Henna and Indigo Mix

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Nora
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Henna and Indigo Mix

Hi

I have a few questions, hope someone can help..

I mixed 100 g of henna with lemon juice and orange juice, dye released it for 7 hours. Question:  was this too long to dye release?

Added more lemon juice to yogurt consistency after dye release,

then mixed 100 g of indigo with luke warm tap water to mashed potato consistency.

Question:  I didn't have any distilled water, was it okay to use tap water?

then I mixed the two pastes together.  

Question:  The henna instructions say to mix to yogurt consistency with lemon juice.  The Indigo instructions say mix with water to lumpy mashed potato consistency and do not use lemon juice.  Is it a problem that it is then mixed with the henna which has lemon juice in the mix?  And, when you mix the Indigo, lumpy potato mix with the henna yogurt mix should any other liquid be added or should it be the proper consistency with the two different consistencies of pastes?

My goal is to have a very dark brunette color with coverage on my grey roots.  

I ended up with an enormous amount of paste.  My head is currently covered in the lovely paste, saran wrapped and towel turban.  

Question:  Can I freeze the remaining paste now with the indigo mixed into it or do I have to dispose of it since it has indigo and I am told not to freeze indigo.

This is my third attempt at hennaing my grey roots.  First tried prepackaged henna in brown and then black.  No coverage at all.

Found this site, ordered some quality henna and indigo.  Tonights the night.  I intend to sleep in it.  Thanks for any answers to these Questions.

Nora :)

ACWN
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

7 hours probably wasnt long enough. Thats a fairly acidic mix and you're looking at closer to 12 hours for dye release. Maybe even 24.

Tap water with indigo is okay, but if your water is rather hard its not a good idea as it can mess up the dye. Distilled is always safest.

The henna itself acts as a buffer between the indigo and the acid, its okay. If you find your mix is too thick and lumpy after mixing in the indigo (which isnt good cause its a pain to get in your hair), add a little more liquid - water is fine.

You can freeze it, but the indigo will not survive the freezing and will be useless. If its been sitting for a while, its already probably useless (the indigo part at least). You must always use indigo or a hennigo mix as soon as you've mixed the indigo with water. If it sits too long, the dye demises and its useless.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Oh no.  So, what will happen to the mix on my hair now.  Should I even bother sleeping in it?  ahhhh.  So much conflicting info.  I thought I had possibly left the henna dye release too long at 7 hours.

Should the indigo have been left for a few hours too to dye release or just minutes?

 

The mix of indigo and henna that you say will be useless.  Is that the complete mix or can I still freeze the mix and use it later with more indigo or since it was not dye released long enough on the henna mix should I just dispose of it now.

What would you suggest to mix the henna with to obtain a very dark brown almost black (but not black) as a liquid.  Lemon juice is quite expensive.  Would orange juice be okay.  It would be my preference as I always have it available.  If orange is okay, how long would I have to dye release the henna?  Thanks again.  One of these times I will get it right I hope.  

If it didn't cover my grey roots can I try again tomorrow?  Doesn't seem to damage or dry my hair so far.  Thanks.

 

Nora

ACWN
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Please reread my last post. Your answers are all in that last little paragraph of mine.

 

Orange juice alone is fine for henna. You'll get dye release in about 7 - 9 hours. Remember that you must never assume with henna dye release. You must always test on your palm for it. You can still get a dark brown to near black with any acidic liquid, even apple juice or an acidic tea like chamomile.

 

Depends on what color you get with the application. Report back tomorrow before you redye and let us know the color. We'll be able to tell you if you need to wait or if you can redye.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Could someone tell me approximately how long the dye release would take with Orange juice?

xyz
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Nora,

Since you're planning to sleep with the paste on, maybe the henna will continue to dye-release somewhat overnight?  Next time, test the henna for dye-release by putting a small amount of paste on your palm and waiting 2-5 minutes.  Wash it off.  If it leaves a good orange stain, it's ready.  If it leaves a weak stain (or no stain at all) then wait a few more hours and test again.  If testing over a span of several hours in a day is not convenient, you can start the dye-release for say, 5 hours one day, freeze the henna paste, and thaw it early the day you want to color.  Test the thawed paste on your palm again every couple of hours until you get a nice, bright orange stain.  THEN you're ready to prepare the indigo and mix it in. 

Question...did you do a strand test to check your ratio and application time?  A 50:50 henna+indigo left on overnight might leave your roots really orange (the indigo does all its coloring in the first hour or so, then the henna takes over) or in your case (since the henna might not have been at the peak of its potency) the indigo might dye your lenght much differently than your roots...or just not stick at all, as it happens [sometimes] the first few times...

Any chance you might consider washing off your hendigo after 4 hours?  You mentioned you didn't get a lot of color with other products, but I'm afraid that now that you're using pure henna and indigo you might end with extremely orange-red roots...which can be fixed, don't panic, just trying to steer you away from another disappointment.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Update:  

I managed to sleep in the mix, not very well.  Got up at 5:45 am to wash out.  It was incredible how well the paste stayed in my hair just like a sculpture.  Nothing like the prepackaged henna from nature store.  No mess, no drops falling when I uncovered.  My head was a bit sore because it had hardened.  I've shampooed it and conditioned.  It washed out no problem with no stain on neck or skin on face.  Now I'm waiting for it to naturally dry.  

However, the grey roots which had turned golden from the prepackaged henna mix appear at first glance to be perhaps a dark orange from the hendigo mix.  I'll update again after it completely dries to get some advice on what my next steps should be.  

As a refresher, I only dye released my henna for approx 7 hours with lemon juice and orange juice.  Probably not enough and didn't do the dye test on palm.  I also originally had chemically dyed very dark brown hair with approximately an inch of roots.  The good news is, the roots are no longer bright gold, and my hair has not fallen out totally :)

I'll update shortly with dry results.

Nora

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

If you use henna that is releasing dye well, staining your palm in 1 minute, you can leave your hendigo on for a shorter time, say 1.5 to 2 hours. That way the indigo has plenty of time to work, and the henna works too but doesn't have time to completely take over and out-run the indigo.

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

By the way, you should not allow your henna to harden. Perhaps you mixed it too thick? Yogurt consistency is better, and wrap it well so it doesn't dry out.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Thanks Carrie, 

My hair has dried completely and my roots are now a vibrant dark red/orange.  They were golden from previous prepackaged henna.  Remaining length of hair is very dark brown the way I like it.  Hair is healthy and in good shape.

Could you please tell me if I can mix some new henna today, let it dye release and try again tomorrow.  If I can, how much indigo would you suggest I mix it with this time to try to achieve dark dark brown roots?  Yesterday I used 50/50 but I guess the henna might not have been released or perhaps I left it on too long.  Help please.  The roots are beautiful but crazy looking.  Thanks.  

Still having fun Nora :)

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

ps Also, I am hoping to use orange juice only this time with the henna as I'm out of lemon juice and I now have distilled water for the indigo.  Yesterday I used tap water.

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Orange juice is fine for the henna. I would use 2 parts indigo to 1 part henna and leave it on 2 hours. Make sure your henna has good dye release (palm test) before you mix up the indigo with warm water. You can add 1 tsp salt (any kind) to the indigo/water mixture.

Wash hair well immediately before applying and do not use conditioner prior; super clean, oil-free, damp hair helps indigo uptake. Very important to keep it airtight while it is on your head.  Do not let it dry out like it did this time; indigo will not work if it dries out.

There is an FAQ that might help you in general with getting better uptake, even if gray coverage isn't the issue so much as just getting indigo to work well:

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/22

And here are the instructions for the Dark Brunette bundle from Ancient Sunrise, it might help to see it pictorially, too:

http://www.ancientsunrise.com/darkbrukit/index.html

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Thanks Carrie,

Can I henna it tomorrow or do you think that is too soon?  My hair seems healthy.  Also, when I do the mix 1 part henna/2 parts indigo should I only do the 1 inch root area or the whole head again.

ps the bit of henna that got on the palm of my hand when we were putting it on yesterday did stain my hand dark orange even though I washed it off.  So perhaps I did have good dye release with the henna yesterday after 7 hours.

If this mixture works this time will I do the same mixture for next root growth only?  

Thanks so much for your help and I will read these articles you provided links for.  I am so excited already with the results.  I can't believe how shiny my hair is.

 

Nora

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Tomorrow should be fine. If you like the color on the length, just do the roots ... both this time, and next time ... and evermore! Roots only, or it can go black when you put another app of indigo over what is already dark brown.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Thanks again Carrie.  I've read the documents also.  Great info.  I'll try again tomorrow and let you know.

Nora

xyz
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Nora.

Happy to hear you like the results!  What a difference high-quality henna does, doesn't it?

I'm sure Carrie will respond, and you should do as she suggests.  She's got a wealth of experience.  I'm going to reply only bc I have "darkest brown" hair with grays and use a method similar to yours. 

  • when I use orange juice, I start getting acceptable dye-release in about 7 hours with Punjabi Prime and around 9 hours with Celebration (both from mehandi.com)
  • my grays used to turn bright auburn until I started to decrease the time I left my hendigo on; now I leave it on for 2.5 hours and they become more of reddish brown, which blends better with the rest of my hair
  • I add amla to my hendigo, and then a little salt to the water I use to prepare my indigo (I use tap water, by the way, never had a problem with it)
  • I've hennaed 2 and 3 days in a row, nothing bad has happened
  • I used to do full head because I liked the feel of cool mud on my head and, because of my natural hair/brow/skin color, I did not have to worry about the color going too dark either...however, now I've been trying to do roots only as I have realized how much I was wasting...I might end up doing full-head treatments twice a year or so to even out any lines and perk up the shine.  My suggestion to you would be:  do your roots only next time and see if you get those to match the length pretty well.  If you get the timing and ratio right the first time, you'll have powders to save for your next treatment.

Good luck!

Fairystar
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Hi

I used to hendigo

I used 3 parts indigo to one part henna mixed with luke warm chamomile tea and a splash of lemon. Only takes a few hrs to dye release and isnt harsh on the hair.

It was a beautiful black/brown with red glow in the sun.

It never faded either even after 2 + yrs of not applying due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.

 

I froze my excess paste and just added fresh indigo before application

good luck xx

 

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Thank you fs....I'm almost there with the roots.  Perhaps I will change to 3 parts indigo to 1 part henna too. 

Nora

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

I hendigoed it again and this time used one part henna to two parts indigo.  Most of the roots turned dark brown except at the very front of my head in bang area.  Perhaps not enough product was left my daughter thought who was applying my paste.  The rest of the roots are dark with a slight red tint to them.  Perhaps I should mix three parts indigo to one part henna do you think?  Thanks for all the excellent information xyz.  It's so uplifting to accomplish roots at the colour they are now.  I'm so impressed and excited to know that I will never have to chemically process again. :)

Nora

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Hi XYZ,

How much Amla a do you add to your Indigo?  Do you find the Amla makes it a darker brown?  

Also, is there a maximum time you can let you henna sit out dye releasing?  For example can I mix it at 8 pm in the evening and then colour my hair the next evening at 8 pm?  Thank you.

Nora :)

xyz
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Hello Nora!

I add amla to my henna (not the indigo) once it's dye-released, but others report great success using amla as their only acid in the henna (and thus can skip adding lemon juice, orange juice, tea, apple juice, etc.).  According to the experts on this forum, amla mixed in with the henna helps the indigo stick better, and it has worked for me, especially because before I started using amla in the henna and salt in the indigo, my grays were staying too red for my taste. 

The suggested ratio is 25 grams of amla per 100 grams of henna, and that's exactly what I do.  I still get the red/auburn glow when I'm in bright light, but yes, I think adding amla "mellows" the shade of red...I wouldn't say it makes it browner--that's so hard to define--but I perceive it as a cooler shade of brown...as in less fiery, or less orange.  I once saw it described as more "dark chocolate bar" than "milk chocolate bar" and I think it's a fair depiction of it.  The final shade I get is a very dark brown with reddish undertones that have more of a blue-red than an orange-red quality. 

My procedure, in summary, is

  • I mix henna and juice (I currently use orange) to mashed potato consistency
  • let henna start dye-release (4-8 hrs)
  • put it in the freezer until the day I plan to color
  • that day, I thaw the henna, add amla, check every hour until I get an "almost there" stain
  • jump in the shower and wash my hair (no conditioner)
  • mix indigo with a teaspoon of salt, add warm water
  • mix indigo paste into henna/amla paste and apply immediately to towel-dry (damp) hair
  • wrap, let "process" for 2-3 hours

As for "maximum time" to dye-release--keep in mind that henna reaches a peak at which it is at its highest staining power, and then declines in potency from there.  The longer you let it sit after it has peaked, the more staining power it loses.  If, as you asked, you want to start dye-release at 8 pm one day and then apply at 8 pm the next day (24 hrs is quite a long time!) may I suggest you use a strongly acidic liquid (lemon juice would be ideal, but orange juice would be great, especially if you could squeeze half a lemon or lime in it) so you get a slow, steady dye release and keep the mix in the refrigerator (which will also slow down its demise) until you're ready to color.  Just make sure it's dye-released by the time you need it...maybe getting it out of the refrigerator at 6 pm and checking how far along it is?  Finally, if you want a brown with less red, keep the application between 2 and 3 hours, no more...I found that the longer I kept my hendigo on, the redder (orange, fiery) my hair glowed.  My grays get enough stain, without going neon orange, between 2 and 2.5 hours.  That might be only for me, but a shorter hendigo is better on my grays than a longer one.

Hope this helps!

xyz
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Hi Nora, me again!

I reread your previous posts...if I were you, instead of increasing the indigo right away, I would try adding the amla first and see if that gets you to the depth of color you want.  Your shade might change (oxidize) in the next couple of weeks...it could deepen, or you might see more of the red coming through...it's hard to predict what it'll be like, and since you are happy with it right now, resist the urge up the ante--it's soooo easy to go "too dark" with indigo, and a pain (almost impossible) to remedy!

If after a couple of weeks you still feel it needs to be darker, add amla to your next henna, and maybe an extra 2-3 tablespoons of indigo to your mix (I'm assuming your hair is not very short, if it is, keep the proportions smaller and do 1-2 tablespoons instead).  That way the inevitable overlap as you continue to do your roots will not leave a tell-tale line.  Keep increasing the indigo very slowly as your hair grows, until you hit the perfect dark brown you want...and then keep that up as your touch up recipe.

(And I agree:  It is so nice to know we don't have to do those nasty synthetic chemicals ever again!)

Good luck!

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Thanks for all the great responses.  I am going to do my roots again once my amla arrives to try to get them a darker brown.  Should left over amla powder be frozen also or is it okay in ziploc in pantry?  Thank you.

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Amla is fine at room temperature.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

 

Love your photos XYZ. Your hair is amazing, so beautiful and shiny.  

I need your help again please.

My Amla arrived today, so I'm ready to tackle my grey roots again.  To refresh your memory my roots are currently a dark brownish burgundy, but still not a dark as the rest of the hair.  

First I started with half henna dye released with orange juice and half Indigo mixed with warm distilled water, left it on for 2.5 hrs. the roots turned bright red.

Second time I tried 25 gms henna to 50 gms of indigo.  I didn't have any amla. The roots were darker more burgundy but still a lot of red in the sun. 

I have 25 gms dye released henna in my freeze now.  Should I defrost this for 20 min?add amla to the henna.  How much Alma to 25 gms of henna?  Would 6 gms be sufficient.

Then should I add 50 gms of indigo or would you suggest 75 gms of indigo this time.  Also, do I just put the Amla powder directly in with the dye released henna in powder form or should it be mixed first with a liquid. 

Thank you so much for your great information.  I had posted this under the wrong topic so am posting it again here.

Nora

xyz
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Hi there, Nora!

Great to hear that you're getting closer and closer to the perfect shade!  Let's see if I can help with some of your questions.

To thaw the henna, put it in a sink full of warm water, changing the water as it cools down.  You want to make sure it thaws quickly but without spikes in temperature.  It's always a good idea to test for stain (on your palm) to make sure it is dye-released. 

For 25 grams of henna, 6-7 grams of amla would keep the recommended ratio.  Some people add the powder directly to the henna, but I personally mix mine with a little bit of warm water, make a thick paste, and then add it to the thawed henna.  Once I have that mix ready, I prepare my indigo (with warm water and a teaspoon of salt), stir that into the henna-amla paste, add a bit of water if it needs it, and apply right away. 

  • In the future, if you decide to keep using the amla, you may use it as your only acid and skip the orange juice.  Just mix it with your henna powder, add water, and let it dye-release.  It survives freezing just fine. 

As for how much indigo to use this time, I want to emphasize that it's better to add too little than too much.  Since you already have some indigo deposited, how about adding 50-60 grams this time?  It's possible that with this additional layer, plus the amla, you'll get enough darkness to match your length.  You can always do a brief indigo gloss (later) if it's still not as dark as the rest of the hair.  (I just did a strong indigo gloss...and boy, did it take!)

Please let us know how it goes!

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Again XYZ Thanks so much.  I'll be doing it tomorrow night.  It's so nice to have hair that feels beautiful and silky again even with the roots different it looks better than before.  I missed this so much as my hair started getting grey and I had to permanent dye it.  Can't wait to see the results.  I'll post and let you know.

Nora

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Hi XYZ,

My roots are nearly the color I want.  Still a bit light.  I took your advice and went with less indigo rather than more.  It was for sure the right choice.  I will increase it a bit more next time.  I also think I need to increase the henna as some roots are getting missed.  I was worried about the ends getting too dark.  Overall my hair is a beautiful color.  It's fun and always exciting.  Last time I forgot to put the salt in the Indigo and was mixing it with the Henna and Amla paste when I realized.  My daughter and I had a good laugh.

I am trying again with fresh henna powder which I have frozen.  How long should I defrost the pure henna powder before I can mix it with lemon juice?  

I will report back again soon.

Nora

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

You don't have to defrost the henna powder, just add the lemon and mix it up.

Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix (Dye Test)

Could someone tell me if there is a picture of a dye test.  I'm having problems telling how orange the dye on my hand should be from dye test.

ACWN
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix (Dye Test)
Nora
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Thank you.

I achieved the dark brown to black color I wanted on my roots twice and now I'm back to having roots that are rather orange and faded looking.  

I use 30 gms of henna mixed with lemon juice and dye released for 24 hrs.  Then added a mix of 11 gms Amla and distilled warm water, then 90 gms of indigo mixed with salt and warm distilled water. 

The only thing I changed from my last recipe was I used lemon juice instead of orange juice.  

The weather did change and get cooler which maybe effected the dye release.

I started using Amla in my henna mix.  If I added too much Amla, could that cause my roots to be orange. Or if I added too much salt to the indigo would this be a problem.  Or maybe I dye released the henna too long?  Would that cause it to turn a faded orange?  

I did get a new order of indigo and the powder looks way more green than the last order.  Although it is from the summer 2010 crop so perhaps it's just fresher.  When I first opened it I thought it was henna. Anyway, all suggestions would be welcome.  I hendigo'd my hair on Sunday night and intent to do it again tomorrow.  It's just so expensive to make these mistakes.

ACWN
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Amla tones down the orange, or at least its suppose to. I'm not really used to indigo so I cant be of much help. I'm sure Carrie and Jen will be though.

Carrie
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Re: Henna and Indigo Mix

Henna with lemon juice should do well with 24 hours of dye release time if your house is at least 65 or 75'F. Colder temps make it take longer, hotter temps make it happen faster. Do a skin test on your palm to find out if you have dye release. If your henna isn't ready, you won't get the best dye uptake from either the henna OR the indigo. The indigo "needs" the henna uptake to happen in order for good indigo uptake to happen.

While a few people add amla right at the end, just before adding the indigo, most people seem to be adding it to the henna directly. This may work better because the acidity of the amla could interfere with the indigo, and somehow having that acidity working in the henna for awhile seems to interfere less than if the acidic component is added at nearly the same time as the indigo.

Mix 3 parts henna powder, 1 part amla powder cold water, and let that sit for 12 hours (longer if house is cold). Then test for dye release, and when henna paste is ready, mix indigo, warm water, and 1 tsp salt per 100 gm indigo, stir well, and add indigo paste to henna/amla paste, apply immediately.

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