Need help with roots

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Mishkyn
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Need help with roots

I first used henna and indigo and a small amount of amla this past September. I had a problem with my roots coming out pale orange. I did the roots a week later and they still did not take.

I just recovered from a broken shoulder and began using the products again 10 days ago. I prepared my hair both times by washing with soap and baking soda several times.

This time, I used 2/3 indigo and 1/3 henna on my roots, then 2/3 henna and 1/3 indigo on the length of my hair. I left the mixture on for 7 hours and really packed the roots and hair thickly.

Oh, and I had a full deep orange stain from the henna, so it was ready to use.

The length of my hair is gorgeous, but once again the roots are pale orange.

5 days after the initial dye job, I washed my hair to prepare it, I did only my roots, and left it on 7 hours.

Again I have pale orange roots.

Please help.

Could it be the camomile tea I am using---I am allergic to citrus and apple juice, but did add some lemon juice to my tea mixture this time, and only distilled water, of course.

I bought citrus acid. Will that help dye my roots better?

Also, would it help to add amla to my next root mixture? I am desperate, even indoors, the roots are obvious.

In summary, these are the answers I need:

First: Will citric acid take over night to produce the henna release, as you say to do with lemon juice? The tea produces a proper release in 90 min.

How much citric acid should I use with 25 grams of henna for the release? And how long will it take?

Second: Since 2/3 indigo and 1/3 henna leaves my roots pale orange, would adding some amla to the mixture help?

Third: I am putting the dye over Clairol Beautiful, the lowest semi-permanent dye there is. And the length of my hair looks like it has gorgeous highlights. My hairdresser was thrilled with my results. (She has never used henna).

I just want my roots to look naturally darker. I am not worried about uneven color, the products seem to blend and mix with my hair.

My hair condition is fabulous, and it has already completely stopped falling out from medical problems, so I am thrilled with the results except for the roots. Please please help?

Thanks, Mishkyn (Sorry for the lengthy detail)

 

Jen
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Re: Need help with roots
Hi Mishkyn, I'm sorry you're struggling!

I know it doesn't seem this way, since you see orange in the root, but usually poor root coverage is a result of not getting enough henna into the hair. Indigo needs a good foundation of henna to stick to.

Using citric acid, depending on how much, will most likely make your paste need an overnight standing time. It would only take a tiny bit for 25 g! I usually recommend between 1/2 and 1 tsp for 100 g, so for your mix, we're talking just a pinch! I think a better approach would be to use the alma in your henna mix AS your acid. Put the alma powder in with the henna powder right from the start, then mix with distilled water. The standing time for this should be about 4 hours in my experience. Use about 1/4 the amount of henna. When that's ready mix the indigo with warm distilled water and a pinch of salt, and leave it in 6 hours. Make sure you cover with plastic wrap and keep warm. A winter cap really helps!

If that still doesn't get it done for you, you might need a two step process for your roots. That is an application of JUST henna for a few hours, rinse, towel dry, then apply your usual henna and indigo mix. I know that's a pain in the neck but it really will work.
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Dear Jen,

Thanks so much for answering. I have a couple more questions. When you say use 1/4 henna, what does that mean? 

How much Henna, how much Amla, then how much Indigo? Also, I think I would rather use chamomile tea for the acid because without knowing how long the amla would take to release the henna, we are talking about a minimum of a 10 hour day if it takes at least 4 hours to release.

I have a feeling I am going to need a two step process, but will try one more time and see if the amla makes a difference.

Oh, and yes, I use 4 caps from the salon store and a thick ski cap.

The reason I ordered the citric acid is I read that an acid mix gives better coverage, but in my most recent first try (whole head) I used strong Chamomile tea and about 3 T of lemon juice and my hair was not nearly as soft and silky as when I used only tea. It felt much drier and more unmanageable than using tea alone. And the coverage was no better at all anyway.

Thanks again for helping me out.

Mishkyn

 

Jen
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Re: Need help with roots
Citric acid would be drying too, I'm afraid. It might not irritate your allergies, but it would still be drying.

I suggest the amla over chamomile because it has been reported to help the indigo stick better. I know it is a long process, but you can dye release the henna/amla mixture in advance, then keep it in the fridge until you're ready to use it, or even in the freezer if it will be more than a day or two.

By 1/4 the amount of henna, I mean that if you used 100 g henna you'd want 25 g amla. For your 25 grams of henna, use about 6.5 grams of amla. That's roughly a scant tablespoon.

That means the mix I'm suggesting for your roots is 25 g henna dye release with 6.5 g amla, and 50 g indigo with a pinch of salt and warm water.

I think the reason you're struggling with your roots compared to the length is because, no matter how mild the dye, it has done some damage to your hair. That gives little chinks in the protein that henna loves to bind too. Your virgin hair at the root won't have that.

I sure hope it works for you this time!
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Jen,

Sorry to keep asking more questions, but I read this on the:

"TROUBLESHOOTING GRAY COVERAGE PROBLEMS page:

Take about ¼ amla powder and ¾ henna powder, mix together with distilled water and let the paste rest for 12 hours for dye release. No additional acidic liquid is needed since amla itself is acidic."

 You said it would take 4 hours for the release, elsewhere it said 12 hours. Can you see my problem? I would be testing for release from 4 hours until perhaps 12 hours.

Can't I just do the henna release with the tea and add the amla after the release?

Or will the just amla and henna alone with NO tea do a better dye? (With indigo added, too, of course).

I am so confused. Will eliminating the tea completely produce a better chance of my roots doing better?

I am willing to stay up all night watching for the release, but I need to know the results will be worth it.

So if no tea and just amla and henna for the release is the best way to go, that is what I will do.

Thank you so much for all your kind help.

Mishkyn

Carrie
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Re: Need help with roots
When you use amla you do not need any other acidic ingredient - just water.  Some people add amla to henna paste right before they apply but I have always mixed the amla with henna at the beginning, and that's what most of us do.

Personally, if there is going to be indigo in the mix, I would not add anything acidic at the same time I'm adding the indigo because the extra acidity added right then could inhibit the indigo dye release.

With an acidic ingredient like amla, you will have a longer window of time during which the dye is active.  With an amla/henna mix, I have usually had dye release within 10 hours of sitting time, never as soon as 4 hours, but it will vary with room temperature. Warmer temps make everything happen faster.  You could test it at 4 or 6 hours if you want, but I'm pretty sure that you will not miss your dye release if you use it at the 12 hour mark, unless your house if warmer than 75 or 80 degrees. Even then I doubt if you would miss it.
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly Carrie I really appreciate it.

Jen had written: 

"I think a better approach would be to use the alma in your henna mix AS your acid. Put the alma powder in with the henna powder right from the start, then mix with distilled water. The standing time for this should be about 4 hours in my experience"

That is why I was so confused.

Thanks so much for explaining that adding the amla at the same time as the indigo would inhibit the indigo.

 

One more brief question:

 

I read this on the site: 

Most people get browner results from their hendigo mix if they leave it on for 1.5 to 2 hours, rather than a longer application. Longer apps give henna more time to deposit dye so it overpowers the short-lived indigo.

Perhaps that is my error, I have always left the root mix on for 6 hours. Would the shorter time be worth a try?

Mishkyn

 

Carrie
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Re: Need help with roots
More recently we've had reports that a 5-6 hour application of hendigo gives best coverage on gray or dye resistant hair.
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Thanks, Carrie. I will try it again the same way.

 

Mishkyn

Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Dear Jen and Carrie,

Thanks for all the help and patience you showed me in trying to fix my pale orange roots.

I used amla with henna as the acid for the release which took 12 hours.  Then I mixed indigo with warm distilled water and some salt, as advised, added it to the henna/amla mix and did my roots.

Left the mix on 7 hours and my roots look so much better. I'm not embarrassed to be in sunlight any more!

I appreciate your quick replies and attention to detail.

Mishkyn

Carrie
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Re: Need help with roots
I'm glad it worked better this time :)
scalimeri
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Re: Need help with roots
Yeah Mishkyn! I'm so happy that you got better results as well! I've been reading this conversation because I have root issues too. And it's been a bit anxiety-provoking for me - this changing my hair color and not really knowing full well what i'm doing. I wanted to pose a similar root question to the experienced henna users. I'm pretty sure that i read somewhere that to get good grey coverage that the henna should be left on for 8 hours. I know i read this. Anyway ... I roughed up my grey roots by washing with Dawn dish soap. I did plain Henna (twilight) for 8 hours. my roots turned out 2 shades or so lighter than the lovely red that came out on the rest of my hair. I really don't think it looks that bad, but it *is* lighter. so i don't know what to do for my next application. I was thinking about going darker with indigo (Carrie if you're reading - thanks for the great advice on that last week). But now i'm thinking i like the oxidized red. I could go a little darker red and do a whole head application. Or i could be happy just doing roots. do i do 8 hours again? I'm afraid that if i leave it on less than that, the roots will be even lighter. And if i wanna do another whole head application - 8 hours will be a super long amount of time for the non-greys to get another dose of henna. Do I do the roots first and then apply to the rest of the hair after hours have passed? Thanks for your advice ~ Susan
Carrie
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Re: Need help with roots
Yes, if you want to add more color to roots and not as much to the rest of your hair, apply to roots first and then later to the length.
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Dear Susan and others who may have done their roots the way I did thinking I had great results. I HAD great results until I washed my hair 5 days later.

I waited so long as I heard Indigo can wash out of hair. I had rinsed forever with my hand sprayer after dyeing, but when I shampooed, nearly all the indigo came out.

My roots are still pale orange. Not as bad as they were, but unacceptable.

I am going to try Jen's two step process with henna alone first, then henna and indigo together. I will also add amla to the mix as Catherine directs in her "e-book":

"Do exactly the same processes as in the preceding pages" (she wrote about mixing up the henna, waiting for the release then adding the mixed up indigo to the henna immediately after you mix the indigo with water).

But In this process she writes:  "except that when your henna is ready to mix with the indigo, mix one part amla into three parts henna, then stir enough water into the mix to make it as thick as yoghurt." Then you mix the indigo into the henna and amla. That will be my next trial. Let you know.

That step will be my 6th trial in 2 weeks to get my roots looking good enough to go out in public.

Mishkyn

 

Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots

Dear Forum--if anyone is still following my continuing story:

I tried the above procedure recommended by Catherine:  First step, henna alone, I released the dye with red zinger and hibiscus tea made STRONG with distilled water. I had a great release after 6 hours, my palm was nearly red when I tested it.

I left the henna on for about 7 hours, rinsed it off for a very long time, and then did the second step:

When the next batch of henna was ready to mix with the indigo, as per Catherine's instructions, I mixed "one part amla into three parts henna,  then stir(red) enough water into the mix to make it as thick as yoghurt." And then I mixed the indigo--to which I had added salt and distilled water--into the henna and amla.

Put this mixture on my roots and waited for 5 or 6 hours as I was advised here produced the best results, but I did check my roots after 1.5 and 2 and 3 hours. Then, after the recommended time my roots were....

...no better than ever! They were still orange, only now they were NEON orange instead of pale orange.

I was exhausted and plenty furious. The above two steps were my 6th try on my hair, though given the length of time everything was on my hair, it felt like my 6th and 7th try.

I could not understand what went wrong. All my ingredients were bought here and were fresh. Before beginning the journey documented in this thread, I purchased 5 100 gram packs of henna and 5 of indigo, which I thought it would be enough to last nearly a year, given the length of my hair.

I had not counted on the baking soda added to my pre-henna shampoo making my hair not absorb the henna during previous tries. This time I was advised not to use an alkaline shampoo on acid loving henna for the first step. But I should have used only indigo after the henna step.

I was furious enough to try one more step. I mixed up a fresh batch of indigo and salt and applied it to my still wet roots after rinsing the above procedures out of my hair.

I left it on for an hour and found my roots were dark enough to be out and about in public again!

However, again I waited a long time to shampoo, and found that much (okay most) of the indigo washed out of my hair after two shampoos. I had to part my hair very carefully after two shampoos or my orange roots were too obvious.

My hair grows very quickly, and I did my 1/2 orange 1/2 white roots again  just over 3 weeks later, in two steps, one long henna (6-8 hours) on my hair alone, then indigo alone for 2 hours. Again, my roots looked good, then again, most of the indigo washed out after two shampoos.

I am afraid this will be the way things go with my hair unless my scalp somehow magically changes so the new growth will absorb the indigo and keep more of it on my head while less goes down the drain. I have tried several different shampoos and the type seems not to make any difference.

So, that is where I am now. Any suggestions from anyone would be appreciated. Otherwise, the way my hair looks and feels (not counting the post 2 shampoos roots) will have to be reason enough for me putting up with frequent orange then orange/white roots and learning how to style my hair to hide them for a week or so.

Best to all, Mishkyn

Jen
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Re: Need help with roots
I all honesty, you sound like you've tried every last thing I know to suggest. Usually, the two step application works for even the most stubborn hair. I hope someone else can help, but you've used all my tips and hints. :(
Carrie
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Re: Need help with roots
I would try using a baking soda scrub on roots only, after the henna step, right before the indigo step. And avoid shampoo for 48 hours after the indigo step, as you've been doing.
sfgirl
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn
Hi Mishkyn,

I was in your exact situation for the last 4 weeks. I just wanted to share with you what finally worked for me, and today I know for sure it worked as I washed my hair (48 hours after my Henna/Indigo).

I truly believe the most important step in all of this is the pre-wash. I used Abba Detox Clarifying Shampoo (it has honey and baking soda in it). I mixed in my hand a little shampoo and a little baking soda and scrubbed it in my gray roots and then a little in the orange roots beyond the gray. I kept reapplying until I covered the problem areas. I then left it on my head for 20 minutes with a plastic cap. I rinsed it off and then was ready for the Henna/Indigo.

I mixed my Henna with Amla and room temperature distilled water and let it release for 12 hours. After washing my hair with the detox shampoo mixture, I made my Indigo with salt and warm distilled water. When I started this journey I began with the 1/2 and 1/2 mixture and was very afraid of going darker. I had also tried the Henna alone followed by the Henna/Indigo mixture. The other day (when it worked) I did 1 part Henna to 1 1/2 parts Indigo. So for me it was 100gr Henna 150gr Indigo.

I sat under a bonnet dryer for 1 1/2 hours, followed by 2 hours without heat. I then rinsed (no shampoo) and conditioned.

If you haven't found a solution that works for you yet, you may want to try mine or a modified version. I am so pleased because I now only need a one step, and trust me, I am loaded with resistant gray hairs on the top of my head, so I was very orange where my 6 weeks of gray had grown out. My first application I couldn't even get all the gray covered.

I still am a little uneven, as the rest of my hair is from chemical dye, and in some areas it took a little dark, but in my eyes now compared to gray or orange it is perfect!

Good luck to you, I understand your frustrations...Like you, I spent hours researching solutions.

sfgirl
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn

Dear SFGirl,

Thanks for you long and generous post. I never would have thought to try what you did since henna supposedly doesn't like alkaline mixtures and doing 5 baking soda and soap shampoos before doing my roots in a couple of my past trials.

But I have also learned that our individual heads of hair are unique creatures that all respond differently to various products and  treatments, so I am willing to try just about anything--and already have.

I will certainly give your method a try. I just read a post by Sigolinde about surviving the indigo fade, which also sounds like it deserves a try, but one step is obviously preferable to two.

I had heard about using heat from a salon wizard friend of mine, and know that will help speed up the process of any and all of these products, so I have been doing that, too.

Just to get the process straight, you added amla to 100gr of henna (using distilled water). Then, after the release, you added your paste of 150gr indigo with salt and distilled water to the henna/amla and did a one step with those 3 ingredients. One question, how much amla did you add to the 100mg of henna?

And no indigo came out when you shampooed your hair? That is remarkable. You were so brave to wash your hair 48 hours after the hendigo use.

Thanks again for your detailed answer, I am so grateful for your advice. Doing a one step every 3 weeks (that is how often I need it done) is so much easier than 6 hrs of henna followed by 2 hrs of indigo.

Mishkyn

sfgirl
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn
Hi Mishkyn, For clarification, I use the mixture you said and I use 1/4 Amla for the Henna mix. I don't know if it matters, but I put the Amla powder into the Henna powder and mix first before adding water. I figured it was like baking cookies. ;). .. I also had a tsp of ginger powder to the Henna/Amla/ to help with the smell. I also made my mixture a little more smooth than before and I use a dye brush to apply. I can't think of anything else right now. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I wrap my hair in Saran Wrap and then put a plastic cap on top. I did the heat followed by the air because I read your hair should cool off before you rinse. Please know that when I washed my hair yesterday, I did have color rinse off, but it did not affect the color of my hair. It appeared that with the shampoo green came off (which I am assuming was the Indigo) and with the conditioner a little orange came off. I found that interesting. One more thing. I use Bumble and Bumble Hair powder in brown. It does a wonderful job of covering roots. it will make that area you spray it in a little dull, but you can add a little Argan oil or something if it bothers you. I put it on after I have styled my hair so I don't brush it through. I have read Sigolinde's post and I do suffer from that leakage of dark areas as they explained, but I am afraid it is because I put so much on my head the last time. I was determined to get it to work. I prefer my hair too dark than white or orange. My hair grows so quickly that I must cover the roots about every two weeks, after the first week I am already using the Bumble and Bumble powder. (which you can apply on your temples with a Q-Tip. I truly hope you find a solution to get the orange out. I will be working on trying not to get too dark. I suppose this is an everlasting journey. All the best, SFgirl
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn

Dear SFGirl,

Thank you for the quick response and the additional information. I will have to try the Bumble and Bumble powder, the other three I have tried I just dumped after the first day.

The ginger idea sounds good, I don't really mind my hair smelling like hay, but when little kids hug me and say I remind them of a hay ride their school went on---not so great. (Actually, I laughed hysterically).

I have found I like the bottle with the large opening on the tip that is angled to the side, much easier to use than a straight tipped bottle top. For the back of my head, I like to squirt a line on my finger and then find the part with my fingertip and then roll my finger along the part and smush.

When I have tried using a root brush, I made too big a mess, or it catches and then splatters, or I drop it. Frankly, I am way to clumsy to be using any of these products, but love what they do for my hair. I am also way too poor. This is becoming very expensive.

Indigo is pretty drippy on its own. In the summer I'll have to keep it quite cool as right now I keep stuffing old rags under the knit cap I put on over the 3 clear caps I wear, otherwise I have blue streaks down my neck into my shirt top.

Thanks again for the clarifications and the new ideas. I keep hoping one day this all won't seem like such a major project every time I color my roots. By the way, I agree about the amla, I have done it both ways and it seems to make no difference, and the dump is easier.

Mishkyn

sfgirl
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn
Just one more thing.... I'm wondering if you are making your mixture too watery. My mixture is pretty thick and has never dripped....Just a thought. : )
Mishkyn
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn

The mixture is plenty thick, often so thick it is difficult to get out of the squeeze bottle, but after it has been on my head for quite some time, then it begins to drip a bit near the bottom edges--probably from the heat.

But thanks for the suggestion.

M

Tracey
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Re: Need help with roots For Mishkyn
Where do you find this shampoo? and Where do you find a bonnet dryer?
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