What Color Would I Get?

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xXRandomnessXx
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What Color Would I Get?

 Hey there! I'm new to this site and have never Henna'd my hair, but I've been thinking about it for a while. Problem is, I'm not sure what to expect and I want to have some sort of idea before I go and buy the dye (or even strand test samples).

I've never died my hair, ever. My hair is weird, though. When I'm indoors and it's cloudy outside, it looks pretty dark brown (unless I look at it closely; then I can see the red). When I'm in the sun (or those really cool lights at my hair salon that mimic sunlight), it looks really red. I found a recent-ish (January) picture of myself in the golden sunlight (you know that sunlight that you get in the very early evening?) and it looks super red. The indoors-dark-ish brown looks medium brown-auburn and a section with the sun directly on it looks straight-up red.

My dad's family is Scottish and almost everyone in my family (on that side) has red hair. The other side is brunette. A good 1/4 of my hair is bright red, naturally, although it shows up best in the sun. The brown ranges from medium to dark, with an occasional light strand. My hair dresser refers to my hair as auburn, although most of the time I think it looks a bit darker than auburn.

Anyway, I really want my hair to be a lot more red than it is (and by that I mean a natural orangey red, not "red velvet cupcake" hair). I also don't want to chemically dye it (my skin's super sensitive, so I'm assuming chemicals wouldn't exactly be the best thing to pour on my hair). So of course I want to Henna it =). But everywhere I look at color charts and such, they start off saying things like "if your starting color is dark brown..." and I'm like "well... it sort of is?"

So I really want to know what kind of effect Henna could have on my hair. I'm going to buy it and do strand tests, of course, but I could like to have a rough idea before I do all that.

Thanks to anyone who read this! And extra thanks if you reply! =)

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

It will still appear dark brown indoors and brighter red outdoors - just more so. To get a brighter orange color you would need to lighten your hair and then use henna.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Thanks for replying!

I'm not sure I want to go through the hassle of lightening it, but I definitely still want to henna it.

If I did decide to lighten it, though, how would I go about it? I've read that honey is really good at lightening hair, but it takes a while. I've also read about lemon juice, but I've heard that it's really drying. Would it be difficult, trying to make the roots look right? But it's something I might consider in the future (lightening, that is) because I think it'd be really fun to have redder hair. Thanks!

ACWN
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

Lemon juice really doesnt do much. Honey can be hit or miss (I never had any luck) and takes forever. You can chemically lighten it - straight developer is much more gentle and the henna would repair any damage caused by it. You can mix the developer with conditioner to help protect the hair too.

 

Its a pain though, been there.. done it.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 What type of developer would I use? It comes in a bunch of different strengths, right?

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

If you want to use just cream developer, no bleach activator powder, I'd use 30 vol. You can use 20 vol but it won't do as much. 40 vol is said to be too strong to use directly on your scalp.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Would I be able to do that at home, or would I have to go to a salon?

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

It's something you'd do at home, it's very easy.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 And it shouldn't irritate my head or anything? Or would I want to keep it a little bit away from my scalp? Also, I'm assuming I could just put it on my roots and re-henna them when they grow in? And thanks for the help =)

Jen
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Well its still chemical, but Its way more mild that way than with the bleach powder added. I have VERY sensitive skin and it didn't bother me.

Yes you can then just do the same to your roots as the come in before you henna to keep it even.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Would it do anything without bleach powder added? Like, can developer be used on its own, or does it have to be mixed with bleach powder? And I've been googling this, and a lot of people said that using developer (with or without bleach, I don't know) can turn your hair a weird shade of orange. I mean, I feel like this is something where I'd want to do a strand test, of course, but I also don't want to buy it and then have it do nothing/turn my hair a weird color.

Thanks for all the help! I know I'm asking a ridiculous amount of questions =P

Jen
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Yes, strand test of course, but it does work a bit, just much slower, gentler and with a more subtle result. My personal experience with very dark brown hair though, is that it didn't do much at all. It works for an awful lot of other people though.

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

Even *with* bleach powder, developer will turn dark brown hair orange on its way to turning it blonde. That's how hair lightens, it goes from brown to orange to yellow to white, if you leave the bleach on long enough.

I have had significant lightening on my hennaed hair using 30 vol cream developer and no bleach powder. It's faster if you use the bleach powder. Even without the bleach powder it still damages your hair but the damage is not so immediately apparent as with bleach - it took about 6 months before I started seeing the splits and breaks near the ends of my hair.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 So if I wanted to avoid the orange, I would just leave it on for less than however long it took to turn it orange? Like, it'd go shades of brown, then orange, then yellow, then white, so I'd want to see how long it takes to make my hair light/med brown and go with that? And what d'you think it'd do to my red hair (as in, the quarter or so of it that's naturally red), would it just turn it light red or blonde or something? And how much of it would I need? It seems most bottles are 8 oz (from my very quick internet searches), but I don't think I'd need all that! How many uses could I get out of a 8 oz bottle, if I'm just doing all my hair once (it's an inch or two above my waist) and then my roots every month or so? Thanks!

Jen
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 I think you just need to do some strand tests and find out!

You have an awful lot of hair. I'm don't expect you'd need the whole bottle, but I can't really guess how much you'd have left or how many root treatments you'd get out of the leftovers. The good news is its surprisingly inexpensive.

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 So if I wanted to avoid the orange, I would just leave it on for less than however long it took to turn it orange? Like, it'd go shades of brown, then orange, then yellow, then white, so I'd want to see how long it takes to make my hair light/med brown and go with that?

  • Yes, but any lighter shade of brown is going to be warmer (more red/orange) than your current color I think.

And what d'you think it'd do to my red hair (as in, the quarter or so of it that's naturally red), would it just turn it light red or blonde or something?

  • Orange to brassy yellow blonde to light golden blonde, depending on how long you leave it on.

 

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 On a kind of unrelated-to-recent-discussion note, would I be able to do things like blowdry my hair? I never do, because properly blowdrying my hair takes forever, but my hairstylist does when I get it cut. She also straightens it a bit. Just wondering, if I peroxided-and-henna'd my hair, if that would do anything bad... I think I remember reading something about that.

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

Blowdrying probably wouldn't change the color but the 400 degree heat of a flat iron or curling iron can darken the color of henna. Not sure if it darkens it beyond what normally happens with oxidation.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Thanks =)

I really want to Henna my hair now but have to wait till Thanksgiving break when I'll have some time off. And there's a Sally's nearby, I might buy some developer there.

And I really really love the color of Bonnie Wright's hair in this article... is it possible to get that color using peroxide and henna? It seems pretty close in darkness to light/med brown, but I'm not sure...

articles.mibba.com/People/2859/Natural-Redheads-To-Become-Extinct

Jen
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 yes, if you get your hair light enough and use a low dye content henna cut with cassia, you'll be able to get a color like that.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 How light would I have to get it, and what ratio of henna to cassia would you recommend? Thanks!

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 What type of Henna should I get (from Mehandi.com)?

And I've read something about using toner after peroxide... since I just want to use Henna after lightening my hair, and I'm not planning on keeping the peroxide-ed color by itself, would I still need to tone it?

Jen
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 I'd choose Yemen Light henna, but as for the ratio, I'd really suggest doing some strand tets to find it. I'd try one at 50/50 first and see what you get. Then you can decide from their which way to go.

Toner is not something I know about at all.

xXRandomnessXx
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

 Hey there, I'm back.

Still haven't had time to actually do anything to my hair, but I've spent some more time researching.

As for lightening my hair goes, I've read that because my hair has so many red undertones in it, peroxide could turn it really brassy orange (even if all I'm trying to do is get it light brown). And roots dye faster than all the other hair... since my hair's so long, would I put peroxide on the ends, then the middle, then the roots? I want to make sure it's an even light brown, not light brown on the tips and orangey yellow at the top. I don't want to go to my regular salon and pay like $100 to get it done there... I'm just worried about doing it wrong.

Would 50% yemen light and 50% cassia over light brown hair make it a really natural red? The henna's stronger than the cassia, right? So it work well? I'm just worried about the dye not being strong enough, but maybe that's just me worrying needlessly since henna's so strong...

Thanks for answering my endless series of questions, by the way =)

Carrie
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Re: What Color Would I Get?

I can't answer your question about bleaching - it sounds reasonable to me but I am not a pro colorist. I don't know if you can bleach your hair to light brown - it may bleach to a more orangey brown, I don't know. Bleach tends to reveal the warm/red tones in hair, is what I hear.

Henna is MUCH, MUCH stronger than cassia. Cassia is very weak. It gives a pale golden color on white hair. If your hair is any darker than light blonde, it does not show at all.

The 50/50 mix of henna and cassia, used on light brown hair, would give a light auburn to warm light red color. It will be very bright at first, then calm down to a browner shade of light red in a week or so. Please strand test and let it sit for a week, see if you like the final color, and adjust your mix if it's not quite right.

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