Henna Newbie - need guidance

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lakegal76
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Henna Newbie - need guidance
Hi there, I have ordered my henna, indigo and amla and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival! I am attaching pics of my current hair in hopes to get some guidance on the ratio of henna/indigo as I am going for more brown than red...although I do know there will be red highlights/undertones and that is fine. I know it will be darker for sure and that's ok too...but I am trying to avoid being TOO dark because of my skin tone. My natural hair can be seen in pic #3 at the roots along with some grey strands. It is what I would call medium brown but obviously has chemically dyed blonde highlights and it has been this way for years. Current hair - http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/theheartknows1/library/ I ordered Amla thinking it was going to help make the henna less red, but after reading yesterday, I am starting to think I should have ordered Cassia instead? Although, I read that Cassia doesn't really give any color but can help blonde hair be "brighter/shinier".....so any help on Amla vs Cassia for my hair color. I planned on doing a 50/50 Henna/Indigo with a small amount of Amla mixed into the Indigo....dont know how much though? Also thought about doing a gloss which I have read and understand (I think) that lessens the color a bit...but I have also read the downside is it fades and doesnt last as long??? My goal is to #1 cover grey and #2 have an all over nice, natural color which blends my medium brown roots in with the rest of my hair without using chemical dyes. So questions are ratio of Henna/Indigo and should I use Amla (how much) or order some Cassia to mix in if I want it not toooooo terribly dark (although I know it will be darker) and not quite so much red? Thanks for any help and I am so thankful to have found this great forum.....so much info here, it has been extremely helpful! Misty
ACWN
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance

Cassia's dye is so weak that up against henna and indigo, its basically only good for diluting them. It would really only benefit you if you wanted a lighter brown or to turn your grays into natural (pale) yellow highlights. Amla doesn't have a dye but something about its properties causes it to turn a hennigo from a (warm) milk chocolate color to a (cool) dark chocolate color when mixed with the henna portion as the acid. It also tends to help indigo bind better to stubborn and gray hair.

Do NOT mix amla and indigo, amla will kill the indigo. Amla is acidic and indigo hates acid. You mix 25g into 100g henna and the henna dye acts as a buffer between the acid and the indigo.

Glosses are made for a weaker color, yes and will typically last as long as a full strength application but everyone's hair is different.

A 50/50 hennigo will make your grays (and probably the blonde highlights) a medium brown, but it will make the rest of your hair a very dark brown.

If you want to keep your natural color relatively the same, I would suggest ordering a fair amount of cassia and plan on doing a cassia heavy mix. 50 - 75% cassia and equal parts henna and indigo. Amla optional. A cassia heavy mix with a hennigo portion will turn your grays into a lighter, more golden brown without changing your natural color much, if at all. Might warm/brighten it up slightly.  It will more or less blend your grays in, but may not entirely cover them. You could, alternatively, do this with a gloss.

I would strongly advise strand testing before jumping in and seeing which you prefer.

lakegal76
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance
Thank you so much - the more I read I started to realize I should have ordered Cassia. My order hasn't shipped yet...but probably couldn't catch it in time to add. :-( So, when you say 50-75% cassia how much does this actually mean? (forgive me, Im not up on the formulations yet). If I were to use 100gm of Henna/Indigo each? Also when do I add the Cassia and to what? Do I add to Henna and before or after dye release? If I do NOT add Amla - I will need to add another acid correct since Amla acts as the acid? And IF I DID add the Amla to the Henndigo/Cassia mix what would you suspect that would do? One last question - I had considered doing a demi-permanent to get my hair all one color first (I know it would have to be darker) blend the greys and cover the highlights. Would that be advisable or if I work with the suggested mixture do you think it would be ok? Honestly, I want the dimension...would rather have a few different color tones than just 1 solid but do NOT want to end up with ORANGE where my blonde highlights are currently...thats my biggest fear and hoping by adding Indigo I wont get orange...but I know all hair is different. Will do a strand test for sure.... Thank you again - so helpful!
ACWN
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance

If you were to use 100g each of henna and indigo, that would be a 200g mix, which would be more than enough for your hair, I think, since it doubles when liquid is added. If you did a cassia heavy mix, you'd want 100 - 150g cassia to 50 or 25g each of henna and indigo. Though you might want 100g more than you think you need... juuuust in case!

Cassia you would mix at the same time as your henna, with an acid. Let it sit as long as the henna, when the henna is ready (orange stain on your palm).. so is the cassia. Amla takes about 12 hours to dye release. And yes, if you don't use amla, you will need a different acid like lemon juice, which has a similar dye release time.

Only once those are ready do you mix the indigo, then combine all three just before application. Do not mix indigo when you mix your henna because it will be demised by the time the henna is ready.

My best guess about adding amla to a cassia-hennigo mix is that it would produce a slighter cooler, maybe slightly ashier light brown, but I don't know for sure as I don't experiment with those kinds of mixes.

 

I was going to suggest you even out your color and then go from there, but you had mentioned not wanting to use chemicals any more so I didn't. I wouldn't go darker, I would match your natural color as closely as possible. Its only when you're going from an indigo included mix TO chemical dyes that you want to go darker.

Part of the reason is because I'm not entirely sure how the mix would react on the highlights as plant dyes color much differently on chemically lightened hair. I don't think you would get straight up orange because of the indigo, but I'm not positive if it would be the same golden brown you'd get on your gray. It could be a lot brassier.

lakegal76
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance
Hi there - ok, Ive got my Cassia, Amla, Indigo and Henna and still not sure where to go from here. I posted on another forum with the idea of doing the heavy Cassia mix suggested here and I was told I may get bright orange like Lucille Ball with my blonde highlights. (photos included in first post here) That is about as FAR from what I am looking for..... Any other thoughts? Maybe a Hendigo/Cassia mix?? I am most worried about how the highlights will turn out.....want to stay away from orange completely. Red tones with a brown would be fine.... I know I will do a strand test no matter what....but not sure where to even start there on my mixtures since Ive got 4 ingredients to try? Any thoughts?
Jen
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance
Yes, I'd use henna, indigo and cassia. That's actually what ACWN suggested above. 150 cassia, 50 henna, 25 indigo, mixed just as she suggests should tone down any possibility of orange to light brown or light auburn, or maybe an ashy blond, depending on the current color.
lakegal76
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance
Thank you - would it be more safe to try a gloss first or would that not cover enough? I guess we are always a little scared to take the first plunge. It seems it would be much, much easier to go darker more intense if it was not enough coverage than to go lighter if it turned out too red/dark. Gloss or straight?? And also...I have no idea how long I should leave it, worried if I dont leave it long enough it may turn out more orange. If I leave it too long will be too dark....anyone have a good estimate?
Carrie
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Re: Henna Newbie - need guidance
What would be safest is to do a hairball test or two :) 

 If you want a browner, not redder tone in your results, I'd suggest equal amount of henna and indigo, so 150 gm cassia, 25 henna, 25 indigo, and you can use 5 of amla mixed with your henna portion, and (if you want amla in the cassia; it's optional) then 30 of amla in the 150 gm of cassia.

I think a cassia-based mix, instead of a gloss, is a good idea if you know your hair does well with cassia (another reason to strand test).  If your hair comes out strawlike with cassia, though, you can skip the cassia and do a hendigo gloss.
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