What did I do wrong?

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puppydog0613
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Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2011-03-04 10:54
What did I do wrong?

I used henna and indigo for the first time trying to get black hair, but instead I've ended up with brown. The part of my hair I'm doing is naturally light strawberry blonde to red (closer to the crown is darker). I mixed up my henna with orange juice diluted with tap water and let it sit for several hours in the refrigerator (after doing some research I now know I should have let it sit much longer at room temp.) Should I have diluted the OJ? Used something different? At any rate, I let that sit on my freshly washed and dried hair for two hours and got a bright, almost fluorescent, orange color. Then I mixed up my indigo with tap water and immediately applied it to my towel dried hennaed hair and let sit for one hour. I rinsed and had a nice rich mohagany brown color, whick darkened to a great brownish black after a couple of days. Two days later I washed my hair with a clarifying shampoo and noticed henna/indigo residue in the water. Now my hair is a chestnut brown color. Nice, but not at all what I was going for. And the nice shiny hair everyone talks about? More like brittle hair that tangles if you even look at it funny. And are the henna and indigo supposed to be so drippy? By the end of the hour with the indigo it was literally pouring out of my plastic wrap/shower cap. Advice please!!!! :)

Carrie
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Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 2010-04-25 16:31
Re: What did I do wrong?

When you are starting with lighter hair, it can take more than one application for some people to get a truly black color.

I'm kind of amazed you got bright orange hair with your henna ... usually an acidic mix that's kept in the fridge would not be releasing much dye but obviously you did get some. Perhaps you'll have better luck if you let your paste sit at room temperature next time. Test it on your palm before you use it - you should get a nice orange stain in 1 minute. The indigo needs a good solid base of henna in your hair to grab onto.

Have you only shampooed once? If so another shampoo may help a lot. Henna can leave a kind of residue on the hair initially that makes it tangly, dry and stiff. Some people refer to that as a resin, I don't know if that is accurate but it can certainly feel like that, until you wash all that off.

Did you do any strand testing beforehand? Some people's hair just doesn't like henna - it's good to find this out before you commit your hair to the complete permanence of henna and indigo.

Indigo does tend to be drippy. If you mix it thick enough that it won't drip, it doesn't dye as well. Try using a shower cap or one of those super thin treatment caps from the beauty supply store, then putting a thick stretchy headband around your wrapped head next time to catch the drips.

puppydog0613
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Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
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Re: What did I do wrong?

I didn't do any strand testing, I'm too impatient lol. I have only shampooed once. I'm currently using up my supply of "conventional" products so I can start using the poo free method.

So, just to make sure I understand you (I'm kind of clueless here) really the only thing I should do differently is let my henna paste sit longer? Do you think it would make any difference if I left the indigo on my hair a little longer?

And long do you recommend I wait until I try it again? Would a month be ok?

Sorry to be asking you all these questions, but if one doesn't ask, one doesn't learn, right? :)

Carrie
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Re: What did I do wrong?

we LIVE to answer questions :D    seriously, that's why we're here! 

You don't have to wait at all. Unlike chemical color, you can do it again as soon as you want.

I'd suggest letting the paste sit longer (how long it should sit depends on acidity of your liquid and room temperature). With cool orange juice, you'll probably let it sit 8-12 hours at about 68'F and then do a skin test on your palm. Let it sit longer if it's not ready yet.

Here is a page about dye release - all the info on the page is assuming you're using cool lemon juice; it would be different if you use something pH neutral like water, or if you use any warm liquid.

http://www.hennapage.com/henna/how/dyerelease.html

... and I also suggest leaving the henna paste on your hair a bit longer this time, like 3 hours. Just to make sure you really get a good amount of dye in your hair. Usually 2 hours of henna would be okay in a 2-step though.

And usually 1 hour is enough for the indigo step in a 2-step, but since you had fading let's try 1.5 hours this time. Don't leave straight indigo on a super long time, though, because that would be more drying.

Carrie
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Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 2010-04-25 16:31
Re: What did I do wrong?

Here are some FAQs that may help - about dye release and the one about troubleshooting gray coverage. Even if you don't have any gray, it will help you with tips about getting indigo to work :)

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/98

puppydog0613
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Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Thank you!

You are awesome!!! :)

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