Henna Cones leaking after storage...

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CrazyRayRay113
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Henna Cones leaking after storage...

 I have been purchasing premade cones, premade henna and making my own cones, and I've also been making my own henna and cones. But there is one problem I consistently have, that I can't figure out. I make the henna and fill the cones and use them and they're fine in most respects. Whatever I have left over, I seal in a bag and keep in the fridge. But a day or two later when I pull it out again the cone has started leaking what looks like henna stained water (lemon juice I guess). I try to reseal the cone at the top thinking there's a leak, but if I dab it with a paper towel, its like seeping through the cellophane all over. Needless to say, this makes it difficult to reuse. I've tried to google this without much luck. What the heck am I doing wrong???

Jen
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

 I think there are a few things you could look at here.

I wouldn't expect the lemon juice to be able to ooze out THOUGH the cello, but could be coming out from between the layers. Take a look at how you're rolling your cones and see if there's plenty of overlap between each layer. Does that make sense? Many people put a bit of tape on the INSIDE of the cone to hold that seem down too. (I don't, but lots do.) Also, make sure not to fill your cones more than about 2/3 of the way to the top. You want plenty of room at the top to roll the cone down and seal it up without the paste oozing out.

What kind of tape are you using? This could make a big difference! Some kinds of tape fail in the fridge or freezer. The two that I KNOW work well are the scotch brand with the red label, OR the discount brand at walmart on a red roll with a yellow and red cardboard hang-tag for packaging. What these two have in common is that they are the VERY clear, shiny kind of tape. If you can't find either of the two I mention, find one that is like that.

Now, if this stuff is coming right THROUGH the cello, not from between layers or seemed places its not lemon juice. Its either demising lawsone or essential oils. Demising lawsone (dye from the paste that has passed its ability to stain) separates from the rest of the paste into a transluscent brown sticky juice. This stuff can sometimes migrate though cello. If that's what you've got it means that your henna was past its prime anyway. Dye released paste should keep a day or two at room temp, a week in the fridge, or a few months in the freezer. Stuff coming THROUGH the cello could also be essential oils. How much are you using? 30 ml (about 1 ounce or two tablespoons) is the MOST you should use. 

 

CrazyRayRay113
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

 Thanks so much for your reply!

When I roll my cones, I know there's plenty of overlap and I do put a piece of tape on the inside as well. But my tape is not the clear kind, it's more frosted looking. So I'll definitely try changing my tape choice.

Your description about the demising lawsone sound exactly like the stuff I'm dealing with. If that's the case, the henna isn't lasting more than a day in the fridge. Does this mean that the henna powder I'm using is not fresh? How could I check that?

As for the essential oils, I only use lavender and I think in my last batch I only put in a couple teaspoons. I was following a recipe I found online because I haven't really made it before.

Jen
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

Are you getting good color from your paste before it goes oozey? That's the only way that I would know how to tell if its stale. 

It doesn't seem like the oil is your problem.

I'm afraid I don't have any other solutions. Try changing just the tape and maybe use the freezer for storage instead, and see if that doesn't fix it!

jessinthedesert
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

Jen-

When you say 30 mL is the most you should use with essential oils, how much henna is that in relation to? the 1/4 cup in the KISS recipe? You should still increase oils with henna, correct? I'm trying to tweak things these days for a better stain.... thanks!

Jen
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

The "KISS" recipe is not a common standard and I don't pay it any mind. I don't know how to relate it to my recipe, but my 30 ml max is in a 100 g henna mix though.

jessinthedesert
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

Ooh...thanks Jen. On this site, possibly at least a year ago or more, I was strongly directed to the KISS recipe and have been using it ever since. If you don't go by it...care to share what you do differently? I'm sorry...we've probably been over this all before in other posts but this 'dismissal' of the KISS recipe is a new find :D...

Currently I have the raj twilight from TDL...use the KISS recipe but use less dextrose b/c of how stringy the raj is...make a double batch and use 1/2 lavendar and 1/2 straight cajeput. Dye release time...usually 12 hours but I'm going to do some testing soon.  

Jen
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

 My recipe is a little less exact... I'll give you that the other is nice and specific... like making cookies from the chocolate chip bag! Mines a little more like grandma teaches a recipe. This is for 100 g powder.

I start with adding lemon juice to the powder. Nothing else. I mix it really heavy. I used to say "like stiff mashed potatoes" but really its heavier than that. More like plaster! There's no use offering an amount of lemon because each crop of henna will soak up more or less liquid. I cover that and leave it stand 8-12 hours depending on the room temp. More in winter when its 65 in my kitchen, and less in summer when its 75 or 80. *Its very important that henna paste NOT be allowed to get more than 85 degrees at all!

After that standing time I add two tablespoons EO. Be careful because it doesn't really want to blend in well and will slosh out while you stir.

Once the oils are mixed in, I add 2 tablespoons of sugar, stir it in, and walk away from the bowl for about 10 minutes. You'll see when you come back that the sugar is disolving and its drawing moisture out of the air! What was sugar crystals will stand out like dark little droplets in your paste. Stir them in and check the texture of the paste. The cool thing is that the sugar can draw more moisture out of damp air. This will make your paste thinner with the same ammount of sugar on a damp day than a dry day. This way, since you need more sugar in dry weather and less in humid weather, if you keep adding your sugar a tablespoon or so at a time it will have the "right" amount of sugar by the time the paste thins down to the "right" thickness!!! Does that make sense? There is a point when you know it can't be a good idea to add any more sugar. Finding that spot takes practice, but if you think you've maxed out the reasonable amount of sugar and your paste is still too thick, stir in tiny amounts of water until you get there.

Then I cover it for at least a few more hours, checking for peak dye realease occasionally. Paste shouldn't be used untill at least a few hours after adding EOs to give them time to disolve the dye, so you would need to adjust timing for fast releasing henna.

Another note about sugar: its not just to make paste stringier, so don't think you don't need it as much with stringy paste! Sugar does some stuff stringy can't do on its own. It keeps the paste flexible even after it dries so it doesn't crack nearly as much. It also keeps the paste stuck to the skin better. Properly sugared paste should not NEED a seal at all!

Its also a good idea to check dye potential on paste as you think its getting old. Pick up a 48 hour cone and check it. Sometimes you'll be suprised at just how long PEAK dye release takes. Most Jamila, for expample is pretty slow. I useally give it two full days of standing time!

jessinthedesert
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

thanks Jen! So much to learn....

About the dye release time...do you mean 'more time' in winter when it's cooler and 'less time' in summer when it's warmer? Cause doesnt' henna release faster when it's warmer? I translated it in my head correctly I think when I read it, but want to make sure in case new people are reading it, or if I've misunderstood!

Thanks again! Looking forward to trying this out!

jess

Jen
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

 You're welcome! And yes, you caught my mistake, and thanks for hearing what I meant rather than what I said.  All fixed now.

Muddyshoes
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Re: Henna Cones leaking after storage...

Howdy. 

Two things may be happening here. One is the wrong tape. The glue used for frosted tape does not handle moisture or freezing well and the glue dissolves from those things and the essential oils. Once the glue loses its adhesion, the tape opens up causing a leak. Good old 3M clear Scotch tape with the red package is always a reliable choice.

Second, how is your freezer? If it's an old one or very full or not very efficient, i.e. it takes a long time for your cones to freeze,  your paste may be separating as it freezes. I've got an old dog of a small fridge and my paste separates during freezing requiring me to shoot out a blob of paste once I clip the tip to get to the mixed henna in the cone.

Most mixes are pretty forgiving, and you can usually get two or possibly three re-freezes out of your henna before the paste starts to get unmanageable. It will still stain well even if frozen and thawed a half-dozen times. But the consistency will get worse, a little bit, each time.

- Muddyshoes

 

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