Getting dark brown/black hair

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ohiadriana
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Getting dark brown/black hair

www.latesthaircutstyles.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/alo-078266.jpg Hey everyone,

For years I never dyed my hair, until last month i got dark coppered highlights. I'm ready to go back to my natural shiny dark brown/almost black hair. I don't think I want to do the 2-stop process of henna then indigo, as I think that will yield results that are too dark.

I'd essentially like it to look like the link at the top.

If that link doesn't show up, it's a picture of Megan Fox's dark, dark, hair, but not an opaque black. 

Thanks so much for the help!

ACWN
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

You're still going to have to do a two step, I think. But modified. You'll definitely want to do henna on its own for at least 2 hours to get a good bed of it, then follow with a hennigo mix of mostly indigo to 25 - 10% henna.

 

Adding that little bit of henna will basically dilute the indigo just enough that its not going straight to black cat black, BUT!! You're going to want to strand test ratios and times because it will be very easy to go from almost black to pitch black.

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 What would you say is the safest ratio and time? the most conservative...

ACWN
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

Best guess? 75/25 indigo/henna for no more than an hour, but PLEASE strand test. Chances are very good that you could wind up with pitch black since chemically damaged hair soaks up indigo like mad.

 

And no on the oil. Indigo is extremely picky and dislikes fats or oils, inhibits dye uptake - usually entirely. Hold off on that for at least 48 plus hours AFTER you rinse the indigo paste out.

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

Thanks so much I'll try that. And I'm assuming you'd recommend using the mehandi.com henna and indigo? Also, if I strand test the 75/25 and its too dark what should I bring the ratio down to? 

ACWN
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

Yep, s'what I recommend.

 

Uhm... actually, I would do a couple strand tests all at once. Remember to do a henna step before hand though - indigo doesnt bind well to the hair without henna and you could get a very green or blue tinted result.

 

Try these:

90/10 indigo/henna

75/25

65/35

 

Do one set at an hour and another set at 2 hours. Remember to put each one in its own labeled ziplock and suck the air out (they wont dye properly if they dry out) and then put them somewhere to mimic your body heat. Your pocket, under a warm lamp... Rinse the mix out and let sit a week. I know thats a long time, but it needs to oxidize so you can get the final, true result.

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 Also, can I add pure argan oil to my mix so as not to dry out my hair? I think that's my biggest gripe since chemically treating my hiar, I hate that it's become dryer

xyz
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

ohiadriana--

If you have dark hair naturally, and NO grays, the simplest route would be to do a one-step hendigo of 2 parts indigo and 1 part henna for no longer than 2.5 hours.  Your copper highlights will turn out lighter (a warm, reddish dark brown) and the rest will be very dark brown--as dark as dark brown gets before it starts looking black.  If you want to minimize "warmth" (red-orange) add amla to your henna. 

Don't do more than 2 parts indigo.  Every time I try 3 parts indigo to 1 part henna (on myself and on friends' hair) we find the indigo fades (just a bit, but noticeably enough to require a gloss to restore darkness, which we never experience when we do the 2:1 mix). 

Do not add any fats or oils to mixes that have indigo.  Instead, wait a day or two after you hendigo, then go at it with argan oil, coconut oil, a home-made concoction such as Snowymoon's moisturizer (see recipe below), or a good, commercially-produced deep conditioning treatment. 

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128

Good luck to you!

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 Thanks for the response. How much lighter do you think my highlights would be? images.beautyriot.com/photos/kim-kardashian-long-highlights-wavy-brunette.jpg- this is what my hair looks like now.

Carrie
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

Those highlights are not very light, so I'd expect they'd be dark reddish brown - brighter in sunlight.

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 But if I don't want highlights at all, then I should do the 2 step, right?

Carrie
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

I'd suggest you do the henna and give it a couple days for the orange to settle down, then decide if you want to do the 2nd step (which would be indigo with some henna added, probably at least 20-25% henna , since you do not want black).

If you are new to henna and you DON'T want black, I'd suggest you take things gradually - it's easy to go black by accident with a 2-step process if you somehow end up getting too much indigo uptake by changing the proportion, the timing or simply by having porous hair from previous peroxide exposure.

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 Im confused sorry, wouldn't I have to absolutely at some point incorporate indigo if i want brownish black hair again? 

xyz
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

ohiadriana--

The answer to you last question is yes and no.  In general terms, if your hair is very dark with no grays and you want to experience the strenghtening benefits of henna with minimal (or insignificant) color change, you don't need indigo.  But because you have chemically-highlighted sections now and you seem to want to make them blend in with your naturally dark hair, especially as it grows, a dark hendigo 1-step mix is advisable.  If you want to go further in order to erase the presence of the highlights as much as possible (they'll be slightly visible in some light, no mater what you do) and you don't mind making your natural hair a bit darker, then you'd want to do a 2-step. But as Carrie suggested, this is a riskier option because you don't know how dark it'll go (on your natural hair and on the keratin-stripped highlights).  Even experienced "hennaers" and "hendigoers" sometimes get more darkness than they intended and then they're stuck with hair that can't be bleached EVER again until they've cut off the last traces of indigo.  So take her advice and proceed slowly and cautiosly.  Adding more color is always a possibility with henna and indigo.  Removing a color that's turned too dark is almost impossible.  We all want you to have a good first-time around!

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 Thanks again. Would you say the one-step process would look something like this?www.hennaforhair.com/mixes/yasmine/ or more blended?

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 Also, if i want my hair to turn out really shiny, could I mix cassia into the dye? if so, how much?

xyz
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

Keep it simple!  Adding cassia adds yellow tones and will give you orangier hair--the opposite of what I think you want.

xyz
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

You want a suggestion on the best thing to try since you're a rookie?  Get the Ancient Sunrise Kit for Dark Brunette.  It has 100 grams of henna and 200 grams of indigo--plus instructions, really good gloves, and a piping bag.  You could use the ingredients to do a 1-step or a 2-step, depending on what you decide. (I still think the 2:1 indigo:henna is the much safer bet for you.)

ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

XYZ,

I'm gonna go with your advice and do the one step with the kit. I think i'd probably need to buy two since I have really long and thick hair. So then should I use the amla after the one step? Or mix it in?

xyz
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

If you are going to use amla, you don't need any other acid.  Amla will provide all the acidity you want, and is much milder on the scalp than lemon juice, for example.  It also tones down some of the orange/red tones, so you'll probably like the effects on your darker hair as well as on the highlights.  This is what I do:

  • put the henna powder in a big bowl
  • add amla (25 grams per 100 grams of henna)
  • add room temperature water, a little bit at a time, until I get a thick mix, like mashed potatoes
  • cover the bowl with plastic film, pressing the film onto the surface of the henna (to eliminate excessive exposure to air)
  • let it sit for 6 hours
  • smear a bit on my palm and rinse off in 2-3 minutes to see if I get a bright, pumpking-like orange stain--depending on the type of henna, it can take from 6 to 12 hours (or more if the house is cold and there's a a lot of acidity in the mix) to get to a strong dye release, keep checking every few hours
  • when I get good dye-release...transfer it into baggies and freeze it airtight (if I'm not ready to color) or get ready for the next steps (coloring)
  • THEN, to color with a 1-step hendigo...
  • thaw the henna if necessary
  • measure out the indigo and put the powder in a bowl
  • add a teaspoon of salt (some people believe it helps the indigo attach, so it can't hurt)
  • add warm (not hot) water and stir--again, aim for mashed potatoes consistency
  • now mix the indigo paste into the henna paste
  • add little bits of water at a time, stirring well, until both pastes are completely blended and you get a softer mix that resembles yogurt
  • color away!
ohiadriana
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

 xyz,

You have been such a great help. I ordered everything, now I'm just waiting for it to come in the mail. You said to leave it on for 2.5 hours, correct? I use a lot of heat on my hair which apparently darkens the color so should I do less time? Also, I noticed that on the picture forum you described applying your henna mixture several times. Is that necessary to achieve the desired color?

 

Thanks,

Adriana

xyz
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Re: Getting dark brown/black hair

I'm excited for you!  Henna/hendigo have made my hair (and me) happy.  I hope you fall in love with it too!

Lots of people leave their hendigo for 3 or 4 hours, but in general, if you want to minimize the warmth in your dark brown, between 2 and 2.5 is a good time to aim for.  The indigo dye starts declining after 2 or 3 hours, while the henna can keep going strong for much, much longer, so when a hendigo is left on beyond the 3 hours, there's a tendency for the henna to come through more strongly, making the shade of brown end up more on the warm/red/orange side of things (think:  "milk chocolate bar" vs. "dark, baking chocolate squares").  This is perhaps not terribly critical for you (you'd probably not see a difference between 2 hrs and 3 hrs since your hair is dark to begin with) but I wanted you to know bc you seem to be interested in blending in your highlights as seamlessly as possible, and 2.5 hrs is the longest I'd apply to tame down the coopery bleached sections and help them achieve a "cool" dark brown. 

The heat darkening won't apply to you either.  It is noticeable on people who henna to get a red or light auburn shade...when they apply direct heat (from an iron or contact curler, for example) they see that hair darken somewhat.  We hear about it mostly from people who flat iron their bangs frequently, and then realize that the bangs have gotten deeper in color than the rest of the hair.  With dark brown, I don't think you need to worry about this at all, especially if your heat comes from a blow dryer (less direct heat). 

Applying hendigo repeatedly is not necessary.  I've done so because 1) I love the whole process of mixing the stuff, muddying up my hair, making time for myself...2) I have lots of grays on my crown and temples, so I've been experimenting different recipes and ways to cover them 3) sometimes I find it easier to do my whole head, instead of just the roots 4) I'm a bit addicted to the shine henna and hendigo give me 5) my hair is so dark that I can alternate between hendigoes and "henna-only" with impunity (no much in terms of color change)...so, basically, I do it because I can!

I wish you luck and good henna times!

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