New to Henna HELP

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ilovepoms
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New to Henna HELP

Hello- I have also been reading a lot about body quality henna on google (which is how I found your company btw).  Will only use Mehandi - nothing compound.

Can you help me find a henna receipe for my hair and which henna specifically.

Dark brown base, with less than 5% grays.  I recently had some foils done in a very light shade of brown.  Stylish used bleach to achieve highlights (color chunks).  I want to transition over to henna to avoid chemicals.  Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Overall, hair is pretty healthy (aside from the bleached hightlights).

I would like to keep the dark brown base (basically don't want to go darker than this... meaning black).  I don't mind a little red but not too much.  A warm brown with a hint of red is fine.  Absolutely no wine/merlot/plum/cherry cola/burgundy - no unnatural red tones.  I would prefer the grays to blend in as much as possible to my hair. 

I would prefer to avoid indigo at least for now.   I am fine with katam to achieve browns.  I'm quite a bit lost really.  If you don't mind, I have some inspiration pictures to share with you.  Love how it's ever so slightly red:

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/14658_206660883857_133907238857_4225977_3995842_n.jpg

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/14658_206660858857_133907238857_4225974_167722_n.jpg

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/16240_212870088857_133907238857_4285629_7581901_n.jpg

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/47002_10150099931298858_133907238857_7541253_4310446_n.jpg

 

ACWN
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Re: New to Henna HELP

To avoid confusion, katam is known as buxus around here. :)

 

Depending on how dark we're talking, you may not achieve any noticable color change on the majority of your hair, but your gray will turn any where from a copper to an auburn color. The highlighted parts will probably go dark copper to light auburn (with flares of orange in the sun) and remain that way.

 

My suggestion - dye your hair back to your natural color and start from there.

 

Your best option would probably be a 25/25/50 mix of indigo/henna/cassia or 40/10/50 buxus/henna/cassia for no more than 2 hours to keep the red down. This would only darken your natural color slightly and turn your grays into a natural highlight - any where from ash blond to light brown. I THINK the buxus mix is more likely to give you an ash blond color, but I could be wrong. You will not be able to make your grays match the rest of your color without the rest of your color going much darker or possibly even black. Plant dyes do not work like chemical dyes, they will not make everything the same. They add translucent color to the color you already have.

 

I know you want to avoid indigo, but I have to warn you that buxus fades. Not entirely, but it does fade, so you'll be looking to reapply it every few weeks. And while buxus has the same dye color as indigo (blue/green/gray), its not nearly as strong so you need much more of it. Buxus also will not go beyond a medium brown.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Thank you.  I guess I'm sort of confused because I thought only a 2 step henna process would make my hair darker.  I just found this link:

http://www.hennaforhair.com/forum/index.php?module=phpwsbb&PHPWSBB_MAN_OP=view&PHPWS_MAN_ITEMS[]=11192

You mentioned that my grays would look like a lighter brown.  Do you mean like the lady in the after picture (6th image down on page)?  That is really the lightest I'd like to go.  Oh boy I'm very confused now.

ACWN
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Re: New to Henna HELP

No, applying plant dyes of any amount will make your hair darker - though it varies depending on multiple factors (dye strength, how long its on, how many applications you do). Cassia is the only dye this doesnt apply to in certain circumstances. Its dye is weak yellow and only shows up on gray/white to pale blond hair. Anything darker will not get a color change (this is why many companies sell it as "neutral henna"). This makes it suitable for diluting other plant dyes to get lighter shades such as ash blond, strawberry blond or golden-browns.

 

Applying a 50/50 ot 75/25 (indigo/henna) mix to your hair will result in dark brown on your gray hairs, but will make the rest of your hair very dark brown to possibly black.

 

As far as the resulting color with the previous mixes I suggested.... yeah, you could get something like that or it could be darker. The mixes I suggested were my best guess to give you something that would color your grays but leave your color as close to your natural shade as possible. Hopefully Carrie will come by and suggest something better - she knows more about those kinds of mixes than I do.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Also forgot to say my hair is as dark as the women shown in the string.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

What do you predict 2 parts buxus to 1 part henna would like on my hair?  I just love the hair links I referenced in the first link.

ACWN
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Re: New to Henna HELP

My best guess (take it for what you will): a medium-light to medium-dark reddish brown/dark auburn shade on your grays, and possibly a very dark brown with flares of red on the rest.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Thanks. In regard to the inital 4 links or so I referenced, any idea on the possible recipe of those? I so love the final color. Their original hair color looks kind of dark to me.

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

I think the first link you posted is discussed here: 

www.hennaforhair.com/forum/index.php

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Wow! Thank so much! What do you presume my hair (including grays) would look like if I did this?. It's okay if my grays a slighter lighter than the rest of my hair:

IDEA 1:

2 step: First henna, Then Henna/Buxus 1:2 ratio (but wouldn't a double layer of henna made my hair more red?)

IDEA 2:

Just Henna/Buxus 1:2 ratio

The lady in the forum tread states she uses indigo but I don't want to use indigo.

"Yes the second picture is half henna half indigo, but... she does not have any gray hair so her hair is darker to begin with, if you have gray hair and you want your gray's to be that dark I would do henna only first then hendigo second process with 60 % henna to 40% indigo."

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Since your hair is currently darker than the lady in the photos started with, your results will probably be darker than hers as well, if you were to use indigo.

However, if you use buxus (a 2:1 buxus/henna mix as the 2nd step of a 2-step process) you will probably get a medium ash brown on the grays, and it may not darken your brown hair very much since buxus isn't as dark as indigo.

If you use 1:1 buxus/henna, the color will definitely be more reddish - like a cinnamon brown. A 2:1 mix will go more ashy brown. Please strand test first to fine-tune your mix. Application time for the second step would be around 2 to 2.5 hours, 2 hours for the first (henna) step.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Thanks Carrie.  What do you think would happen if I just did a one step 2:1 buxus/henna mix instead of a 2-step to my hair and grays?  I guess I would prefer to avoid doing a two step if I can unless you recommend doing so.  I don't have too many grays.

When you say stand test, do you mean testing on literally one stand of hair?

Do you recommend me dying my hair to even out the color first?

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

People resort to a 2-step if 1-step doesn't give them good gray coverage. Try a 1-step first if you like. I expect it may give a lighter color than the 2-step, but you'd have to try it to find out if it goes that way for you. With few grays, a 1-step may be great for you.

Strand tests can be done on collected shed hair like from your brush, your floor, your bathtub drain - or on an intact strand, either cut or left on your head - say, at the nape of the neck (but you won't have many grays back there). I do all my strand tests on hairballs from my brush.

If you can get your hair all one color to match your undyed roots first, that would help minimize the chance of a line of demarcation. But it's optional.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Thank you so much for such a quick reply, Carrie! Would you guess a 1-step henna/buxus 1:2 would give me an ashy brown on my grays? Do you think some red would be noticeable? Also, do you anticipate the buxus fading? I thought I remember reading that it fades fast. Which specific henna do you recommend I purchase? Sorry for many questions!

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Would you guess a 1-step henna/buxus 1:2 would give me an ashy brown on my grays?

  • yes

Do you think some red would be noticeable? Also, do you anticipate the buxus fading? I thought I remember reading that it fades fast.

  • not at first, but as it fades, yes. Buxus does tend to fade in about 3 weeks.

Which specific henna do you recommend I purchase?

  • I'd go for one with lower dye content, doesn't matter which one.
ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

African Hair henna is that one ok? Why low dye? Just curious. After buxus fades, then what would I have to do to fix it? Thank you again.

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Sure, that one is fine. Low dye content because buxus is weaker than henna anyway, so you don't need an extra-strong henna when you are trying for brown without as much red tones.

If buxus fades, you can do a buxus gloss using about 2 to 3 Tbsp buxus per cup of your gloss base, which can be cheap conditioner, or xanthan gum, or flaxseed gel, or any non-oily base that you want to use. Do a strand test to fine-tune the timing but I expect around 30-45 minutes will do it.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Thanks makes perfect sense.

Do you think that a 1:2 henna/buxus mix (one step) would allow the henna to penetrate my grays okay?  Just concerned that the henna will not adhere properly and fade with time. 

Also... I just read about amla.  How do you think that would affect the mix if I threw that in too? (henna/buxus/amla).

I'm getting there! LOL

ACWN
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Re: New to Henna HELP

From what I recall, amla doesnt have the same effect on buxus as it does with indigo - which is cool the tones of the henna, resulting in a more "dark chocolate" type of brown instead of a "milk chocolate" type.

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

A 1-step process of henna/buxus may or may not get your grays well covered. Some folks' gray is dye resistant and some is not. You'd need to try it to find out.

Agree with ACWN - I have not seen that amla will effect a color change in a henna/buxus mix when I tried it, though I think Megumi (hairdresser who uses plant dyes) suggested that it could.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP
A strand test would tell me right? Now if I did do a 2-step, do you think that would make my hair more red? It almost seems like it would because I would have 2 layers of henna in my hair.
ACWN
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Re: New to Henna HELP

It shouldnt. What the two step does is give you a solid base of henna so that you get good coverage and it holds better. This will also allow you to up the amount of buxus or indigo you can use because you already have a lot of henna there. Using more buxus or indigo would help with covering the red.

 

And yes, a strand test would tell you.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP
I have been thinking about this today and would really like to make it simple by sticking with a a one step if possible. I just want a hint of red. I really would rather avoid indigo but maybe that is what I need to make my grays blend better How do these two mixes sound? 50% henna 40% indigo 10% buxus What color do you think that would make my grays and my dark hair? Or just 60% henna 50% indigio Oh SO confused!
ACWN
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Re: New to Henna HELP

If you're going to use indigo, you dont need the buxus. Indigo and buxus have the same dye color, buxus is just weaker.

 

As I said before, a 50/50 hennigo mix would make your grays a medium to dark brown and the rest of your hair a very dark brown to possibly black.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

OK you don't think dark brown hair would look like these pics?  AND she says it's have buxus.  That scares me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/henna-und-mehr/470345377/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/henna-und-mehr/470345373/in/photostream/

 

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

She says her hair is now fairly gray ... which I guess means mostly gray?  If so then I'm not that surprised by her color, especially if she has done it more than once with 50/50 henna/buxus. That mix comes out fairly reddish brown (cinnamon brown) and after 3 weeks or so the buxus fades. For a browner color you need more buxus, like 2:1 buxus/henna.

If someone only has a little gray then the color won't look this reddish overall with a 50/50 henna/buxus, just on the grays.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Carrie- I have another question (sorry). I am still undecided about if I should use Twilight or Hena for African Hair. I guess what I want to know is if I started with H4AH and did it twice, would it wind up being a deeper red than doing Twilight once? I don't have the exact lawsome numbers in front of me because I am writing from my iPhone but I thought H4AH is a 2.2 (2x would be 4.4) and Twilight is high 2s.

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Yes, I think you would have deeper color with 2 apps of H4AH than 1 app of Twilight.

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Thank you. :)

ilovepoms
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Good to know. Does a 2:1 buxus/henna fade too? Do you think a 2:1 bux/henna vs. a 1:1 would still allow the henna to penetrate the grays? Would the color of the henna 2:1 look different than a 1:1 after the buxus fades? How often can one do a buxus gloss? Is every 3 weeks okay? One more question. I just ordered samples of Twilight and African Hair. I know the lawsone is higher with Twilight but does that mean the red will be more intense or just darker (more like a dark auburn or ruby red)? How do the two different hennas differ on gray hair? I guess I am still uncertain as to exactly which henna to order.

Jen
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Re: New to Henna HELP

 I haven't personally seen results of a 2/1 buxus henna mix, and I'd love to! Please post pics if you do!

Carrie
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Re: New to Henna HELP

Does a 2:1 buxus/henna fade too?

  • I would expect so.

Do you think a 2:1 bux/henna vs. a 1:1 would still allow the henna to penetrate the grays?

  • Less henna in the mix would probably mean less dark results on dye resistant gray. If your gray is not dye resistant you may have fine coverage though.

Would the color of the henna 2:1 look different than a 1:1 after the buxus fades?

  • I don't know. Not enough buxus users reporting their results.

How often can one do a buxus gloss? Is every 3 weeks okay?

  • I don't know why not. One thing to keep in mind ... buxus doesn't make hair shine like henna does, and I've seen it dull my hennaed hair when used full strength as a 2nd step. Not sure if it would in a gloss, though.

One more question. I just ordered samples of Twilight and African Hair. I know the lawsone is higher with Twilight but does that mean the red will be more intense or just darker (more like a dark auburn or ruby red)? How do the two different hennas differ on gray hair?

  • Higher dye content means more intense and darker color. Not sure how I'd qualify the comparison on human hair, I've only seen the Twilight on white mohair so far.
desertholly
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Re: New to Henna HELP

My 2 cents:  Take a bunch of hair from your brush over a few days, split it into three good-size bunches, mix up very small (teaspoon-sized) amounts of the three different proportions of henna-to-buxus, then apply to each bunch, put into 3 labeled zip-loc bags, keep in your pocket to keep warm for a couple of hours, then rinse them out, let them dry, and see what they look like.  Clip them onto labeled cards so you don't forget which is which.  Then see what they look like a day or two later.  Then you'll know without worrying about your whole head looking awful.  And if it's not too much trouble, snap a photo or two and post them so we can see too! 

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