A New Trick for Henna Slick Slidin' Gel - Carrageenan

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Bella Noire
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Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2010-06-15 15:51
A New Trick for Henna Slick Slidin' Gel - Carrageenan
Greetings folks!

I've been a long time lurker (used to occasionally post on the old boards) and this is a method I've used for awhile now but never gotten around to sharing til now. As far as I'm aware it's not been posted before so hopefully you find it a useful suggestion.

Years back I picked up a 8oz bag of carrageenan powder when I took an interest in marbling paper. It is a common food and cosmetic additive, made from extract of Irish moss seaweed and is a white powder that when mixed with water forms a colorless, scentless (to me at least)very slick and smooth gel. Basically it's very reminiscent of personal lubricant - slick without the stringy type viscosity.

It occurred to me that it would make a perfect substitute for pectin in henna gel and I tried out it and it worked beautifully. I've been using this method for 2-3 years now and won't go back to anything else. It goes in very smoothly, no drips, and rinses very clean. I find it helps extend my paste amount, for example 100-150g of powder will cover my roots(heavy coverage) and work down into my waist length ends.

My own method of making a batch of hair henna is pretty simple - usual lemon juice for 100g of henna, wait for dye release. For my gel, I'll do a 50/50 lemon juice & water simmer on the stove with whatever I'm kitchen-witching with for scent and softness, usually red hibiscus or a chai teabag or two and let cool to warm. Feel free to add in whatever else you customarily add to your batch like honey etc. I mix in a tablespoon or so of the carrageenan slowly to avoid lumps. Stir briskly and then let it set to thicken for an hour or so. You could probably mix the batch at the same time(separately) as the henna to permit it to gel up so there is no need to wait to add it, personally I add it in to the henna and then permit it to gel when mixed. Slick it on, let it set, and watch it slide out of your hair lickety split in the shower!

The only challenge you might find is locating it. I know Jacquard carries it in 8oz bags for approx $35 or so, which might be a large amount for some folks but at a tablespoon or so at a time it's going to last you quite a long time. I'd recommend craft/quilting stores to look local or simply find some online. I wish I could find a more cost effective source for those simply wanting to try it, but those tips should get you started. You also can apparently just buy the Irish Moss straight and boil it but that's outside my experience.

There you go! When my new Celebration henna arrives in the mail(thanks again Julie!) I'll pay more attention to the exact process and refine my post if needed. Thanks for listening and may your hands be steady and your stains be bright.
Bella Noire
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Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
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Re: A New Trick for Henna Slick Slidin' Gel - Carrageenan
Oops, sorry for the wall of text - I swear it was formatted before hitting send.
ACWN
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Re: A New Trick for Henna Slick Slidin' Gel - Carrageenan

You should still be able to edit it since you made it, there should be a tab that says "edit" up top. If you copied and pasted it from somewhere else, like Word, thats probably why it didnt translate over when you submitted it.

xyz
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Re: A New Trick for Henna Slick Slidin' Gel - Carrageenan

Bella Noire,

Thanks for the detailed explanation.  It's awesome that you took the time to write it and share it with us.  I just want to make sure that you (and others who read this post) are aware that there are 2 main types of commercially-used carrageenan, and that one of them (the acid-hydrolized type) has been found to cause cancer.  It has been banned for use in food in many countries.  So when preparing it for your henna, please look for food-grade ("undegraded") carrageenan.  I know you're using a very small amount and not ingesting it...but why risk it, right?

Here are some articles on carrageenan in foods

Interestingly, the same ingredient appears to aid in the prevention of Human Papiloma Virus

******************

Another seaweed-based thickener you may want to try is agar-agar.  Sadly, while it gels easily, it doesn't produce the characteristic "slick" of carrageenan...I've tried it several times and I end up with a much too-solid blob.  I personally prefer using pectin or honey.

Good luck to you, and thanks again for sharing.

mox-nyx
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Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
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Re: A New Trick for Henna Slick Slidin' Gel - Carrageenan

I just wanted to let you know about Mountain Rose Herbs,,, they are GREAT and carry a huge line of natural, organic products for really good prices.  I checked there and organic irish moss is $12/lb through them.  I get a lot of products there and have never been disappointed in anything.  If you're looking for something specific try them first..

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