pH question about water for mixing henna

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MayaN
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pH question about water for mixing henna

Hi.  I've been curious about the pH of my filtered drinking water, so I bought pH testing drops ( "pH Perfect" brand).   After discovering that my filtered water is slightly alkaline (it tested at an 8) , I got curious and decided to test Dasani bottled water and also CVS brand distilled water.  Both the Dasani water and the distilled water tested at a 4, which is quite acidic. 

So I'm confused.  The info on the website says that even a 5.5 pH would be acidic enough to make henna dye-release in an optimal manner.   So if Dasani water and distilled water are acidic enough, why would fruit juice or fruit acid powders be needed for dye release? 

Thanks!  

Maya 

enissel
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ph question

Hello,

While some water may be at ph 4. It may still contain minerals or other added chemicals used to treat it.  These will effect the effectiveness of the henna. The Henna paste has to be both hydrogen rich and mildly acidic in order for the hydrogens on the corners of the molecule to be preserved in the intermediate aglycone state, so that the dye will bind to the keratin of hair in a Michael reaction.

If the paste is missing something mildly acid other than the water itself, the paste will not dye release properly. The color will not bind permanently to the keratin in the hair and is prone to wash out and fade over time.

MayaN
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follow up question

Got it, thanks!  Makes sense. 

I do notice that when I refreshed the lengths of my hair with just my henna/cassia mix and distilled water, the color looks gorgeous, but it's been coming off on my towel.  I do want my henna to be somewhat more "permanent" BUT my henna result color is now copper red, which I love, and I don't want it to get too darker over time, because my hair is delicate, and I can't keep doing mild "bleach baths" every so often to get it copper again. 

The natural lightening methods (tried them ALL) take a zillion applications to work on me, and even then the result is too subtle to keep up with henna's oxidation.   My henna seems to darken up moreso than one would expect, perhaps because my hair is porous, and because my base color is 50% brown / 50% gray (more or less), so my hair seems to "revert" to brown. 

Thanks to this amazingly helpful website/forum, I  have tried so many tips to prevent the henna application from losing it's red hue and going more auburn, including:

~ no heat tools whatsoever

~ rain wash treatments and clarifying shampoos

~ doing root touch ups only, refreshing the color on the lengths only if/when it looks faded (and lightening a bit first) 

~ using Jasmine instead of Twilight, and adding a bit more cassia to the mix (can't add too much, or it makes my grays look too blond).

I am sure that all of this is helping, but noting has worked super well.  So I have also tried adding Copperberry fruit acid to my henna/cassia mix, but I did not like the color result, it gave an artificial looking vivid red on me.  I bought some Nightfall rose,  but hesitate to try it because I know it's slightly ashening, which would be fine on my grayest areas, but my root areas that are still more brown really need the full brghtness of the henna in order to turn copper red.  I don't want to have to mess with two different recipes, one for my grayer areas one for my browner areas... tried that and it was too nerve wracking and tedious.    

I understand that the more acidic a recipe is, the darker it will go over time.  So my best solution (I think) , is to make my recipe only just as acidic as it absolutley needs to be, to bond well to the hair.   Plus (i think) my recipe should contain a good anti-oxidant, right?  So I have been experimenting with a mixture of melissa balm tea and aloe vera juice.  Both very powerful antioxidants.  I can't test the pH of the tea with my pH drops, because the tea is already yellowish.  But I have tested the aloe since it's clear, it tests at a 4 and even when just 1 tablespoon is added to the distilled water, I still get a 4 (then again, the distilled water itself is a 4, so there's that).   

This tea with aloe juice recipe dye releases well in only 4 hours and the color at the root holds well, so I'm thinking that (used as a gloss) it may hold well on the lengths too, and may not darken as much as when I was using amla.      

Any suggestions would be great. Maya

 

 

enissel
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Hair Darkening.

Hello,

I would give the Night Fall Rose Fruit Acid a try. It has antioxidants and anthocyanins. The antioxidants will help deter the darkening and the anthocyanins will help make it not so bright and unnatural looking on the grays. The Night Fall Rose gives more ash tones when the Henna is mixed with Indigo. It doesn't ash out the color as significantly when mixed with Henna and Cassia.

Have you read our Ancient Sunrise Blog article about glosses? Here is the link: https://www.ancientsunrise.blog/highlights-henna-glosses-myths/

Glosses work for some but not for everyone. If you are not wanting the darkening and are okay with the color fading, this might be the best option for you.

MayaN
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Thanks!

Great info thanks. I will try adding the nightfall rose for my root touch up. I would love a LESS bright effect on the greyest areas, in the sun. My hair is ball of fire in the sun, but when I tried to tone it down with a tad of indigo it stopped looking copper red indoors. I've had other problems with indigo too, despite mixing itvery well and applying quickly.  So hopefully nightfall rise will be a better solution, since I don't want darker, just not quite so orange.  Amla had no noticeable color effect on my grays and made the browner areas a bit dull looking. Great info about the glosses too. Based on that article, I will start cutting my henna recipe with a greater ratio of Cassia rather than conditioner, to make it a better "gloss."  If I want an all-over color refresh that will not fade rapidly or stain my towels every time I shower, what would be the best acid component to use for my henna/Cassia gloss recipe? I'm thinking not nightfall rose, because my problem with the lengths and ends is keeping them red instead of brown not toning them down! So for the gloss  I want an acid that will keep the hair light and bright, but copperberry did not work for me, too cool of a red, whereas I'm a warmer more coppery red.  Should I just use strong chamomile tea for the gloss?  I've been told it will not throw off the natural shade of henna/Cassia and is just acidic enough to achieve a good dye hold without it going darker. But I read that on the Long Hair Community website, not here, so just want to verify.  Many thanks!! 

enissel
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Less brown

Hello,

Have you tried Kristalovino as the acid for your Henna /Cassia mix.? It keeps the color and lighter and brighter but does not have the antioxidants that copperberry does to deter the darkening.  Kristalovino is also very gentle on the skin and scalp.  We also have citric acid crystals, that give lighter brighter stains than most of the fruit acids. Not as gentle as the Kristalovino but more gentle and cost less than the copperberry fruit acid. You can use the chamomile tea as the liquid in your mix, but I would still add one of the fruit acids I just mentioned to make sure it is acid enough for proper dye release.

MayaN
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thanks!

Great suggestions, much appreciated. 

enissel
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Acids

Hello,

You are welcome!

Have a great day!

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