View Full Version : Advice on using chemical dyes + henna in tandem?
January 14th, 2011, 01:49 PM
Well I have been using henna since late November and the proper way (ie. ensuring its BAQ, dye release etc.) since becoming a regular here at LHC.
Now in terms of improving the condition of my chemically dyed (fried!!) hair (henna + coconut oilings), and getting a lovely burgundy colour, henna has been great. BUT, although my virgin hair is now growing out without chemical damage, I am getting orange shades on the white roots.
Indigo either doesn't take well/ at all or washes out very quickly and even with repeated henna applications, its not the same reddish brown as on my black or chemically dyed hair. I am so envious of you guys that henndigo or henna+indigo and get those dark locks!
I guess I can live with dark orange distributed throughout my hair (the whites/greys average 50% at front and top, 30% at the back I think) but I have a lot of orange wherever I part my hair, as well as the hair just above my ears. I have posted a pic below, but its not very clear how bright my roots are. (Sorry I'm not very good at taking pics of my hair and am too self-conscious to ask anyone else!)
See the orange strands? Its a solid line in my parting but not clear in the pics I took, eg.
So what I was thinking is, what if I dyed just the roots, say once a month, and henna'ed the rest in between? I was thinking to maybe do a few areas such as where I part my hair (usually on the right, sometimes centre or left).
Does this sound safe/ do-able? As usual, TIA!:D
ps. I did try to post the image directly in the post, but can't manage it:o. I did try following the how-to thread on posting pics, dunno what I'm doing wrong:confused:
January 14th, 2011, 05:23 PM
If you stick to using BAQ, I don't see why not. And I'd make sure to use a gentler dye, like Robert Craig or Herbatint maybe.
Perhaps others would say no. IMHO, I'd say it was fine. I've bounced back and forth between henna and chemical dyes since 2005, and only seen bad effects when I started to bleach.
January 14th, 2011, 07:46 PM
I remember some time back now another LHCer doing just this and from what i can remember got good results as the above poster said as long as you use a gentle dye I dont see a problem.
January 14th, 2011, 07:59 PM
I'd do several strand tests to make sure nothing "weird" happens at the junction between the chemical dye & BAQ henna.
Also, what henna & indigo are you using? Mehandi.com has laboratory certified henna & indigo. . . I've found the higher lawsone percentages work better for gray hair. They have some henna that is specifically listed as better for gray hair (& IMO, it really works. . . the previous henndigo I was using wasn't cutting it at all. . . I had silver hair that didn't take up *any* of the dye). So maybe it would work for you as well.
ETA: I think they WAY overestimate how much henna & indigo you need though. I only use 100 g for 24" hair, and it covers just fine. So if you do buy from them, don't be tricked into buying tons of packages.
January 15th, 2011, 05:44 AM
Thanks for the replies. That's reassuring to hear Loviatar - like you I've switched between henna and chemical dyes, I used henna years ago for a while, then switched back to chemical dyes. There weren't that many greys then (although still the reason I was dyeing) so the gaps between dyeing sessions was probably month - 2 months then.
Hmm, my greys (well whites really as there really isn't any pigmment in those hairs) are pretty resistant so I don't know if a herbal/gentle colour would be enough? I tried herbatint or naturtint (can't recall which) once a few years ago and didn't find it took well. So I was thinking something like Nice n Easy with a heavy coconut oiling? What do you think?
Btw I love your colour jojo - amazing that you achieved that with Lush stuff, it was such a failure on me. I would love that colour all over. Lighter tones(and definitley NOT the bright orange) really don't suit me. My goal is a fairly dark base (natural hair is black although I've always dyed dark - to medium brown) with burgundy. So I'm not really bothered about really dark, more the obvious difference when I do my roots.
ddiana1979 - you may well be right, maybe I need to try something with a higher lawsone content. I must say that the henna I use does stain my hands a deep orange fairly quickly (I wash off any I get on my hands within minutes but it still leaves a vivid stain). And the length of my hair does have a nice reddish hue, it just isn't visible in the pics I've taken - I really must try taking some snaps in daylight rather than our horrid indoor lighting.
The reason I haven't ordered from the more well-known retailers such as mehandi.com, hennasooq, hennahut.com, is because being in the UK the shipping costs put me off on top off the cost of the henna which although reasonable, is still far more than by Indian BAQ henna that I get from Asian grocery stores here. I have got indigo from various sources: shop - Vasma (not v. good); ebay store (spice of india) - quality seemd ok but didn't really do much on my hair; Cotsworld Health (online) - v. v. coarse sift that was awful to wash out, stained bowl blue but again not much effect on my hair. I would like to try the Rennaisance henna/indigo but it costs too much!
ETA: well I tried to post another pic (which still doesn't show the amount of red aagh!) but I can't see anything - can anyone see a pic in this post??
January 15th, 2011, 06:06 AM
I had disastrous results going back and forth between natural and chemical dyes. There was a problem both with the way the henna / henna indigo concoctions reacted (a number of different applications) as with the way the chemical color reacted. The reaction came when going back to chemical dyes after a while. Suddenly, one time, it went horribly wrong. My hair turned green in parts, greenish blue in others. It was as if I had spikes of manic panic color in my hair, actually, but not so pretty. I had chosen a light brown dye and it came out pitch black. My scalp got burnt (even before processing time was over it started to burn), some of my hair fell out in chunks (it just came out, I didn't even feel it), other bits were chemically cut off (maybe the other chunks were chemically cut off at the root, who knows). No, not a pretty sight. I ended up with a lot of damage and had to have my hair cut short (bob with lots of remaining damage that took me a few years to get over). I suspect my hair had gotten too porous and that when using chemical dye on heavily hennaed hair, that processing time needs to be cut somewhat, depending on what hair you have. I have F hair, so maybe that has something to do with it. Other hairtypes might withstand the horror, but still... I'd be careful and not switch back and forth constantly. It's risky, even with good quality henna and esp. when there's indigo involved... you just never know.
January 15th, 2011, 09:22 AM
I don't have any advice, but I'm interested in reading the replies. I used to use henna and loved the shine it brought to my hair so much that I would henna my whole head every month until my hair became a very dark unnatural burgandy color. So then I stopped and let it grow out and cut off the hennaed bits and started over for a while. I'm getting older now and henna isn't cutting it to cover my greys, so I started using Garnier in a dark brownish red on my entire head and I love the way my hair looks now. I need a deep conditioning, though and I'm afraid this color will fade afterwards.
The reason I'm interested is I would like to henna gloss over this color to just keep it nice and reddish brown but I'm worried about any reactions. It's been more than a month since I colored my hair with the Garnier, so there shouldn't be a reaction, but I don't want all my lovely hair to fall out because I got greedy!
Sorry if this seems like a hijack.
I do have a question, though. After you use a hair dye to color your roots, and then they grow out and you have more roots with grey hairs and you dye those, will you be hennaing the old roots that you colored that are now part of your length that may have faded? Does henna over dyed hair look the same as henna over hennaed hair?
January 15th, 2011, 11:08 AM
Hi Gunjee, you made some good points. Well I've been using chemical dyes regularly for the last 10 years, the frequency has increased over the years to the point where I was touching up my roots every 3 weeks. I concentrated the root touch ups to the front and top of my head where I could see the most grey (only realised recently how much grey I have in the back too!). So I have been using henna on all my hair, and the length has reddish tones. I had a lot of frizz esp. in the front sides where I found it hard to get at the greys. I have found the growth since henna'ing to be smoother and the frizz in the length has calmed down a lot - this is not all down to henna though as I have found using coconut oil helps too.
So yes, when the dyed roots grow out, what I am asking is, is it safe to henna over. I would do both on a regular basis. I didn't think of henna glosses though - sounds like a great way to maintain a reddish glow as well as condition the hair.
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