Henna Science Experiments

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Henna Science Experiments

I have a very complicated mix of situations for my first time henna experience. I have to match extensions. I have highlighted hair. I am very fair complected, blue eyes, dirty blonde (light brown hair) with hardly any grey except along hairline. My hair is curly/wavy- like not evenly spiral curls, just randomly curls. I crunch it to style it and never brush it or it frizzes.

I found out later that if I had more grey this would have been much easier! My natural hair is very very fine and thin. It is very fragile and since highlighting it I can't even brush it without it crumbling. After the henna/cassia treatment I felt like I had twice as much hair and the damage was so much lessened. No more extreme breakage. But I get ahead of myself...So the following tests are on real hair extensions which match my hair. I understand this does NOT guarantee that the color I get on these will happen on my natural hair, but I can't get enough of my own hair to harvest for a test. It actually worked and turned out exactly like my test sample. Yay.

Be aware that I may not remember the formulas exactly right, so this is not fully dependable because I did not understand how to convert grams to T yet.

Test 1- Pure body art henna with milk

First, before I knew anything, I tried a test using regular body art henna mixed with milk. I didn't know any better. It turned out perfect. Beautiful. At first it was bright but darkened into a perfect natural red without much copper. Then my sister said not to use that kind of henna as you never know what's in it. So the tests began... See the picture in the attachment. You can see the BEFORE color in the ends.

Test 2- (I think) 3 T Cassia, 3 T Henna, 1/2 T Indigo with kristalovino

I hit it spot on with this mix, except I can't remember what I did! I did not know to take into account weight. I used Tablespons instead of grams. But 1 T of Cassia is different in grams than 1 T of Henna. So I never did figure out what I did. At first it was too bright but it seasoned in 2-3 weeks to the exact color that matched my extensions. I kept testing before the seasoning was complete...


Here's how to convert from grams to T. (But I finally abandoned this and bought a gram weight scale. I measure by grams now!)

Cassia: 1 tablespoon = 6 g so 1/2 cup = 42 g 

Henna: 1 tablespoon = 7 g so 1/2 cup = 50 g

Indigo: 1 tablespoon = 5 g so 1/2 cup = 35 g

Nightfall Rose: (3T/100g henna+cassia or 25% of weight of henna +cassia) and 1 T= 9g

Amla: 1 tablespoon = 9 g (25% of weight of henna+cassia) so 1/2 cup = 60 g

Kristalovino Fruit Acid (1t/100g): 1 teaspoon=4g but irrelevant

There are 3 teaspons in every Tablespoon


Test 3- 5 T Cassia, 3 T Henna, 1 T Indigo with Kristalovino

Too light but really pretty, will not cover my roots


Test 4- 5 T Cassia, 3 T Henna, 1 T Indigo with Amla

Really pretty brown. But I want red. See picture.


Test 5- 2 T cassia, 1 1/2 t Henna, 1 1/2 t Nightfall Rose (one quarter by weight)

At first was WAYYY to orange like school bus. really really too bright. but better coverage. After it aged it was really pretty but doesn't match extension on the left. See picture.

Test 6- 1 T + 1 t Cassia, 2 1/2 t Henna, 1t amla, 1t indigo  (test sample)

I asked help from the Mehandi operator this time and got it perfect. So this is it! I'm doing it.

Laura's Whole Head Formula
The Mehandi operator then gave me the whole head formula for 200 grams:

1 package (100g) cassia, 3/4 c henna,  5 T + 1 t Amla, 5 T indigo

It was a real challenge to do my whole head in 20 minutes before the Indigo lost it's potency. I did it in 35 minutes. But it still turned out nice. See pictures.

I think I shampood my hair too much after the henna treatment. I thought the water had to run clear and it kept on running orange. I shampood and shampood. I should not have in retrospect. But my highlights washed out in a couple weeks. See picture

So maybe I need to do one more henna treatment all over till it takes and maybe use indigo?

Test 7 - 3g Cassia, 3g Henna, Nightfall rose = 1.5g, .5g Indigo

Too auburn. See picture. Left pictures shows the before with natural hair and right picture shows on highlighted hair. 

I started to realize that all these outcomes created beautiful colors. I think I just need to take whatever the henna does because all the colors are beautiful. I think at some point you just have to get to that place.

But I was curious so... What if I left out the indigo? I don't like working with it. You have to be so fast.

Test 8 - half cassia, half henna with nightfall rose

Too light and coppery (but again, it's a pretty outcome.) See picture. I absolutely love working with the Nightfall Rose. It makes the dye release really evident and creates lots of shimmery highlights.

Test 9 - Pure Henna with Nightfall rose

See picture showing before and after. That result is going to be too dark for a second application over what is there now; but it's pretty. Really coppery. That's what I thought I wanted at first, but it's not matching with the extensions which are more rosie.

Test 10-  3 parts Cassia, 3 parts Henna, 1/2 part Indigo by weight. The Nightfall Rose amount is  25% of the Cassia + Henna weight.

Now I have learned to use only gram measurements on my scale. So substitute the word, grams for parts and you know the formula for the above. See picture with before color on left and after color on right. It's a beautiful ash brown with shimmery highlights. It looks more reddish in the picture.

Test 11- the unknown formula

All the pictures seem to look more reddish. So here in this picture is what that same formula looks like on the bleached highlights. You can see the real color of the mixture, but over brown hair it does not look so orange.

How did I get that color from the first test???? Now that it's aged look how perfectly it matches the extensions! The notes I have only say 3-3-1. See picture of the perfect match! Argh.

I did some reading. I think I need to switch from Twighlight Henna to Monsoon. I need less copper to match the extensions. And I will use Nightfall Rose because it has such shimmery results every time. Here is my final formula:

Upcoming formula Test: 3 T Cassia = 18g , 3T Henna = 21 g, Nightfall rose 25% by weight, 1/2 T Indigo = 2.5g  

I may do it without the indigo because I don't want it any darker but I will sample it both ways. Also, I will use the Monsoon, or maybe half Twighlight and half Monsoon?  Any suggestions? I ordered my supplies. Will let you know how it goes.


By the way I hit on a BEAUTIFUL formula for dark brown hair, a mix for my mother with the help of the Mehandi operator. It will only turn out like the picture on blonde or grey hair.

Dark Brown formula: 60g Cassia, 140 g Henna, 50 grams Nightfall Rose, 50 grams Indigo

See Picture.


Also found a good Auburn formula by accident:

Auburn Formula: 6g Cassia, 14g Henna,  5g Nightfall Rose, 5g Indigo

See Picture. The picture on the left shows the Before color of bleached blonde. The picture on the right shows the before color of light brown.



Last seen: 2 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 2016-09-07 09:47
Henna Experiments


  Upcoming formula Test: 3 T Cassia = 18g , 3T Henna = 21 g, Nightfall rose 25% by weight, 1/2 T Indigo = 2.5g  

I would do a test with Monsoon Henna only and a test mixing the Monsoon and the Twilight Henna. I would use the indigo for both tests as well.


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