Dye, henna won't stick!

I got my hair professionally dyed at a salon about 18 months ago. My hair then was pretty much all virgin, undyed hair. It was dyed close to my natural colour (med brown) with blonde highlights and very rich, chocolate brown lowlights.

Since then, I dyed at home with a couple of shades darker than my natural hair (permanent dye) which washed out after about 2 months (back to total bleached blonde highlights). This was about 6 months after the initial dye.

About 6 months after that, the regrowth was getting unbearable, so I got it professionally dyed slightly lighter than my darkest lowlights, but still darker than the highlights and bleached bits. That washed out after about a month. I went back to the salon who were baffled.

I tried dying at home again, which washed out quickly. Since then, I've started a modified CG method, and have started caring for my hair a lot better, but I REALLY want to get rid of these stupid blonde bits that are now sitting just above my shoulder.

About 4 weeks ago, I dyed with henna, after at least 6 months of no dying. I've had about 7-8 inches of growth since the last time I dyed.

The henna was in for 5 hours and included EVOO in the henna, then I followed with a DT. I've washed maybe 8-10 times since then, and each time, more of the henna has washed out. The blonde highlights are back to being really noticeable (albeit darker and red tinged), and generally, my hair is looking closer to natural each time I wash.

The henna isn't even sticking to my roots, which are dye free. Any ideas why dye isn't sticking to my hair? Should I give up dying and just suck up the blonde highlights until they grow out?
How did you prepare the henna?

If you add conditioner before dye release, it can kill the henna. Can you walk me through the process you used and maybe I can help?
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
How did you prepare the henna?

If you add conditioner before dye release, it can kill the henna. Can you walk me through the process you used and maybe I can help?
Originally Posted by CoCoLoCks
I used lush coco rouge (it's got all the extras added), mixed it with coffee and a tablespoon or 2 of almond oil, let the colour develop for about an hour, applied it to clean, dry hair with no leave-ins or product in it. I kept the bowl warm while I was applying it. I wrapped my hair in plastic wrap and cap.

It got heated a bit in the sun (my living room gets pretty warm, and I sat in the sun a bit because I couldn't find my blowfryer to heat it).

I rinsed under lukewarm water, co-washed with tresemme naturals like usual, and the next evening did a hot oil treatment (almond and EVOO), then co-washed.
K, I don't think you did anything wrong, but I have heard Lush henna can fade or not take at all for some reason. Which is why I don't use it. Have you been using the Lush line previously or was this the first time with it?

It also may have just been *that* batch that was bad. I usually just use henna from henna sooq, which is just the loose powder you mix up with water, not the block like Lush. I'm thinking you just may have gotten a bad batch. OR it could have gotten too hot sitting in the sun and caused dye demise.

How long did you leave it in your hair after applying?
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
LUSH has a forum on their website. You'll see the link in the upper right corner. Their hair care forum has a couple of henna threads that are helpful.

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Lush henna is probably not henna at all. You should always look for BAQ henna or else you're probably getting chemically adulterated henna or something that isn't henna at all.

Your hair has been bleached, so henna will NOT stick. No chemcial color is going to stick, either. Once you bleach your hair, pigment is REMOVED. Your hair becomes like Teflon, and bounces off any hair color you try to add. Though, once I was able to dye my hair back to its original dark brown from being a blonde. It was only that one time that worked. I think my hair was so damaged at that point from highlighting that it was super porous, and soaked up the color.

Any other time I've gone light and tried to color over that, the dye did nothing. Henna most definitely won't cling to lightened hair. You'll just have to wait until it grows out.
I've heard Lush henna IS indeed henna.

Elderflower, I think that though it is difficult for super damaged hair to hold chemical hair pigments (red especially), I had damaged super porous lightened hair, and the henna has NOT faded even one little bit.. I have NEVER had colour stay so true with no fading at all. Henna Does stick to very damaged, previously coloured hair. My level was not white blonde (level 10) but it was a medium strawberry blonde shade, a level 8.. now it is always exactly the shade in my avatar.

I think you did not get a good pigment release..

You must mix the henna the night before with an acidic based liquid so that the pigment will release. (I use about 1/3 lemon juice to 2/3 water) One hour is NOT enough time for the pigment to release!
I recommend reading this online book before you henna.. Henna for Hair

I don't know about mixing oils into henna. Oil will form a barrier to depositing pigment, won't it?? I know some girls just want to use henna for a treatment and do all kinds of chemistry experiments with conditioners and oils, but this is not really recommended if you want the best deposit. I always shampoo with a low pH shampoo before henna to make sure it's super clean, and I don't put conditioner in my hair at all. I leave my henna for 3 hours and get super awesome deposit, and no fading. I do use pure henna though.. If the henna is actually mixed with Indigo for more of a brown shade, you may experience some fading of the blue pigments over time. This is normal and to be expected with 'hendigo' mixes.

I hope you take the time to learn how henna works. It's really worth it!
Good luck.

Last edited by SusieSuze; 02-16-2012 at 12:04 AM.
Oils have nothing to do with dye release. I put oil in mine and have no problems with color deposit. Indigo is the one you have to really watch what you add to it. You don't have to add about acidic liquid either. You can let the henna sit out until dye release, OR add something acidic as far as green tea or I use raspberry zinger tea because the red of the tea does well with my henna. I don't recommend using lemon juice,it has been known to seriously dry hair. Teas or coffee are a better choice.

Because I use BAQ henna,I can only vouch for it. But I do freeze mine for dye release. Not sure if you can freeze lush henna, but I find that when I freeze it until it's completely frozen,then thaw and use,the stain is much stronger. But everyone uses different mixes,so do plenty of research.
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
Oils have nothing to do with dye release. I put oil in mine and have no problems with color deposit. Indigo is the one you have to really watch what you add to it. You don't have to add about acidic liquid either. You can let the henna sit out until dye release, OR add something acidic as far as green tea or I use raspberry zinger tea because the red of the tea does well with my henna. I don't recommend using lemon juice,it has been known to seriously dry hair. Teas or coffee are a better choice.

Because I use BAQ henna,I can only vouch for it. But I do freeze mine for dye release. Not sure if you can freeze lush henna, but I find that when I freeze it until it's completely frozen,then thaw and use,the stain is much stronger. But everyone uses different mixes,so do plenty of research.
Originally Posted by CoCoLoCks
What can and can't you mix with indigo? When you say you don't have to worry about acidic liquid, you mean that for hennaing in general or when indigoing?

I do a half and half indigo henna mix. IDK whether I'm not using enough indigo or I'm doing something wrong, but I don't notice any darkening effects from it. Could that be because when mixing my henna, I use lemon juice (watered down) and deep conditioner? I should probably try it with a simpler mix, huh?
Is your hair naturally dark? If so, you probably won't notice a huge darkening unless you do the two step henna and indigo.

Some people like to use lemon juice in their henna mix for quicker dye release, but tea will suffice just fine, and lemon will make your hair like straw. I use tea in mine,and then stick the mix in the freezer until it's frozen( maybe two hours), then thaw and apply and the stain comes out so much better.

Don't mix anything in with the half and half mix, only water. And I usually use distilled water because indigo is very finicky. The conditioner you added probably voided the indigo. No oils, no conditioner, and you'll be good to go.

Henna alone, you can mix whatever you want,it's not finicky like indigo.
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
^^^ Yeah, my hair is naturally a chestnut brown color. The henna gives it a lot of red. I was hoping to tone down the red. I'll take your advice and just use water with my mix next time. Is filtered water the same as distilled water, or should I buy distilled water? Should I get a dye release from henna with water alone or does that not matter since I'm going to be mixing in indigo later and i don't care about the red from henna?

Thanks.
Yeah you can use filtered water also,the point is to rid the water of all the nasty extra minerals straight from the tap.

Since you're wanting to tone the red down, just mix your henna with water, and immediately mix it with the indigo and apply. Leave it on for about two hours and that should do the trick. That's how I toned mine down when I didn't want the orangey color. Now I use a henna with higher dye content and it actually comes out a true Burgundy instead of the orange.
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip
Ohhh... I was hoping to get a more true dark brown result from henna and indigo. I'd rather not have any red but I shouldn't have used henna to begin with. I didn't think henna would redden my brown hair as much as it did. My goal was to color the few grays that I have w/o changing my overall hair color. I used henna that isn't... kosher. So now I'm afraid to color any other way but henna (and indigo). I don't think my henna is high dye content. It's BAQ Jamilla. I buy mehandi.com's occasionally and I do notice more red with that, but I like it b/c it gets my stubborn grays colored better.

I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing because my only alternative is doing a two-step process with indigo, which I don't think I want to do. I guess the red is not all that bad , and in the summer it gets a lot of golden highlights from the sun so the color is more subdued. Thank you for your advice, CoCoLoCks!!
Wow! There are some smart, experienced ladies here! Love it!
Gretchen
NaturallyCurly.com co-founder
3A

You are beautiful!
You're welcome!! I think you'll be fine just doing the one step,I'll try and post some pictures for you of how I did mine. Just keep in mind, henna is very permanent!! The red will always be there no matter what,but you CAN cover it with the indigo added just like you're doing. Trust me,I spent about three weeks perfecting my color. And I was doing the one step every four days! Lol it can be done is my point!

Please feel free to ask if you need anything. I knooooow how scary and unsure the henna process can be when you don't know as much as you want to know.

Hi Gretchen! Lol
25", hennahead, CO, goal: hip

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