What temperature water for henna mix?

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redteddy
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What temperature water for henna mix?

 What temperature should the water be to mix henna?  I used to use very warm water when using tea bags.  Today I used room temperature water with lemon to mix my henna.  I recently read on a link placed in one of the threads here of a woman who uses very hot water to mix her henna but I've also heard that hot water isn't good for henna.  Does it matter the temperature of the water used to mix henna?  I was always afraid to use lemon because I heard it makes the hair very dry but decided to give it a chance anyway.  The only obvious downside I can see is waiting hours and hours for the henna dye release, tea only takes a few hours. Are there specific benefits to using lemon?

 

Thank you

Redteddy

Carrie
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Re: What temperature water for henna mix?

Heat makes henna release dye quickly and demise quickly. Boiling water gives a stain that fades rapidly to a light dull orange - for me, it faded pretty much in 2 weeks.

A little bit of lemon plus mostly water won't dry your hair. I don't advise using all lemon juice for people with damaged hair as it can make it more brittle, but a spoonful shouldn't do that.

Assuming you're using cool liquid, water will give rapid dye release (usually within 1 hour)  and the more acidic the liquid is, the longer it will take to release dye. All lemon juice may not peak until close to 24 hours. Water with a splash of lemon will be much faster, maybe 2-6 hours.

The advantage of using a cool acidic liquid is it slows down dye release and demise enough that you have time to get it in your hair, have it release more dye while it's on your head, which will form a more permanent bond with your hair's keratin, and you can also freeze leftover paste and they'll still be good (often they'll be even better) when you thaw it out. When you use plain water or anything warm, the dye doesn't stay usable as long.

redteddy
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Re: What temperature water for henna mix?

 Hi Carrie.  Thanks everyone for the response.  I'm curious why does Celebration Henna suggest 12 hours if the dye can be released within 2-6? I have to admit that dye release is the bane of my hennaed existence, meaning I am always confused.  At around 12:30am my time, I mixed celebration henna plus lemon juice from one lemon and went to bed.  At 9:30am I got up and palm tested the henna and found it to be bright orange and high-tailed it to get it on my head.  What is the window of time for dye release?  How does one know how much more time there is left for dye release once you discover it is ready?  Any tricks? I plan on leaving it on my head for 4 hours. 

 

Thanks again everyone!

Carrie
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Re: What temperature water for henna mix?

Celebration says 12 hours because they're assuming you'll use lemon juice. - though in fact Celebration will probably be ready in 6 hours with lemon juice since it releases quicker than many other hennas.

If you use water, you'll get dye release from Celebration probably in an hour. If you use something in between water and all-lemon juice, it's going to take somewhere in between 1 and 6 hours : )

The window of dye availability is much longer with an all-lemon juice mix - with most hennas (not Celebration so much) you can expect usable dye from 12 hours through 64 hours, assuming normal room temperature (not a super warm house). But with a water mix, your paste may be pooping out by the end of one day - it will still dye your hair, but it will be a lighter color.

So basically you have to know what to expect with the liquid you're using, and check it around the earliest possible time it could be ready. If there is no stain yet, let it go another hour and check again. It's like letting bread dough rise, you have to keep an eye on it.

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/39

xyz
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Joined: 2010-05-16 17:58
Re: What temperature water for henna mix?

Basically, you want to mix your henna with a liquid that will give you the results you're looking for:

  1. any kind of hot liquid, and room temperature plain water to some degree, will make henna dye-release faster, but also demise very quickly.  The color might come out too brassy, too orange, not stain at all, or stain but not stick for long (fade to a very wimpy shade).  Some people will dye-release with a warm (not hot) liquid "in an emergency" when they need to color right away--this however is less than optimal, tricky color-wise, and could end up being wasteful
  2. undiluted lemon juice significantly slows down the dye-release but also prolongs the time the color is viable in your paste.  If you dye-release overnight, or if your application is 4 hours or longer, you might want to use lemon juice to make sure the paste is "alive" and staining when and for as long as you need it.  There's also some evidence that hair that has been hennaed with a lemon juice paste continues to oxidize/deepen in color much longer, so those who want a very dark stain prefer a good amount of lemon in their paste
  3. tea, apple juice (pure or slightly diluted with water), and either of them with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or orange juice are a happy medium.  Such a mix dye-releases in just a few hours and is preferred by people who want to avoid dryness/sensitivity/itch that citrics might cause

So there, depending on what you need and want, you can use different liquids, from room temperature plain water with a generous splash of citric or apple juice, to strongly-brewed, cooled down herbal teas, to 100% lemon.  Just try to avoid warm/hot liquids, they can really kill your dye, which would be a shame!  And whichever liquid you decide on, remember to test on your palm every so often so you can catch your paste at the peak of staining, especially if you switch from one crop to another (say Celebration to Yemen Light to, or Purity to Sudina) as they have different dye-release times.

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