Permanent blue-black over 2-step-ed hair and cassia

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Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2013-07-11 15:44
Permanent blue-black over 2-step-ed hair and cassia

Hi, I am giving up henna/indigo for now due to unsatisfactory results and the hazzle it is compared to chemical dyes. Also, I get super nauseous from the smell of both henna and indigo, while I don't suffer from any adverse reactions to chemical dye whatsoever. I also have never experienced the amazing conditioning effect of henna, which so many of you are in love with (I wish I could have that too!). So! I've been reading all the threads I could find on this forum regarding going back to chemical, but I haven't been able to find anyone sharing their results from using chemical dye over henna/indigo-ed (2-step) hair. Before I go to the salon, I would like some input from the users here on the following:

1. I have natural brown-black (black-black when I was younger) hair and I was looking for jet black with the 2-step. While the henna gave my hair a red tint under direct light, I was never able to get really black after indigo-ing. It did go darker at first, but the color faded back to the henna tint after a couple of months. Could the fact that I had a curly perm about one year prior to the henna/indigo treatment have anything to do with that? The hair is obviously dryer and more damaged than virgin hair. Now, about 1½ years after the perm, my curls still come back after washing my hair, but they don't last unless I apply some kind of fixing product.

2. I'm going for blue-black with the chemical dye, and as far as I understand, this shouldn't be a problem as I'm not attempting to lift the indigo from my hair, right? However, I'm assuming a peroxide developer will be involved, which would have a bleaching effect, or?

3. I read that chemical dye may not last on henna-ed hair, but it doesn't really specify whether this goes for permanent colors or just for rinse-out (lasting 4-10 shampoos) colors? I'm going for permanent as I'm starting to see greys appear :(

4. I collected some hair balls and applied a rinse-out color to one and the peroxide developer from a black box dye to the other. Would any reaction with additives to cheap henna (marketed as pure henna, bought at the local Indian market, not promising or giving any other color than orange-red) be expected to arise from the developer or the color cream of a box dye? Upon application, there was no sizzling or other noticeable reaction. I rinsed the hair balls after 30+min and there was no noticeable change in color or structure, except that the rinse-out dye seemed to have worked. The color cream containing ammonium hydroxide is in a sealed container, so I haven't tried that on a hair ball.

5. I read about someone not being able to obtain the henna benefits until she added an egg to the mix, which sat a total of just 1½ hour before application. Would adding an egg affect the binding of indigo? If I ever go back, I would like to try this to see if I would get the "heavy and silky" hair I was hoping for in the first place...

6. I have some cassia that I would like to try to see if my hair benefits more from this than henna, and I would love not to have to cover the red (which I hate) with indigo, which unfortunately makes me sick. Are there any precautions to be taken when using cassia over chemically dyed and/or 2-step-ed hair?

7. Has anyone tried applying indigo over cassia rather than henna. I have read lots of questions about it, but noone seems to have tried it out.

Thank you so much for your always very informative replies!

Last seen: 2 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 2014-05-20 10:39
Re: Permanent blue-black over 2-step-ed hair and cassia
Hi there,
Sorry it did not work out for you =/ Indigo can be picky sometimes.  It is best to never condition the hair before applying indigo.  For future henna reference (if you do decide to return), it is best to keep your mix as simple as possible.  Henna loosens curls, which is why your hair may not be holding curl without product.  Depending on what acidic liquid you used as well depends on how your hair turns out.  If you used lemon juice, it would make sense if you had dry hair considering the perm.  Apple juice tends to be more gentle. 

As long as the henna and indigo have no additives, it is perfectly safe to color over it.  If you have used other henna products, it would be best to test, since it can actually have a bad reaction with chemical colors.  You would also want to test it on the area you had the perm since perms don't always interact with color as well. 

Using henna that is on the market combined with hair color can cause chemical reactions that either fry the hair and causing breakage, or could even cause it to singe off.  This is something that needs to be monitored with extreme caution.

For the smell you can add ginger root powder to help. 

As long as the cassia has been tested to be free of any ppd, pesticides, metallic salts, and lead, it will be fine.

As far as the indigo over cassia, it would most likely just be a greenish/blue cast- Indigo needs henna to bind to the hair properly, where as cassia is just temporary, yet also benefits from being used with henna. 

I hope these answers help!


Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 2012-01-01 16:04
Curious how it all turned out

Hey Jewel, I just read your question and I'm curious to know if it all went well for you. 


Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2013-07-11 15:44
Update on results

Hi leighoc,

When I was researching this, I found a few other people asking about it, but never any follw-ups posted. Now, here's how it went for me:

I took 3 hair balls and applied a non-permanent color to one, the developer of the box dye to another, and the dye component of the box dye to the third. Wrapped them all in plastic, and left them, first for 30 min, then overnight.

After 30 min, there was no visible damage to either hair ball, so I re-wrapped them and left them over night. Interestingly, the non-permanent color seemed to have dyed the hair ball more intensely than when I first used it on non-treated hair. this could be due to the longer exposure time, or it could be some interaction with the henna (now, wouldn't that be nice? Henna + semi-permanent as a lasting 2-step easy!).

As well as visible damage, I tested for structural damage (yes, I am a scientist ;) ) after rinsing the respective chemicals off the hair balls. The hair didn't crumble or stick or anything unusual.

I went ahead and dyed my hair to achieve the blue-black I was originally trying to obtain with henna+indigo. Very happy with the results and no apparent side effects of the previous 2-step treatment.

HOWEVER! I'm now going to give the 2-step another go. I found that the supposedly permanent hair dye started to fade, and I now have the henna tint showing on my lengths under the sunlight. 

Since first using henna+indigo on my hair, I have cut it so that none of the permed ends remain, and I'm hoping that that was the reason, I didn't see any conditioning effects of henna in the first place, and perhaps, the indigo will stick better when the hair is less porous. 

I've been using a lot of oils on my hair (coconut, olive, sesame, castor, almond, neem, hemp, grape seed, wheat germ, you name it!), and I'm sad about abandonning those, because they have been great for hair growth and reducing hair loss. But hopefully, the henna magic will happen to me this time around :)


Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2015-07-22 16:06


I would be sad to hear your switch back to chemicals. Some people do react badly to the smells of the product. have you tried mixing in a couple drops of lavender, or cinnamon or cardamom powder/ many find that this helps the smell.

If you have been using Mehandi products, there is no issue with dying over it with a commercial hair dye. I would not advise using bleach or peroxide because you have used indigo, which does not lift from the hair the way henna does. However, I would definitely be cautious using chemicals over any henna that is not 100% pure.

Adding an egg in the indigo isn't advised, but a teaspoon of salt can help the dye bind better.

Cassia has great benefits for conditioning and strengthening the hair. over dark hair, there will be no color change, so it can be used simply as a conditioner. There is no interaction between cassia and the other natural dyes. The only potential problem with cassia is when using it on lighter hair, it is important to do a rain-wash treatment to rid the hair of mineral build-up before applying the cassia, or else the hair might turn greenish.

Indigo needs to be applied over henna in order to achieve black hair. Cassia will not be able to act as a henna substitute because the two are pretty different, chemically.

I hope this helps!


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