Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia experience? (please read! EDIT after two strandtests)

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madeline
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Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia experience? (please read! EDIT after two strandtests)

 

Current:  shoulderblade length dull dark dirty dishwater blonde (looks more like dark brown though sometimes,  I hate my natural haircolour,  does it show?) which was last chemically dyed red in january,  so virgin roots and brassy copper red ends (from the ears down),  a lot brighter than the roots from highlights and ammonia in the dye.  Here are a few photos from a few months back,  though I think it looked better then.  It's all gone downhill since,  it's thin, wispy, incredibly tangly,  so right now it's either be saved by the healing powers of henna,  or the dreaded chop.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs486.snc3/26603_382374318207_664068207_3894258_2633263_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs181.snc4/37365_413396163307_694668307_4489119_4632674_n.jpg

Want:  intense Joan Holloway from Mad Men copper.  As closely to it as I can get to it without the damage still showing too much, in that case I'll settle for a bit darker and another full head application.  Health is more important right now than colour.

My plan:

Tonight:  what I hope will be a light bleach/highlighting,  with emphasis on the roots,  and then even mostly the top layers.  Following a tip on the LHC I've oiled overnight with coconut and argan oil to prevent damage as much as possible.  I don't really know much about the American way of categorizing bleach with 10, 20 or 40 vol and the content listing on the package doesn't help much,  but it has a bottle of developer, a tube of "bleaching cream" and two powder packets of bleach "enforcer",  and it says to only use one packet if you want a medium lightening,  so that's what I'm going for.  Anyone who can comment on this re: the American categorization and some less damaging mixes that can be achieved?

In two days:  A mix of 200gr cassia to 100gr Jamilla henna from henna-boy (sorry Catherine,  I'm European...),  and there are a few questions I still have.

- I wanted to mix with chamomile tea to avoid darkening and oxidation.  Will this suffice or do I still need to add a splash of orange juice perhaps?  Can anyone comment on its usefulness?

- For scent I was thinking of adding three tablespoons of ginger.  I've read this somewhere but now I can't find it again.  I don't much fancy adding cinnamon,  since this irritates my skin.  I don't need a particular scent,  just not the typical henna scent and I've read that ginger does just that?

- Do I mix the cassia in with the henna,  or do I mix it separately and add it after dye release?

- Two hours or four hours on my head?  What would be the difference between one four hour application,  or two of two hours, a few months apart?

- Can I do a cassia-only treatment about a month later to lock the henna in,  and just for the conditioning effect?  

- Do I really need to strand test? I don't really have hairballs as I only use combs,  and I'm fairly sure of this mix anyway.  Can't I just dive straight in?  

 

 

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

- I wanted to mix with chamomile tea to avoid darkening and oxidation.  Will this suffice or do I still need to add a splash of orange juice perhaps?  Can anyone comment on its usefulness?

  • Strong chamomile tea will suffice. Let it cool before you mix it, or else it will be releasing/demising really fast.

- For scent I was thinking of adding three tablespoons of ginger.  I've read this somewhere but now I can't find it again.  I don't much fancy adding cinnamon,  since this irritates my skin.  I don't need a particular scent,  just not the typical henna scent and I've read that ginger does just that?

  • Ginger neutralizes the scent of henna *somewhat* but not entirely. 1 Tbsp per 100 gm sounds fine. With your amount of hair I think 150 to 200 gm total powders would be more than enough, though.

- Do I mix the cassia in with the henna,  or do I mix it separately and add it after dye release?

  • either way works but if you mix separately, you can skin test the henna on your palm (look for bright orange stain after 1 minute) to make sure it's releasing dye. If you mix them together you can't do this because cassia dilutes the stain so much.

- Two hours or four hours on my head?  What would be the difference between one four hour application,  or two of two hours, a few months apart?

  • I'd go 2 hours your first time since you do not want dark color. Longer time = darker color. Two, 2-hr apps will give more color than one 4-hr app.

- Can I do a cassia-only treatment about a month later to lock the henna in,  and just for the conditioning effect?  

  • You can certainly do cassia-only but it doesn't lock the henna in. Henna doesn't need locking in, LOL. Most of the time you'll need intense amounts of bleaching or a pair of scissors to get it out.

- Do I really need to strand test? I don't really have hairballs as I only use combs,  and I'm fairly sure of this mix anyway.  Can't I just dive straight in?

  • you don't have to strand test if you don't care what color you get. It's really, really best to strand test. Who knows, you might have mineral buildup in your hair that will give you dark brown color from the cassia. Or you might hate the textural change with cassia and be happier with a henna gloss instead. People vary. Strand test and find out.
Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

just wanted to add there is no way to prevent oxidation or darkening of the henna. It's inevitable. More acidic mixes like lemon juice may do *more* of this than chamomile/less acidic ones.

Lori B.
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I'm really glad I strand tested. That's how I found out I wasn't letting my henna dye release long enough. It made a huge difference in the intensity of the final color.

Also, when I ran out of washed hair swept up after my last cut (,which looked like balls from a brush, sort of rats nest like,) I snipped a lock from the back of my head where it wouldn't show. Then I just sort of coiled it around on itself and clipped it together. The balls all looked a lot alike but the coil looked much better like hair on my head. I don't know if the coil looking smoother had anything to do with it or not though.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I think I will do two strandtests at the back of my head, in the nape. One with henna/cassia and one with pure henna.  I don't suppose it will matter much after I do a full head application.  

kimberkley
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

your hair is lovely is those pics. but anyway, carrie gave some wonderful advice as always. follow what she says and you'll be golden. as far as the strand test, i never bothered with it. just dive right in! how bad can it be? one word of caution about henna, though. i loved it so much i did it every few months for a couple of years. i ended up with stringy, greasy, build-uppy hair. the only way i got rid of it was with a perm which of course didn't take all that well as henna tends to straighten hair. now i try to stick to the roots for the most part. that's the one downside about henna is the build-up.

good luck! let us know how it comes out.

 

kim

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I just did two strandtests in my neck,  and they are fairly disappointing to say the least.  One was pure henna with chamomile tea for two hours,  the other was 50/50 with cassia,  and both really, really miss that vibrant orange I was looking for.  They look more dark auburnish,  and that is NOT what I bleached my hair for!  It actually looks exactly like my hair before I bleached it.  :/

So what should I do?  More cassia?  I've already mixed up about 60gram of henna,  and I was going to add a full bag of 100gr cassia,  but maybe now I should consider adding even more henna? 

My henna is 2010 Jamilla,  and from a bag that I accidentally ripped open in August,  and then kept in a plastic baggie until now.  A month out in the open before I figured I should wrap it up and keep it somewhere cool and dark.  It's never been in the fridge.  Has it gone stale?  

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

Did the paste dye your gloves or hands? (I always test the paste on my palm before applying ... if you don't have dye release, your test is useless).

If you believe you had good dye release but the color came out too dark, then yes, I would use more cassia. But I'm surprised that you got dark auburn from a 50/50 mix, even though you bleached your hair.

If your henna was exposed to moisture (for example, if you did not have it in an airtight container) then it could have gone stale. Heat and light aren't great for it either but moisture is the real killer. But if your henna was stale, I don't understand how it made your hair dark auburn.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I just looked at my skin test and it doesn't look bright orange.  In fact,  I think it may have faded a little,  I could barely find it.  Bad henna?  

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

A bright orange stain in 1 minute is what you look for ... it doesn't matter what the stain looks like hours later, really.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I don't think it was very bright,  no. So maybe I didn't get good enough dye release?  It took 12 hours,  and I've heard that Jamilla takes a very long time.  It's in the fridge right now,  so I probably stopped any more release that might still be going on?

My baggie was wrapped around what was left of the henna in the silver package ànd the box,  and then an elastic band around it,  so all in all I think it was pretty snug.  I don't think any moisture got to it.

And okay,  dark auburn is exaggerated,  it's more like light brown with a red tinge,  and a slight copper reflection if I twist a curl toward a lightsource. (It's dark here already in Europe).  And the strand I tested on probably didn't "catch" that much bleach.  But dark hair or light hair,  no bright henna flash like I'd been hoping for.  

I've still got an unopened pack of Jamilla,  I think I will mix up half of that tonight and strandtest some more.  I really really want it to be very bright and very vibrant,  otherwise I wouldn't have run the risk of bleaching first.

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

The henna that you have in the fridge, you could put that in the freezer and the freezing will give it some extra dye release when you thaw it out. I like to put it in ziploc bags and flatten out the paste so they will thaw quickly in a bowl of warm water when I'm ready to use them.

The fridge slows down the clock on the henna but it doesn't stop the release/demise process entirely. Freezing will keep it from demising while it's frozen. Once you thaw it, the "clock" starts again.

Hennaed hair looks amazingly different in different types of light. If you had some bright sunlight, that is when you'd see the real brightness. Indoors it's not going to look like that at all, but darker and more brownish compared to how it appears in brighter light. For bright coppery color you do need to start with blonde or white hair, though. The darker the starting color, the darker the end result with henna.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

Just theoretically speaking,  what does stale henna do?  I thought that combined with cassia it might result in an even more effect because of the lower lawsone count?  Or does it give a duller stain? 

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

It would just have less dye available, so the stain would be lighter.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

Okay,  I'll do a new patch test later tonight,  and probably best to do a new strand test on a piece of hair that has had more bleach.  And judge it in the daylight.  

And pop everything in the freezer just to be safe.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

New patch test,  still not bright.  Orange though,  but paler than I thought it would have been.  No staining on my bare hands,  though this was only from doing one strand test.  This time I did a big one,  in a large hunk of optimally bleached hair. 

I've figured I'd probably be easier to start low-risk,  so regardless of the results of the last strand test I've mixed up a batch of henna gloss with some cassia too that I'll be applying later on. It looks nicely light and harmless compared to my jar of henna.  My friends were telling me anyway that I should enjoy the blondeness a little while longer so I'll do them the courtesy of building up to strawberry blonde slowly.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

No. No no,  this really isn't it.  Another two hour strand test,  and all it did was make it completely dry,  and perhaps slightly darker.  I don't understand.  The henna must be stale then.  Or was it something I did in the mix?  I used demineralized water,  was it the fact that it boiled before I made the tea?  It was very cold (from the fridge) when I mixed it with the henna,  should I have reheated it to room temperature?  Too much ginger?  Too much cinnamon?  I don't understand.  it's proper Jamilla from a reputable dealer (henna-boy.co.uk)

I'm starting again tomorrow with a fresh box,  my last one. I can settle for strawberry blonde on Saturday,  but I have a date and I really can't be jùst blonde.  :/

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I'm not clear whether you are getting stain on your skin test before you apply to the hair ... you need to do that. If it's not staining skin, it probably won't stain your hair very well.

The strand tests need to be kept warm, like body heat, for the most realistic test. If they are too cool, you won't get the best dye uptake in your tests.

Mineral buildup in your hair from showering/bathing can make henna or cassia come out dull brown. If that's the case, you can remove that buildup with something like Mehandi's product called Rainwash, or from Sally Beauty Supply you can get ION crystal clarifying treatment.

Boiling your water to make the tea is fine. Color liquid temp is fine ... but you do have to let it sit long enough that you get a good stain on your skin test. Too much spice would only be a problem if you used such a large quantity that you diluted your dye too much.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

I mixed up a new batch,  which gives a much brighter patch test.  But unfortunately I forgot to check my friend's availability and she can't do it today,  so I'm going to put it in the freezer until Tuesday and do a gloss for now. Even a light wash of copper will do for now.  

Just to be on the safe side I'm going to wash my hair with dishwasher soap to get rid of buildup.  

Carrie
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

The stuff for the dishwasher is very harsh and probably contains bleach, so instead use "dish soap" (also called "washing up liquid" in the UK I think), the kind to use to wash dishes in the sink.

This kind of detergent will remove oils and styling product buildup but will not remove mineral buildup, by the way.

madeline
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Re: Can anyone proofread/approve my first ever henna/cassia ...

It took me a while to take the plunge,  but the henna is now on my head and needs to go another hour.  My strandtest looked like nothing spectacular,  but I'm hoping that was because of the light (it's evening) and the fact that it wasn't a very thick strand.  Update soon!  

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