Amla "Solo"

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FireKitty
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Amla "Solo"

Hi everyone.   I have a question about amla.  

If I use amla only on previously dyed henna hair, will it tone down the orange/bright red?  If so, how do I do the application?  And what is the most likely result? 

(I'm looking for a light auburn-brown, but I'm currently VERY red.)

Thank you!

enissel
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Amla

Hello,

Amla on its own over Henna will not tone down the red. For Amla to tone down the brighter orange tones, it has to be used to dye release the Henna. On its own over Henna, it will make the hair more fluffy.

MayaN
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a tad of indigo might help

Hey, you may have solved your issue by now, but I have found a solution that may work for you too.  I recently managed to tone down my very orangey-red henna a bit, by adding just 10% indigo to the mix, when it was time for my root touch up (in my case, the color was only too red at the root, where I'm mostly gray, it was fine everywhere else).  I used Amla as my acidic component, for the henna prep. 

The indigo must be mixed separately, with distilled water, then added to the (already dye released!) henna, just prior to application.  It must also be applied quicky after the two different plant "muds" are blended, otherwise the indigo portion will lose it's potency.  Also, I only leave it on for 4 hours in the summer or 5 in the winter,  otherwise the henna may 'overtake' the indigo. 

If you use more than 10% Indigo though, be warned (from someone who learned this the hard way!) that you may well end up with BROWN hair, or even dark brown or black hair, rather than a toned-down version of red or auburn.  Indigo is a force to be reckoned with, so I'd do a strand test or a patch test first, just to make sure your recipe doesn't come up to dark, and keep in mind the results will also deepen over time.    

You mention that your hair is "very" red, and that your goal color is LIGHT auburn brown. That's gonna be tricky.  I have found that you can definitely go less red/browner (by adding indigo) but you can't ever go lighter, with any sort of plant powder.  To go lighter, you'd need to use bleach first,  or a natural lightening method.  There are lots of natural lightening methods on line.  I've experimented with most of them... none of them seem to yield instantly dramatic results but many of them do work, with repeat applications and patience.  Lasy year,  I was able to lighten my accidentally DARK espresso-brown henna/indigo job all the way back down to medium copper red again, using the Vitamin C powder lightening method, along with occassional honey lightening and olive/coconut oil lightening.  It took me three months of twice-weekly lightening sessions, though!   Hope this helps.  

 

 

padove
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indigo to make light brown

I've been trying to lighten my very dark cherry red hair for years now, lessing the indigo over the years.  I am now at 50/50 henna/indigo and basically no drastic change.  My hair is white underneath (I'm 58 and grayed prematurely starting in my 20s).  I'm been afraid to use much less indigo but according to you, MayaN, maybe I shouldn't be!  I feel like my hair is too dark for my age and I wouldn't mind having a little red tint to my hair.  Any suggestions?  Thanks!

MayaN
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Hi

 Your "very dark cherry red" hair sounds gorgeous, but I do agree with you that beyond a certain age (I'm 54, so I hear ya!) the darker or blackened shades of red can look harsh and unflatering.   

Your strategy (adding less and less indigo each time) is a logical one, and if it were working, you would be seeing a "reverse ombre" effect happening over time-- meaning, lighter/redder hair at the root (and eventually beyond) with progressively darker lengths and ends.  The fact that you aren't seeing this happen makes me wonder if you are coloring your whole head each each time?  If so, stop!  Color ONLY the roots, wher you see gray or white.  Your hair will never get any lighter and redder if you keep layering on the henna/indigo mix,  that'll just make it darker every time. 

If you're already doing JUST the roots, and you're still not seeing that "reverse ombre" thing happening, back off the indigo % more agressively.  Indigo is a very potent blue dye, so it is very good at wiping out the warmth (redness) in henna and darkening the results.  You have nothing to lose by trying less of it, because if your roots come out too red for you, you can always go back over them with your usual 50/50 recipe. 

Your hair is white at the root, so If you keep reducing the % of indigo, the more reddish tint that you are looking for will show itself on the new growth.  And as long as you keep doing a ROOTS ONLY application, your hair will eventually become a reverse-ombre: redder on the top and sides (where new growth is just more visible, and where most women are more gray),  and gradually darker towards the ends.  This can be a stunning look, Google "reverse ombre red hair" and you'll see! 

I'm thinking of letting my own hair go the reverse ombre path too, since it is what seriously graying hair naturally does when henna is applied to it, unless one wants to create a darker henna recipe (by adding indigo) and strategically apply it only to the areas of the head that are significantly more gray than the other areas... that's what I've had to resort to, and while it IS  "working," it's now made hennaing my hair a more tedious task, and I'm never quite sure where to stop the darker recipe and start the lighter one, since the way mother nature "ombres" (variegates) gray hair is very gradual.  So, being kind of OCD, I find working with two different recipes rather anxiety producing, so I may soon be using just one recipe on both the "very gray" crown/side areas and the "slightly gray" back/nape areas, and calling it a day!   That will require me to embrace the reverse ombre look as a 'uniquely gorgeous hair statement' rather than viewing it as an "uneven henna job."  It's all in how we look at things, haha.  

Anway, if you don't like the reverse ombre thing, just keep trimming those very dark lengths till they eventually become dark ends, and then get cut off entirely.  Or hit them with (relentless) applications of natural lightening methods-- you can't make a false move there, because the results are soooo gradual, you'll be lucky to see results at all.  You can't bleach, unfortunately, since you used a high % of indigo on them.  

Hopefully one of the pros will weigh in, I'm just someone with graying hair who read up on the articles on this awesome website and then started playing around with different recipes.    Maya 

 

 

FireKitty
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Hi.  Thanks for responding. 

Hi.  Thanks for responding.  Just posting an update.

I went to a salon and got blonde highlights which lifted the orange/red considerably.   The colorist was familiar with pure-plant henna and knew how to work with it.  I used an indigo-henna mix a couple times, and I was concerned about it turning green.  It didn't.  :)  Right now, it's a light-medium strawberry blonde.  It looks more natural and much better than it did, and it's in good shape.  It's very long, and I don't want to highlight again since I'm concerned about damage.  So I will just work with the roots as they come in.  Though I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to do with the roots.  Lol.  

padove
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indigo to make light brown

Thanks for your advice!  I needed that push to lessen the indigo more agressively! And that makes sense that if it goes too red, I can just go over it again soon after.  It's funny . . . when I used even more indigo in my mix (1:2), I had just almost black hair with white roots when they came in.  Now that I use less indigo, my hair goes from that (cherry brunette) to reddish and then to white!  This gets people guessing what I use, I figure!  Anyway, I think I'll start using and henna/indigo mixture that is almost 2h:1I.  Maybe I'll turn into an auburn?  I'm ready to experiment!  Thanks!

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