Will dye release be even in a big bag?

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onigiri
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Will dye release be even in a big bag?

I am a newbie and still looking for the best henna mixing method.  I have only hennaed my hair once 3 weeks ago hoping to cover my white hairs.  I wouldn't really say the result was successful but I know it takes time to build up the color.  So here is the question....

Since we are heating up the henna paste to ensure dye release happens, doesn't that mean IF the henna paste didn't warm up evenly, dye release may occur at different time in the paste?  Because I have used 300g of henna powder, after adding the acidic liquid (I have tried lemon juice + water last time and last night I added canned apple juice only) I ended up with almost 1L of paste.  You can imagine for this amount, not the whole bag will warm up at the same time when I had to place the bag near a heating vent in a pretty cold room. 

I don't know if I'm just too worried.  But after my first henna, my grey hair were only stained orange.  I want to have either red or brown color so I'm wondering if my orange color is partially due to inproper dye release.  Btw I used the white paper trick to check for dye release. 

Any advice or thoughts? 

Carrie
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Re: Will dye release be even in a big bag?

I have never had any luck with the white paper towel thing, I just go by a skin test on my palm. Bright orange after 1 minute is what you hope to see.

You are right that if heat is applied unevenly the dye release will not occur uniformly throughout the paste. Stir up the paste frequently if you are doing this so the heat is distributed. If it's in a bag, smoosh the bag around to mix the paste. Heat at 85' to 90'F will make dye release happen very quickly, possibly within 1-2 hours.

For red color on white hair, you will need a very high dye content henna like Celebration (or last year's Yemen, which is sold out in the Mehandi store now) and a 3-4 hour application put on at the optimal time. Otherwise white hair will turn orange, but will build up to a redder color with repeated applications.

For brown color on white hair, you have to include indigo or buxus in your henna mix. It will not turn white hair brown on its own.

ACWN
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Re: Will dye release be even in a big bag?

If you're using a ziplock, I dont think the paper towel will work as the plastic is too thick. If it was in a bowl with plastic wrap over top and the towel over the plastic, then you MIGHT get some faint staining on dye release, but it isnt a sure fire method that I would trust on its own - skin testing, however, is.

 

I would also suggest picking the bag up at regular intervals and squishing it for several moments to mix the paste to distribute the warmed paste. At least that way you're more likely to get even heating and dye release.

 

Also, if you havent, I would divide up the paste into smaller bags. This will help with the dye release and will make later use of it easier. You wont be dealing with one HUGE bag come application time, nor will you be dealing with one huge bag when you need to freeze (and later thaw) the rest.

onigiri
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Re: Will dye release be even in a big bag?

Thank you both so much for the reply.  I just want to double check and clear my doubt. 

Carrie, for some reason, everytime I have tried the white printer paper test with Zip lock (both thin sandwich bag and freezer bag), eventually I'll see very faint orange stain.  But I will try the skin test from now on.

Thanks for letting me know how to achieve red and brown color on white hair.  I'm going to try henna a few times and see if I can get red on white hair.  If it doesn't work well with the henna that I have, then I'll give Indigo a try.  I'm just so amazed by some of the red hair people get from henna-ing!

ACWN, splitting the henna paste into multiple bags is a great idea!  Silly me.  I am just thinking about freezing that big bag of henna would also be problematic (doing that right now).  Splitting would solve all my problems. 

Do people usually mix the henna pasta regularly throughout the whole dye release period?  I found it really hard to accomplish if I'm at work or sleeping at night. 

ACWN
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Re: Will dye release be even in a big bag?

No, they dont mix it (at least I dont), but since you did a massive batch and had left it in a warmer place I had suggested it to avoid any hot spots and even distribution of the warmth to make the dye release happen evenly.

 

 

Also, tip... you might want to freeze some root-only amounts so you can keep what you dont need frozen and it will last longer. Freeze it as flat as you can too, so it will thaw faster. AND! Finally, take all your baggies, once they're totally frozen, and throw them into a bigger one to keep them all organized and in one spot so you dont have to go digging for one little bag.

 

Good luck and have fun! Let us know if you need any more help :)

Jen
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Re: Will dye release be even in a big bag?

"If you're using a ziplock, I dont think the paper towel will work as the plastic is too thick."

I agree with that. That technique first evolved for body art and it does work with a body art mix. I think its the addition of essential oils that helps the dye permeate the plastic.

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