Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with henna/cassia?

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CopperCurls
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Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with henna/cassia?

Hello everyone!

I have never used henna before, but I have been reading on this site for over a year (not the forums, just the shopping pages and ebook), and every time I mention to a new hair dresser that I am thinking of switching to henna (as my hair care routine is VERY natural except the dye I use (Redken Color Fushion and Shades EQ) they all cringe and say to stay away from the horrid stuff since I have dyed my hair for the past 15 years. I understand about issues in the past with compound hennas and not knowing what is actually IN the powder and chemical dyes, but my real hesitancy is of my own doing.

I have dyed my hair for over 15 years (not sure if it's PPD free now), and everyone I meet assumes I have natural red hair. It is that gorgeous, rare, bright coppery orange, Irish "red" and it looks just stunning with my pure white skin and freckles. I even have Scottish heritage, so everyone justs puts it all together and always talks of how I was blessed with such gorgeous colored hair. The fact that it is almost touching my thighs makes it all the more attention getting.

I do not want to change my color in any way, just hope to change HOW I get it that shade, as I am so devoted to natural/gentle hair care, and I feel like such a traitor when I dye it every 3 weeks.

I am just worried that I can't get my color without a lot of work, and many failed attempts at finding the right henna/cassia mixtures and brands, and mixing methods. I do not like the idea that henna changes colors with consistent use, as I want something that will stay the perfect shade for many, many years. The 72 hour oxidation period I think I could handle, as to get my shade of bright orange, the hair always comes out a rather bright until the first wash. But I am worried about all the trial and error, and the fact that my hair may reach my perfect shade after a while, but then with continued use, the color will continue to deepen and mature over the years and change to something farther from my desired shade. I want something very trust worthy, predictable and flawless.

Since my hair care regimen is SO natural, no SLS shampoo, Paraben free, etc, even IF I use shampoo; anti 'cones'; lots of jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, avacado and almond oils; home made gel for my curls made from egg and flax seed for the rare special occasion; careful brushing technique, sleeping in silk sleeping caps, always wearing it up, only washing the roots every 7-10 days and never the length, etc. All of this has worked wonders to increase my annual growth by a land slide, as I am inches away from having my hair touch my thighs in just a few short years. I can't help but think how much more healthy hair I could have, and how muh less damage I could do if I nixed the dye.

Is there anyone here that can help suggest mixtures or brands of henna/cassia to begin this long trial and error process with? I was thinking of starting with the "Fire" bundle, but I am really not a fan of red, red hair, just the orange/copper tones. Naturally I am a level 7, a dark blonde that as a kid would turn to a nice honey gold blonde in the summer sun. I have seen many result pictures on the main hennapage that show my perfect desired color, but hardly any show the original colored hair, the brands/ratios used, let alone show pictures a week after, and especially not months after. I am just not sure if I can count on henna to deliver consistent results I can count on. I know my hair will be utterly fantastically more healthy for it, but I am so picky about my color. I just wish I didn't have to sacrifice all the predictability of chemical dyes to stop damaging my hair so much each month.

Any suggestions on how to get very orange/copper tones from henna, and not the traditional auburn?

If I can figure out how to post photos, I will...can't find the right page yet...

THANKS so much!! I'd love to be a proud henna head, if I just knew the long term results of it's color and if it's possible to get dependable orange shades...plus having a friend nearby to goop eachother's hair together would be a HUGE plus, as chemical dyes are so easy to apply, I don't have to worry about tarping the floor and everything else I've read about concerning the mess involved. Besides how much vast amounts of henna I'd need to color my almost thigh lengh hair...yikes!

Carrie
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Re: Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with ...

I'd suggest a strand or hairball test with about 1 part henna to 10 parts cassia. Prepare it with chamomile tea (more acidic liquids like lemon juice will darken more over the weeks and months, chamomile tea darkens less) or even cold distilled water. Let it sit for about 4 hours, then apply to your test strand for 2 hours. If it's too yellow, not enough copper, increase the henna proportion. Before you make a final decision, let your test oxidize for at least 2 days, preferably 4-7 days. It will be brilliant day-glo orange at first.

Once you find the mix you like, you can do your whole head. You'll need a lot of powders since you have so much hair, probably around 500 gm total. Once your length is the desired color, don't put any more henna on it ever, unless it fades. Any additional henna you apply in any form (even a gloss, which I'll describe in a minute) will deepen the color. Just touch up your roots once they're long enough to bother you. Slight overlap onto the previously dyed length isn't a problem, but try not to ever get more than 2 applications built up on any single spot. (This is why I suggest a very dilute henna mix for you, you're going to have some overlap inevitably so eventually all your new hair will be dyed twice).

If you would rather use just henna and no cassia, you can use a henna gloss instead of a cassia-based mix. For your length of hair, you could prepare about 1/4 cup of henna powder as above (low acidity mix) and when it's releasing dye, stir it into enough conditioner to generously slather into all your hair. Wrap it up and leave it in for an hour or two.

Just for reference, here is Julie Trainer's (mehandi's salon hennaing guru) facebook page - she uses 5 parts cassia to 1 part henna on her hair. She says the lighter part in the front is her gray. The henna in her profile pic looks kind of fresh to me, not sure how long it had oxidized for the photo:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/julie.trainer

himawari
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Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2011-02-10 19:53
Re: Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with ...

I'd love to see her picture so I opened the link-- her profile picture is a picture of a kitten!  I too am considering a cassia/henna mix with decidedly more cassia than henna and am curious as to how that would look.

Gbear
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Re: Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with ...

Okay, so I am definitely no expert and very new to henna (there are people on this site that know volumes more than I do) but I recently did a gloss and it gave me the exact result I wanted.

I, too, have been chemically dying my hair red for years and always had people think it was natural. I recently moved my household to all cruelty free/natural products and the last thing to go was coloring my hair. I also started to notice that when I brushed my hair out pieces were just falling off the ends so it was a hair health issue too.

I first started with a henna I got from LUSH - but it didn't really work (faded out, uneven color application) so I emailed Mehandi and they recommended the Sudina Henna for what I wanted to achieve (a lighter red). I like the orange/copper color that looks like natural ginger hair rather than the amber/ruby red color so I decided I would try a gloss first as it seems that the "full" henna applications resulted in a darker color than what I wanted and I knew that I didn't want to mess around with the trial and error of combining henna with something esle (amla or cassia or whatever). I mixed up my first gloss with only henna and the result was exactly what I wanted. It even covered my roots which were grown out about 1/8 of an inch and were showing dirty blonde against my dyed red hair.

I am sure that as my hair grows out the henna'd portion will become darker because I will no longer be applying it to previously chemical treated hair but to my natural hair, but I am okay with it being a few shades darker.

I guess what I am trying to suggest is a gloss first to see how that performs for you. I totally understand how daunting it seems but, for me, moving to a natural product was the motivation and I just got lucky that my first gloss worked so well.

sagefire
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Joined: 2011-04-08 15:19
Re: Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with ...

 Hi!

I came across your post and I'm really curious what you ended up doing and if you have a picture log at all. What you said is EXACTLY what I'm going through, too, except I haven't taken the plunge to henna just yet. (the henna's in the mail :)

I, too, got that perfect ginger Irish red color through chemical dyes. People think it's my natural color and I get so many compliments and it goes great with my pale skin. I, too, try to treat my hair as precious as silk and went SLS-free, and use olive/almond/jojoba/avocado oil deep conditioning treatments, etc. I soon hope to go "no 'poo" or shampoo-free altogether and wish to lessen how often I need to wash my hair. I know that ultimately I have to nix the bad chemical dyes as part of it. I actually believe I've lost my curls because of all the chemical dyes I've used over the years in combination with the shampooing. It's probably also because I pull the color through entirely whenever my roots bother me because my color would strip and get brassy and that was the only way I could keep the red consistent. Although, I realize now that was probably because of the SLS shampoos I WAS using - what a vicious cycle I got myself in! But we are creatures of habit, and even when I cut the SLS shampoo, I would still pull the dye through :S

Unlike you, though, my hair always reached a maximum length (go figure). I could never get it past my shoulder blades without it looking like total crap. Now I'm getting married next May and I'm hoping to have long, curly, lovely red hair to go with it!!

I posted a little thread to get some advice - Carrie recommended I not use Cassia. She said I could use Amla instead of Lemon Juice, but I'm skeptical about that too. 

Again, I'm wondering if you have any updates.

Thanks in advance!! Hope you had a good experience if you ever went through with it!

sagefire
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Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
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Re: Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with ...

woops, same post got posted twice...

enid_zelda
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Re: Is it possible to have coppery/orange results with ...

 I did hair for awhile, and I know all too well how hairstylists cringe at the mention of henna.  You just have to find the right one if they bother you, the lady I see now is very cool about it, especially since she has many Indian clients.  There's such a negative connotation with henna that is completely not true, it's that gross metallic salts stuff, as we all know.  I'm currently growing my chemical dyed hair out and have been using henna for about 6 months and never want to go back to chemical dye, I'm halfway there!  It's also very nice that my hair isn't crispy dry anymore from the chemical dye.  It's a shame that so many stylists frown upon something we want to do for our health.  I just wanted to comment on that part, since I'm still really experimenting with my own henna.  Good luck!  :)

 

A.

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