Alternative ideas if allergic

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almr
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Alternative ideas if allergic

In another post I explained a bad reaction I had so here are some of my thoughts....using henna/indigo but not having it touch my head, sort of doing a foiled weave. I'm assuming the henna/indigo will react badly with aluminum foil so maybe I could use parchment paper or saran wrap. Is there any way I could get black with a one step process, say for example mixing a little henna with a lot of indigo? If I do a weave and have to do 2 steps I will then have some red and some blue hair showing since I won't be putting the dyes directly on my head it will be hard to control getting the indigo exactly lined up with where I had the henna (I have ash blonde hair). Another idea is squid ink. It is used in cooking to make black pasta and black risotto; people eat it. Might squid ink bind with henna? Or just using squid ink by itself. Is there anything other than indigo that will bind with henna and make my hair black? If anyone has the same dilemma or knows what I can do I would like to hear your feedback. Also, would aluminum foil cause problems with henna and indigo? I could also do a weave with a chemical dye but I feel it is a very dangerous idea because of the sort of problems PPD causes...oozing sores and other problems that could last for 6 months to a year that I would have to take steroids for. I doubt indigo would cause this sort of problem but maybe I am wrong. 

ACWN
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Re: Alternative ideas if allergic

You need a good, solid base of henna to get the indigo to stick. Most people who try a hennigo of very little henna to a ton of indigo find the color comes out weird or doesnt last. You could do henna first, on its own for a few hours, and then a hennigo of say 75% - 90% indigo and that should work out - but I highly recommend strand testing to make sure.

 

You can also use a squeeze bottle (either for like ketchup or hair dye) to control where the henna/indigo goes so you could get it to line up a little better. You can also see if you can find a stylist who will apply them for you.

 

However, the problem is is that the more you expose yourself to indigo, the more allergic you're going to become to it and it could land you in the ER at some point suffering from anaphylactic shock. And I'm not sure if keeping it off your skin will really even help, it might, but you also have to remember that you need to cover the pastes in order for them to work and this will most likely push some of it onto your scalp. Plus, indigo tends to drip and theres not much you can do about it, unless you mix it too thick and then thats like putting cement in your hair. I know I sound very discouraging, but I gotta point out the facts so you're totally informed.

 

No one has ever brought up squid ink before, but that doesnt mean you couldnt experiment on it with strand tests. If you do, let us know how it goes and if it lasts because there really isnt anything else that works.

 

And please stay away from chemical dyes if they do that to you... its not worth it!

CCartwrightJones
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Re: Alternative ideas if allergic

Squid ink doesn't bind with keratin.  No joy there.

though it is possible that you are allergic to indigo, please try a patch test before you give up on that.  It could have been a coincidental reaction to something else.  Or does wearing new blue jeans give you a skin rash?

xyz
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Re: Alternative ideas if allergic

I second the idea of doing a patch test.  In fact, if I were you I'd test all 3 plant dyes we frequently use (indigo, henna, and buxus) leaving several days in between tests.  You never know...the reaction you describe seems so severe that I'm inclined to think it could've been something you ingested.

It's amazing the things we can develop sensitivities to.  I, for one, had bouts of hives, swelling, and labored breathing that took me to the hospital on 3-4 occasions...years apart...only to discover that I'm allergic to a carrier found in Benadryl, Claritin, and Allegra.  Yep, I'm allergic to allergy medications.  Go figure!  In any case, do yourself a favor and perform a few skin tests...if for nothing else, just to have more accurate information to share with your doctor.  Reactions like the ones you described are to be taken VERY seriously. 

I wish you luck!

xyz
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Re: Alternative ideas if allergic

almr,

I wanted to add that if you discover that you are indeed allergic to indigo but still want to give your grays a brownish shade, some options to explore are...

  • walnut hulls (now, you MUST skin-test several times before you apply to your hair since tree nuts are a very common allergen) for a darker brown stain
  • very strong infusions of sage that you rinse repeatedly through your hair... this is very labor intensive as you have to do it almost once a week to achieve and maintain the color--and it's contraindicated for people with hypertension
  • tag alder bark extract (gives a golden medium brown), but again, many people are allergic to this tree family

Sadly, none of these will work as well as henna, buxus, and indigo do, and they are known to cause sensitivities on a greater number of people than henna or indigo do...but if you're still interested, do a search for "natural hair color" or "herbs for coloring hair"...and PLEASE proceed with extreme caution!

ACWN
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Re: Alternative ideas if allergic

walnut hulls (now, you MUST skin-test several times before you apply to your hair since tree nuts are a very common allergen) for a darker brown stain

 

Just to state... a few people have asked about this and from the replies I have seen from Carrie is that the results arent worth the effort it takes to turn the (powdered) hulls into a dye because you have to seriously boil them down before they're worth anything dye wise. And its a horrible mess, if I recall right.

 

So if you do go down this alley, just keep in mind that this method is VERY labor intensive and results might not be what you're wanting.

hennaeducator
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Re: Alternative ideas if allergic

Just a side note, if you decide to do a weave, there are "paper foils" you can get at the beauty supply. They are much easier to work with than saran wrap. I don't know if regular foil would cause any reaction with henna, but the paper foils are better regardless. They usually come with a plastic board you lay the paper on and it's so much easier when doing a weave with henna than using regular foil. If you can't find them in a local beauty supply, you can order them on line.

 
 
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