going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

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angie
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going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Hi all! I have been using henna for nearly a year now. I love what henna has done for my hair, it's so healthy and shiny and the deep red is totally gorgeous but after all this time of trying, i have finally come to the conclusion that I am not going to achieve a shade od cool red that will work with my (very pink) skin tone.

I have decided to go very dark and have a couple questions about the process. I will be using indigo, henna and alma to achieve the cool dark brunette I want. I read that when you are using alma, alma is your acid for henna dye release. I am not sure how much alma to use or what the dye release time would be in general. Right now my length is very dark red and my outgrowth is mostly white, do i need to do anything special to achieve an even color or would the mix pretty much cover it all the same? Does anyone have a suggestion on time for a mix like this? I have been leaving henna on for 5 hours but i have seeb that henndigo mixes do not require that kind of time.

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

ACWN
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

You want 25 grams per 100 grams of henna - that means 125 grams total of henna and amla. You want about 12 hours for dye release.

 

I would apply at least two back to back applications of just henna on your new growth before you do a hennigo. Do one normal application, then rinse and do a second one maybe right before you go to bed and keep it in for as long as you can - sleep on it if you can. I would suggest a small amount of indigo in the mix, just to help darken the color faster - but I'm not really familar with indigo, so I cant how much to add.

 

Basically you'll want to make your roots about the same shade as your length so it will blend better with your hennigo.

 

As far as time for your hennigo, if you're wanting a cool tone, about 2 hours.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Geez, that sounds like a lot of work, lol! I would have to do that every time, right? I have to do roots every 3 weeks or so baecause they are so white s that kind of maintenance would be very time consuming.

What about the two step process for black? I would have to strand test to see how I like the actual blue/black color you get with it but i'm thinking it would be easier to keep up, wouldn't it? (and it would be cool toned  right?) Or does starting color make a difference in the end result with that too?

  Thanks,

     Angie

ACWN
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Its not blue/black, its black black. Ink black, pitch black, black cat black.

 

I would do a fresh application of henna for at least 2 hours, then an hour of indigo. 30 - 45 minutes might give you a softer black/near black.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

That sounds great!  Thanks for your help!

xyz
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Angie,

I have an easier recipe (not mine, actually, just the one often suggested) for dark brunette

  • I part henna (dye released with 25% amla)
  • 2 parts indigo
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt

Start dye releasing the henna the day before coloring day.  Once dye-released, keep in the refrigerator/freezer until needed.

On coloring day, wash your hair with dish soap or clarifying shampoo. Do not use conditioner. Towel dry your hair.  Make the indigo paste with warm water.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to it.  Add salted indigo paste to henna paste.  Mix well and add water, if needed, to get right consistency.  Apply.  Wrap with plastic and cover with a knit hat.  Leave on for 2 to 2.5 hours, no more.  Rinse off.  Done.

Some pictures---

Started reddish brown (1:1 indigo to henna)

https://picasaweb.google.com/rodriraida/HennaIndigoHendigo#5466694987935812322

https://picasaweb.google.com/rodriraida/HennaIndigoHendigo#5466694948758157586

Now dark brunette (2:1 indigo to henna)

https://picasaweb.google.com/rodriraida/HennaIndigoHendigo#5586274537014266434

https://picasaweb.google.com/rodriraida/HennaIndigoHendigo#5586274406517664386

The grays took a few tries to turn from auburn to brown, but the color eventually stuck.  Keeping the mix on my head 2 hours rather than 4 helped get a cooler, less reddish brown.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

thanks for sharing!

Jen
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

 It MAY not be necessary to as work hard as ACWN insturcted to get your white roots as dark as the length. It may be that only one application of each henna and indigo is necessary, but it is true that the more drastic the change, the harder it is to get there in one shot.

I hope you'll let us know how it goes!

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

I will for sure share my results! I'm thinking I will probably go for the 2-step, shooting for a "soft" black. I have some frozen henna paste and some indigo handy so, I just need to harvest enough hair for some strand tests. I do have another question (of course, lol). if i understand it correctly, the indigo binds to the fresh henna in your hair (that's why your hair needs to be just hennaed) but what happens when your hair is at maxumum henna saturation? Will the indigo still bind if your hair isn't taking any more henna? Also after the henna, before indigo....should I wash the henna out with clarifying shampoo? Thanks again.

Jen
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

 Good question! It seems its not so much "freshly" hennaed as it is "well" hennaed. I've talked to people who have waited as much as 2 weeks in between henna and indigo that got nice black results! The trouble is when you have new root growth without henna coverage. 

 

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Well, i just did a test for the 2 step and it totally failed. I know my henna paste is good so I'm thinking my indigo must be old. The strands got hennaed and i smushed them in the indigo for nearly an hour, rinsed out and no color change at all. i have had my indigo for a while and I know I probably haven't stored it right. (Not airtight) I will have to order some new indigo but might there be another reaon why i would have a total fail on the indigo dye?

ACWN
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Did you cover it? Did you let the paste sit at all?

Carrie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

If your indigo wasn't stored airtight that could be your problem.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Ladies, after hennaing for 2 hours, i rinsed the henna out, mixed indigo with warm water and smushed the hair into the paste. Then i scooped it out (with the paste all mixed in), put it in a baggie, smushed the air out and wrapped it up. Then i stuck it in my pocket. I have had the indigo for maye 2-3 months and no, definitelt not sealed airtight. I ordered 50g from Mehendi and it came in a small zip lick bag inside a larger zip lock bag. I stored it in that and when i pulled it out to use today, the smaller baggie had not sealed right and the powder was spilling out to the larger bag. (the larger bag wasn't smushed flat to let all the air out) I then lest the indigo on for about an hour with zero color change.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

XYZ...your color is reaaly nice and I think it's really what I'm looking for. Can I ask what your starting color is, do you have any grey? Thanks!

xyz
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Thanks, Angie, I like it quite a lot myself even though, to be frank, I sometimes I miss having the red "aura" I had when I was doing more henna than indigo (fickle, I know).  Now it's definitely a very dark and cool brown, the redness is negligible.  So if that's what you're looking for, below are some details about how I achieved it. 

My natural hair was a medium warm brown (as a toddler) that developed into a dark brown with auburn undertones.  At the time I started hennaing, I had been coloring both at the salon and at home for at least 15 years--burgundy brown, chocolate cherry, golden brown...I estimate I have 5% gray strands scattered around my crown and a few on my temples. 

The recipe I use (I posted it previously on this thread, but in case you missed it) is very simple

  • 1 part Celebration henna (dye-released with lemon OR tea OR amla)
  • 2 parts indigo (with a little salt added)

I apply it as a 1-step for 2 to 2.5 hours.  I've found that my grays turn out less orange if I keep the time to 2.5 hours max (too bad, because I really like the feel of the paste against my scalp). I have to say, that I've never been able to make them really dark brown with a 1-step.  They are a medium reddish brown at most, very pretty but definitely much lighter than the rest of my hair.  I did a strand test in which I followed my hendigo with a very strong 2:1 indigo to henna gloss for 15 minutes, and that did darken the grays significantly.  I decided against doing it on my full head for fear of making the rest of my hair too close to black, but I mention it in case you find you grays need a boost.

If you go to the pictures I posted above, I think you can actually click back to the beginning of the photo stream and see the progress from my box-dyed strawlike hair, to the reddish 50:50 hendigo brown I started my henna adventures with, to my current 2:1 indigo to henna "cool darkest brown".

HTH

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Grrr, already thought i responded to this, lol!

 I definitely want to rid my hair of the red. With your greys results, i'm wondering if i can get a nice cool dark brown with a 1 step. The top and sides of my head are almost totally white. I'm not sure what to do and strand testing just outgrowth would be imposible. I am a bit hesitant to go with the 2 step right away, i fear jett black may be too harsh for me. My length is very dark red and lots of henna there so i don't think it will be a problem to get the color there....maybe i might need to do 2 one steps as ACWN suggested? Anyone have any suggestions? thanks so much for your input!

xyz
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Well, Angie, you want to do whatever is simpler and still gives you results. 

Why don't you try a 1 step first?  2 parts indigo to 1 part henna, for 2.5 hours, should give you a very dark brown--not black.  Since you have so much gray, remember to do all the other recommended stuff (clarifying shampoo, no conditioner, amla, a bit of salt, etc.)  With some luck, the indigo will stick the first time around and you'll be satisfied.  But say your grays don't pick up the indigo as well...then you can do a very strong hendigo gloss within 2 days of the original hendigo to tame the redness and add "brown" to those areas that need the touch up.  It's no more work than doing a deep conditioner after coloring.  In the future, you can just do both things back-to-back; doing a gloss as your second step will help remove all the paste residue. 

If the 2 consecutive hendigoes don't give the coverage you want, then you'll know for sure that your hair needs a 2 step to get the shade you want. 

arwmommy
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

XYZ, can you clarify the reason you use salt with the indigo?  There are so many "versions" of henna on this board, I was just wondering your thoughts on the salt-- how does it help? 

xyz
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

My grays were taking all of the henna color and none of the indigo's, so I started trying all the suggestions I was given. 

Salt is added as a fixing agent in other applications (in coloring silk and cotton, for example) so I imagine that's where the idea of adding salt to the indigo comes from.  Does it help?  I'm not sure.  But it doesn't hurt and it's cheap, so why not? 

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Hey thanks, XYZ! That's what I'm thinking too, keep it simple if i can, lol1 So I'm gonna go for the 2 part indigo to 1 part henna. alma. I'll do the salt too. My hair seems to have taken to henna very well so hopefully, the indigo will stick. I do have another uestion though. Sorry, i just like to have things clearly in my mind before i get going on something. Now if i do a gloss after the henndigo, would I want to wash with a clarifying shampoo like i do with the henndigo beforehand?

xyz
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

What you really don't want is conditioner (any oils as a matter of fact) just before your hendigo or indigo.  "Fats" tend to block indigo from staining well; that's why it's important that your hair and scalp are super squeaky clean any time indigo is involved.

You could shampoo between the hendigo and the gloss, but you risk losing some of the indigo that way, especially if it's not well bonded with your grays (which tend to be indigo resistant on some people).

So if you're doing the gloss immediately after a hendigo, you could just rinse out as much as the full-strength hendigo paste as you can without shampooing, towel dry, prepare the gloss, apply, wrap, wait, and rinse well. Then, you can shampoo the gloss out (and all the paste residues) and oil, condition, etc, if you feel you need it. 

Now, if after you try hendigoing and glossing a couple times you continue to have trouble with the indigo not sticking to your grays, try to skip shampooing for 24 hours at least. Just rinse the gloss out and bear with the oily hair for a day...it seems to help some of the folks who find their white/gray strands don't take indigo willingly.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

 

got everything today so tomorrow is my coloring day. To do the henna/alma, i mix the henna and alma powders then mix in enough water to make the paste the consistency i like, right? Dye release approx 12 hrs? The indigo gets a bit of salt and then warm distilled water?

ACWN
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Yep, you got it!

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Thanks! I'm gonna go mix up the henna/alma now.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Well, this batch came out SOO lumpy. It looked like small curd cottage cheese and it took me literally 15 minutes with a rubber spatula to get it smooth but now it's got a really nice texture. It seems more smooth, almost a but elastic compared to the mud-like texture of plain henna. Has anyone else noticed that?

Jen
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

 I get lumpy batches fairly often. Whatever I can't get broken up fairly easily at the begining seems to disolve during the standing time.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

That's good to know, lol! (that was way too much effort.) I got good dye release in about 10 1/2 hours with the Celebration and alma.

xyz
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Angie, let us know how the color comes out!  :-)

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Oh man, I replied reported on my experience last night, it must have got lost somehow.

  It came out pretty good! I used the recommended recipe of 1 part henna/alma to 2 parts indigo. I left it on for 1 1/2 hours. My results are very nice and dark on my length, the indigo definitey took. Yesterday it looked somewhat ashy (green/gray) in some light and in others, you can see the henna red glow under the dark brown. My white roots will definitely need a second step. I will wait and see what they do as the color oxodizes but as of now, the look dark brown in low light and in harsher light, it looks green or gold depending on how the light hits it. I will give it a few days to oxodize more and then see what I need to do. (Any suggestions? ) It really looks great an the roots are not even noticeable in most light. Also i didn't notice any dryness from the indigo, my hair feels great as t always does after hennaing.  I didn't notice any chage in the curl with alma and that's just fine with my since i love the sleekness henna gives my normally curly, wispy frizzy hair.

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Okay. I've got a really nice dark brown with burgundyish highlights in the sun and a cool purplish brown inside. Here is a pic.

www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/

angie
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Re: going from henna red to very dark brunette or soft black

Look to the last pic for the henndigo results.

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