Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

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1PumpkinPie
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Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Hi everyone!

I stopped using chemical hair dye because it started to make me itch like crazy, even long after i colored it.. Now i am wanting to use Henna and also Indigo to make it dark.  I have lot's of grey/white on top from about 3 or 4 inches down on my head. The rest of my hair is like a golden medium brown with a very slight reddish tinge. This was from a chemical dye from back in March, so about 9 months ago. Haven't done anything to it since, as you can tell by these photos.

On top of old smokey, all covered with snow..

http://i48.tinypic.com/2eckqag.jpg


And when i lift up my hair - egads!

http://i50.tinypic.com/3515wkk.jpg


And how it looks just hanging down..

http://i45.tinypic.com/2mxl7pj.jpg

http://i46.tinypic.com/28n4h.jpg

 

And i want my hair this shade:

http://i46.tinypic.com/1z5rl2a.jpg

http://i48.tinypic.com/104l0fq.jpg

 

Or i would go more of a brown shade, like this:

http://i50.tinypic.com/qzn11j.jpg

 

Can i do either of those two shades? Or would i need to buy some Amla?

As for black hair, I DO NOT want a blue-black...or a purpish/burgandy/reddish black. Just a nice soft black or a brownish black- ONLY...or that brown shade that i posted.

Also, i need to know how much Henna to use for my shoulder length hair that will be cut before Henna is applied. I have three boxes of 100 g each of  Jamila Henna and henna caravan's Indigo. How much do i use of each?

Also, could i even cover this much grey/white hair? I don't want to cover it and have the grey/white come out lighter then the rest of my hair. I don't want the greys to be orangy at all. No two-tone hair for me will do. Uniform all through out is what I'm looking for. 

And how long do i keep each one on?  And do i add water or lemon juice or orange juice to my henna or what? 

And with the Indigo, do i wait for dye release or no? I read conflicting info on this. I do need to cover that awful grey up though, i am just concerend that it'll be lighter then the rest of my hair which would look ridiculous. Also, my original hair color is a brownish/black so i think I will look good with either of the two the colors i presented here.

Thank you in advance..

 

 

 

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Blue-black is so rare it basically almost never happens. Chances of you ending up with it, or purpleish, is unlikely. For black, just do 3 - 4 hours of a good henna (Jamila is fine), wash it out and then follow up with straight indigo for an hour.

Shoulder length - do you mean tops of your shoulders or back of your shoulder blades? Cause thats a huge difference. I would mix all of the henna (you can freeze whatever you have left) and mix probably 200g indigo, but keep the rest close by just in case.

It should come out totally uniform. The gray should not come out lighter.

What you mix your henna with is up to you... lemon juice, orange, apple, or tea. Remember that dye release times will be different, but since you have gray, something more acidic than tea is recommended.

Do not let the indigo sit. Mix and apply only when the henna is washed out.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thank you so much for your reply. :-)

So I would probably do a 4-hour Henna treatment to make sure on this grayish/white hair.

Shoulder length, as in the back of my shoulders and just a bit over my shoulders in the front. So for that just use all 3 boxes then? I also have really thick hair... And for the Indigo, just use 2 whole bags then?

So perhaps lemon juice or orange? Then how long do i let it do it's thing?.. 12 - 24 hours?

So no waiting until dye releases in Indigo. How come some say 15-20 min? So no waiting then?  the dye will relase on my head?

So only an hour with Indigo?? ...to cover this snowcapped mountain..which will probably be a bright orange after the henna gets to it.. No longer? How come some say up to 4 hours? And should i add a tsp (for every 100g) of salt to help it stick? I don't want my Indigo fading or washing out like some people claim to have happen  and expose the orange henna'd hair lurking underneath.

 Sorry if i sound redundant and unsure..I just want to make sure i do everything right.. This is all new to me..

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Mix two bags of indigo, but keep the third handy in case you need more. Be sure to mix your henna thin enough - stirred yogurt consistancy.

Lemon juice: 8 - 12 hours, sometimes upwards of 24, OJ: 7 - 9, roughly. Do not assume, always test for dye release on your palm. You want an obvious, pumpkin orange stain after a few minutes.

Cause thats the old way, things change but not all sources or people update with the changes. It will dye release before you put it on your head.

Indigo's dye only lasts about 3 hours, but those here who experiment for methods found that there is no real difference between an hour and several hours. What you really need is a good bed of henna. You can do longer for the henna if you want - upwards of 6 is fine too. But you can also do towards 2 hours of indigo. Do not use any conditioner when you wash out the henna and do not shampoo your hair for at least 48 hours after the indigo, wash it out with conditioner. You can do salt with the indigo, or amla with your henna (its acidic, so you'd mix 25g amla per 100g henna, add distilled water.. let sit 12 hours).

 

If the indigo fades - which can sometimes happen - just do the indigo again. If you have roots by that time, just redo the whole thing. Indigo tends to stick better after the second time, usually.

 

You may also want to try these tips before hand, just to ensure it works best for you - [link]

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thank you so much, you've been very helpful. :)

So which do you think would be better for Indigo? Salt or Amla? because if it's Amla, I'm gonna have to send for that...Will Amla be more of a guarantee it'll defuse any possible red tones?  Or is just using salt and Indigo be enough?

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

You wont get red tones with a two step, if you do.. either the indigo didnt work like it shouldve or its faded.

 

Go for salt and the tips I linked this first time, IF you have fading... order amla.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Yes, I will be doing a two-step.

I probably won't get to this though until next weekened or sometime the following week, but i will report back when i do or if i can think of any more questions before then...

And once again, thank you so much, you've been extremely helpful. :)

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 One more question. I was just checking my emails and i had asked someone else before i asked you and they told me to use 300g Henna and 300g Indigo. You say only 200g Indigo.  Is that enought to make it black? or should i just do the 300g?

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Again, like I said before.... mix 200g of indigo and hold onto the third bag. If you need it, mix it. If you dont, tuck it away for roots.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Okay, will do and thank you. :)   Okay now how do i store Indigo?

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

In a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight with an even, constant temp. Air tight package. If you open it, transfer to a ziplock, suck or roll the air out, seal and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Ah okay, thank you.

Carrie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Because indigo does not have to sit - and in fact it should NOT sit- you can mix it as you go. I'd mix 150 or 200 gm of indigo for the amount of hair you describe. If you run out, you would simply mix up more on the spot. Don't mix all 300 gm ahead, because you may be wasting some if you don't need all of it. Indigo paste doesn't keep, you would have to throw away any excess. 

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Good idea, thank you Carrie.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

One more question. How come some say to just add water to Henna and not lemon juice or orange juice? And what about Apple Cider Vinegar?

Carrie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Henna will work if you just add water, but the paste will release dye quicker (you don't need to let it sit before you apply, and it will be weaker if you let it sit too long with a water mix) and have a shorter active life. Many people all over the world use it with just water. 

Using a more acidic mix helps if you have resistant gray, and if you want your paste to last a longer time. 

ACV works, but it's pretty smelly mixed with henna. 

Carrie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Some people use boiling water but that will cause more fading of the color, while a more acidic mix will keep deepening in color as time goes by. 

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thank you Carrie.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Thank you once again Carrie.

I probably wont get to this until next week or so, caught myself a cold and I dont want to do this till i feel better. I certainly will tell you all how it comes out though with possible pics.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Does it matter what kind of gloves to use while applying? does it have to be those Nitrile gloves? they're sort of expensive. Would disposable Vinyl gloves be okay? 

And when I do the allergy test, how much should I use, where should I put it and how long should I leave it on? And should I do it right before I color my hair? and if I don't, how should I store my opened packages of henna and indigo powder?

Also, I may use orange juice. Should i use it room temperature or cold?

Sorry for the rather lame questions.

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

You can buy a cheap box from Walmart or Walgreens or whatever. Those work fine.

 

About a half tablespoon should be fine. Inner elbow or behind your ear. Try for a few hours at the very least. No, you want to do it at least a week before hand to give your body time to react if its going to. Stick the opened packages in ziplocks and suck the air out.

 

Cold tends to be better for henna, but its up to you.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Thank you.

So mix the OJ with the henna and apply as if i was going to do my hair? Or just straight henna and water?

A whole week? it could cause a reaction even a week later? even after it's been washed off?  Is this test going to be enough? I mean it's not the same as one's whole head being completely slathered and sitting for up to 6 hours..

And with the Indigo, always use water to mix? What kind? disstilled? room temperature? So during this test, Indigo should color my sin a dark blue, yes? and the henna an orange?

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Water! Distilled for henna and indigo. It'll stain.

 

Some people have had a reaction up to a week later, yeah. Try to keep the test on for as long as you can manage, upwards of 24 hours if you possible. Even a small exposure can cause a reaction if you're allergic.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thank you, I'll do that. And if there's a reaction, then what? How do i get rid of it and what then should i do with my henna and indigo? 

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

You cant get rid of it, hon... its an allergic reaction like any other and any time you expose yourself to it, it could/can/will get worse. You could go from nothing to in the ER in shock in a single exposure, even if you were never allergic to something before (this happened to my mom). So, if you come up with an allergic reaction (see below for a list)... we really do recommend that you try and avoid using it for you own health and safety. You can always talk to your doctor about medication that could help curb the reactions, but it does not mean that you're safe from it and that it wont get worse.

 

If you do react, be sure to wash that area well with soap and lots of water.

 

 

Signs to watch out for:

  • Skin: irritation, redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, eruptions, or hives (itchy bumps or welts)
  • Lungs: wheezing, tightness, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Head: swelling or bumps on the face and neck, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat, hoarseness of voice, headache
  • Nose: stuffy nose, runny nose (clear, thin discharge), sneezing
  • Eyes: red (bloodshot), itchy, swollen, or watery or swelling of the area around the face and eyes
  • Stomach: pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody diarrhea
  • Other: fatigue, sore throat
1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thats a lot of scary things to watch out for. So all that could happen just from an allergy test even?   Makes me almost not want to try it out. lol

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

You were having similar reactions from the chemical dye, they were just fairly mild. This can happen with ANYTHING you come in contact with - even stuff you've been in contact with all your life. For example, I've worn sterling silver all my life, but at 26, I can no longer wear it because my body reacts to it. It makes me itch and break out in blisters. Or, my mom is in her 50s and has eaten nuts all her life. Few years back, she ate pistachios that had been baked in cookies and suddenly found herself in the ER in anaphylactic shock.  Hives, unable to breathe, whole nine yards. Now she has to carry an epi pen and cannot eat any kind of nut or anything produced with nuts without breaking out into hives.

This is why I say you can go from zero to 100 in no time flat, but this doesnt always happen! The reason for the patch test is basically to keep the reaction as minimal as possible in as small of a place as possible rather than you finding out while its piled on your head. Better to have a section of your arm itch than your whole head feel like its on fire or something.

Basically the body suddenly just decides it doesnt like something and freaks out, this is an allergic reaction.

 

While they do happen, henna reactions are pretty rare. We've heard more of reactions to indigo here, but they're also fairly uncommon (out of the hundreds of people that have posted here, I can think of maybe 5 - 10 or so people who've had reactions to either one since this forum was booted up in 2010) ... so chances of you having a reaction are pretty slim. Most people tend to itch, get headaches, feel sick to their stomach... basically like they've gotten a really nasty flu bug with an itch.

Itching can also happen when henna and indigo are not properly rinsed from the hair. The residue can cause itching, so always be sure to rinse with loads of water and conditioner!

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Wow, that's crazy. Well right now I am fighting off a cold, it's at the tail end but i better wait till it's completely over before I do the allergy test. I don't want any confusion between my cold or a possible reaction. I want to make sure I don't go the psychosomatic route... knowing me.

I had used chemical dyes for at least 10 years if not more and i never had a problem till just more recently. My head would itch like crazy after i came home from the salon. I thought maybe the salons i went to didn't rinse properly or something. And sometimes the dye they used would burn my head when it was on but went away after it was rinsed out. But I'd come home and my head would start itching. This happened about the last 3 times I got it done professinally. I even tried rinsing like crazy every time I'd wash my hair incase some residue was left, but it never seemed to help. It took weeks before the itching finally subsided. I then decided, no more chemical dyes. It never did anything more then itch tho, no other symptoms.

Yeah so hopefully I am in the majority and henna & indigo won't bother me.

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Yeah, what you're describing with the chemical dyes sounds like a classic chemical allergic reaction. You were smart to stop when you did, it couldve gotten a LOT worse!

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Yikes! i know. Now my head thanks me. No more itchies.  But now I have a new challange. I don't see why I should be allergic to it though, normally  I'm not one to be allergic to a lot of things. I know I'm allergic to menthol cigarettes. i don't smoke but I've been around people who have smoked them, and when I was around the second hand smoke for a long period of time, I broke out in hives and my lips and eyes would swell up. It was awful, i looked like a monster. I took Benadryl for it and that helped. This was almost 20 years ago though. I have no idea if menthol cigaretttes would bother me now. And one time i used Proactiv acne treatment back in the 90's and within a week or two i started having allergic reactions. My face and lips swelled up so i stopped using it. I thought maybe they stuck menthol in it or something. lol. Well just now i looked up the ingredients and guess what? menthol is in it. lol yikes!  (assuming it was the menthol in the cigarettes and the acne treatment that was the culprit for me because there's also tons of other ingredients and chemicals in both)  And I guess with the hair dye it was the PPD?  

I also read that some guy used Indigo and had to shave his hair off in order to get rid of the non-stop allergic reaction from it. Don't know where I read that, maybe on this forum? not sure..

But those are the only things i know of that I've had allergic reactions to. 

So as long as Henna or Indigo dont have menthol lurking inside, i should be okay! lol

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Sure sounds like it could be the menthol! Wow, thats... nuts. And yeah, its most likely the PPD in the dyes... but there could be other things in it thats causing it.

 

Yeah, the head shave was here, I believe. Thats the only one I've heard of someone having to do that in the entire time I've been part of this forum - including the old one from like... '07 or '08 (when I originally joined).

 

And yeah, definitely should be no menthol in either of them.

 

 

 

Though on a side note, out of curiousity.. I looked up menthol cause I know I know it, but I wanted to make sure I was right about what it was. Its basically mint... theres a lot of stuff with menthol in it! Candy, gum, toothpaste and mouthwash, medicine (IE Vicks), lip balms... Not to make your paranoid, but... if you are allergic, be careful!

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Yet I've used toothpaste and lip balms and candy and gum and all those things that had menthol in it and not a one of them ever bothered me. Isn't that funny? I don't get near them now though, my diet and habits have changed in recent years but yeah, funny how when it came to the cigs and acne lotion, the menthol (assuming that's what it was) bothered me.

Oh yeah, i thought that was at this forum. That's very scary but sounds more like an isolated case. I'm assuming he didn't do an allergy test first? 

And thanks, I didnt think Henna & Indigo did..

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

It may not have been menthol then, hard to say.

 

I dont think so, but not everyone does either. Its always recommended to patch and strand test though.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 I know, thing is, i never went to a doctor or anything to really find exactly what was making me allergic. I just stopped being around menthol cigs and stopped using Proactiv and the symptoms went away, never to return.

Well they should. Guess most people think that if its rare to have an allergic reaction, that it equals its 100% perfectly safe at all times, especially for them. lol  Like when I used chemical hair dye for the first time which was over 20 years ago, I never did a patch test first. I never did a patch test even the times I would do my hair at home. I figured it wouldnt happen to me, you know. lol But now with this last episode of continuous head itches, well, i think its best i do a patch test, even though its considered rare. Better safe then sorry.

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Better safe than sorry.

 

Exactly! Just cause its pure and safe in general, doesnt always mean its whats best to use or right for every person.

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Exactly! . So now I wait till my cold is over, then I will proceed with the test.

And thank you so much, you've been more then helpful.

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Any time! Glad to help :)

 

Let us know how the patch test goes and if you have any other questions!

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Will do! :-)

 

 

Carrie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 If you are patch testing henna and indigo and you know they're pure (not some mystery henna that might have chemical hairdye added to it) then waiting 2 days after the patch test is plenty. In fact, if you are going to have a reaction to henna or indigo it's most likely you'll have symptoms (itching, irritation) while it is on your skin. 

It is PPD-containing dyes that can give you delayed reactions, not henna or indigo. 

here is our FAQ about strand and patch testing: forums.hennapage.com/node/37

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thank you Carrie for that info..that made me feel a little better.lol. 

I got Jamila Henna and Indigo from HennaCaravan. They claim it's 100% pure.

Oh and when i do a patch test, should i test both henna and indigo on the same day? Or is it better i wait and do the test several days apart on different arms?

And about my hair strand test. How can I test henna and indigo on my grey/white areas? Its too way up high on my head to cut off. (see pictures i posted in OP ) ..I can cut off the bottoms which i will anyway to test the colors, but not the greys.. and not enough comes off on my brush..

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 I also want to know, what about using Pineapple Juice or Apple Juice with my henna? How long of a dye release with them and how does it effect color etc..??

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Jamila is pure henna, cannot say about their indigo as they are another company. Do the test a few days apart and on different arms.

If you have gray/white on a section under your hair that wont easily be seen under normal conditions, you can strand test there and just wrap with plastic wrap..

 

I dont think pineapple is recommended. Apple juice is around 6 - 8 hours.

Since you are doing a two step, you do not have to worry about how it will effect the color of henna, since it wont be seen. But just to say it, the liquid you mix your henna with does not have a direct impact on color as far as if it will be more orange or more red, this has more to do with dye content and starting color, as well as the condition of the hair (IE chemically dyed hair reacts differently than virgin). How acidic the liquid is will effect dye release/demise time and how true or rusty the end results are after oxidation. Less acidic mixes (like apple) dye release faster and have a more true red tone while more acidic mixes (like lemon) take longer and will be more rusty/brown hued. They will ultimately end up the same shade though when the same henna is applied to the same hair for the same amount of time.

Carrie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 I remember hearing that the enzymes in pineapple juice could do something funky with henna (I forget if it had to do with dye release time, dye availability/lifespan or what) but I'd avoid it. That's the only juice I've heard of that could be problematic with henna. 

 

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thank you ACWN and thank you Carrie..

This is the link to the indigo from henna caravan.. It says it's pure....

http://www.hennacaravan.com/shop/hair.html

So perhaps i will use apple juice then. 

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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 When i do the patch test for both henna and indigo, do i use cold distilled water straight from the fridge or room temperature? and the dye release will be right away? then leave it on the inside of mys skin for how long before rinsing?

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

Either or, doesnt matter. With the indigo, yes... henna might take a bit before it releases, but the warmth of your skin will speed that up. And [link] - I answered that in a couple previous posts.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Okay thanks and i found the other replies.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Silly question:
Do i cover it with anything while the skin patch is testing like i would my hair? How does it not rub off my skin if i keep it on 24 hours?

ACWN
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

24 is ideal, I think, but just try to keep it on as long as you can cause I dont think you really *could* leave it on that long (I had just mentioned that time frame cause I remember someone else mentioning it being the ideal amount of time for a patch test). Dont cover it, let it dry out on its own... if it flakes off, it flakes off.

1PumpkinPie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Thanks! :)

Carrie
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Re: Henna & Indigo newbie in desperate need of help!

 Dye release is not required for patch testing if you are trying to find out if you're allergic. 

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