I need questions answered big time...

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Magical Mystery Girl
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I need questions answered big time...

Hi there,

I'm Lisa for starters.  I have naturally curly hair to my shoulders, which is naturally dark blonde (slightly lighter in the summer months), which I've dyed strawberry blonde for the past 2 years.  Now all this chemical dye has taken a toll on my hair and my goal is to lose the chemical dependency and switch fo henna/cassia.  However, I have a great fear... I'm planning on growing my hair much longer than it is... double to be more precise, and I don't want to end up with fluorescent hair at the ends and darker new growth.  I don't want to have two-toned hair.  So I have a major question, along with a few others...  Should I dye my ginger hair back to its natural color, wait a few weeks then use the cassia/henna?  I want my hair color to look exactly as it is dyed now, but again... without using chemicals.  The dye I use lightens it a tad, but not ridiculously.  Which is why i'm considering 4 parts cassia and 1 part henna for a strawberry blonde hue.  I don't want it too bright, because with curls, i risk looking like Ronald McDonald or orphan Annie.  Neither are goals of mine.  First of all, what would a mix of 4 parts cassia/1 part henna look like on dark blonde hair?  I have about less than 1cm of dark blonde roots right now, and honestly, it doesn't really show... but once my hair is a foot longer than it is now, the dark blonde will stand out against the dyed ginger color.   So again, should I dye my ginger hair back to something similar to my natural color, so in the future, I don't get stuck with the skunk look?  Also, I'm considering assing chamomile powder/turmeric/rhubarb root to the henna/cassia mix.  What ratio would you recommend? My goal is golden blonde hair with a hint of red... strawberry blonde.  I also am considering using chamomile tea instead of lemon juice, because again, I have natural curls and don't want to completely dry out my already dried out hair.  I would appreciate all the advice I can get before taking the leap.  For the record, I am in possession of 100% pure cassia and Jamila henna (this year's crop), so I have quality stuff. 

Now since I can't find a picture of me with virgin hair (bad sign eh?), here's my son's photo, since we have the exact same natural color.  Keep in mind this was taken in the winter so it's darker then in the summer...

http://www.irrationalanthem.com/Images/dylanblonde.jpg

 

And now here's me about 3 weeks ago with my current color:

http://www.irrationalanthem.com/Images/ginger.jpg

 

Again, outside it's a lot brighter than indoors, and I don't want it to come out too bright, because eventually, the new growth won't match up.  I don't mind if they dre a little off color-wise, but no skunk look for me.  I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record, but I want to make sure I'm understood and I want to make sure I know what to do before taking the leap. Any advice would be awesome!

 

Ok, my son and I outside, so you can see what his natural color and my dyed hair look like in the sun:

http://www.irrationalanthem.com/Images/dylanlisa.jpg

 

I had just dyed it here.  But you can see how already bright it is.  I don't want fluorescent hair, which is why i'm debating the natural shade first.  Then though, i've heard you can't put metallic salts on dyed hair, and although i'm in possession of 100% pure BAQ henna, I'll be adding chamomile/turmeric/rhubarb root...and I want to be sure they won't make my hair fall out. 

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

... I figure that for a girl with my natural color to simply desire strawberry blonde... I don't need chemicals to get that look. 

mauhall
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

HI! Judging from the photos, I do not think you are going to get quite the lightness/brightness you're achieving with chemical color from a cassia/henna mix.  I think the cassia/henna on your roots will be a pretty color, but will have a bit more depth to it then you've been use to seeing. 

You could always "dye your hair back" with a chemical color first, but this is not your best choice.  You've exposed so much underlying warmth in your hair by dyeing it, that you will not be able to achieve a dark blonde with chemical hair dye.

I would suggest the cassia/henna mix on your new growth and the same mix with 1 part buxus added for the chemically treated part of your hair.  This can help to add a little depth to the ends and minimize too much warmth on the chemically treated part.  Strand test first to see if you like the result on your ends and see if you have to tweak the amount of buxus used.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Thanks for the advice.  I have heard that buxus adds an ashy tone, and I want to avoid a dull color too.  Mind you, I suppose the goal is bringing is closer to the roots right?  Also, any advice regarding incorporating chamomile powder, turmeric and rhubarb root to add warmth?  Will they add warmth?  For the record, my hair has always taken very quickly to hair dye.  I can go to bleach blonde in 20 minutes.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

One more question... You advise that I use buxus to tone down the red in my dyed hair.  I've heard that amla does the same thing, and is good for maintaining curls.  What is the difference between buxus and amla? If both achieve the same, then wouldn't I be better off using amla powder, so my curls don't relax?

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Amla doesnt produce a dye. Buxus does. Amla will tone down the orange tones of henna when mixed with it and will apparently add a sortve brassy/ashy tone when applied afterwards that lasts about 2 - 3 weeks.

 

I would imagine its along the same lines of a spice. It stains, but doesnt actually dye.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

So do I use amla or buxus? One thing's for sure, I'm way more comfortable with hair that bright as opposed to dull and almost brown.  Auburn is not my goal here... My goal is strawberry blonde.  As I said, my natural color is dark blonde, but not at all brown... It's quite golden. If I end up with dark hair, I'll scream.

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Neither. If you're shooting for strawberry blond, you want to use a diluted henna mix. Either a weak henna gloss for maybe a half hour or a mix of henna and cassia with the cassia being the majority (maybe no more than 10% henna). Granted, I recommend the gloss over the mix cause I've done the mix and my color went kinda funky when the cassia faded about 3 weeks after application.

 

If your natural color is what your son's is, that looks more like a soft brown on my monitor and not a dark blond. You wouldnt get strawberry blond on your natural color with henna since henna (and plant dyes in general) cannot lift color, only add to it. You would have to start out with a lighter color or the color you have now.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Well as I said, that was in the winter... If you see thsi pic from this summer outdoors, it is a dark blonde with golden hues. There's not a trace of brown in my hair. And yes, my goal was 4 parts cassia/ 1 part henna... but then it was suggested I incorporate 1 part buxus to allow the dyed hair to look like my virgin hair hennaed. Alright... so i'm getting different advice now... What's my best option? Gloss? No gloss? Buxus? No buxus? The goal here is a golden red on my dirty/dark blonde hair eventually, but the goal is also to not look like a skunk when my hair grows a foot longer, with ends that are bright orange and roots that are auburn. 

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Strand test. Purchase some samples of henna, cassia and buxus and try a gloss, a cassia/henna mix and a henna/cassia/buxus mix. Dye release your henna and your cassia (you can dye release them the same way, with acid... I wouldnt mix them until you have dye release in the henna since you'll be using so little henna) then once you have dye release in the henna, mix the buxus and put it in with one of the cassia/henna mixes.

 

Apply each sample to some hair harvested from your brush or a recent hair trim. Put each test in its own baggie and label it. Let the gloss sit for no more than a half hour and the others probably about 2 to 2.5 hours. Once they reach their time, rinse (wash with shampoo if you can), then let them sit a week.

 

Once the week is up, take a look at them all and see which you like best. Start with that, then worry about your roots. You can either color your roots chemically, then do the henna over that (its a lot of upkeep) or tinker with the mix on a sample of your son's hair to get a general idea of what color you would get and what you would need to do to get them to more or less match. Remember that your son's hair is gonna be different than your own in many ways so the color might take differently on your hair than it does on yours. But it will still give you a fair idea.

mauhall
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

I mentioned the buxus as an option, because I felt that a straight cassia/henna would show very differently on your roots vs the ends.  With only a little growth, this would not matter, it would just have a "shadowing" effect, but as your hair grows, it would be more noticable that your roots would be darker.

Although your son's hair (and yours) appears lighter in the summer, I do not feel that the henna/cassia would generate the same brightness on your roots that I see on the chemical portion of your hair.  The buxus was suggested to add a little depth to the color but not to make it ashy.  4 parts cassia, 1 part henna and 1 part buxus should create a very warm strawberry tone.  Also buxus is not known to have a lot of staying power.  This may be a good thing for you since you are concerned with being too dark or ashy.   I don't believe Amla will do what the buxus will do.  You could always dye release your henna with amla if you are concerned about your curls.  This may help to retain them.  I would still add the buxus.  Again experiment with swatches if you can, to see how much buxus would be suitable for you.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with the herbs/spices you are considering.  I've never added any extra ingredients to my henna formulations.

Good luck and please post photos of your results.  You have beautiful hair.  I LOVE the curls.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Thanks you two. it all boils down to strand test.  I'm going to take a strand of hair from underneath my scalp, split it in two, then try each with the 2 blends.  I'll definitely keep you all updated and post pics!

Charli
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

I've been following this post as we seem to have a very similar hair color naturally, and my hair takes color much as yours does--including the bleach part!  I just did my second henna last night and probably have no right at all to be answering anything with advice as I joined with a question of my own as a newby to henna, but I do have an entire head of waist-length, wavy hair that is (was) naturally the same color as yours!  lol!  You will end up with darker hair with henna--I don't think that you can replicate the lighter, strawberry blond that you currently have over the dark blond.  If you do not mind a darker red/strawberry/coppery color than you currently have, I think that you  will like henna in the long run.  If you absolutely must have the lighter, brighter strawberry, henna isn't going to get you there, even mixed with cassia.  My hair is not even 24 hours out from last night's henna, so pictures now would not be very helpful, but if you like, I can post some in a few days after it ozidizes (if I can figure out how) to show you what your natural hair would probably look like hennaed with BAQ2 Pakistani henna.  My ends are much lighter than my roots as even my natural hair color lightens/washes out considerably the longer it gets, so it may give you a fair effect of the color gradation on length.  So no real advice on getting what you want, but maybe some pictures of what you might get. :)

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Hiya Charli! Yes, I'd love to see pictures! :) What mix are you using?

 

I'm also considering another step in the process, which would mean for more maintenance, but I mean... the chemicals would all me eliminated and it would be worth it...  because I have a feeling I'll miss the lighter shade way too much, I'm thinking of doing a honey lightening to my roots as they grow out.  With the dye vulnerability of my hair, the honey would probably get it light enough for me to put a gloss on top and love the color. From photos I've seen of the results, I'd probably be able to get my hair to a medium blonde with the honey, and then adding the henna/cassia gloss on top would make for a more desired color. Anybody evey experimented with a honey lightening treatment?  I've read that you take honey and 4 times the amount of distilled water at room temperature... add some extra virgin olive oil, let it all sit for about an hour, and the miz will produce hydrogen peroxide, which will lighten the hair.  I've seen lots of amazing photo results, even on the darkest of natural hair!

 

So this might be my new routine.  I'm going to try the honey lightening once I see enough root growth, then I'll go from there. 

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Anyone have a good gloss recipe for me? Also, how long does a gloss typically last? Again, the goal is strawberry blonde. My hair is pretty dry, since it's curly.

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

A gloss is typically a small amount of henna in a carrier like conditioner or yogurt. The gloss you'd need is probably a half tablespoon to a tablespoon of dye released henna to a cup of conditioner. Just figure out however much conditioner you need to totally saturate your hair, then add the henna.

 

So if you need 2 cups (given your curls) you would want a single tablespoon to two tablespoons of henna. Three cups you'd need 1.5 tablespoons to 3 tablespoons.

 

Apply, cover with a shower cap, then let sit for an hour. Rinse, wash and let dry. Give it a few days and if its not enough color for you, you can repeat.

 

 

I'm not too sure how long glosses last - longer than a cassia/henna mix, I think. Depending on what you do to your hair styling wise.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

So I wouldn't put any cassia in the gloss? I thought it would be a mix of cassia and henna?

 

Sorry for all the questions... I've just never done this before.

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Cassia would not be needed in a gloss. That would dilute the henna to the point that you wouldnt get ANY color - especially in the ratio you're looking to do.

Carrie
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Typically people do one or the other ... a henna gloss, or a cassia/henna mix. Color results are similar.

Henna should be considered permanent; it usually is, even if it's mixed with cassia or mixed with conditioner. The color will darken and lose its vividness over time with oxidation, same as in a full-strength henna treatment. But you're depositing less dye, so the color change (including the darkening) is minimized. The color will build up with repeated use, so even with a gloss you may choose to switch to roots-only at some point.

Charli
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

I'll post you some pics probably on Tuesday --that would be four solid days of oxidation for a better idea of what the color will end up being. :)  If I can, I'll post them Monday, but I've a meeting after work, so I may not be able to get pictures in daylight. :(

Charli
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

This is my hair after a second henna--the bottom picture is natural color (virgin hair).  Keep in mind that screen colors differ, but you can at least get a general idea. :)

This one is outside in the sun:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/Charli1912/Henna/Captured2010-9-1400000.jpg

 

This one is inside in the bathroom (Please excuse the messiness as it as in a bun all day):

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/Charli1912/Henna/Henna2010-9-1400002.jpg

 

Natural from a few months back:

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/Charli1912/Henna/Hair2009124jpg.jpg

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Honestly, I think it's gorgeous! If my hair could get to that, I'd be happy. :) Looks beautiful! :)

 

As I posted in another thread, I'm probably going to try the honey lightening on my roots when they grow out, then the henna/cassia. 

Now I just wanted to know, I've heard in here that the henna glaze would produce better results than the henna/cassia mix.  Is this true? What would the difference be? Also, which would last the longest?

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

For me personally, a henna gloss works better. Cassia fades in about 3 weeks and while the henna will remain it COULD cause a strange color result - it did for me. Now, thats not to say it would happen to you.. no one else has reported a problem, but I personally did not like the color I had 3 weeks after applying a 50/50 mix. The color reminded me of what happened to color when it was stripped by shampoo.

 

I have never had a problem with a gloss.

 

But we cant really give you firm answers to your questions because every one's hair is very different and every one's hair care routine is different. What works for me may very well not work for you.

 

Strand test. Thats all I can tell you. Strand test a gloss and a henna/cassia mix. Let it sit 3 weeks and see what happens color wise, see which one you like more at that point.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

Alright guys, I think I'm going to do a henna gloss... but should I add some buxus and if so, how much? Again, I don't want my hair to turn out too dark and I love warmth.  If I use 2 Tbsps of dye released henna, then how much buxus should I use, if any? 

Also again, I'm going to try the honey lightening on my roots to provide a lighter base for the henna.

Magical Mystery Girl
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

I'm going to give it a few weeks, so i can try the honey on my new growth, to see what base color I get.  I will do a gloss afterwards.  But again, should I incorporate buxus into the gloss?

ACWN
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Re: I need questions answered big time...

That all depends on you. This is why we say strand test. We cannot promise results, we can only make suggestions.

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