top of or near their refrigerator or other appliances that stay on all the time. 

These places all give off a bit of steady heat. That will ensure the molecules in your henna are doing their business, and not just sitting around.

Places that are NOT good to warm your henna, even though they seem like a good idea the first time your try.

  1. Oven on "warm"- that's about 200 degrees and will cook your henna!
  2. Microwave- don't nuke your henna!
  3. In a double boiler- it will cook your henna!
  4. By a window- the window will by much cooler than any other part of your house, and the temperature will fluctuate more as the sun comes and goes.
  5. Your Car - in the summer your car gets way too hot, in the winter it gets way too cold. brrrr!
So, snow bunnies, what other challenges can winter weather bring? 

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