Cassia/henna/amla/indigo mix

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2015-06-20 12:40
Cassia/henna/amla/indigo mix

Hi everyone,

I’ve been doing a lot of reading online, both here and other sites, trying to figure out how to achieve the color I’m looking for.  I think I know where to start, but I have a few questions and would welcome any guidance! 

Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Shoulder length, undamaged, virgin dark blonde/light brown hair with touches of gold, copper and silver.
  • Neutral-warm skin with yellow undertones and grayish/blue-green eyes (yeah, genes couldn’t decide on these traits either).
  • Samples to test with.  Recently I had 4 inches cut, and this hair is the same color and condition as the hair left on my head.
  • Experience with BAQ henna (Jamilla).  At the time I was growing out damaged, lightened hair and I kept doing full head application glosses (50% henna - 50% conditioner).  It started out a bright copper which looked very natural, but quickly built up to a burgundy with an orange flare which looked awful with my skin tone.  My hair and scalp loved henna, I just lost control of the color.  It took me years to grow out.
  • A fresh supply of Rajasthani Jasmine henna (1.4% lawsone content), indigo, amla, and cassia on its way from 

What I'm hoping to achieve:

  • Neutral-to-warm light-to-medium brown hair without the orange flare.  Anything from a brownish copper/ginger to medium chestnut, or a more neutral light to medium brown would be fine.  In other words, I’m not trying to match any specific color,  I just want something a shade darker and warmer that will compliment my skin tone.
  • An easy way to maintain the color (i.e. one-step root touch-ups).
  • An exit strategy (i.e.  a way to blend back to natural if I decide to go back someday).

Here are the ratios I'm testing:

  • Sample #1 - 6 tsp cassia, 1 tsp henna, 1/4 tsp amla
  • Sample #2 - 6 tsp cassia, 1 tsp henna, 1/4 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp indigo
  • Sample #3 - 6 tsp cassia, 1 tsp henna, 1/4 tsp amla, 1 tsp indigo
  • Sample #4 - 4 tsp cassia, 1 tsp henna, 1/4 tsp amla
  • Sample #5 - 4 tsp cassia, 1 tsp henna, 1/4 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp indigo
  • Sample #6 - 4 tsp cassia, 1 tsp henna, 1/4 tsp amla, 1 tsp indigo

Wet ingredients:

  • Warm distilled water (pH of 5.5) (for cassia/henna/amla)
  • Warm filtered tap water (pH of 7.0) (for indigo)


  • Mix room temperature water with cassia, henna (and amla/lemon juice for those test strands).
  • Wait until dye release (75F 8 hours).
  • Wash sample hair with non SLS shampoo, ‘condition’ with very diluted ACV rinse.  Towel dry.
  • Mix indigo with room temperature water and a pinch of salt. 
  • Mix indigo mud and cassia/henna/amla muds together for those test strands.
  • Apply to towel dried samples immediately. 
  • Leave in for two hours.  Samples will be in plastic baggies in my pocket.
  • Wash mud out using only cold water. 
  • Check color after 72 hours.

*didn't actually continue on from here*

  • Pick a mix, then repeat the process on my head :)
  • After the full head application, I’d do roots only applications every 2 - 4 weeks as needed.
  • If I ever decided to go back to my natural color, I’d add more and more cassia for root applications until it was blended away, and rock a slight ombre look, trimming at shoulder length until it grew out.

And now for the questions :)

  1. Am I starting with too much cassia to get the change I’m looking for, or not enough?
  2. Should I make the distilled water more acidic, or use a different level of acidity in the amla mixes?
  3. Could I get away with leaving it on for just an hour, considering that I’m trying for a browner shade of red and I’m not trying to cover grey?
  4. Any general advice or different recommendations for my test mixes?

Thank you in advance for your assistance!  I'd be happy to share my results and post pictures of the samples once the test mixes are defined.

Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2015-06-20 12:40
Update with results

I figured I'd post the results just in case anyone was interested...

I updated the mixes and process in the original post to reflect what I actually did.  I found that my distilled water was a tad acidic, and wanted to ensure the mixes with and without the amla were about the same pH.  I used lemon juice in the mixes without amla.

As it turns out, my hair didn't absorb any of the indigo so I didn't get any of the brown shades I was interested it.  Perhaps my hair isn't porous enough, or the cassia/henna mud was too acidic (ph of about 4.0).

All of the strands looked the same, though in bright sunlight one might see a slight difference in the orange between the strands that had 6 tsp rather than 4 tsp of cassia.  Though if I didn't know which was which, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell them apart.  My conclusion here is that a larger difference in the amount of cassia would be needed to create different shades.

All of the strands were also step more orange than my natural hair, and were a very natural shade.  In some lights they looked the same as my natural hair, but in sunlight the difference was noticeable.  However they also all took on the orange sheen I was trying to avoid.

I retested with my last two strands to reproduce the 4/1/1 (cassia/henna/amla) mix, but this time making the mix thicker and testing the dye release at 8 hours and 12 hours (both at a 2 hr application).  The color was initially a bit richer on these strands, but after oxidation they looked the same as the others.  The only difference was that the 12 hour dye release strand was much rougher and drier.

I've decided not to apply any of the mixes on my head since I wasn't able to get even close to brown, but hopefully this experiment will be of use to others looking for their ideal mix!



Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2015-07-26 17:41
Thanks for posting this! I

Thanks for posting this! I have darker hair than yours, but was considering a mix like what you tried to ease into henna-ing my hair. Did you try any other henna mixes?

Log in or register to post comments