Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the first time. Please help

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pajammies
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Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the first time. Please help

First time poster here and I'm hoping to get a little help. I am a natural auburn shade of red with maybe 10% grey. My color and brightness has faded over the years and I'm looking to get some of that back and cover the grey. My hair is curly and extremely coarse.

I ordered some samples to "play" with from my hairs on my hairbrush.

What I would like is for the first time doing this is simplicity. I don't mind the work I will need to put into it but would like the first time not to be complicated with add-ins or strange concoctions :-) 

I don't mind bright red sinse this will only color the greys, correct? Since my hair is already dark it will not make it lighter except for the grey hairs, am I correct there also.  I don't really want orange however.

Any help would be GREATLY appriciated, this all seems a tad overwelming as first.

Advice on which henna to buy for my hair type and color would be appriciated also.

Thank you in advance

ACWN
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

Henna does not lighten, but it will not just dye your grays like chemical dye. It will dye everything. Your auburn will become darker and refreshed and the grays will become.... well anything from copper to auburn, depending on the henna and the mix.

 

Your best bet will probably be a middle road henna like Henna for African hair or Sudina for about 3 - 4 hours. You should be able to get a light auburn/dark copper on your grays without making the rest of your hair TOO dark.

 

Most simple mix would be:

- Mix with lemon juice into a lumpy paste

- Press plastic wrap to surface of henna

-Let sit 8 - 12 hours

- Test for dye release on your palm - smear a bit on, let sit a few minutes, then wash off, you're looking for an orange stain on your skin similar to this: [link] If its lighter than that, let sit a half hour and test again. No stain, let sit another hour. If you get a light stain and test again in a half hour and its even weaker (and kinda yellow), you've missed dye release.

- Once you have the stain, mix smooth with more juice or just water. You want the consistancy of stirred yogurt.

- Apply. Best method is to freshly washed (5 minutes before fresh, no conditioner if you can help it), towel dried hair... bottom to top, back to front - sectioning your hair can make it easier if your hair is long. Slightly damp hair helps the henna spread easier to places you might miss.

- Cover with plastic (plastic wrap, grocery bag, shower cap), then a beanie/ski cap.
..... [Note: For testing, replace this step with stuffing the test in a ziplock, sucking the air out and putting it in your pocket]

- Rinse out with a bucket load of conditioner and a little shampoo.

 

Now, lemon juice may be too harsh on your hair so you can replace it with apple juice (dye release time is 6 - 8 hours). Some acid is needed to help the henna bind better to your gray hair and apple juice is just acidic enough, but is still pretty gentle.

 

Just keep in mind that henna tends to be pretty orange the first 48 hours or so, this is normal. Do not panic. Henna takes about a week to settle into its final color and shouldnt be judged until then.

Carrie
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

To give you an idea of what to expect when using henna on partially gray hair: 

http://www.hennaforhair.com/gray/realgraypeople.html

pajammies
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

O.K. so what if I really don't want my hair to be darker or change in color much except for the greys.

Can I use cassia and a small amount of henna. In doing some more research on the website I'm wondering if that will work.

I like the color of my red hair and don't really want it darker, I would like it brighter and just to cover the grey.

Really any shade of red lighter than my auburn would be fine to cover my grey but I don't necessarily want darker hair.

So maybe I take back what I said and am willing to make a concoction so I get the color I want.

Does that change the suggestions?

Jen
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

 There's not a plant dye concoction that will dye only your grays though. Plant dyes only add color, never lift of lighten. If you put the dyes over all your hair, all of your hair will get darker. You could dilute the henna with cassia so that is doesn't get as dark on your red hair, but then it won't get as dark on your gray -probably a shade of copper.

Carrie
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

To help you decide what ratio of henna and cassia to use, see the 2nd photo here, with strands numbered 1 through 5. These tests are on white mohair so they approximate what the mixes will do on white human hair:

http://www.mehandi.com/shop/blondebundle/index.html

pajammies
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

I do understand that it doesn't cover only grey.  What I maybe am not getting is why if you put henna on darker hair, why it even shows up. So is it darker than I'm thinking?

For example, if you look at henna on a blonde it doesn't seem to get so dark, so then why would it make my dark hair darker?

 

Carrie
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

Think of henna acting like a red sheet of cellophane. If you put that over something white, you see red/orange. If you put it over light coppery orange, you see darker red orange. If you put it over light brown, you see brownish red. If you put it over medium brown, you see dark reddish brown. If you put it over black, you still see black ... unless you have bright enough light to see the red shine of the cellophane (or henna).

Your hair is red I believe? On red hair, henna will show up - it will make the color more saturated and intense red/orange.

desertholly
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

You could start out by trying a henna gloss- just a little dye-released henna paste mixed into enough conditioner to do all your hair.  That would brighten your natural red-auburn hair and give a little coverage on your grays, making them look more like brighter red-gold highlights.  Try that as a strand test.  You might like the results, and it is ultra simple.

pajammies
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

Thank you for telling me about that option that sounds like exactly what I would like for my hair.

Are there pros and cons to that. For example: does it not last as long? How long do you let it stay in your hair and how often do you reapply to your hair.

I saw some mention of glosses a couple of times on this forum but couldn't  find anything on the website, or maybe I'm forgetting.

Would you realease the dye like normal (with lemon juice, wait several hrs), mix with conditioner and apply to wet hair?

Thanks again

 

desertholly
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Re: Natural redhead (auburn) looking to use henna for the ...

Are there pros and cons to that. For example: does it not last as long?

**It seems to last fine for me.

How long do you let it stay in your hair and how often do you reapply to your hair.

**First gloss I left in for an hour, second one about 20 minutes.  I've only done it twice now, just when my temples start making me look older than I want to, or I get a few too many white strays along my part.  Not sure how long it has been since the last time, but long enough to forget when I did it and I think it's almost time again now.  A friend took my picture 2 weeks ago, so I'll try to figure out how to post a copy of it here so you can see what it looks like. 

I saw some mention of glosses a couple of times on this forum but couldn't  find anything on the website, or maybe I'm forgetting.

Would you realease the dye like normal (with lemon juice, wait several hrs), mix with conditioner and apply to wet hair?

**Yes, let the henna go through normal dye release, then just mix about a teaspoon or so into 1/2 to 3/4 cup conditioner (depends how long & thick your hair is) then apply.  I didn't know my hair was supposed to be damp, so I put it on dry hair.  Just went for my roots and the hair at the temples.  

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