New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get on my already-dyed hair!

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xostali
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New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get on my already-dyed hair!
Hello, all. I have been lurking here for a bit, and after reading the ebook and many of the threads on this forum, I have decided to ask for some advice.

I am planning to henna my hair, for the first time, sometime next month. My roots grow in dark brown with silver shot through them here and there, but I have been dyeing my hair red for many years, and for the last couple with Garnier Nutrisse 76 Hot Tamale Rich Auburn Blonde (http://i.pgcdn.com/pi/1/83/12/18312435_640.jpg), which turns it a shade I absolutely love (http://www.flickr.com/photos/xostali/12747350804/ - it's way more brilliant in direct sunlight). I'd post a link to my natural hair color, but the last time I grew it out was in 1999, so I have no idea where to find a photo...I was already getting silver hairs at 21, so I decided to go back to dyeing, and if I was dyeing, it was gonna be red. ;)

I am trying to stop damaging my hair so much (it's thin and fine, prone to dryness and breakage) and grow it out as long as I can, so I want to switch to henna. I know that all my new growth will end up dark with a reddish tint and lighter highlights from the silvers...that's fine. I'll get used to it. It's going to take a long time to grow out the color I already have, though, and I want to enjoy the brightness while I can.

What I need to know is if there's a way to get the henna mix to turn out as vibrant a red as possible. I know it will darken over the first few days as it develops, perhaps depending on what I add to the mix...I'm just hoping that it won't get too dark or burgundy-ish. I was reading things here about using chamomile tea or apple juice instead of lemon juice, but there was some contradictory advice. Also, I'm not sure whether I should get Ancient Sunrise Rajasthani Twilight for the highest lawsone content, or if I'd be better off with Monsoon. I am perfectly happy if it turns out crazy-bright or intense (orange wouldn't bother me, either)...I'm just worried that it will darken too much. After I do my whole head, I'll mostly just touch up the roots so that it doesn't build up too much...I understand that much about it.

Also, I should add that I have curly hair naturally, though not the curls in the picture. My curls are more like a spiral perm, though their tightness varies some depending on humidity and such. I'm hoping I won't lose them! I understand that amla would help, but it would also give my henna a browner hue, which I don't want.

Anyway, I hope all that made sense. I want to order my henna soon, so it's ready for when my sparkly roots start to annoy me. :)

Thanks!
ACWN
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...

First, unfortunately because your hair is dark brown.. henna will not give you a bright red color. It will result in any where from dark auburn to cherry cola to no visible color change, depending on how dark your hair actually is. On your gray, you'll get any where from copper to auburn, depending on which henna you use.

To get that vivid color you're after, you would have to start with blonde hair (which means you may want/need to remove your current color first) and that would mean lightening your roots every time before you apply. You'd want to do roots only after your first application to avoid color build up.

I would suggest you get samples and try different mixes (wouldn't recommend lemon juice on chemically damaged hair though - too drying) and different times on hair from your hair brush. You may want to try it on your current color and hair that's had the current color removed.

Strand testing is really the best way to figure out what mix you want and how long to leave it on. Plus it gives you a rough idea of the resulting all over color.

 

Amla doesn't have a dye and while it can cool the red tones of henna, its usually only in hennigo mixes. It CAN add slightly ashy tones to henna-only mixes, but they are often very subtle (rarely noticeable) and don't last. I'm going to hazard a guess and say you might be thinking it cools/browns it more than it actually does.

xostali
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Thanks for trying to help, but I don't think you read my post correctly. My hair will grow in dark, but if you look at the picture link, you will see I have almost no roots right now and my hair is a pretty bright red. I said I know what will happen to the brown and silver. I want to make sure the red doesn't darken too much.

Clearer now? I hope! :)

I will not be removing the red color I already have. I love it, first of all, and I do not care to damage the hell out of my hair to start with the weird, unnatural reddish blonde that will result (I have been down the color-removal road before...not even an option). And I am not doing strand tests until I buy the henna, and I asked advice about which to buy, so I'm not making that decision until I've gotten some help.

I do thank you for the tip about not using lemon juice on my damaged hair...I had read that somewhere else, too. I'll probably try apple...but I wanted to see if anyone had any other suggestions.

Anyway, like I said, my hair is currently red, so I'm most concerned about what will happen to my hair now, as I do not plan to buzz off my colored hair to start over. :)
HennaGal
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Hi there! I suggest to try the jasmine henna dye released with cranberry juice. jasmine will cover gray currently. if you use the mix all over, it will most likely tame down that vibrant color to light coppery brown, but it will help the roots blend as they grow. seasiren2k13 has a similar color, hopefully she will pop on with some tips!
xostali
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Aw, so even if my hair is as red as it is to start with, it's going to go brownish with the henna? :( My hair grows slowly...I don't care about them blending in for at least several months. I wanted to treat my whole head with the henna to make it feel nicer, but perhaps I should just forget it.

I call my greys 'silver' because they are silvery white and catch the light like a metal. With my current chemical hair color they're the bits that really catch fire in the sun. I love that.

If I did use cranberry, I assume I'd have to find 100% cranberry? Or do people use that cocktail that is only 10% juice? Can't imagine that's the case...
HennaGal
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Henna does tend to be pretty fiery in the sun. using a low dye content henna will slow the browning process. as long as you dont do full head applications each time, the henna shouldn't be too much darker than what you already have. you might strand test first. you could apply cassia all over for now. cassia has a very weak golden dye molecule. it wont change your current color, but it should help with the condition
belovedhlin
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
As hennagal suggested, Cranberry will be your best bet for getting the reddest red out of henna.  You don't need 100% pure cranberry juice - so long as it's actual juice and not a cocktail it will work to dye release and redden the henna a little.  You mentioned chamomile tea - it has a 6.5 Ph level, which is slightly more acidic than water, but not quite what you want to get the vibrant color you are looking for.  The Jasmine won't darken the current color much, but it will change it to be a little more firey than the cherry you have.  Twilight would darken far more than I think you would appreciate.  The cassia would be a good place to start repairing your hair before you decide exactly you want to handle the henna process.
xostali
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Thanks for all your help! I'm taking the plunge today since my henna came in the mail this morning (I just mixed it up and am about to go to sleep...I work 3rd shift). I didn't plan ahead, though, so I didn't have any cranberry left...I drank it all. Oops! I had some lemon, so I used that but diluted it with hot water, so I'm hoping that will be okay. That's what a friend of mine does, and she has fine, easily damaged hair.

I know, I ask for advice and then don't take it! I'll probably try cranberry next time I do my whole head. My roots are looking so dark to me right now that I'm wondering if I wouldn't mind all my hair getting a bit darker to match. I'm kind of reckless with my hair sometimes (trying a crazy color or chopping it all off on a whim). I know I should do a strand test...but oh well. I'm too impatient!

I have no idea how this henna will work. I wanted to get it from Mehandi, but I'm poor and the friend I mentioned earlier likes the stuff she gets from Bulk Herb Store (I know, no guarantee on the lawsone content...but it's not like I can't upgrade later). She's been happy with it, so I decided to try it. I'll let you all know what I think.

Oh, anyway, I mixed a half pound of henna (about 227 grams - the packages are sold in that size) with what ended up being 3/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 cup of hot water. I kept adding the liquid in 1/4 cup increments until I was happy with the consistency. I looks like more than enough to cover my hair.

Okay...I'm off to bed. Thanks again!
ACWN
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Henna mixed with hot water will speed up dye release, even with the lemon. Don't be surprised if its no good when you wake up... Test on your palm for an orange peel colored stain. If there's any yellow to the color, its dying.
xostali
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Well, good thing I never went to bed, huh? :-D My brother ended up coming up from the city and we went for an early lunch. I just tested on my palm for 5 minutes, and it's orange. I'm going to go wash my hair quick, towel dry, and get to work.

I used hot water (as hot as the tap gets, anyway) because it's like 58 degrees in this house and I didn't want it to take forever. :)

We'll see how it goes!
ACWN
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
If you dilute lemon enough, it won't take too long, even when its cold. And if you plan to sleep, it taking a while via a good thing.
xostali
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Oh, I see. I was worried it would take too long, because I saw this page on dye release, though of course I didn't take into account that I added water to the lemon. I added all the lemon I had...it wasn't enough to get the consistency I wanted. I didn't want it to take more than eight hours. I ended up putting it in after almost four hours because it seemed to be ready after three, but I needed to wash my hair and get my stuff in order. That's fine...I'm just not sure I'll be able to take a nap like this...hahah. I'm going to try. I'd like to kill at least four more hours. My head weighs a ton, so it probably would be the best if I can find a way to lie down with a towel on my pillow. I couldn't find a hat to put over the plastic wrap, so I have a towel wrapped around my head.

I'm thinking this henna is not going to dye as dark as others would. It was cheaper...I expect that. I do have a number of light orange stains on my arms from the goop falling everywhere when I was applying it, so it should do something. I have enough of this henna for a couple more whole-head applications, or probably 6 root applications.

My cats keep trying to smell my head. I think they're confused. :-P
ACWN
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...

Okay, first... sorry about the random "via" in my last post... my phone has this auto correct, auto add words thing and I didn't notice it till now.

All lemon juice can take about 12+ hours... lemon juice diluted by about half can take 6 - 8 hours (I think - guesstimating) and the more its diluted, the less time it will take. Heat will speed up dye release, but it will also speed up demise.

Towels add a lot of weight and can give headaches/neck aches. S'why we recommend something lighter like a beanie, a scarf or (my favorite) a turbie twist you can get at Walgreens.

The longer you can keep the henna on, the darker the stain will be on your hair. But also keep in mind that several back to back applications for shorter periods will give you more color than one long application for the same time cause of how henna builds in layers. So, two 2 hr applications will be deeper than a single 4 hr application.

 

My dogs did the same at first. Now they're use to it.

xostali
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Ah, gotcha.

So, one thing I hadn't anticipated was how incredibly profusely my scalp would sweat! It's horrible! I can feel the drips constantly collecting and running down my scalp...and I am having a hard time containing the dark, runny liquid escaping from my plastic wrap. I slept a little (until a helpful person woke me up, grr), and it's smeared on both towels, plus my shirt, and all around my ears and my neck. At least the shirt is black and one of the towels is orange! I just wonder how adding all that sweat to the henna is affecting my dye job, especially at the roots. Here I am in a cold room, covered in blankets because I'm freezing, and my head won't stop sweating. I don't suppose there is another way to keep the mess, moistness, and heat in that doesn't involve plastic. My head doesn't feel hot at all, just kind of gross and squishy, plus there's the weird feeling of the rolling sweat. Ugh!

I've decided that I don't care if it stains my pillowcase and pillow. C'est la vie...
ACWN
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...

I havent used a towel in ages to keep my henna warm, but if I recall right… I tended to sweat more with a towel than with something lighter like my turbie twist. I think I sweated a lot with a beanie too.

The way I do it is I use a plastic grocery bag, but a cheap shower cap works too. I then loosely wrap my head with my turbie twist and pin it in place like I would if I was using it to dry my hair. It keeps my head pretty warm, but I don't sweat.

 

But you can stuff the edges of your hair with toilet paper next time or if you have a beauty supply store near by, you can hit that and ask them to direct you to the isle that has the cotton coils. Its basically a gigantic spool of unrolled cotton balls. Stylists use it to catch drips and stuff. You can wrap your hair with plastic, then put a length of that around the edge of the plastic. Either stuff it just under the plastic or tape it place. It'll catch the drips.

ACWN
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Re: New here, need some help with the reddest hue I can get ...
Friggin page... Double posting.
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