need help! Plain henna? gloss?

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sphinx
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need help! Plain henna? gloss?

I'm sorry if this gets long..(edited to try and make it less confusing!)

OK, the following pictures were taken after doing henna.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/sphinx_99/100_0936.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/sphinx_99/100_1037.jpg

I love that color and want to get back to that. So when my roots grew out I went to get them done so I could henna the roots and match them to the rest of my hair. The stylist used some sort of "organic" dye on my whole head. She was supposed to do my hair to the color it was before the henna, so that I could then to henna with the same recipe and times, and get the same results. However, the color it turned out as was darker than it was before I did the last henna, so my concern is if I put henna on it now it will be too dark. These are pics of what it looks like now:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/sphinx_99/Photo157.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/sphinx_99/Photo158.jpg

 Since it is darker than when I did my henna last time, I expect it will be even darker after I henna again! And while my hair is indeed kind of red, it's not as red as I would like! However, I don't want my hair really dark with just a red tinge either. 

So does anyone have any suggestions on how to get my hair as close to it was before as possible? I thought of using a chemical lightener first, but don't really want to do that. My hair at the ends is already kind of dry and I don't want to make it worse with more chemicals. My hair is also rather dull and lifeless, and in the past the henna has helped that. So I was wondering if gloss might be a better choice? Or try to use straight henna but maybe not leave it in as long? 

I have harvested hair from my brush to do a test, (although I suspect some of the hair is from before she did my hair). I will do a test either way but wanted some suggestions to narrow it down. Also, I froze the leftover last time, so can I thaw that to do the test and refreeze it? Or should I start with fresh powder (I have a lot left). Please help!

 

[fixed links for you - admin]

Carrie
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

I've gone over your post several times and I'm still confused. You used henna twice, then took the first 2 pics? or did you use some other kind of color (organic color?? not sure what that is) and then take the pics? 

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 I'm sorry, you're right, it is confusing. Forget the part about doing it twice. Basically, the first 2 pictures are after henna. That's the color I love and want. When my hair grew out I went to a stylist who did my whole head with some sort of organic dye and it turned out like the second two pictures. I'd hoped she would get it to the shade my hair was BEFORE doing the henna, so I could do my whole head in henna and it would come out the same as before. Does that help at all?

Carrie
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

Your hair looks rich garnet red/auburn with brighter orangey highlights in #1 and #2, and then lighter and sort of duller in #3 and #4, on my monitor. If that's the case, I would simply henna again.

If in reality your hair is now darker than before and the pics just don't show that very well, I would suggest bleaching it first before you henna again, BUT I'm not sure if you can safely bleach since I don't know what is in the product she used. So strand test with bleach (or you can use 30 vol cream developer alone, no bleaching powder, for 30 minutes at a time, for more subtle lightening and a bit less damage) to be sure before proceeding.

It would certainly be safe to henna, or do a henna gloss on it, no matter what was in the dye she used.

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 It's a little lighter than it was before she did it, but not as light as it was before I originally did the henna. If I did bleach it, what do I use? Never have just bleached my hair, always some sort of color+lightener. Will a gloss keep my hair from getting a lot darker? (as opposed to just henna)

Carrie
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

If  you bleach it, use hair bleach. You can go to a beauty supply store and get 30 vol cream developer and some bleach activator powder. Mix them together and apply. You'll be able to see your hair getting lighter so you'll know when it's light enough, but somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes is my guess. You can get quite significant lightening in 30 minutes, so keep an eye on it. If you do this when you have un-hennaed roots, those roots will turn pale yellow, so you may want to touch up your roots with henna prior to doing the bleach.

Yes, a gloss will keep your hair from getting as dark as full strength henna would make it. It will darken your color but only a little - it all depends on how strong you make your gloss, how long you leave it on ... every little bit of henna that you use builds up but if you use less, it gets less dark.

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 I am just worried applying bleach over my hair (except my roots which are virgin of course) would really damage it.....it's not really bad now, but dull and lifeless, a little dry but I condition the ends really well. 

question: So my dark brown roots would turn pale yellow you mean? if I put henna on the roots first it really wouldn't show much I'd imagine, but that is enough to prevent the yellowing? 

Carrie
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

Yes, your unhennaed dark brown roots will lighten more readily than the henna will. The hennaed hair will lighten to a lighter shade of orange, and the unhennaed hair will lighten all the way to yellow or white if you let the bleach stay on that long, but please don't, it'll be a crispy critter if you do.

amyhenna
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

Speaking from the perspective of someone with Multiple Chemical Sensitivites, there is no other hair coloring product besides plant dyes that are truly organic. Adding organic ingredients to a chemical concoction does not make the product organic :-) I know this first hand from all the excruciating pain these products put me in (ear pain, throat pain, head pain, face burning, nostrils burning, throat burning, tongue goes numb, etc.)

It didn't used to be this way for me- I used to be able to use chemical dyes, and did, from the age of twenty-four to thirty-eight, when everything came crashing down, illness-wise.

 

What this illness has taught me (the hard way):

There is a lot of hype over the word "organic". A lot of products put organic things into their chemical hair colors, shampoos, etc. and then call the product "organic". It is because nobody is regulating the use of this word on hair products that they are getting away with this. My body knows the difference. Most of these products are lying. You can read the ingredients to see the facts. I don't need to read it to know...all I have to do is take the cap off a bottle or open the box and WHAM! I'm hit with the reality.

If you asked for an ingredient list on that organic hair color that lady used on your hair, I think you would be very shocked. I strongly suggest requesting the full ingredient list for any product someone wants to use on your hair, because any chemicals in that product will be going into your body.. You have a right to know what chemicals you are being subjected to.

On the front of "organic" hair products, they will put things like "no" this and "no" that (resourcinols, peroxide, ammonia, sulfates, etc.), or they will put "made with organic x, y, and z" or whatever. But turn the box around and you'll see what they're trying to hide ... if you can even read the font in that miniscule size they like to use. If it is a truly organic product, they will not hide their ingredients in go-get-a-microscope-if-you-really-want-to-know font: they'll be proud of their ingredients and put them in an easily readible font.

I'm sorry if I sound preachy, but I became very sick from chemicals, and I think hair dye had a lot to do with it. A lot. I had just switched from bleach to dark ash blonde temporary hair dye (no peroxide, no ammonia, Clairol Loving Care I think it was) and I only used it a few times before I became too sick to go to work for a year. Things escalated VERY fast. I've since learned that the darker hair dyes (anything that deposits color) are much more dangerous than bleach. Who knew? I sure didn't- nor would I have cared ;-)

I guarantee you I never thought this could happen to me. I also never thought it could really happen to anyone. I am concerned for what that lady put on your hair. A lot of chemicals get disguised under the ruse of "organic" products. Many to most organic or natural boxed hair colors use PPD, but their argument is they don't use AS MUCH PPD as the other dyes. Also, rather than use ammonia, they use something else that is even more toxic, but has no smell, so people think they are using a safer-than-ammonia product because they don't detect any harmful chemical odors.

I know I am way off topic from your question, but I got really upset at some woman putting a product on your head and telling you it was organic.

Jen
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

  Oh, the organic issue! Let me tell ya!!! We don't use the term here because most of the countries that export henna don't have any kind of organic certification process, and of those who do, the FDA and USDA don’t back them. (except for India, but if you've ever done business in India you know that things like certifications and permits are done with under-the-table niceties, if you know what I mean.) That's why we do the testing! A lab report is way better than a meaningless label.

I hear everything you're saying about the abuse of the word "organic" and I want to add how frustrating I find it that the masses buy into it. I can't even tell you how many people are immediately uninterested in our product when they find it doesn't wear an organic label. The thing is we've had some "organic" indian henna and found it to be full of crap. Lab tests are non subjective.

I also make mineral make up on the side. I have people often ask me if THAT is organic. FRUSTRATING!!! Um no, these ingredients are not grown, so they weren't grown organically. But there's plenty of people who make mineral make up who are willing to tell that lie so they make the sales. BOOOO!

 

 

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 I want to apologize for adding a comment to my thread saying I was worried it had gone too off topic. I meant no disrespect and meant in no way to belittle your concerns. Because you are absolutely on the money! I am a nurse and have a former patient who had severe multiple chemical sensitivities that he developed after years working as a hair stylist, so there is definitely a big link in chemical hair processes and development of these sensitivities/allergies! This poor man became so ill. I have never seen anyone, nor have I since, which such bad edema (swelling). I could push my finger on his ankle and it would not bounce back at all, and he also had fluid leaking from his skin from the fluid overload. I could not even use scented body wash before I entered his home, and I am usually careful on scents for this reason, but unless I used unscented dove, he'd be miserable. 

Anyway, the sad thing is, I realize that the term "organic" is not all it's hyped up to be, yet still let this woman use it thinking it would be better for my hair than regular chemical hair dyes. Not only was it not better, its yielded a totally different color result, to which afterwards she says "well, the organic doesn't lighten your hair as much as regular dye does"......umm, thanks for telling me! The result is dull, dry hair and color not even close to what I wanted. Now I am hesitant to even go back to her for another trim because she didn't listen to what I wanted, and instead pushed on me what she wanted! (despite the fact that she did ok trimming my hair, haha)

Thank you for your input!

amyhenna
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

Jen-

I work with a bunch of people from India, and they said the concept of USDA organic doesn't really exist there, but I imagine that to appease foreign markets, they do try to put those types of labels on their products. I wonder if they even bother with it for products sold only in-country? My coworkers, who moved here in the nineties, were sure that no such thing exists there, and they don't really understand that there are almost two totally parallel chains of food in the U.S., for lack of a better term.

That would be so frustrating with the mineral makeup competitors not playing fair/honest. Do you have a website to which you could post the link for your makeup?

amy

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 I think my original post and question has gotten forgotten and lost with the discussion of the organic issues that has sprung up. I just need advice. The stylist told me it was organic which is why I included that bit, but it really has nothing to do with my question.

xyz
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

sphinx,

The admins and all the other people who volunteer their advice on this forum are caring folks who are intent in helping others find success in using plant dyes.  But many also want to share their knowledge and experience to help people find healthier ways to live, in general--sometimes because they came to henna already looking for a safer way to color, sometimes because once they started hennaing, they became aware of issues related to the beauty and health industry, sometimes because using plant dyes opened the door to increased understanding of other cultures or of practices that are new to them...That's why they share passionately about topics they care about.  If you look through the threads, there are discussions about hair color, sure, but also about circumcision, cancer, religious practices, merchandising and advertisement, tattooing, holistic medicine, gender relations, birthing, nutrition, art...most of us who read and post here love that about the forum--it's like a real conversation in which the topic does not always remain static and everyone is free to jump in.  Don't be annoyed if the original question gets left behind as that is the nature of "talking"--in real or virtual time.

Now, to your color question.  Even after you edited it, it is still not exactly clear what happened when and how.  Let me see if I understood correctly:

  1. You went to the stylist and she gave you a color lighter and/or redder than your natural one
  2. (What is your natural color?)  I don't think you mentioned it and it is very important to know.
  3. You hennaed on top of that and loved it (first set of pictures)
  4. Then you went to the colorist again in hopes to get the same pre-henna shade, but this time the color came out much different than the original (second set of pictures)
  5. You're worried that if you henna over this recent salon color, the results will not be identical as those you got after your first henna

Well, you're right.  Henna is a translucent stain, so the final color will depend on the base you apply it on.  If this shade you have now is very different from the first salon color, it is likely that you'll see difference in your after-henna shade.  Also, if the first and second dye jobs were different in "composition" and "action" (if they were different brands, different degrees of lifting, different amounts of deposit, different vehicles of "roughing up" of your keratin...) you'd probably see different results even if the base color had been identical (because your hair would have been "differently" damaged at different points) and henna would attach to it differently. 

Your only recourse now is trying different things right on your head.  Separate (or snip) some thin strands of hair and apply

  1. a strong gloss for 30 minutes
  2. a strong gloss for 1 hour
  3. straight henna for 30 minutes
  4. straight henna for 1 hour

I'm keeping the times even to facilitate your experiment.  Wrap your hair as usual, keep it warm, rinse after time's up, see what shades you get.  When you do henna "for real" you'll probably leave it longer than 1 hour, but this at least will give you an idea as to where you should go next:  glosses or straight henna.  You can finesse the "how long" later. 

Once you find that out, remember that you're still going to have to go back to your stylist to color your roots every single time before henna to get the same color again and again...be ready for a lot of expensive and time consuming touch ups if you're intent on a very specific shade that can't be produced without changing your natural color first. 

I hope this answers your question.

 

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 Well first I want to say that I was not "annoyed" at the direction the thread was turning to. I was just trying to point that my concern that the original question was going to get lost. I realize that discussions can take a turn and also realize that the topic of "organic" is important and actually very pertinent to the forums. I am used to forums of all types and have seen topics go totally off course and the original post becomes lost. That is all. I'm sorry if I came off as snippy, I didn't intend that, but then you can't always tell someone's "tone" online.

I thank you for your answers, really! You have the basic gist of what I was getting at, although I know there's some confusion with me trying to lay out every bit of info, haha. You asked my natural color and it is a very dark brown. Why is that important? I thought that it was the color your hair is currently that mattered, as the henna went on top of that? My hair has always been lightened before doing henna (have done it twice). My hair is so dark naturally that putting henna on my natural color would not give me the red I want. Unfortunately I realize the upkeep, as I have to lighten my roots before doing henna on my roots. The first time I had my stylist do my roots and she matched the current color so I had to re-henna my whole head which turned out ok. Sadly, it is a strong possibility that she may not return. Sad because afterwards we spoke more about what I needed and she had told me to bring info and we'd figure out how best to proceed, even offered to apply the henna to my roots. The girl covering her is unknown to me and turns out only 9 months of experience! She clearly had no understanding of what I needed, and yes, I did fall into the trap of thinking since her dye was "organic" (her label, not mine) that it would be ok to do my whole head and not damage the ends. My original stylist left info on all her clients and the exact formula for the colors. She told me she used the formula, but *after* she did it, she told me that her dye doesn't lighten my hair much which is why it looked so different from when Lisa did it.

I realize it is unlikely to get the same exact color I had before seeing this girl, but I guess I am just worried it will be much darker. You have pretty much answered my question re: gloss vs plain henna, but I do have a question: I take it to mean that I do this test on hairs on my head? How do I keep the color from the strands I am testing from bleeding onto surrounding hair? In the past I did the tests with hair from my brush (although this time around I am not entirely sure if all the hair is "recent".) Also, when you say strong gloss, what ratio is that (henna plus how much conditioner?) 

Again thank you and I apologize.

xyz
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

No apologies needed, I wrote all of that for "everyone" who reads what we share.  A little redirection is not a bad thing! :-)

I asked about your natural color just to have an idea of how much it needs to be "lightened" to get to the color you're aiming for.  People who start with dirty blonde/light brown and want a lighter shade of red can sometimes avoid bleaching by cutting their henna with cassia, for example, or if their goal is to deepen the red, we can suggest adding small amounts of buxus or indigo to their mix.  Since your hair is darker than that, those options are not going to work for you.  You're going to have to chemically lighten it.  So let's talk about the testing for "hennaing" options.

The easiest way to do it would be if you were willing to snip some strands from an inconspicuous place in your head, or get a haircut and sweep up the clippings (I often ask for "1 inch off" and pick up my snipped hair in a plastic bag so I can experiment with it).  Tape little bundles, apply the henna mix, put each bundle in it's own plastic baggie (don't forget to label them..."gloss 30", "gloss 60" etc), keep the baggies against your body to mimic the temperature in which they would be "processing" (I stuff mine in my bra...hahahaha...but a pocket will do) wash as you would do your hair after the predetermined time.  Let dry and wait a week for oxidation to do its magic so you can have a more accurate idea of how the color will settle.  Then you'll be able to decide which, the gloss or the full strenght paste, will get you closer to the color you want.

If cutting is not in the cards right now, then you can run some experiments on hair still attached to your head :-).  Here's my idea:  gather your hair in a ponytail or bun.  Pull out some thin strands from the side/front (so you can see them easily later)...say 2 strands from each side.  Apply one gloss and one straight henna to the right side, do the same with the left side.  Coil the little strands and clip/pin against your head, wrap in plastic and scarf without smooshing too much. Remove the plastic after 30 minutes, and rinse one side of your head only.  Cover with plastic/scarf again, wait another 30 minutes, wash the other side of your head.  Wait for a week to make a final decision...(yes, you'll have some crazy colored strands in your hair...if they're too dramatic, you might need to style your hair in an updo for a week, or just let it fly and be bold and happy and take the opportunity to survey people--which color do they like best?) Makes sense?  Now, this will mean that you'll have to find a way to blend in those strands later, so using hair clippings would be by far the easiest to implement idea...

GLOSS:  A regular gloss is usually 1 tablespoon of dye-released paste into a cup of conditioner.  A strong gloss would be perhaps 3 tablespoons in a cup...so adjust accordingly for your trials (you'll need so very little of it to experiment!)

A few things I haven't mentioned:  don't forget that, while it is safe to use BAQ henna over salon color, the results will be very different as if you were applying to "virgin" hair.  Anything that changes your color will be changing the surface of your hair somewhat (some dyes change the whole strand through and through) so many people will experience henna not grabbing well, turning a color they didn't expect...that's why our best advice is to try on your own hair and proceed cautiously.  For that reason, from now on you'll need to make sure you know exactly what brand, mix, timing, etc. your stylist uses to do your roots, do that every single time, and do not go over your entire length again (neither with the salon color nor the henna) so you can maintain the most even color possible. 

Another suggestion would be, since you don't mind the salon upkeep, to put some highlights and low lights in your hair before you henna...that way you'd have varying shades of red and maybe some will be closer to the color "Lisa" gave you...which will blend in that color, your first henna color, the new "organic" shade, and the current after-henna color a bit better...plus, in general, having varying degrees/shades of one color will give you a couple of extra weeks before touch ups when compared to the upkeep of a one-color process. 

Sorry if I've given you too many details--I teach and write for a living, so I like clear instructions and vivid examples!

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 Thank you *very* much for your detailed answer! I'm still trying to get my head around everything I need to do :) 

Right now my roots aren't grown in much, but certainly darker than the rest. The very first time I used henna I had the same length of root showing, and for a while it looked ok...or acceptable, at least! I found that the second time I did the henna that since it turned out darker, my roots growing in was ok until they were very obviously long. The thing is, the upkeep *does* bother me. It's exhausting. But I love red hair. My regular color is so dark that adding henna wouldn't give me the red I like. Adding the henna to already lightened hair actually looks more "natural" on me than my virgin color.....and I get SOOOO many compliments on how great my hair color is with the henna, as opposed to the color it is now. My hair is at best a dull mousy color with copperish-red tones in the light. It was all so much easier getting chemical dye done, but the red fades so fast and of course it's not great for my hair! 

OK, I do have one other question. I have some henna left over from my last time, in the freezer. If I take some out to do the testing, can I refreeze it for that next week until I do the rest of my hair? Or is it like refreezing foods where it's not such a great idea? This may be a moot point since I am not sure I have enough left over to do my whole head, unless I add the conditioner to make a gloss? 

I wish I could find a good hair stylist who worked with henna. But I just don't know how to find someone reputable who would use the high quality hennas? Or better yet, wish I'd been born a red-head! 

Carrie
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

It is fine to re-freeze the henna paste, I've re-frozen mine 5 times before it started seeming rather weak. Just keep the time out of the freezer at a minimum (the dye has a certain lifespan and freezing is like suspended animation, to a degree). I like to freeze it flat in ziplock bags so I can break off a chunk or partially thaw the bagful in warm water and then scrape off the melted part, refreezing the rest.

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 Luckily I did freeze it relatively flat in a bag. I chipped off a few pieces into a bowl and put a saran wrap loosely over it. It is very hot today, 80 inside, is it ok to thaw it that way?

After my shower I cut off some strands of hair to test, I wanted to get a fairly long piece because my hair is lighter at the ends.....I am laughing because I ended up taking more than I intended so I hope it's not too noticeable, haha! Should have just tested strands on my head, oops!

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 This is going to sound *really stupid*.....but I'm not sure how to downsize the ratios for the gloss so I am only using a small amount to do the test. I feel like an idiot asking that, but am having a hard time wrapping my tiny mind around it! (so much easier at work we use all metric, haha)

ACWN
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

Dont feel bad, I'm bad at that stuff too! Obviously of no help, but wanted to let you know you arent alone.

sphinx
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Re: need help! Plain henna? gloss?

 LOL, my husband came in so I asked him. I'm just a metric gal! I always have problems with kitchen conversions ;)

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