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Old 05-05-2011, 11:11 AM   #21
 
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You don't need lemon juice, etc. I used lemon juice in my very first mix and my hair felt GOD AWFUL for 2-3 weeks. It was dry and super tangly, just awful.

You typically need a liquid, I usually mix enough water in my henna to make a very, very thick paste, then I add GVP conditioning balm. I never used just henna and water. I always add conditioner to help counteract dryness, and make the mix easier to apply and rinse. Any conditioner will work fine.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #22
 
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i think the best way to know what color your hair will turn is by strand testing. it may be tendious, but imo its important.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by RawrSally View Post
Yeah, that does not sound attractive...
I read somewhere that an acid is required to help the dye release, but Mims said that she just used conditioner. Could I just use conditioner?
I think the acidity of my tap water must be enough... the dye releases just fine using that alone. I use conditioner to thin it out the rest of the way after the dye release to 1) make it smell better, 2) make it easier to rinse out and 3) help counteract the more drying aspects of henna.

As for leaving it on longer... I'm with you, Rawr. I'd hesitate to do that, afraid that I'd end up with super vibrant (AKA, bright) red hair rather than a nice strawberry blond-ish color.

The less time it's on = less vibrant red. That DOES mean that on blonder natural hair, the color leans more orange but i think that's kind of what you're going for if I'm interpreting the "ginger" request correctly lol. That super bright "Ronald McDonald" glow that was mentioned is only evident for the first 12-24 hours on my hair. After that, it tones down and is more the color I want. And since I'm just doing my roots now (I've only done my whole head once... every other time has just been roots, bc I don't want my hair to darker/get too red) it's hardly noticeable at all.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:18 AM   #24
 
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I'm looking at your avatar, Mims, and that is the color I'm striving for. How long do you allow the henna to dye release and how long do you keep it on?
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #25
 
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on that pic....

I think my henna was 50% henna, 50% cassia (helped dilute the red and bring it up to a more coppery color)... let it dye release for about an hour, left it on my hair for about an hour.

definitely at least do a test to check how long you should leave it on your hair though. I think some people's hair takes it REALLY quickly (aka, mine) and others it takes longer. it could be that you only need 30-45 minutes to get the color you want. I definitely don't think you need to wait 12 hours or whatever for the dye to release though.

FYI: this is what it looks like now, after using JUST henna (no cassia) in natural lighting... it is a lot brighter red now than it was when I first started out, since i quit cutting the henna with the cassia. Looking at that now actually, I might start going back to the cassia lol
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:39 PM   #26
 
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1.) How much does henna change your hair texture? How long does it last? I have hair that isn't fine, but isn't course, and solidly 3A, will I have a significant change in texture?
2.) How many grams is enough for extremely thick, slightly past shoulder length hair?
3.) What do you mix in the henna for the best results? Or what do I mix in if I don't necessarily want that massively vibrant red color? I want to be ginger, but I want it to match my pale, pale complexion.
4.) What hair products should you avoid in order to avoid henna changing color, fading, or just doing something funky in general?
5.) Will glycerin laden products affect the color at all?
6.) How do you go about storing leftover henna for touch-ups?
7.) Will stainless steel cartilage piercings get in the way of application?
8.) How long must you keep the henna on?
9.) How do root touch-ups work? How often should you touch up?
10.) Can you give your hair to Locks of Love if you have hennaed?
11.) How do you do a test sample? [I have hair that I kept when I trimmed my hair, do I mix up a big batch that I plan on using on my entire head, and just saturate those strands in a small amount, or do I buy a sample size and just make a tiny batch to test. Should I leave different samples in for different times? Will how long I leave the henna in determine how vibrant the color is?]
12.) I know where to buy henna, [mehandi], but I don't know which mix I should get. Can anyone help me out there?
Another inexpert person here, just telling you what I've learned - it's been a while since I've used full strength henna, so I'm probably not as clear on all the details as I used to be:

1) I think whether it changes your texture is dependent upon each individual's hair. It made mine feel a bit less fine-textured and heavier, which I could use since I've gotten older. I certainly didn't want to lose any curl, so when I was doing full-strength, dye-released hennas, I always added a little amla to the mix. It's supposed to help retain curl and tone down the brightness a bit. It seemed to do the trick for me, however, my natural hair color is a lot darker than yours anyway. As for how long it lasts, as others have said, it's permanent - you can only grow it out or cut it off. The only other alternative is to color over it - if you didn't use indigo or anything else in the mix that could adversely affect the color you end up with - or you can bleach it to lighten it. Read much more about it at www.hennaforhair.com, as so many others have already recommended.

2) Again, the henna site can help with this, as can Catherine Cartwright's e-book, available free at the site. If I remember correctly, I used half of one of the packets from www.Mehandi.com (you can get there from the henna site) for my below shoulder length hair, but I also mixed in an equal amount of cassia - I wanted the full conditioning benefits but not necessarily so much color. Also added in about about 1/4 c. indigo to make it more brown - my end result was actually a fairly auburn color on my medium dark chestnut brown hair, with warm golden grays. I'm very pale, too, but this shade and slight variations that I came up with along the way suited me. Now I'm just doing weak henna glosses to blend my grays, so it's not much different than my natural color.

3) It'll probably take some experimentation to get a color that completely pleases you since it's not an exact science. Another vote to look at all the pictures on the henna site and check out their mixes. The first time, I used lime juice as my acid (had it but not lemon). I later learned about using tea and from that point on, I just used some leftover chamomile tea since I found the juice drying and irritating. If you use amla, that also adds some acid, so you don't need much else with it. Amla can help give you less vibrant red. Adding in some indigo or buxus can tone it down even more. My mix was equal parts henna and cassia (about 1/2 c., I believe), about 1/4 of their total amount of indigo (in my case, 1/4 c.), and a couple of heaping tablespoons of amla. I added 2-3 teaspoons of table salt to help retain the indigo (about like dying clothes), then my tea and, if needed, enough water to make it about the consistency of yogurt. One caveat: withhold the indigo powder and salt from the initial mix because it releases its dye immediately, and it sort of "dies" and becomes ineffective pretty quickly. I just added it and the salt in just before I was ready to put it on my hair, adding a little more water or tea if needed.

4) I never found any products that seemed to affect the color or cause it to fade. I did tend to lose some indigo over time, so I learned to do weak glosses over the henna if it became too red over time. The main thing as far as products goes is to remember to condition very well immediately after rinsing the henna, or your hair will seem very dry. It is initially drying, yet it strengthens the hair over the time - the one thing I miss about full-strength henna.

5) I never found glycerin to have any particular effect on it.

6) You can freeze leftover henna mix, even if it has indigo in it. You'll just need to add fresh indigo when you get ready to use it since it will have lost its dye effect.

7) I don't know but would imagine stainless steel would be safe, but as Mimsy said, I think I'd cover it just to be sure.

8.) The first time, I left it on 3 hours based on stuff I read, but I later found I didn't need that long - usually an hour or so. Sorry, to be inexact, but it's forgiving, so I didn't fret about it if I was involved in something and couldn't rinse it out right away. The first time, I left it sitting overnight for about 12 hours for dye release because I thought the entire mix was supposed to completely change color. That isn't the case, or at least it never was for me. Once the surface color changed, that was good enough. That took, at most, 8 hours. You can speed it up some by using warm water/tea (not hot - you'll kill it) in your mix. Some people also set it out in the sun to speed dye release. I'd cover it to keep critters out and to keep it from drying out, but not too tightly with plastic wrap or it might get too hot.

9) I did root touch-ups when I started seeing glints of silver at my roots. If you're not covering gray, just whenever it looks to you as if you need it. If there's not a sharp line of demarcation, you can probably stretch it for quite a while with curly hair. Even when you eventually do a touch-up, you don't have to worry about overlap - it's much more forgiving than chemical color. Sometimes I just used my gloved fingers to apply it, but I actually eventually found it was faster and easier to use a clear plastic color applicator bottle from Sally's - just section hair off into 6 or 8 sections, and you can get that pointy tip right at those roots. Mix everything well before putting it in the bottle - I found it impossible to ever get any sort of dry powder to mix in well once inside.

10) I bet they'd say no unless you can educate them about BAG henna and its lack of chemicals.

11) Just figure out the proportions of everything and mix up a small batch, e.g., 4 parts henna:4 parts cassia:1 part indigo:1/2 part amla, in my case. Maybe mix up enough of that same batch that you can try different timing on some swatches/hairballs and see what difference, if any, that makes in the color intensity and tone. If using indigo, add salt but don't overworry about the quantity, just eyeball what you think would be a proportional amount

12) I didn't start with a mix kit - I ordered henna for African hair because it was supposed to adhere to gray better, and then I figured out from studying other people's pictures and mixes what else I wanted to use with it and ordered everything separately - there wasn't a "pre-fab" kit that fit what I wanted to achieve since I was trying to cover new grays at the roots and old caramel-colored foil highlights on all the rest. Again, your best bet is to look at everything you can see on the site, read up about the mixes used for those looks, and I'd also suggest scanning thru their message boards for posts that better address unanswered questions - some good info there, but it's not as user-friendly as here, unfortunately.

HENNA GLOSS TO COVER GRAYS (NO DYE RELEASE):

All this said, I quit doing full-strength hennas and just started doing weak henna glosses to blend my grays - I'd have done that from the beginning had I known about it. I found out about it from a random thread on their message boards. I just mix a couple of tablespoons dry henna, a tablespoon dry indigo, and a little salt in about a cup and a half of cheap conditioner, apply it to my roots, cover with a plastic cap, and leave it on for an hour or so. Again, mix it before putting it into a squeeze bottle, or you'll never get it mixed. I just glop it on straight from the mixing bowl now. L'Oreal Pro Vive conditioners ooze the least liquid of any conditioner I've found. I used to use the one for curly/wavy hair, but since it was discontinued, I use the other pink bottle, even though it has some 'cones - I wash my hair afterward with a low-poo that removes 'cones anyway. The next best I've found are the Biolage Conditioning Balm knock-offs from Sally's, Aldi's or Walgreen's - there are probably others. It doesn't seep much water, but I do have to do some blotting with it - I don't with the Pro Vive. With it I can just throw on a plastic processing cap and go about my business.

Sorry for the length, but I hope some of the details help someone.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:46 PM   #27
 
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Aunt, question about the gloss....

How much color does that deposit for you as opposed to the regular process? If the regular process is a 10 and absolutely NO color being deposited is a 1...
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #28
 
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Aunt, question about the gloss....

How much color does that deposit for you as opposed to the regular process? If the regular process is a 10 and absolutely NO color being deposited is a 1...
It just makes the grays a light reddish gold, which is a good fit for my hair color. There are some close-up root pictures in my Fotki, though they were taken with a phone and aren't the sharpest.

With regular henna treatments, they'd keep getting deeper and redder each time I'd do an all-over henna (only 2-3 times ever), but doing the glosses, they stay pretty consistently the same color even if I work it throughout my hair and not just on the roots.

One thing I forgot to say earlier is that when doing full-strength henna, I never tried actually putting conditioner in the mix, but I did first co-wash it out, which made it a lot easier to remove. Then I followed with the low-poo (medicated) mentioned above to better remove the residue from my scalp and make it happier. Even after all of that, I'd still get green under my fingernails for about a week if I scratched my head The double washing helped remove more of the haystack smell, too.
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Last edited by auntnett; 05-05-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #29
 
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RawrSally: Things will make more sense to you if you do a strand test, I think. At first I was totally lost when I began my research on henna. Then, I downloaded the free ebook from hennaforhair.com and read it a few times. After that I did a strand test, along with some trial and error. That is the best way to really see how your hair is going to look without doing your whole head. Just collect the loose hairs after you shower, mix a tiny batch of henna, and go to town. I think that will alleviate a lot of your questions about what the after-math will look like. It's actually fun! But longgggggg. lol
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #30
 
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Thank you all for your answers! I really appreciate that all of you took your time to help me out. I think I might buy 100 grams of henna and 100 grams of cassia and try that out.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:41 PM   #31
 
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Based on your avatar and Mims', I'd think that would be a good start for the results you're looking for.

You might even start with one part henna to two parts cassia if you're really wary. You can always do it again if you want it more intense.
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HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing then clips or clamps & air dry. Blend gray w/henna glosses

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Last edited by auntnett; 05-05-2011 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #32
 
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Now I just have to convince my mother to let me go red.
My dad is going to hate this.

Also, do I get celebration henna? Or Yemen? Or for African hair? Or Sudina? Would it be best to just get the celebration henna since I'm getting Cassia to cut it?

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Old 05-05-2011, 01:47 PM   #33
 
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Based on your avatar and Mims', I'd think that would be a good start for the results you're looking for.

You might even start with one part henna to two parts cassia if you're really wary. You can always do it again if you want it more intense.
+1. Cassia supposedly leaves just the tiniest bit of gold sheen when used on it's own, so it's not going to really add much color... just makes it more copper, less auburn red.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:56 PM   #34
 
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Now I just have to convince my mother to let me go red.
My dad is going to hate this.

Also, do I get celebration henna? Or Yemen? Or for African hair? Or Sudina? Would it be best to just get the celebration henna since I'm getting Cassia to cut it?

Maybe gradually start it with a gloss, then . . .

As for type, I don't know since they've changed things. I just ordered some fresh myself and didn't order the African this time - based on description I ordered Celebration this time since it has even more lawsone content than the African and says it covers even the most resistant grays - I have some of those buggers and thought it might work even better in my glosses. I've received it but haven't tried it yet - probably this weekend since I'm seeing a little silver!
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HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing then clips or clamps & air dry. Blend gray w/henna glosses

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Old 05-05-2011, 02:00 PM   #35
 
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Haha, it's just my dad is really resistant to change. It took him a year to get used to my hair not being straight. Going red isn't going to go over well, but this is what I have wanted to do for years.

And I think I'm just going to order the celebration henna. Should I maybe use 50 grams of henna and 100 grams of cassia? I know you can't buy henna in 50 grams, but would that be closer to what I'm striving for?
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:31 PM   #36
 
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Thanks for starting this thread, Rawr, I was trying to research this too.

Does anyone have any experience with Hendigo? I read that the indigo is not nearly as permanent as the henna and fades much sooner. What does this mean for those who want to cover gray and are very dark brown/black?

Also - I color my SO's grays too - is Hendigo too vibrant for male hair? He likes to look very natural so I use a medium ash brown on him that works well.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:27 PM   #37
 
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Originally Posted by LISA LISA View Post
Thanks for starting this thread, Rawr, I was trying to research this too.

Does anyone have any experience with Hendigo? I read that the indigo is not nearly as permanent as the henna and fades much sooner. What does this mean for those who want to cover gray and are very dark brown/black?

Also - I color my SO's grays too - is Hendigo too vibrant for male hair? He likes to look very natural so I use a medium ash brown on him that works well.
Go back up a bit and read one of Auntnett's posts. She mentions her henna + indigo experience
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:34 PM   #38
 
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Yeah, that's all henndigo is - henna + indigo.

However, based on your avatar I'm guessing you're wanting to henndigo to keep it black, and that's a different process. I highly recommend that e-book I mentioned - there is what appears to be a very good section about two-step henndigo coloring, as I think it was called, for black-colored hair - sounds like the indigo part is more permanent in this process.

www.mehandi.com/shop/hennahairbook/index.html

The glosses I referred to might work for your guy's hair if he doesn't mind a bit of a reddish tone. If he does, you could also do an indigo-only gloss occasionally to keep it toned down - or the indigo may last on his hair better than it does on mine, in the first place.

You can also try buxxus instead of indigo. It's more of a brown color on its own, but I don't know how it works without any henna at all. I tried using it with henna to tone down the red instead of indigo, but I couldn't tell it did anything on mine. It was relatively new on the henna boards when I was trying it - you can probably find a lot more anecdotal information about it there by now.
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Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated, GTTT or Aim2Health 'poos as scalp needs, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein Trtmt & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, AO Mandarin Magic, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing then clips or clamps & air dry. Blend gray w/henna glosses

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 05-05-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:22 PM   #39
 
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Excellent info! Thanks everybody!
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:45 PM   #40
 
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This thread has me wanting to henna!!! But I have dark brunette hair, but it has some copper/red in it when I'm out in the sun. What color would it make my hair? Auburn, or could I leave it on and get it to a brighter red?
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