How can I fix my bright orange hair?

 This is my first time using henna.  I read lots of info and then dared... A friend suggested that leaving the henna on for just 30 minutes might be make it less saturated... 

My hair was blonde (colored with Herbiceuticals Naturcolor, which uses peroxide - so a peroxide-bleached blonde) - pretty with many different shades, 20% concealed grey.  

Mixed henna (Dulham, 100% bought in an Indian grocery, used about 50 grams) with Realemon juice, left for 1 day out of fridge, 1 day in fridge to release dye. (Friend said that letting it sit longer would make it less intense.) 

Other friend (also a newbie) put it on me today - taking 40 minutes to put on.  I left it on for another 30 minutes.  Then rinsed and showered. Way too Little Orphan Annie or Pippi Longstocking. Arghhh!  Not what I had in mind & not flattering to my skin coloring.  It is oxidizing a bit, so not quite so horrible, but what can help it?  

what effect will it have if I put on more  henna (Rajasthan) and leave it on for at least 4 hours?  or even longer? 

What effect will it have if I put on an indigo/conditioner gloss for 15 minutes?  

Any other suggestions?  I read somewhere the using red wine or coffee might do something - at least until I shampoo - anybody know? 

Thanks so much!!!

No offense to your friend, but you shouldnt have listened to them. Chemically damaged hair, especially chemically lightened hair, tends to go very orange and stay very orange (speaking from experience here). Leaving it on 30 minutes is going to result in orange - as you found out. Also, health food store bought henna tends to be pretty weak stuff in general and you need to leave it on a fairly long time to get anything besides orange.


When mixed with lemon juice, henna's dye can last upwards of 3 days and putting it in the fridge slows dye demise even further so chances are your henna was still probably going pretty strong when you used it. Weakened dye is really only goin to result in a lame color.


Rajasthan henna is henna from Rajasthan, so unfortunately that doesnt tell us a whole lot about the henna. In general terms though, leaving it on four hours will give you a much deeper color, probably some where along the lines of dark copper or light auburn - but it is still going to flare very orange in bright lighting (like sunlight).

Now, if you're talking Ancient Sunrise's Rajasthan Twilight, then you will probably get a light to medium auburn. Difference? Dye content. And we know what Twilight's content is cause its lab tested. Other brands, we can only give best guess.


Some things that will help... remember to cover your hair in plastic (plastic wrap, grocery bag, shower cap) - henna does not dye if it dries out. Cover that with a beanie. Heat helps the hair absorb more dye, so if you apply some heat for a steady period of time, you can push the color a little darker.


You're better off doing two back to back applications for 2.5 hours than you are doing 5 or longer application. Henna builds in layers, so the color of two short applications will actually be deeper than one long application.


An indigo gloss for that long would darken your color down and probably make it a fairly dark brown or even black. Chemically damaged hair tends to soak up indigo like mad, so you have to be VERY careful when using indigo - you cannot lighten it and its pretty much impossible to remove. So strand test and be sure you want that color for the long haul. I also hope you're ready for the long haul with henna... its as permanent as permanent can get. It doesnt fade, it doesnt bleach out and while you can dye over it (if its pure), the color comes out darker and doesnt last as it should.


Wine and coffee will not do anything, nor will spices (save for making the henna smell nice). 99% of what you read on the net about henna is myth or seriously out of date information.

A very dilute indigo gloss (maybe 1 or 2 tsp per cup conditioner) for 10-15 minutes would add brown tones, possible giving your something like a dark blonde - it depends on how dark your orange color is right now. Please strand test first ! Using indigo would mean no more bleach or light-colored hair dyes on this hair until it grows out/gets cut off.

A buxus gloss for 15 minutes would be another option for a dark blonde/light brown.


 Thank you so much for answering!  I want to correct one thing - I got the Dulhan henna from an Indian grocery store - not a health food store.  It is Body Art Quality henna.  That may not tell us the dye content, but it might be stronger than a health food store variety.  

My photos are here:

Thank you for the warning on indigo.  I do not want my hair to be dark so I think that I will stay away from indigo for the moment.  

I might order some from this sight to ensure the dye content, but it is not what I have here today.  I'm weighing whether I dare do another application today or whether the color could get even worse.  

As it is, showing up at work tomorrow feels like a challenge!  







Health food store, Indian store... doesnt seem to make much of a difference. BAQ henna from those kind of stores typically are all pretty weak in general, though its stronger than henna "for hair". I'd said health food store as a general term meaning most stores, sorry.


If you dont want your hair darker, applying more henna might not be the road you want to take then... because it WILL make your hair darker.. If you want to reduce the orange, I would definitely try buxus if you can get your hands on it in your area. A buxus gloss will tone the orange by adding blue/green/gray tones.


You can also lighten your color and make it more a strawberry tone. Strand test to make sure its safe - not all hennas are safe and you could end up very hurt. You can use straight developer (vol. 30 will work) and it will remove some of the henna.


I am not a henna expert or extremely experienced with it but...  The first time I used henna on my hair (dyed strawberry blondish in a salon) my hair also turned orange.  I went to a cook out at my sister's home where she told me how mush she did not like my hair color.  Of course I replied "too bad' my hair".  Anyhow when I went home, I looked and thought it did look pretty darn orange rather than the coppery red I longed for.  I left it alone and 2 days later went to work (for my extremely conservative dentist) who took one look and said "I know you said you were going redder.."  I stopped him and told him i knew it was orange and i was going to work on it, and he replied "I like it".  After 3 days total after my application it did mellow out into the coppery red I was looking for.  I guess what I want to let you know is that I was a hair dresser for over 10 years and the one thing I have learned is once you color your hair let it rest, condition it and after a few days re-examine it and make a plan for slight alterations, if you panic and start doing all sorts of "fixes" you will end up with "fixed hair" not beautiful hair.  Have patience, Don't Panic, sleep on it, and remember you wanted red, if you still want red, maybe reapply in a couple of days if you don't want red, go to a professional (I think I saw a link to find hairdressers that specialize in henna).........  When changing hair color frome one process to another it is never a smooth change over, there will always be things you have to tweek to get it where you want it.  ;-)