What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to patch test

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candy46
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What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to patch test

 I have dark brown (Asian) hair, currently with very very little gray, mostly in the front.  I know from patch testing that I am allergic to permanent and demi-permanent hair color, basically anything requiring a developer.  For the moment I get away with painting semi-permanent dark warm brown color on individual strands.  This shampoos out after a few weeks.  I am almost 48 so I know eventually I need a longer term solution.  I believe henna is the only thing I can use.  I patch-tested pure henna bought from this site and it was fine.  I patch-tested indigo bought from this site by mixing it with water and dabbing it on behind my ear, and also another spot on the inside of elbow.  It dried out like mud quickly and flaked off, but some parts remained stuck.  After ten hours I absentmindedly scratched and the rest came out, then it looked red and the skin next to it was itchy for a while.  I believe I may be allergic to indigo.  Or is it that I left it on for too long and got irritated from the dryness?  I was later told I should only leave it as long as I would leave it on for coloring my hair, but I don't know how long that would be.

    If I can't use indigo, what else can be mixed with henna for brown color?  I don't think pure henna orange would look natural on me.   

    Also, has anyone tried using only henna to color hair that is somewhat gray, and then using semi-permanent hair color in darker color to "correct" the redness?  I asked this because while I would prefer to go all natural, I am allergic to lots of things (have spring allergy and am allergic to things like pistachios) that are natural as well as permanent and demipermanent colors.  I am very limited in what I can use, so I have to be creative.  Thanks very much everyone in advance.  

ACWN
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Re: What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to ...

10 hours is waaay too long. You only need to leave it on a couple hours at most. Try a patch test again for no more than an hour, then wash the area and give it 48 hours.

 

For a *dark* brown color, nothing. You can try buxus for a lighter to medium brown color to make your grays look like natural highlights, but buxus fades to some degree after about 3 weeks.

 

Henna makes the hair shaft very smooth, which makes it extremely difficult for chemical dye to hold on. It makes permanent dye demi-permanent. So, while you CAN color over it with box dye, you would be doing it very, very often and it would probably trigger another allergy.

 

Higher dye content hennas, like Celebration, will give you a deep auburn color on gray. It might be orange the first 48 hours, but it will oxidize down and settle into its true color. Celebration takes about 8 days to do this.

Carrie
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Re: What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to ...

To patch test the indigo paste I'd leave it on for 2 hours (that's probably how long you'd apply it for dark brown) and keep it moist by covering it.

Buxus is similar to indigo but not as dark. You could use 2 parts buxus and 1 part henna to get a neutral to ash brown, medium (not extremely dark). You prepare it separately with water, just like you do indigo.

Another option would be to use a high dye content henna like Celebration that would turn your grays to a deep ruby/garnet color after a couple of applications. The dark brown hair would have a red shine in bright sunlight.

I'd suggest strand testing to find out what you like better. You could try henna alone and if you don't like it, you can do buxus/henna over that to brown it.

Using any type of chemical hair dye over freshly hennaed hair doesn't work very well. I tried it using a permanent color and it took very dark and then faded completely within 2 weeks (probably less time than that actually). Henna doesn't lift like it "should" with the developer, and it makes your hair very nonporous so it's hard for the chemical color to hang on.

On very weathered hennaed hair (no henna for about 6 months) I did foils with demi color (10 vol peroxide) and it faded on the hennaed part of the hair within 3-4 weeks.

candy46
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Re: What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to ...

 ACWN and Carrie, thank you so much for your advice.   I will try again.  I also ordered Buxus so will test that separately too.  

I have not tested Celebration Henna but will do that later (I have tested Ancient Sunrise Henna).   Am I correct that I should test henna in the same way (about 2 hours)?  

Out of curiosity I also ordered Cassia, Amla, and Zizyphus Spina Christi.  Are these useful for brown color?  

I feel a lot better now as I think I have more options than before.  And if Celebration Henna alone looks good, I might just stick with that.  I still have a lot of dark brown hair left, so I think the overall effect should not be too bad.  I looked at some pictures on the forum and they are very encouraging.  At first I was unhappy to be allergic to chemical hair dye, but now I think it's a blessing in disguise to have had to look for a healthier alternative.  Thanks again.  

 

 

Carrie
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Re: What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to ...

If you are considering using henna by itself and you want the deepest color possible, you'd want to apply it longer, about 4 hours or you could leave it on overnight if you wish.

When you mix henna and indigo for dark brown, you'd only leave it on 2 hours so the henna doesn't get carried away and make your color too reddish.

Cassia and zizyphus will not help you get brown. Zizy is not a dye. Cassia is a pale golden yellow dye and would only dilute your color, making it lighter.

Amla is not a dye either, but when mixed with henna, in a henna/indigo mix, amla can make indigo come out darker. It will not do the same for buxus, though.

candy46
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Re: What to mix with henna to get dark brown and how long to ...

 Thank you.  I think I will start with just henna and see how it goes.  If I want it darker then will try mixing buxus.  

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