aloe vera juice experiment

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MayaN
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aloe vera juice experiment

I decide to do some strand testing with Mehandi henna mixed with aloe vera juice,  since aloe is said to have some pretty amazing hair moisturizing and conditioning benefits.  It is also said to have hair growth benefits because of how it interacts with the scalp's cellular activity.  For those who may be interested in the results of my little experiment, I thought I'd post them here.  

I currently have medium copper-auburn (previously hennaed) hair, with gray roots coming in. My grays are about a 50/50 mix of silver and medium-dark brown.  To strand test on the lengths, I used hair samples harvested from brush.  To strand test at the gray/brown root, I patch tested on my head. Everything was processed for 1.5 hours only, because I wanted to see if any of the mixes would cover my fairly resistant gray with a much shorter processing time than I normally use (5-6 hrs). 

The aloe vera juice I used was 100% PURE, nothing added, FOOD GRADE aloe vera juice, Mountain Rose brand.  It's pH (I actually tested it) is 5.  I wanted a henna recipe that would be slightly more acidic, so I mixed the aloe vera juice with a variety of more acidic liquids, to see how each different mix would turn out .  I made each mix anti-oxidant rich, and checked for good dye release on all.    

I used a blend of 80% Jasmine henna, 20% Cassia, for all mixes.  

MIX ONE:  50% aloe vera juice, 50% organic grapefruit juice 

MIX TWO:  50% aloe vera juice, 50% lemon juice/distilled water (1:8 ratio of juice to water)

MIX THREE:  50% aloe vera juice, 50% strongly brewed hibiscus tea

MIX FOUR:  This was my "wild card" sample, where I didn't use any aloe vera juice at all.  Instead I used 50% coconut water (also said to have great hair benefits) and 50% strongly brewed hibiscus tea

COLOR RESULTS:  All samples looked almost exactly the same color, at 1 hour, 10 hours, and 24 hours.  In each case the henna mix turned my brush-harvested samples a brighter shade of COPPER, compared to the starting color, which was more brownish.  None of the samples came up cherry, wine, or burgundy.  That was a plus for me, but if you are wanting those cooler shades of red, in my experience hibiscus tea isn't going to get you there.  But I've gone there (quite accidentally) with both Malluma Kristovino and Copperberry fruit acids, on separate occassions.   

The samples containing hibiscus did come up with a very very slight bit of red tinge mixed in with the copper, but it was so so subtle.  Mix # 4 (the wild card) created a beautifully clear (not at all muddy) vibrant stain.  Mix #1 (with no hibiscus) had no visible red tones at all, only copper.  Mix #3 came up the deepest shade, both on the hair samples and on my palm.  Only Mix #2 was what I would call a disappointing result.  It had a dull brownish cast compared to the others, no real vibrancy or luster.  That did not surprise me, because when I was checking for dye release, mix #2 gave the weakest stain on my hand.  

I did not test all four mixes on my gray roots, I tested only mix #2 and mix #4.  They both covered the gray surprisingly well, at only 1.5 hours processing time!  Of course the roots came up much lighter than my hair samples, because I was starting with a much lighter starting color at the root.  But lighter roots are actually ok with me now, since I've recently decided to just be patient, and let my grays grow in as lighter copper-red highlights, rather than trying to make them match my lengths.    Anyway, from this experiment I now see that I will be able to decrease my 6 hour root processing time by quite a bit and still get good gray cover!  I might omit the Cassia though, to help bring the root color closer to the shade on the lengths.           

TEXTURE RESULTS:  Mix #2 (with the lemon) felt dry.  Mix #4 felt silky and also had the most shine.  The others felt the same texture as they were before coloring.  

I realize that my experiment may not have been super scientific, and that my samples may have continued to oxidize in slightly different ways, after the 25 hour mark.  But nevertheless I was able to draw some interesting conclusions:  

~ The addition of aloe vera juice (or coconut water) to the mix does not interfere with dye uptake on the hair, nor seem to shift the color result.  

~ The addition of coconut water seems to make hair silky and shiny, even moreso than the aloe vera juice.  That was a result I didn't expect.       

 ~ The addition of hibiscus tea seems to add a very very subtle red tone to the copper tone of Jasmine henna that's mixed with a bit of Cassia, but without making it go cherry red or dark.   

~ The addition of lemon, even a small amount, makes the color go a bit muddy and the texture go a bit dry.  Just my own experience.  If you love lemon, by all means stay with it!  I'm sure that everyone's hair might respond differently to it.   

Sorry I don't have photos. I'm not tech-inclined at all, so I wouldn't know how to get them from my phone to here, haha.  But hopefully this helps someone who is curious about aloe vera juice, coconut juice, hibiscus tea, or all three!