View Full Version : Henna, indigo patch test - help!
March 16th, 2009, 08:50 AM
I had done my first henna application back at the end of September 2008, and by this month it had faded out from brick red to very pale orange. Orange doesn't go with my skin complexion at all and I wasn't sure whether to make my hair deep red or dark brown, nearly black - so I decided to use henna and indigo. I bought a colour kit from Renaissance Henna and did a test.
I sectioned a small square from the lightest parts of my hair that I really want to change, and covered it in henna. I used about a teaspoon of the henna powder, and mixed it with a few drops of boiling water (according to the instructions), applying it after 10 minutes (quite thickly!) and covering it with plastic wrap and a cloth for heat. I left it on for 6 hours.
After rinsing it out, I took half the tested hair and covered it with indigo (powder mixed with a few drops of cool mineral water, applied immediately - as thick as I could get it). On the instruction booklet it says "to get blue-black tones, don't cover your head after application; expose the indigo to air and leave for 3 hours+".. I didn't want blue-black, I wanted a cool deep red-brown, so I only left it on for an hour, however it wasn't covered - I left it exposed to air. An hour's application usually results in black though, no?
I rinsed that out last night and today I'm trying to see if the patches came through. For 6 hours, the henna is quite weak (the last time I applied it for 6 hours, there was a huge colour change), and for 1 hour, the indigo is quite disappointing. From the patches I was expecting a very vivid red from the henna, and a dark purple brown from the indigo addition, but NOT dark orange and mid-brown!
I explained the whole process I did.. is there anything I did wrong? :o I'm reading around and apparently boiling water to the henna mixture can kill the dye release? what do you think? I'd love it if some experienced henna/indigo users can help so that I can tweak the application processes properly to how I want them when I apply the mixes very soon.
Thanks for reading, gosh i type too much.
March 16th, 2009, 08:59 AM
So, essentially you did a two-step with the desire to achieve a chocolate-brown?
Was your hair wet or dry when you applied it? I get better results when my hair is WET.
I also get best results (darker and longer lasting) when I cover my indigo with saran wrap and cloth. I don't know why this is, but I do. Even with that, my indigo fades from almost-black to dark-brown within a month. To help indigo stick longer, add a tsp of salt into your indigo before you apply it. And don't wait for dye release with indigo, just add water and salt, mix then apply.
Perhaps you're also one of the unlucky ones whose hair doesn't like indigo much. That doesn't keep me from using it, quite the contrary-Indigo and I have a one a month date always planned! I hope this second round treats you much better!
March 16th, 2009, 09:02 AM
One other thing, you don't need to do a two-step again if you just want to deepen the orange-you can do an indigo gloss to darken it (though personally, after this long, I would do a two-step again, but if it had only been a month or two, a gloss would be easiest to do a quick darkening). Just search for "indigo gloss"-there are a few recipes floating around on LHC.
March 16th, 2009, 09:02 AM
I am not sure what henna and indigo you are using. I am only familiar with body art quality stuff. "Henna" and "indigo" that come in kits can often be altered with undesirable ingredients and be of poor quality, giving you patchy and unpredictable results.
Okay, henna... Never use boiling water to mix. You will kill a great deal of the dye. Just mix henna powder and hot tap water. (The water should be steamy but not so hot that it would scald or burn you.) Mix it to the thickness you like and leave it to sit on your counter for an hour or two to get good dye release. If you want to see if you have that, just plop a bit on the inside of your wrist or the palm of your hand. Let it sit a minute and rinse. You should have a lovely little orange stain and your henna is ready to go.
Indigo is a different animal and I only ever used it for a strand test, years ago. I got a beautiful, medium brown by mixing dye released henna with freshly mixed indigo, then soaking the hairball for a couple of hours.
Repeated henna applications will give you a deep, cool burgundy red. Repeated henna/indigo applications will give you a deep chocolate cherry kind of colour.
Henna often fades, after the first application. But once you do a second application, that usually stops and the henna, from that point is what Nightshade calls bullet proof.
I HTH a little. :)
March 16th, 2009, 09:43 AM
wow - quick replies!
mooglewoo - that's right, I did a two-step process actually to achieve darker shades than I want in my hair, to sort of "verify" that i would have to apply the dyes for shorter times when I actually do a full-head application. My hair was dry for the henna, and damp for the indigo. I didn't add salt to the mix - that must have affected it, as well as having not covered it. I'm not convinced my hair doesn't like indigo.. I probably didn't apply it properly. Thanks for the info about indigo glosses - I'm sure I could use it for the future. You helped a lot! Thank you! Meanwhile I'm definitely going to do another patch test with some alterations..
Shermie Girl, the kit I bought was from Renaissance Henna (http://www.renaissancehenna.com/renaissance-henna.aspx?page=productlist) (http://www.renaissancehenna.com/renaissance-henna.aspx?page=productlist) -- first kit in the product list. It says it's pure henna and indigo with no other ingredients mixed. My first application of henna came from the same site and I was very pleased with the results. Thanks for the hot water and dye release info! You helped me too. I'm going to do another patch test very shortly and see how that comes.
Cheers! I'll reply to this thread when I finish another test patch - by tomorrow. We'll see how that goes :)
March 16th, 2009, 10:34 AM
yay! Glad we could help! Looking forward to the update!
March 17th, 2009, 05:52 AM
I just don't think high quality henna should have faded on you that bad in the first place. It may have been stale.
This is the list of natural, henna suppliers that used to be on henna page. I'm hosting it myself now. All these ladies import their own henna regularly and store it carefully.
With high quality products, that two step process should have gotten you black. I also think that with high quality product, all you need to get the color you're after is one more application of just henna. I'd suggest using an acidic mix such as lemon juice or ACV if you can stand the stink. I'm dying some wool to show the difference between an acidic mix and neutral mix today. I'll be able to show off the results tomorrow or next day.
March 17th, 2009, 08:08 AM
I did another patch test!!
This time I mixed the powders better and left them on for much longer, and applied them to more hair.
The henna I mixed with hot (nowhere near boiling) water, and put it on my heater; left it to release dye for an hour. After that I tested it on my wrist and i got a faint orange patch, so I applied it. Left it on for about 12 hours overnight, under plastic wrap and a cloth, secured by a buff.
The indigo I mixed with cold bottled water and a few grains of salt... though by mistake I kinda put in too much water, so the mix came REALLY runny! :eek: I was going to even it out with powder but then thought I'd waste too much powder and not even use half of it for the test patch. I applied it (really made me swear because it leaked so much) and covered it with plastic wrap, a cloth, and a tied towel. I left it for 3 hours. I didn't expect it to take effect at all since the mix was so runny :rolleyes:. Lesson for next time!
Well here you go, this time I believe it came MUCH better.
To be honest I do think this crop is a bit stale.. it says "use by December 2017" and since the site says henna lasts 10 years if stored properly, I'm sure it must be from the end of 2007. That's a year and a half ago!!
Next batch I'll save up a bit more and buy from the better suppliers - thanks for the list Henna Muse.
Anyway from the patch test I'm quite pleased with the coverage of the light orange into purple, the rest of my hair will undoubtedly come out black. When I do the full-head application this weekend I'll be very careful with the consistency of the indigo paste.
so thanks to the people who helped, and to the people just browsing threads, i hope this one may teach u a bit about using body art quality henna that's fresh! :o
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