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Starting a Henna FAQ

RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
Okay, I know I'm not the only one that has a lot of questions about henna. And I know that despite the fact that I have been constantly researching henna for months, watching youtube videos of people using henna, using the search function on this forum to see the transformations, I still have a lot of questions. I want this thread to be a resource for people who are thinking of hennaing their hair and that want answers from people with first-hand experience, not just websites. Maybe this thread will flop, maybe it will become a great resource. I'm hoping for the latter, but I hope that anyone who has experience with henna is willing to impart her knowledge of the subject.

Okay, now for some of my questions that I've come up with while researching.

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?

I'm sorry if this is annoying, I don't mean to be, but I just have a thousand questions. I want answers from the lovely ladies on this forum, who I trust with hair related things far more than I do than random people on youtube.

Also, if you have questions about henna, ask away. I know I'm not the only one. I'm sure once some of these are answered, I'll have more to ask.
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Comments

  • slivolaslivola Posts: 372Registered Users
    Hi there,

    I think this is a great thread and I've seen a lot of henna mentions in the coloring your hair section. You might want to cut and paste this thread in there, too, because I think you'll get responses and some from very experienced henna users!

    I used to use henna but I really don't have many answers to your questions because I would just buy one of the big boxes of it at the health food store and use all of the contents each time mixed in a big plastic bowl. They did come in a variety of colors, and I'm sure there's more of a ginger color you would like- plus they do fade but they maintain their red.

    What I didn't like was that I could never seem to really lighten my roots very much so the rest of my hair kept getting brighter and brighter when I tried to touch up my roots. Over time, I wound up with a very multi colored look (I am naturally very dark brown.) Ironically, a henna friend of mine had switched over to red hair color and the results looked so much more natural on her than the multi colored henna look, so I switched over too and have never gone back.

    I'm sure other people in the coloring your hair section will have lots more input for you that will be more helpful!
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  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users
    It lasts forever. It is absolutely permanent.

    I tried it a couple of times, but I found it to be drying, and the color too neon for my taste. It felt like a permanent protein treatment. I'm a dishwater, dark blonde, almost light brown naturally.

    I'll stick to my chemical color.


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  • slivolaslivola Posts: 372Registered Users
    I found it very drying, too, I had forgotten to add that part. Ironically, I got compliments on the health of my hair as soon as I switched to hair dye.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    3a (
    with 3b)
    Fine texture/Normal porosity/Medium density
    Low Poo
    (Aveda's damage remedy); Styling: Aveda's: Color Conserve Daily leave in+ Be Curly Style Prep+ Phomollient (mixed w/ Defining Whip)
    Finishing: Aveda's Texturizing Creme or Defining Whip; Eufora Pure Polish Drops
    Color
    Maintenance:
    Aveda's Madder Root condish+Clove condish
  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    I cross posted it in the Coloring Hair section just now, so I'll maybe trying to compile the list somewhere...
    And RCC, I've come to the point where I'm perfectly okay with the dye being permanent, so that isn't an issue for me. I figure, I'm at the stage in life where you're supposed to experiment with your hair, so why not? If it's awful, I'll have some embarassing pictures later in life. Also, my hair isn't prone to drying out. I can have perfectly moisturized hair just from Suave Coconut, so do you think it will still dry me out?
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    I'm no expert, but i will answer the question as best I can!
    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? My curl pattern seemed to lossena bit. I wanted to see if it was permenant, so i haven't hennaed in a few months. my curls went back. so based on this, i think if i contiuned to henna every month, i will keep the looser curl pattern that i had as a child. my hair also seemed courser as well.
    2.) How many grams is enough for extremely thick, slightly past shoulder length hair?I had thick almost BSL, tha last time i hennaed. I mixed 200 grams, and only used about half adn froze the rest for next treatment. My hair is now BSL. i will do my usully 200 grams adn what ever is left will freeze. i rather have a lot left over and not enough
    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. i use lemon juice and water, about half and half. I have brown hair and really did not mind how vibrant the red was. i noticed that now after months of no new henna, more people have asked me if i colored my hair. :dontknow:don't know if henna is resposible or if my hair is starting to get lighter with the season like it use to. i think if you dont let the dye set as long you wont get much dye release. i let mine set over night, for max release of dye.
    4.) What hair products should you avoid in order to avoid henna changing color, fading, or just doing something funky in general? :scratch: Cant help you with that.
    5.) Will glycerin laden products affect the color at all? I don't know
    6.) How do you go about storing leftover henna for touch-ups? freezer bags in the freezer
    7.) Will stainless steel cartilage piercings get in the way of application?pass
    8.) How long must you keep the henna on? at least 4 hours up to over night.
    9.) How do root touch-ups work? How often should you touch up? i usually do an all over treatment. i never none just a root touch up. but i would imagine it would be like doing any other dye touch up??
    10.) Can you give your hair to Locks of Love if you have hennaed? i think so, but don't quote me.
    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?] I just out the hair in the henna after mixing up a little bit and let it set. i use more then one test strand. set at diffenernt times.
    12.) I know where to buy henna, [mehandi], but I don't know which mix I should get. Can anyone help me out there? i buy the henna for red hair kit. its cheaper and you get 200 grams instead of 100 like in most of the kits.

    HTH. i know i didnt answer all your questions, but i guess this is a start. by the way, i love henna:love5:. i'm going to start hennaing again this month.
  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I think I might have some advice/wisdom to offer...your natural color and mine are VERY very similar, as are our complexions :P my biggest concern using henna was winding up with Ronald McDonald hair, so I get ya there :)

    1.) How much does henna change your hair texture?
    It doesn't seem to really affect mine much. The first time I dyed, and did my whole head, my curls were a little droopy for a few days but they perked back up with some added moisture.

    2.) How many grams is enough for extremely thick, slightly past shoulder length hair?
    I'm not sure in grams how much I use... but I'd say for my WHOLE head, I probably mixed about 2 cups worth of henna powder to make the paste. Now, since I just do my roots, it's probably more like 3/4 - 1 cup of powder. You can always freeze the left overs and thaw to use on your next touch up if you make too much.

    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.
    I mixed lemon juice the first time, and I think that's why my hair was dry. Since then, I just use water to get it to "mashed potato" consistency... let that sit for about an hour, and then add conditioner (suave or v05) until it's a pudding consistency. If you wanted it even less saturated, I imagine you could just keep adding conditioner. I think the key to not getting super bright isn't so much what you mix, but how long you keep it on your hair.

    4.) What hair products should you avoid in order to avoid henna changing color, fading, or just doing something funky in general?
    ACV will supposedly fade hair dye, but I never noticed it doing anything to the henna. In fact, nothing whatsoever has faded my henna. I imagine using something with a lot of metallic compounds would probably cause issues the next time you henna but I can't think of any products that would have that.

    5.) Will glycerin laden products affect the color at all?
    I haven't noticed it...

    6.) How do you go about storing leftover henna for touch-ups?
    Ziploc baggie, in the freezer :) Don't leave it sitting on the counter though... the henna dye WILL leach through the plastic and stain your countertop :/

    7.) Will stainless steel cartilage piercings get in the way of application?
    Uuuuuum i don't THINk so. Henna supposedly turns green when it contacts metal though, so maybe take it out or cover with a bandaid just in case?

    8.) How long must you keep the henna on?
    Some people do it for hours and hours... I leave it on 45 minutes to an hour and I get PLENTY of color. I also don't do the whole "let it sit for 24 hours to dye release". I let it sit 1 hour, put it on, let it sit on my hair for an hour TOPS and then rinse. And I get PLENTY of color.

    9.) How do root touch-ups work? How often should you touch up?
    As often as you like... I try to wait as long as I can stand it just for convenience... right now, I probably average about 3 months between root touch ups but my roots ARE noticeable. As far as actually putting the henna on... you just scoop some up on your fingers (gloved) and rub it into the roots, going in sections through your hair. Don't worry too much if it overlaps with already dyed hair... it blends itself really nicely, you won't be able to tell.

    10.) Can you give your hair to Locks of Love if you have hennaed?
    That I dunno, but I'm curious about...

    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?]
    I used the shed hair from the shower... balled it up (4 different balls) and tested on a paper plate. I didn't make up a huge batch, just small batches of each mix. 1 with lemon juice, 1 without... and I left the henna with lemon on 1 ball of hair for 3 hours, and for 1 hour on the other. Same with the mix without lemon.

    Just figure out a few different methods and test them all. be sure to label so you know which is which :)

    12.) I know where to buy henna, [mehandi], but I don't know which mix I should get. Can anyone help me out there?

    I got the lowest dye content dye from hennaforhair.com (mehendi.com, whatever). Mostly bc I didn't want a ton of color. Sounds like that might be a good idea for you too. I also got some cassia to mix in, hoping it would dilute some of the color. Didn't seem to make a huge difference though.
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  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    Thanks for answering! =]
  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users
    True, you're young enough to get away with pretty much anything, which is pretty nice!

    I think my dryness was due to my medium-coarse texture. Henna, to me, is essentially a hard core protein treatment that happens to add permanent color. I think that is a minority view, but there it is. It is touted as a healthful treatment to fix damage, which, to me, is essentially a protein treatment.

    It can be a lengthy, messy, and smelly process, but so can other color, lol.

    A strand test is a good idea, though I am no help on color choice and dye release and all that.

    Oh, I also had curl loosening. Not everyone gets this though.




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  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    the first time i henna i used only lemon juice and it was drying, but after a dt my hair was fine. after that i used half lemon juice and half water. not as drying. but i still dt afterward.
  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    I was hoping you'd answer, Mims! I remember you saying that our natural colors are similar, and you have the hair color I want!
  • smasters467smasters467 Posts: 527Registered Users
    Henna is definitely something that should be researched before jumping in. The best resource for henna info is hennaforhair.com and hennasooq.com.

    It's almost impossible to acuurately anwser any of your specific questions about how henna will affect your hair. Every batch of henna is different, and every head of hair is different. The results you get from henna are contingent upon what henna you're using, what your hair properties are, your starting color,what you mix the henna with, how long you dye release, how long you leave it in, etc.

    Henna is 100% permanent, meaning forever. It needs to be grown out and cut off to get rid of it. The benefits last as long as the color. I've read about a few very rare instances of henna not holding in someone's hair, but I suspect user error or pore crop quality is to blame.

    As far as curl loosening, or a change in texture, looser curl types, basically wavies, usually experience this more so than curlies. If you don't want vibrant red/orange, you leave the henna on for a shorter amount of time, or use a weaker mix, which won't affect hair texture as much as a long processing time or stronger mix will.

    What you mix your henna with is 100% personal preference. I've used plain tap water, lemon juice, and cooled tea. Tap water will dye release faster, lemon will give darker more vibrant results, and tea is easier on your hair.

    Glycerin has no effect on henna, basically nothing will affect henna once it's fully oxidized. After you do a henna treatment, it takes 5-7 days to oxidize. During which time the color will deepen, going from Ronald McDonald orange to a more red color. Once this process is complete, henna is permanent. I've heard that if you use harsh shampoo directly after using henna it may help tone down the color a bit, but personally I haven't found this to be true. Once henna has touched my hair, it isn't going anywhere.

    You can store henna paste in the freezer, in a ziploc for up to a year I believe.

    Piercings aren't something I would worry about, I have multiple and have never noticed any problems.

    Henna application time is a matter of personal preference. I used to leave it on for 2-3 hours, but I know people who sleep overnight with it in their hair.

    Root touch-ups again, are personal preference. I never did them, I just did full head applications everytime. Most people don't do that because henna will darken with multiple applications. For roots, simply put henna paste only on your roots, and leave it on for the same amount of time you left henna on your length, so the colors will match.

    Honestly, check out henna for hair, they have a great forum where you can get any question you have anwsered, and the moderators are super knowledgeable. HTH :)
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  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    What do you mean by tea, smasters? As in, steep some tea and use it in place of the water or lemon juice? And if I don't want that vibrant, neon color, should I avoid lemon juice at all costs?
  • smasters467smasters467 Posts: 527Registered Users
    You could probably use any tea, but when I used tea I used chamomile or orange. I would prepare it on the stove, like I would if I were going to drink it, then let it cool and use it to mix my paste.

    The neon color is unavoidable. Regardless of what you mix with, how long you leave it on, etc. For the first 1-3 days you're gonna have bright orange-red hair. It's just how henna works. It starts bright and oxidizes to a more red color.
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  • smasters467smasters467 Posts: 527Registered Users
    From looking at your Fotki, I'd suggest to leave the henna on a bit longer, to make sure it oxidizes darker. Your starting color is fairly light, which means your gonna end up with a very vibrant color to start with. Your best bet is to leave the mix on longer, or do multiple applications to deepen the color.
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  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    But won't it be a darker red if I leave it on longer? Sorry for all the questions, but I have never dyed my hair in any way, shape, or form. Ever. So I'm rather ignorant on such things.
  • smasters467smasters467 Posts: 527Registered Users
    For hair with your starting color, you gonna need to deepen the color to get rid of the bright orangish red. If you don't mind it being somewhat bright, then you can leave it on for less time.

    ETA: Personally, it my hair had been as light as yours, I would've started with a 3-4 hour application time.

    There are pictures and mixes on hennaforhair.com, with before and afters.
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  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    I think I'm not understanding what exactly you mean by bright. I wish I had color swatches or something.
  • smasters467smasters467 Posts: 527Registered Users
    Ronald McDonald hair. That's what henna looks like at first, super bright orange red. If you don't leave it on long enough, your hair won't oxidize to more red color. Some people want Ronald McDonald hair, but most don't.
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    3a-b, fine & medium texture, medium-high porosity from years of damaging. I'm addicted to changing my hair color.
    Cleansing: No-Poo, Elucence MBS, YTC Poo,
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  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    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?
  • smasters467smasters467 Posts: 527Registered Users
    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.
    How's My Hair?
    Review: L'Oreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner
    Review: Yes To Carrots Nourishing Shampoo & Pampering Conditioner + 35% off at YTC.com

    3a-b, fine & medium texture, medium-high porosity from years of damaging. I'm addicted to changing my hair color.
    Cleansing: No-Poo, Elucence MBS, YTC Poo,
    Conditioner: One Condition, JC Too Shea!, YTC Condish, Elucence MBC, Joico Daily, KCKT
    Styling: KCCC, LALPS, BRHG, Biotera Gel
    SMB Photography
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    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.
  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    RawrSally wrote: »
    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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  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    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?
  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    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
    CG/Mod CG (soap bars) since 8/12/08
    CO wash/Cond: Kathymack & Flowermoon Castille soap bars, V05 Chamomile Tea, Suave Ocean Breeze, Biolage Conditioning Balm
    Styling loves: DIFFUSING! CK, KCNT, KCCC, FOTE (on dry hair only), Re:coil, Proclaim gel
    Not sure about: Boots, Tweek, KBB Milk, DMHJ
    HATE: plopping, FOTE on wet hair, BRHG
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    RawrSally wrote: »
    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.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    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...
    CG/Mod CG (soap bars) since 8/12/08
    CO wash/Cond: Kathymack & Flowermoon Castille soap bars, V05 Chamomile Tea, Suave Ocean Breeze, Biolage Conditioning Balm
    Styling loves: DIFFUSING! CK, KCNT, KCCC, FOTE (on dry hair only), Re:coil, Proclaim gel
    Not sure about: Boots, Tweek, KBB Milk, DMHJ
    HATE: plopping, FOTE on wet hair, BRHG
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    MimsTX wrote: »
    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.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • jenny curljenny curl Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    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
    3b/c :: Fine :: Porous

    I:love5: My Hair
  • RawrSallyRawrSally Posts: 1,388Registered Users
    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.
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    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.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
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