Traditional darkening mixtures worth it?

I normally use henna, lemon juice, sugar, and lavender oil. This week I was told (by someone who's been doing henna her whole life, having grown up in India) that cooking tamarind and using that water will darken henna, and by someone else that brewing strong black tea with cloves (mostly for color, also for scent) and cinnamon (for scent) and using that will darken henna too.

Will either of these do any better than my usual essential oil, or are they about the same?

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Tips for using Cones?

I have some 101 level questions about using cones:

How do you hold them? I've seen photos and videos with a many ways of holding the cones, although some of the cones look more like bags. Some cones look very stiff, some look very flat, some look very floppy. What do you use, and what are the benefits of different cones, holding styles?

How do you re-tape the cones as the paste dwindles? Reopen a flap, roll and tape? Fold over and add tape?

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My Henna Story - with pictures

In Romania, 12 years ago I decided to enhance my natural hair color which is mousy medium brown that goes lighter on my length of hair due to the fact that my hair is really dry and gets damaged very easily plus the sun.... It looks like this:

http://picasaweb.google.com/christiluiza/VirginHair#

If you had to sum up your teenage years in clothes / hair and make-up, what would they be?

Reading these diary entires from other people's teenage years really reminded me of my own teens and the clothes and hair I wore. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/15/teenager-diary-cringe-1980s

If I had to sum it up, my 1980s style would be Black Levi 501s, biker jacket and colourful silk shirts.

How about you?

How do you think you would feel if you wore your 1980s outfits again?

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How far do you go to maintain a body shape?

Naomi Campbell recently revealed that she keeps in shape through regular fasting on a mix of maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and water. She also has a personal trainer and dietician. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/04/naomi-campbell-oprah-winfrey-interview

What other examples have you seen recently of people going to extremes to maintain their famous body shape?

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Beauty contests in Venezuela

In Venezuela, machismo is a big part of the male culture, yet beauty pageants such as this are taking place, celebrating femininity in different forms. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2009/dec/07/fat-gay-transvestites-venezuela

Did you dress masculine or feminine today?

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Collection of images from 100 years ago

I have a large collection of images from 100 years or so ago ... and many of these include some wonderful details of grooming and the world of hair before the chemical industry got ahold of it. 

I also have a collection of old pictures of people with red hair (just for the heck of it, and just because red hair is a world of its own)

I'll post high resolution scans and details if this is something peopel would like.

Here's an example: http://forums.hennapage.com/node/92

Would you like more?

Collection of images from 100 years ago

I have a large collection of original photographs showing women's hair grooming from about 100 years ago.  I can post high resolution scans here if people are interested ...

Let me know if this is something you'd enjoy.

Here's one:

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/92

HELP - henna with green dye in it

Help! - I prepared 300 gr of henna with lemon juice, camomile tea and some amla for a friend that had a very bad reaction to PPD. Waited about 12 hours for dye release but almost nothing. On the other hand I can see some green spots in the mixture and I remember reading about green dye  mixed with henna to make the powder look better.

Is is safe to use this henna ?

Is it good for something or should I throw it away or better get refund....

Amla After Henna

One of the major things that has kept me from trying henna has been my concern about curl retention.  I know amla can help to reverse the effects a bit, but I don't want to add it to my mix as I don't want it to come out brown.  If I apply some sort of treatment with a small amount of amla after I henna, will it turn the color brown?  If so, how long should I wait to minimize the risk of that happening?  My hair is already dark brown, I want the red from the henna to show, not blend in with my natural color.

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