advice needed plz: UPDATED w bef/aft photos & recipe

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I had this on the color board but got no responses so I am moving it here for more traffic.

My hair was a mix of golden blond and strawberry-blond streaks that look red against the blond. I used to have about 7 different shades of blond and red. But almost all of my red seems to have turned white while the blond is still blond. I look like a light blond with platinum highlights and I don’t like it. I thought I'd just leave it natural but I look washed out.

I am at a loss as to what to do with it now. It is totally natural and I don’t want to color it and all of it to be just one color and blah. I have no idea how to get it back to the way it used to look. I cannot afford to have it done in a salon, so I will be doing it at home. I am thinking of doing “low lights” with a light reddish-brown to darken it up a wee bit but keep it multi-colored. I know that will not cover the gray, just give it back a multi-dimensional look. My hair is fine, thin, dry and breaks easily so I will need to use a very gentle color.



What kind of hair color should I use?



Can I do low-lights with henna?


Color and product suggestions?


All suggestions will be appreciated!

Last edited by goldencurly; 04-09-2013 at 10:45 AM.
When you say "turned white," do you mean gray hair white? Or bleached blonde white?

If you're totally natural now, I can't see why it would break from color. Plus gray hair is so much more coarse and strong. And you keep it short, too? Why are you worried about breakage?

Do you want to cover the gray or not?
goldencurly likes this.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

All is know about henna is that perm is more damaging than henna, but I had a dreadful result with henna so I never tried it again. Your idea about low lights sounds promising! It would give a dimensional look to the color.

If you decide to use a perm. color to cover the grays, consider buying two boxes and using them both at the same time, alternating. Streak one part with one color and the next with the other. It gives a much more realistic appearance with highlights and shading and avoids the one color all over flat look. I like L'oreal Preference.

Good luck - let us know how it turns out!
goldencurly likes this.
2/c and some 3A. Modified CG.
Protein sensitive
Highly porous. Color over grey.
Best 1st day method: Super Soaker
Conditioners: Curl Junkie Beauticurls Strengthening Conditioner,
Deep condish: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
Stylers: Experimenting with cones & sulfates while the dews are high.
Sometimes try roller sets - classic glamor but I prefer my curls.
Every day is a gift
Since your hair is so light and you seem to want red, you could do a very light henna "gloss", which would add just a teeny bit of red to all the hair, and shine too. It doesn't change or lift the original color, just adds color, so you end up with multi-dimensional look. Henna glosses are done by adding a bit of dye-relased henna paste to conditioner, and applying like a deep treatment. For a light gloss, you could start with a very small amount...like a teaspoon of henna powder (dye released) to a cup of conditioner and leave on for 30 minutes. You can increase from there if you don't get enough color. The effects would be subtle, and it would be so much easier to do than trying to isolate tiny pieces to do lowlights. Extremely cheap too.

I can give more info on dye releasing if you're interested.
goldencurly likes this.
When you say "turned white," do you mean gray hair white? Or bleached blonde white?

If you're totally natural now, I can't see why it would break from color. Plus gray hair is so much more coarse and strong. And you keep it short, too? Why are you worried about breakage?

Do you want to cover the gray or not?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
It's not bleached blond; it's white instead of gray. It breaks all the time, even now. It is super fine (diameter wise) so I don't get split ends; it just breaks. It's in the best condition it's ever been in, but if it gets tangled, it will break. I am trying to grow it out. It's down to the tops of my shoulders now and the ends don't feel rough at all.

I don't know if I want to color the white or just get some color back into it so it's not so pale.

I can give more info on dye releasing if you're interested.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes, please! My experience with henna made my hair mostly bright orange and I want to avoid that. I know that they do some warm brown hennas now too. I like the idea of a "sheer" color that would be easy to maintain. Ya'll know I am lazy and blame it on being low maintenance!

curlypearl - alternating 2 colors sounds interesting. I'll keep that in mind.
I can give more info on dye releasing if you're interested.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes, please! My experience with henna made my hair mostly bright orange and I want to avoid that. I know that they do some warm brown hennas now too. I like the idea of a "sheer" color that would be easy to maintain. Ya'll know I am lazy and blame it on being low maintenance!
Originally Posted by goldencurly

With such light colored natural hair, I can see why you turned orange with henna. A henna gloss would use much less henna and it would be very diluted. I'm talking about getting just a whisper of color.

There is no such thing as brown henna. If someone tries to sell you anything other than red, it is either a commercial dye or a different plant dye (like indigo or buxus, or cassia for clear/yellow).

Henna quality matters a lot. Old henna won't have much dyeing power, and stuff on Indian store shelves is generally old and from a dubious supplier. I only buy my henna from a reputable seller who imports directly and sells large quantities. Mehandi.com is an excellent seller. You would buy a package of henna (comes in 100 gram packs), and what I would do if I were you is mix the whole thing up with lemon juice, adding the liquid slowly until it's about the consistency of yogurt. This is called henna paste. Use a non-metallic bowl and spoon. Cover and allow the paste to dye release for a few hours (dye release happens when you see a sheen of red liquid on the top...can happen immediately or take up to 12 hours...it really depends on the temp of the room, so keep an eye on it), then divide up into small portions, wrap tightly, and freeze (henna stays active frozen for many months). When you're ready to use the paste, just defrost by leaving out on the counter for an hour or two...don't use a microwave (high heat kills henna). To make a gloss, mix a bit of paste (I'd start with a teaspoon of paste) with conditioner and apply to hair, being sure to get deep to the roots. Cover hair with a plastic grocery bag or saran wrap and leave on for the allotted time...start with 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and enjoy. Start VERY slow and build up in time/amount if you want more color.

Since a henna gloss is so easy to do, it's easy to refresh the color every couple weeks, so you never have "roots".

Mehandi sells several different types of henna. I would suggest the Henna for African Hair for you as a moderate-level henna. Since you're a natural blonde, you don't need a high dye-content henna, but you don't want a really weak one either. And the African Hair henna is super sifted so it's ultra fine, so it is gentle for rinse out.

Mehandi.com henna for hair: best customer support, lower prices, widest selection

Anywhoodle...that's what *I* would do if I were you and wanted to just add a little "life" back into fading hair.
goldencurly and cosmicfly like this.

Last edited by RedCatWaves; 04-02-2013 at 11:43 AM.
RCW - I have copied, pasted, and printed out your instructions and ordered the henna for African hair.

Thank you for taking the time to explain it so well and provide a link. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive.
B-wavy likes this.
You're welcome. I'm happy to talk about henna all day long. Just please go slowly. You're so light that it won't take much to add color. And henna is truly permanent, so it can't be removed if you add too much color, so I can't stress "go slow" enough.
goldencurly likes this.
I tend to be impetuous and I know that about me so I only bought the wee tiny sample size of 100 grams. That's 1/5 the size of the normal package. So I will mix it up as you directed, using only a teaspoon of the paste.

Does it matter what kind of conditioner you use? I have 3 deep conditioners that I alternate between: Wen Deep Treatment, Jessicurl's Deep Conditioner, and one from Sally's by Ion for moisture that they don't even carry any more. I don't know if they have cones or not. What do you use?
I'm sure any conditioner would work. I don't do glosses. They're not enough color for me. I am a dark brunette with about 20% gray that I like to keep as deep-dark auburn streaks, so I use high-dye-content henna full strength and leave it on for 4-6 hours to get it that dark.

Claudine was using henna glosses on her natural strawberry red hair to perk it up a bit, so maybe she'll chime in here on conditioner choice.
goldencurly likes this.
RCW - I have copied, pasted, and printed out your instructions and ordered the henna for African hair.

Thank you for taking the time to explain it so well and provide a link. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive.
Originally Posted by goldencurly
She did explain that really well. And she made it sound so easy. And, for the first time, I wanna do it. Thanks a lot, RCW.

Good luck, golden. Hope it goes well for you.
RCW - I have copied, pasted, and printed out your instructions and ordered the henna for African hair.

Thank you for taking the time to explain it so well and provide a link. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive.
Originally Posted by goldencurly
She did explain that really well. And she made it sound so easy. And, for the first time, I wanna do it. Thanks a lot, RCW.

Good luck, golden. Hope it goes well for you.
Originally Posted by ruralcurls
Me too. My hair was blonde, is now more of really blah light brown but in the summer it has blonde and strawberry highlights. I might try the gloss, sounds like it might perk up the color a bit.
ruralcurls likes this.
Keep in mind that henna is permanent. And, color from a gloss will only show up on light hair.
Speckla
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I use cheapie Suave conditioner when I am doing a henna gloss. I like the Ocean Breeze the best. I add honey and a little bit of olive oil to my glazes or full on hennas because it makes the application a bit better and it rinses out easier (to me) than just plain henna, water, and acid (I use beer).

You could also add a smidge of cassia to the gloss to help less the organy color. It'd have more of a golden hint.
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Last edited by Speckla; 04-02-2013 at 07:15 PM.
Cassia is another option. Cassia can be dye-released like henna (although I think it takes longer), and it gives a faint yellow tint.
Keep in mind that henna is permanent. And, color from a gloss will only show up on light hair.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes. The whole permanent thing is rather frightening. I have also skipped the gray and strands of my hair are snow white, although not too many just yet. Not sure if it is something I want to commit to just yet.
Keep in mind that henna is permanent. And, color from a gloss will only show up on light hair.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes. The whole permanent thing is rather frightening. I have also skipped the gray and strands of my hair are snow white, although not too many just yet. Not sure if it is something I want to commit to just yet.
Originally Posted by ruralcurls
Do a test!

The first time I hennaed years ago, I wanted to be a redhead, not just strawberry blond, but I was worried about the outcome. My hair was down past my shoulders so I did a test strand in the back underneath close to, but not on the hairline. I figured if I hated it, it would be pretty well hidden, even if I wore my hair up. So for a week, I had light strawberry blond hair with one red curl that no one noticed. But I loved it and went back and redid all of my hair. Since I am using a different henna this time, even as a gloss, I may do that again.

I have used the cassia as well. It just made my hair shiny, with no visible color change. But I got it at Sally's and it was labeled as "clear" henna so I don't know about the quality of it. It did not last nearly as long as henna; I remember that.

RCW - I read on a website last night that henna can dry your hair out. I've never experienced that. Have you? I am looking into oils to add to my gloss directions while I wait for my henna to arrive. I am impatient!!!
ruralcurls likes this.
Keep in mind that henna is permanent. And, color from a gloss will only show up on light hair.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes. The whole permanent thing is rather frightening. I have also skipped the gray and strands of my hair are snow white, although not too many just yet. Not sure if it is something I want to commit to just yet.
Originally Posted by ruralcurls
Do a test!

The first time I hennaed years ago, I wanted to be a redhead, not just strawberry blond, but I was worried about the outcome. My hair was down past my shoulders so I did a test strand in the back underneath close to, but not on the hairline. I figured if I hated it, it would be pretty well hidden, even if I wore my hair up. So for a week, I had light strawberry blond hair with one red curl that no one noticed. But I loved it and went back and redid all of my hair. Since I am using a different henna this time, even as a gloss, I may do that again.

I have used the cassia as well. It just made my hair shiny, with no visible color change. But I got it at Sally's and it was labeled as "clear" henna so I don't know about the quality of it. It did not last nearly as long as henna; I remember that.

RCW - I read on a website last night that henna can dry your hair out. I've never experienced that. Have you? I am looking into oils to add to my gloss directions while I wait for my henna to arrive. I am impatient!!!
Originally Posted by goldencurly


No, henna doesn't dry out my hair. In fact, I don't even use conditioner at all anymore, because my hair is in such fantastic shape after years of hennaing. (I just use shampoo and then a little gel.)

Anyway...clear henna from Sallys was probably cassia, but it would have been quite inferior quality to what people who want to dye their hair yellow/blonde would use. Cassia takes some time to figure out how to get the most out of it, and it's stain is light as compared to the intensity that henna can have, but a quality cassia does add color.

I do not add any oils to my henna, because oils inhibit dye uptake and I'm trying to get my henna stain as dark and powerful as possible. Besides, oils weigh my hair down. Some people add oil to help with rinse out, but that isn't an issue with a gloss, because the conditioner makes it easy to rinse.
As for drying, I find it to be extremely drying, like a permanent protein treatment. But, I have coarse hair, and this reaction seems to be more common in coarse hair or in hair that is on the extreme side of protein intolerant. Henna acts much like a protein treatment with added color.
Kiva! Microfinance works.

Med/Coarse, porous curly.
Keep in mind that henna is permanent. And, color from a gloss will only show up on light hair.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves

My hair is fairly light, I think- although maybe that is because I continue to identify as having blonde hair. I wish I had added some cassia to my order, didn't even think of it.

I hennaed a few years back and I got a really red result- redder than what I really wanted, but it was ok. A gloss seems like it could be a compromise. For the price of a sample, it is worth a try.

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