Help with Going from Blonde to Brown

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Lady Stark
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Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
I'm not new to henna, I hennaed for a couple of years a while back. I always just did henna and my hair was red. Nowadays I have blonde highlighted hair, fairly damaged, with light ash brown roots. What I want is the lightest ashiest brown I can get by using henna, cassia, amla, or indigo. I've done my research and am aware that "ash brown" is pretty impossible, but I would love some advice on how to get the least red lightest brown I can. I would like something as close as I can get to my natural color using natural dyes. I have some gray, which is the whole reason I don't just grow out my natural. My biggest worry is 1-going way too dark. I henndigoed once like 5 years ago and it was hell getting rid of it, my hair was almost black. Worry #2-going too red. I've been there, done that and don't want red hair again. Any help or advice on a mix would be much appreciated!
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
And a pic of my natural color grown out more. (Sorry there are absolutely no pics of me with my hair down!) I'm the one in green. http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j356/kellinaturalmommy/287832_468281...
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Any advice? Anyone?
Carrie
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Here is my hair (sounds like it's similar to yours except I have some gray as well) using henna/indigo gloss:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/39335752@N04/4309965761/in/set-72157623088472780

I'd suggest starting with 1 tsp each of henna and indigo mixed into 1 cup conditioner, applied for 2 hours. If you want less warmth/redness in the color than I have, use 2 tsp indigo.
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Thanks for replying Carrie. Does your suggested mix cover your gray? I was under the impression using conditioner with the mix would make it less likely to cover the gray. Also, some of my hair is really light blonde. Do I need to worry about those pieces turning weird (too dark or blueish) if I do the extra tsp of indigo?
Jen
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
I'll let Carrie answer about her own experiences, but the the descriptor "for gray coverage" is a little deceptive depending on the color you're going for. You can get nice light shades over gray fairly easily with even lower dye content hennas. A high dye content henna labeled "for gray coverage" is important when making a big jump in color and getting it to blend nicely like gray to a dark brown or black.
Carrie
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
I got a lighter color on my gray than on my non-gray hair with these mixes but I put that down to the difference in starting color. My gray isn't dye resistant except for a couple hairs around my temples.

Plant dyes don't give uniform color to non-uniform starting color. Henna will build up to a more uniform color with repeated use (but not completely uniform, if you have dark hair with distinct gray sections instead of salt-and-pepper distribution). A 2-step henna/indigo for black will give uniform color.  But lesser amounts of plant dyes give a result that reflects the original color variations in the hair.
Carrie
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
My guess is, if you're trying to get (for example) medium brown on gray/white hair using glosses alone, you won't get uniform coverage but instead you'll look like your gray turned into lighter brown highlights amid darker brown base color.
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Yes, that's what I want. I don't need my grays to be the same color as the darker parts of my hair... I just need them to be not gray! Thanks so much for your help. So 1 teaspoon henna, 2 teaspoons of indigo mixed with 1 cup conditioner for 2 hours. I'll give it a whirl. I'm sure I could find this info, but I'll ask you - Do I put the tsp of henna in the conditioner dry? Or do I mix it and wait for dye release and then put it in with the conditioner? And same with indigo - Do I put that in dry? And one more question, for Carrie - Is that henna gloss in your picture over bleached hair or is your natural color blonde?
Carrie
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
If you add the powders straight into the conditioner, I would then let the mixture stand for 30 minutes first so the henna has time to release some dye.

There are other techniques that also will work, like mixing each dye with a little bit of very warm (not boiling) water first so it starts to release dye, then adding them to conditioner and using immediately. Or you can prepare henna paste in your usual way, let it release dye, and either use it at that point (but use twice as much prepared paste as would have used of powder) or freeze until you need it.

Here are some mohair tests I did looking for a quicker way to get brown. Most of these are not glosses exactly - the ones that mention conditioner I would consider dilute enough to be called a gloss.  I haven't tried all these tests on white human hair and don't know if they'd look quite the same as the white mohair.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/39335752@N04/3713939746/in/set-72157619485710101
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Carrie, sorry for the never ending questions but... am I going to have to do the glosses on my whole head every time (will it fade off the grays) or should I plan on just doing a gloss on the roots after a couple months? Also, will the henna and indigo build up into a darker color if I'm just doing glosses? AND out of all the ways you told me to mix my gloss which one would you recommend for the lightest but brownest (least orange) color, or will it all turn out the same? Thank you, thank you, thank you Carrie!
Carrie
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
I realized my link above was to the wrong page, so I corrected it. 

I think the best bet is using 1.5 to 2 times as much indigo as henna, about 3 or 4 Tbsp indigo and 2 Tbsp henna, mixed into each cup of conditioner (something not too rich, Suave for example), let it sit 30 minutes, apply for 1 to 2 hours. Please strand test this before you do your whole head - there is a chance you will get greenish hair if the indigo deposits more dye than the henna. A longer application time could fix that.

I can't give you a mix that is guaranteed to be light brown and not reddish. It can happen but in my experience it is unpredictable.  The above suggestion is my best guess.
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
TABLESPOONS or TEASPOONS of powder per 1 cup of conditioner???
Jen
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
I know that there are some people who use only teaspoons! But I would start with the tablespoons Carrie recommended on a strand test, and see what happens. If its too dark, pull back a bit.

My condolences on a rough week, Lady Stark! LOL!
Carrie
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
My gloss had teaspoons but I suggested tablespoons for you because I think you want more color than I wanted :)
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
LOL Jen, it was a very rough week! 1st getting killed, and then having to figure out what to do with this hair! You haven't seen the last of me though....
Lady Stark
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
Ok, I ordered 100g of henna and 100g of indigo from Mehandi and am planning on doing the gloss... but I was wondering... in the medium brown kit and the dark brown kit I noticed there are equal parts henna and indigo. How does one make dark and one make medium brown?
ACWN
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Re: Help with Going from Blonde to Brown
The dark brown kits should have twice as much indigo as henna.
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