Refresh color without darkening?

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scalpeltron
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Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2017-06-17 15:53
Refresh color without darkening?

Hey everyone!

So I henna'd my hair for the first time about 3 weeks ago and I'm already getting the urge to do it again. Every time I washed my hair for the first few weeks afterwards I'd have a lot of henna run off in the water, and I feel like a lot of the red has already faded (I've read that henna sometimes fades after the very first application before it 'sticks', so I'm not sure if that's what happened here). Also I feel like my roots didn't absorb the color as well either so I figured I'd just do my whole head.

The problem is I'm concerned with build-up. My natural hair is already pretty dark (a medium brown) so the color I ended up with after oxidation is a pretty dark auburn, which I'm OK with, but I definitely don't want it to get any darker.

So my question is--how can I refresh my color without necessarily darkening it? I've read conflicting information---in my original recipe I used lemon juice for the base, which I've since read can cause excess oxidation. I also left it on for 9 hours and straightened my hair the same day I rinsed out the henna, which I've also read can cause more oxidation (OOPS!).

I've though about trying a gloss, but I've read conflicting information on those too. Some people said if you only use a little bit of henna/don't leave it on for very long/use tea or water for the base instead of lemon juice, you'll have a slight tint of color but it won't darken much. Others said it will definitely still build up and darken. I'm not sure what to try!!

TL;DR--how do you refresh/boost your color once you get to a level of darkness you're satisfied with? 

MayaN
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Last seen: 6 days 42 min ago
Joined: 2017-04-16 04:10
just my two cents

I'm no henna expert, so keep that in mind, but I've done color glosses with both henna/cassia and henndigo, and I think you're right to be concerned about your already darkish henna job going possibly even darker with attempts to freshen it up, since although henna is translucent it will build up deeper each time.  I think you first need to determine exactly what mean by "freshen the color"... you say it's already dark enough for you, even with the color loss that you noticed, so if by "freshen" you mean "boost up the red" (which your first paragraph seems to imply), then it sounds like you might want to do a gloss with Jamila henna and conditioner.  I'd play it safe and make it a weak gloss (you could always make a stronger one later) or do a strand test first.  For your acidic additive (to make it take up better), you could use something that is made to inhibit oxidation, like one of the Mehandi fruit acids.  I'm guessing the CopperBerry would be a good bet for you, since presumably it would help your henna stay as light and bright as possible against the darkish base color you're working with. Hopefully you'll get some expert advice soon, but I know what it's like to patiently wait for an answer so I thought I'd throw my two cents in.  I'm still fairly new to henna and obsessed with this awesome website.   Good luck! 

scalpeltron
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Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2017-06-17 15:53
Thanks!

Thanks for your comment! Yes, that's exactly what I meant--I just want to boost the red a bit! Your reply was actually super helpful--I hadn't heard about the Mehandi fruit acids, so I'm definitely looking into those now. Have you ever tried any of them? Do they really help prevent excess oxidation? It seems too good to be true lol but I'm going to give it a shot! And yeah I'm definitely going to just make a weak gloss--hopefully that will help as well!

Thanks again for replying! 

MayaN
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Last seen: 6 days 42 min ago
Joined: 2017-04-16 04:10
You're welcome!

 I've only tried one of the acids so far... the Amla... I use a blend of the Jamila henna and some cassia (mostly henna) on my hair, to turn my medium brown (with lots of gray) hair a very coppery auburn.  But I have a higher percentage of gray at the sides and top of my head, so I like the way that Amla just very slightly tones down (browns up) the color result on those grayest areas of my root regrowth.  If I did not add in some Amla, those silver areas would be super brignt Lucille-ball orange, compared to the rest of my hair.  The Amla prevents that from happening, without me having to add any indigo to the mix... I've experimented with adding indigo, but I don't like the result, even just a tiny bit made the color too brown and ashey, and was very difficult to remove (I had to do multiple rounds of honey lightening, Vit C lightening, and coconut oil/olive oil treatments).   I find that adding Amla is lot more subtle/forgiving way to tone down the orange into more of a copper.  But no, Amla does NOT seem to prevent oxidation, and in all fairness I don't think it's supposed to do that.  To my understanding, the Kristolovino and the Copperberry are the acids that prevent oxidation.  I don't have any experience with those, but I just ordered some Copperberry.   I realize it does the opposite thing that Amla does, it actually brightens the orange tones in henna and keeps it light, but that's exactly what I need on the less gray areas of my hair, where the addition of Amla tends to make it turn out a bit too brownish (since it's going over grayish brown rather than pure silver).  For the silver areas (where I now add Amla) I plan to try a mix of mostly Amla with a bit of Copperberry, instead of just the Amla,  to make up the 25g fruit acid portion per 100g henna (or in my case henna/cassia).  I'm hoping that the addition of just a tiny bit of Copperberry will not counteract the Amla too much and will help keep that grayest root area from becoming eventually too dark with repeated touch-ups... because no matter how hard you try to stay right on the new growth, there's always some overlap, and then you have the dual problem of henna build-up, and henna oxidation, both of which cause the lovely copper shade to darken over time.   

I don't know for a fact that the different fruit acids can or should be mixed together in the way I'm planning to do, because that part of my posted question never got answered, so I'm just going to do a strand test to make sure my theory turns out as expected. 

I'm discovering that the science of henna is also an ART, so if you are have a particular color result in mind, it takes some careful blending and experimenting to get there.  Starting with evenly colored virgin hair with no grays (or grays that have already grown in) is much easier, because then you can just apply your original mix to the regrowth area every month or so, and call it a day because you'll get a nice even looking result.  But for those of us starting out with hair that's been bleached or chemically colored, and is now growing in darker or lighter at the root than the rest of the hair, getting an even result from henna is tricky, because henna is transparent and will NOT look the same on the root as it does on the rest of the hair, if there is any color discrepancy there to begin with.  

Have fun!  

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