New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

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Lila
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New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

Hi! :)

well as the title says... i'm 26, have had long (waist/hip length), dark/dirty/ash blond hair all my life. i'd been wanting a change, and about 5 weeks ago i died my hair dark dark brown, with reddish reflections. with chemical dye.

now the roots are starting to be visible again, and the color has faded, and so i want to recolor it all, but i would like to take the henna road. because it's natural, and much better for my hair (and as a part-time dancer, healthy hair is really important). to be honest i don't really know why i when with chemical dye the first time; easier i guess, but i don't want to continue that way.

anyways! so i'd like to go back to the color i'd originally dyed it, so dark brown, with some red reflections (but i don't want to be redhead).

i had bought "henna" in a shop, but considering the lady told me to wait another couple weeks to avoid any reactions, and the box says "for brown hair: based on natural henna", and from spending the last couple days reading up on www.hennaforhair.com, looks like that was a waste of money. oh well.

http://www.hennaforhair.com/ is a great resource, but i must admit i'm completely overloaded on info. i guess i should go for a henna-indigo mix, but in which proportions? which henna? there are so many choices on www.mehandi.com! what's amla and how much do you use? what about cassia?

and then questions like: i've heard "avoid mixing henna with a metallic spoon". but i see it done in some of the pics? can i use normal cooking ustensils (bowl/spoon), or will i not be able to use them for food anymore, for toxicity reasons or whatnot?

so from what i grasp i can dye my hair with BAQ henna whenever i want, yes? do we have to wait a certain amount of time before redyeing the roots? if i don't just do the roots, but all the hair, my hair will end up darker, yes? if i don't want it darker, is there some kind of non-dyeing henna that one can apply to the hair to get all the benefits of henna but without changing the color too much, or at least not darkening it? (i want dark brown, but not black...)

 

Sorry for the flood of questions....

 

 

Carrie
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

i guess i should go for a henna-indigo mix, but in which proportions? which henna? there are so many choices on www.mehandi.com! what's amla and how much do you use? what about cassia?

  • I'd use a 1:1 mix of henna and indigo for a warm brown with reddish highlights in brighter light conditions. If you add amla you will see less red - it makes the indigo take darker. I don't see a role for cassia in your planned mix, it is a very weak dye so it will dilute the other dyes and make your color lighter. You could use one of the brown bundles, and I would recommend the Medium Brunette one because it has a 1:1 ratio. Or you could get any of the hennas and an equal amount of indigo. If your hair is quite thin, you may need to prepare a total of 300 gm of powders, and if it's thick, then 500 gm.
  • You *must* strand test first to see if this mix will give you the color you want. If it's too dark, reduce the indigo amount. If it's too red, reduce the henna amount.

and then questions like: i've heard "avoid mixing henna with a metallic spoon". but i see it done in some of the pics? can i use normal cooking ustensils (bowl/spoon), or will i not be able to use them for food anymore, for toxicity reasons or whatnot?

  • pure plant dyes work just fine with stainless steel or silver utensils (iron would make the paste turn black but it would still work). They will not interact and there is no toxicity concern when re-using the utensils. The dyes will stain plastic, however.

so from what i grasp i can dye my hair with BAQ henna whenever i want, yes? do we have to wait a certain amount of time before redyeing the roots? if i don't just do the roots, but all the hair, my hair will end up darker, yes? if i don't want it darker, is there some kind of non-dyeing henna that one can apply to the hair to get all the benefits of henna but without changing the color too much, or at least not darkening it? (i want dark brown, but not black...)

  • You can use plant dyes as soon as you want, and re-do it or touch up roots as soon as you want. If you re-do the length it will get darker. With a mix like I'm recommending (1:1 henna/indigo) you could easily get black hair if you redo the length (unless your indigo fades, which it sometimes does the first time or two). 
  • You could use cassia by itself on the length for conditioning benefit. I don't feel it conditions as well as henna but it does make hair thick and shiny, sometimes a bit dry, and the benefits last 3-4 weeks. Cassia will not change the color of hair that's darker than light blonde. Or you could use amla by itself for shine and bounce. Used by itself this way, it will not darken your brown color.
Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

 

thanks for your answer! :)

  • I'd use a 1:1 mix of henna and indigo for a warm brown with reddish highlights in brighter light conditions. If you add amla you will see less red - it makes the indigo take darker.

what are the proportions for amla; how much would you add to the mix? and, if i would like some red reflections but not too much, can i add a little bit of it? or is it an all-or-nothing case?

  • You *must* strand test first to see if this mix will give you the color you want. If it's too dark, reduce the indigo amount. If it's too red, reduce the henna amount.

this may be a dumb question, but... what do i strand-test on? hair that have the dye on them (to see what the length of the hair will look like), or my 'natural' hair color (for the roots)? or both...?

  • You can use plant dyes as soon as you want, and re-do it or touch up roots as soon as you want. If you re-do the length it will get darker. With a mix like I'm recommending (1:1 henna/indigo) you could easily get black hair if you redo the length (unless your indigo fades, which it sometimes does the first time or two). 

assuming i do henna-indigo dye the first time; what'll happen if, the second time, i do just henna? will it darken it very much, or will it just pump up the red tones?

  • You could use cassia by itself on the length for conditioning benefit. I don't feel it conditions as well as henna but it does make hair thick and shiny, sometimes a bit dry, and the benefits last 3-4 weeks. Cassia will not change the color of hair that's darker than light blonde. Or you could use amla by itself for shine and bounce. Used by itself this way, it will not darken your brown color.

can we combine cassia and amla? if yes, how? if not; how often can/should we apply amla?

dumb question #2: i read some places, that to easily take out the henna dye, you can lie in the bath and swish your hair around; then rinse it off. but... doesn't this method make your whole skin come in contact with the henna molecules, will you come out of the bath with slightly tinted skin?

 

thanks for your patience! :)

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

oh, and also!

does henna-dyed hair "leak" color? as in, if it rains and i happen to be wearing a light colored sweater... or should i avoid using white towels to dry my hair after showering.... that kind of thing?

 

 

Carrie
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

what are the proportions for amla; how much would you add to the mix? and, if i would like some red reflections but not too much, can i add a little bit of it? or is it an all-or-nothing case?

  • Use 20-25% amla. You can use less if you want, maybe if you used 5% it wouldn't darken the indigo as much?

this may be a dumb question, but... what do i strand-test on? hair that have the dye on them (to see what the length of the hair will look like), or my 'natural' hair color (for the roots)? or both...?

  • Hair from your brush. If you want to take the time to pick out each hair and arrange them all together in a strand you'd be able to see the color on roots vs length. 

assuming i do henna-indigo dye the first time; what'll happen if, the second time, i do just henna? will it darken it very much, or will it just pump up the red tones?

 

  • Using just henna will add red tones and darken the color a bit.

can we combine cassia and amla? if yes, how? if not; how often can/should we apply amla?

  • Yes. Use as much as you want of each. Mix the 2 with water and either apply right away (less color from the cassia this way) or let it sit a few hours (more dye from the cassia, but it won't show on your hair anyway unless your hair is white or light blonde). You can use either one as often as you wish, but the effects last about a month.

dumb question #2: i read some places, that to easily take out the henna dye, you can lie in the bath and swish your hair around; then rinse it off. but... doesn't this method make your whole skin come in contact with the henna molecules, will you come out of the bath with slightly tinted skin?

  • Soaking in a tub is a great way to loosen the paste and make rinsing easier. Henna's good for skin but when it is so diluted in bathwater you will not get stained by it.
Carrie
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

does henna-dyed hair "leak" color? as in, if it rains and i happen to be wearing a light colored sweater... or should i avoid using white towels to dry my hair after showering.... that kind of thing?

It will if you don't rinse thoroughly enough. I shampoo after I've rinsed about 15 minutes and applied handfuls of conditioner several times, so the water is running clear.

Once you have all the henna residue out of your hair it won't leak. I designate one of my darker towels as the "henna towel" for the day I dye my hair, but once I'm sure it's not going to leak, I do use white towels.

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

ok, thanks for all the info! :)

last question i can think of right now; do you use a special type of shampoo/conditionner for henna-dyed hair? if yes, can you recommend any?

 

 

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

Heya! :)

Quick question regarding amla-cassia conditionning;

- what quantity do i need to get? is it like henna? (approx. 500g powder total for long hair)

- do the shampoo bars sold at Mehandi.com, with amla and cassia, have the same effect, or are they not as good as the pure stuff?

Thanks! :)

 

 

 

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

also: before doing the hendigo, should i re-dye my hair once so it's all the same color? i have about 1 inch of my natural color at the roots now. it's not shockingly different, but i don't know if the dyed hair and the non-dyed hair will take to the hendigo differently...?

 

thanks! :)

Carrie
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

Chemically dyed hair does take the hendigo differently than virgin hair. If it only has a little damage it will often suck up the dyes very well and give you a color that is brighter or darker (depending on your mix) than on the virgin hair. Indigo in particular can take very dark in slightly damaged hair. If it is very damaged, it may not be able to bind with the plant dyes as well and you could have areas where the color won't deepen as much.

Dyeing chemically one last time back to the natural color of the roots is often done to help it match better after henna or hendigo, but it won't be an exact match necessarily.

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

ok, then i don't think i'll bother. we'll see what happens ^^

but speaking of damage.... the tips are a bit damaged... does that mean they might take differently as well? if i'm thinking of trimming, does it make any difference whether i do so before, or after, hendigo-ing?

 

also, i don't know if you missed the questions about amla/cassia (post 11), since you didn't address then....

 

thanks for your help! :)

xXx

 

 

 

Carrie
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

You can make amla really thin;  you could use just 25 or 50 gm mixed with water to make a thin "soup" that your pour on and saturate your hair. You would leave it on 15-30 minutes or so.

Cassia you could use the same quantity as you would with henna. For conditioning you could leave it on 1 hour.

If you combine cassia and amla I would use about 80% cassia, 20% amla, but it is perfectly fine to vary the ratio. You'd leave it on 1 hour.

The shampoo bars have some of the effect of the herb but obviously a LOT less is getting in your hair when you shampoo, and not staying on very long, so there is less effect. I really like the zizyphus one for fullness, though! I like it better than using plain zizyphus which can be pretty gloppy.

RE: damaged ends - you can trim them before, or wait and see if they need it afterwards, either way.

xyz
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

Lila,

Did you read the e-book and the FAQ section?  A lot of your questions are answered there.

Henna "leaks" sometimes after the first or second shampoo, especially if you don't rinse well after application.  The best way to avoid it is by rinsing/shampooing/conditioning extremely well after application.  Leaking and staining seems to be more common on hair that has been damaged by bleach/peroxide. Some people like doing apple cider vinegar rinses after they henna and believe that it helps curb the color coming out.   However, when I say leaks, it is not like little streams coming down your neck...it's more like a slight staining when you rub your scalp or hairline.

It's always a good idea to have a couple of towels you reserve for your henna day.  White towels that you want to keep white are not a good candidate for your freshly-colored hair. 

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

heya! :)

yes, i read the e-book (several times even, lol), but it raised as many questions as it answered... and a lot of the questions i felt i was getting conflicting answers on, depending on where i read them, hence i thought it may be better to ask specifically..

i didn't see the FAQ section, must have missed it, could you point me to it please?

 

 

Carrie
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)
Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

thanks!

*off to read* :)

Lila
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Re: New to hair coloring, would like advice :)

okidoke! :)

 

Carrie; thank you so much for sharing your knowledge so generously!! <3

 

 

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