Resistant gray (now orange) roots

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chuckles
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Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I recently discovered the HFH page and am so happy to get my henna misconceptions cleared up!  My very dark brown tightly curled African American hair had about 2 inches of resistant gray roots since I stopped using a PPD-laced dark brown dye.  I didn't want to make the roots jet black by doing a 2-step Henna/Indigo,  so instead I purchased and applied the Ancient Sunrise kit for Dark Brunette.  Well, my roots seemed not to take much if any indigo because they came out coppery-orange.  I'm pretty sure I prepped everything correctly (even shampooed with liquid dish soap first!, added salt to the indigo water, mixed it super well and mixed it with the henna right away.)  A week later (yesterday) I attempted an indigo gloss comprised of 3 tsp. indigo in salted water mixed with a combination of different leftover conditioners I had on hand.  Put on a plastic shower cap and sat under the dryer for 30 min., then rinsed.  My coppery-orange roots were darker but not enough to blend well w/my dark-dark brown length.  So my question-Should I try another couple of indigo glosses, in hopes that I'll eventually get the really dark brown that I want?  Or should I just go for the 2-step Henna/Indigo process over my entire head and hope that the resulting "raven's wing black" will soften to something a little more like my natural color over time?  Or maybe do something else entirely??  Hope someone can help!

ACWN
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I would try one more, fairly strong gloss like you did, but leave it in for a little bit longer with heat. If your roots are dye resistant, you should be able to get away with 45 minutes to an hour, I think. If it goes a little too dark, you can apply a quick gloss to your length to even it out.

Remember to wash your hair right before you put it in, scrub it really well. No conditioner.

chuckles
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Thanks for the fast reply!

Some more questions:  My husband reminded me that I actually sat under the dryer more like 40 min, not 30.  Do you think another 20 min. or so would really make the dark orange go to dark-dark brown?  Also:  What, besides salt, helps indigo color adhere/stay/intensify?  And is the purpose of mixing the indigo with conditioner to make the mix thick enough to adhere to the hair?  If so, are there other things that would do the same job without interfering with the coloring properties of the indigo?  What sort of things DO interfere with indigo doing its job, besides oil?  Come to think of it, don't some conditioners contain oil?  So why aren't they trouble when mixing with indigo?

Sorry about all the questions, but I'm trying to learn about how the process works as well as get the desired color result.  Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide!

ACWN
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Give Jen's suggestion a try, I think you'll get better color.

 

Indigo doesnt like fats or oils, so it doesnt like conditioner. Dont tell me how an indigo gloss works.

 

 

Wait... Did you turn the indigo in just liquid??? No wonder you didnt get much color!! You're suppose to mix the indigo into a PASTE! It should be a little on the thin side, but its suppose to be a paste!

chuckles
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I mixed the indigo with a little salted water to make a paste, then added that to the conditioner.  It was a little on the thin side but thick enough to adhere to my hair without running.

ACWN
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

The first time, with the henna, did you mix the indigo into a paste or liquid?

chuckles
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I mixed it with distilled, salted water to a yogurt-like paste, then mixed that with the dye-released henna.  (It was the Ancient Sunrise kit, not a 2-step.)

ACWN
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Kay, just wanted to be sure!

Jen
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Conditioners definitely inhibit your hair from taking up dye. In other words, washing with dish soap didn't do you much good if you conditioned after! :(

I think that a two step is the way to go, BUT with a twist. Instead of henna in the first step and indigo in the second maybe try this: First application is henna,  and the second one is 1 part henna 2 parts indigo. 

I know it doesn't sound like it makes much sense to put more henna on your hair when its too orange, but indigo sticks  better to hair that's well saturated with henna.

chuckles
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Thanks Jen.  Guess I'd better order more henna!  And no, I didn't condition after the shampoo.  My hair has always been squeaky clean and conditioner-free just before applying henna and/or indigo.

chuckles
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

OK, here's the latest:  After a good shampooing I did a second indigo gloss, stronger this time (used 5 heaping tsp. mixed in salted water to make a yogurt-like paste, then mixed that into 1/3 c. or so of Alberto VO5 Moisture Milks Strawberries and Cream -- the aroma of which, BTW, makes you want to pour it into a bowl and grab a spoon!, but I digress), sitting under a warm dryer with a plastic-wrapped head for 60 min.  Rinse rinse rinse... and the burnt orange greys were darker still, but not enough to blend to my satisfaction.  Plus my hair was very tangly and felt like straw even while sopping wet :~(   Don't know what that's about....

But I have ordered more henna and more indigo and will do the 2-step process on my whole head.  If it all goes really black I'll live with it.  And if need be I'll follow that with another indigo gloss on the auburny-orange greys only, though I doubt that'll be necessary.

But for the dry tanglies... any ideas?  I haven't deep conditioned for a couple weeks since before starting the henna experiments, and I think my very fine, very curly hair may need a pre-henna boost.  If I do it a couple of days prior to the 2-step, will that jeopardize the color process?  I use Ouidad Deep Conditioner if you're familiar with that. 

Jen
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I don't think doing it a couple of days before will do you any harm as long as it doesn't remain coating the hair in a way that will create a barrier for dye up-take.

Flavia@hennacaravan (not verified)
Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

it seems to me that mixing your indigo with conditioner is contrary to the advice being given as it may prevent the hair from taking up the indigo dye.

Have you tried using the indigo without any conditioner mixed with it? and then condition after dyeing ?

ACWN
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Flavia - we arent sure why but when you mix indigo paste in with conditioner as a gloss, it works fine despite indigo not liking the oils in conditioners. The color is diluted, but its easier to control how much color you put on the hair, which is good when you're trying to color correct.

Carrie
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I'm doing some strand tests today on hennaed hair bleached to orange, then treated with straight indigo for 15 minutes (got swamp green hair) vs indigo/conditioner gloss for 15 minutes (about half conditioner, half indigo paste), which came out a nice golden brown. The indigo uptake is diluted and I believe somewhat inhibited by the conditioner, but not completely, which as ACWN says is very useful.

meangeen
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

I am in the same boat!  New to henna and I ordered the Ancient Sunrise for Med Brunette and I too have coppery orange roots!  The medium brunette is a 1-1 mix of henna and indigo, but I just ordered alma to see if this will calm the orange down.  I didn't use salt with the Indigo.  Maybe I should try that next time.  How did your hair come out?   

CityGirl
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Re: Resistant gray (now orange) roots

Hey everyone

I just had a great success with henna and indigo on grays, so in case it's helpful, here's what I did.

I knew from a strand test that my grays were resistant, so I did a 2-step process with henna and indigo (for brown, not black): 

1) dye-released henna (Yemen) mixed with amla for the grays at my temples - left it on for 2 hours (which turned the grays an unbelievable orange!  Much much more striking against my face than in a strand test...). I don't have enough experience with henna to know if the amla helped tone down the henna at all, and I didn't wait to see how it would oxidize - in fact could barely stand to look in the mirror! -  just went right to.... 

2) a clarifying shampoo (to help the indigo uptake), then indigo with salt and warm water mixed with a bit of the same dye-released henna and amla (maybe 4:1 indigo to henna/amla), left that on for 30 minutes.  

Since I had only done the hair at my hairline, and wanted something to help the blend with the rest of my hair, I then finished with a gloss (henna and indigo - I think about 1:1 though I didn't measure carefully). Maybe a tbsp or two of each in a cup of conditioner. Left that on for 1/2 hour

After step 2, I was shocked (and pleased) to see the orange completely gone, all the hairline grays covered (much more than with the semipermanent dyes that I had been using before) and by the time my hair dried, it was shiny and dark and very natural looking (it even got a thumbs-up from my mother today, which is no small achievement...)

Except for the whites at the hairline, my hair is dark brown - nearly black, but with some copper in it  - and I was looking just to have the whites match the rest of my hair (and hoping not to go too red). I know that the indigo might not hold as well as the henna, especially this first time, but the whole process was really easy and I'm happy to do it again as needed. 

HTH

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