View Full Version : To get henna red to light ash brown or dark ash blonde
January 4th, 2011, 04:59 PM
Ok, so most of my hair is henna red. Which is NOT working for me. So now, how would I use henna/cassia/bruxus/alma to get my hair to it's normal or normalish color?
January 4th, 2011, 06:17 PM
What henna red? Bright orange or burgandy, or any shade in between? As far as I know, only honey, Sun-In, and bleach work to fade henna, and 3 rounds of bleach only got my burgandy to orange, so beware on avoiding those tones if you want ash. Otherwise, you have to grow it out long enough so you can chop off those ends.
Good luck! :flower:
January 4th, 2011, 06:37 PM
If you are at full saturation with the henna, it's probably fairly dark red. Full strength buxus for 15 minutes or so will make it brown, but it will probably fade. I haven't heard from anyone yet who has figured out how to avoid fading with buxus.
Indigo gloss (1 Tbsp indigo per cup conditioner x 30 minutes application) made my full saturation ends turn purplish for a couple of weeks. I liked it but it wasn't the brown I was hoping for. It faded too, though. If your henna isn't super dark, you may be able to get brown with either a brief full-strength indigo or an indigo gloss. Not necessarily ash brown though. That's tough with henna as a base.
Are you opposed to bleach followed by Elumen? That seems to have worked for at least one person here to get them back to an ash blonde.
Going lighter in whatever manner (bleach, vs 20 or 30 vol developer only, vs honey lightening) will give you more options for canceling the red/orange for a cooler color but not terribly dark. If you aren't going to try to lighten it, if you cancel the red you'll likely have a darker color than you have in mind.
Another option is to slowly transition your roots to a lighter, less red color by adding more cassia and buxus (or cassia and indigo) to your henna mix each time you touch up roots.
I have not found amla alone to help much with ashifying henna's color - it does slightly but very temporary. Amla didn't seem to darken/cool the effect of buxus the way it does for indigo in a henna/buxus or henna/indigo mix.
January 4th, 2011, 07:30 PM
Several here have bleached henna to as light as would go, then dyed over it (such as the member who went back to her natural ash blonde), but they got mushy feeling hair and lost a lot of length in the process. Henna is very stubborn!
January 4th, 2011, 07:38 PM
I am currently working on the same thing, except the henna/indigo at the bottom of my length has some black PPD dye under it somewhere, so I'm not sure how light it will even get. To bleach my hair back to its natural color at this point would cause more breakage, especially on the ends, and I have worked too hard for my length to give it up - basically, I want the length more than the color, I guess.
I have decided to slowly and gently lighten over a period of months with frequent honey lightening treatment (provided I continue to get results) until either my hair somehow lightens back to its natural very dark golden blonde (I think? Who knows. Years of constant dyeing, sigh.) color, which is pretty unlikely considering the bottom 6ish inches of my hair have black PPD underneath or I hit a point where I feel like it would be safe to bleach it the rest of the way. I would hate to bleach and I'm really in no rush as I have at least another 6" until my goal length.
I have been doing honey treatments just about every day for a week (check out the honey lightening thread- Ktani has provided a great wealth of info on how to do it!) and am seeing a difference, especially near the roots where there are fewer layers of henna. I'll report back (in like a year lol) if I have any success.
January 4th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Oh, honey. I don't want to be discouraging but I think you are in for a rough time of it if you want to remove your henna. My understanding is that henna actually bonds to the keratin in your hair, so you can't get rid of it without breaking down your hair. I think you can use other herbs (such as alma) to change the color somewhat, but not to lighten your color back to blonde. I wish you the best of luck, hopefully someone will come along who has been successful with that.
Here are some links you may want to check out:
January 4th, 2011, 08:05 PM
I'm likely at full saturation, but it's bright bright copper red/orange. I used Dark of the Moon, so it should have gone darker, but 10 layers on and it's as orange red as the roots, never darkened up on me.
Honey lightening worked for a few days, but the henna always comes back full strength. My hair is too fragile in my mind to tolerate the bleach, so growing it out will have to win. Plus my concerns are that trying the h4h methods, my hair acts as it has metallic salts in it, prior to my first dye with Elumen. I've got one layer of Jamila from a local store that on testing the hairball with the h4h method tests fine for use of chemical dyes. But the DotM always reacts badly to the chemicals.
Right now, I'm just using Elumen with the yellow and blue blended, that tones down the red, then Elumen over a few shades darker than my natural. Which I like. Plus, my hair does BETTER with the Elumen, so figure it doesn't hurt to have fun with it.
Figured I probably have to just grow out the henna which I knew going in. But wanted to see if it was possible to use anything to change the orange red. In the reality, my hair isn't long right now, so I can get rid of the henna easier than not, but it's still 13" of the 17.25" I have now, so got to just wait it out.
January 5th, 2011, 11:52 AM
Here's what I tried:
1) Buxus gave me the colour you see in my avatar, which is pretty ashy medium brown. Loved the colour, but it faded within three washes. After five repeat applications, the virgin roots (unhennaed) began to take on a greenish tinge from the buxus. I would have happily kept doing it, even though it fades, since it was a great colour, and most demi-permanents fade, too.
2) Elumen faded after about three weeks, and also needed repeat applications, but a big plus with Elumen is that it didn't turn my unhennaed new growth green. A big negative for me were the heavy silicones, which completely changed my hair texture and took out my (small) natural wave. Again, the colour was great, though.
3) Indigo glosses faded the first three applications. Then I did a stronger indigo application (watered down powder, no conditioner), left it on for 10 min. This time, it stuck. Gave me something between chocolate and neutral brown - a bit redder than my own hair growing in, but still a pretty close match. WAY better than red, anyway!
4) Over a few months, the indigo that finally stuck did fade off a wee bit. I used LUSH caca brun, which has evened things up. The LUSH does fade, as well. It seems to have faded right off my virgin growth completely, also after three weeks, but it has stuck to the previously BAQ hennaed-then-indigoed length really well.
Overall, the indigo wash was my best fix. If you want a dark ash blonde, the honey lightening may help, depending on how many layers of henna you have. I had good results with it, but I only had one layer of henna. I lightened first, because I didn't want my hair to go too dark with indigo over the henna, so I lightened the henna a shade or two first. It still may be darker than you're hoping for, though. I don't think I could have gotten it lighter than medium brown; luckily, my own hair colour is medium brown, so it worked out well.
Hope this info is helpful! Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
I hennaed over dark ash blonde coloured and medium ash brown virgin hair (two-tone combo!). Got a pretty even red/orange, so that was good, but the red/orange so didn't work on me.
January 5th, 2011, 04:19 PM
See, I'm about 90% sure the indigo is always going to be too dark for my natural color.
Oh well, the Elumen for me so far has done fine, it stayed about 6 weeks the first time, and my hair has settled back down again, so no problems with it now.
January 6th, 2011, 05:05 PM
If it's too dark to blend with your natural colour, you might hate doing roots frequently, as well. Hendigo can be a big procedure! :)
January 6th, 2011, 06:06 PM
Hendigo is a big procedure. I did the two step process. I also found the indigo really drying. I'm a couple inches into a long growing out. I did a few honey lightening treatments and I think I noticed some minor lightening but nothing to get me anywhere near my natural light brown/dark blonde. The lightening was most visible on the little bit of natural roots I had at the time. My hair and scalp weren't enjoying all the washing out that treatments required so I gave up on lightening for the time being. Bleach isn't an option as I don't want to sacrifice length and health and I gather that with indigo in the mix I'm apt to get green if I bleach. I'm using manic panic/special effects these days while I grow out my mistake! Good luck.
Also, with the doing indigo on roots I got overlap (maybe I just suck at root application) with previous hendigo which left me with darker streaks. This happened with a one step application that left my roots only very slightly darker than my natural colour but left black streaks on the previously coloured hair that was a medium/dark brown.
January 7th, 2011, 10:00 PM
See, I'd have to hennidigo it all, and I'm not putting henna on my hair again. Shot my hair to hell, it really did major damage.
The Elumen is working for me, so I'll keep with it. Oh well, live and learn. Besides, now I get to play with and make my hair darker while it grows out, which I do like.
January 14th, 2011, 01:39 PM
Here is a great thread for lightening henna:
January 14th, 2011, 02:04 PM
Here's a thought, since you wanted a darker, more burgundy tone: Have you tried heat? As in, blowdry your hair on hot or use a flat iron on it or something. For some people, this pushes their henna from orange to burgundy. Strand-test first if you feel cautious.
ETA (I read more...): Sorry to hear that henna damaged your hair. That's kinda strange -- was it just too drying, or something else? I have some issues with dryness, but not using acid in my mix and washing well a day or so later takes care of most of that for me.
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