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Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 05:56 AM
Hi there! I hope you are all well :)
Yesterday I tried to make a Jamila henna/cassia paste for the first time. I used hot (but not boiled) chamomile tea and my mixture has a very earthy scent. I put some tin foil on top of the bowl to keep it warm and left it near the radiator for 12 hours. I tried to test it on my hand today, but it only leaves an idea of yellow stain on my skin so I guess it's not ready yet.. *anxiety*
I kinda dropped too much chamomile tea in the mixture, it became a little runnier (not as thick as yogurt consistensy) but although the quantity of my paste is not much (I used only a few grams for strand test), I noticed that it's drying out... Right now its thicker than toothpaste. I am afraid that if I leave it longer in a bowl of warm water or near heat it dry out completely. I read somewhere in the forum that If I add extra chamomile tea or extra lemon to make it easier to apply, the dye release process might be reversed.. Any ideas?

auburntressed
March 16th, 2012, 06:24 AM
Tin foil won't keep out the air. If you leave your henna sitting for any length of time, it needs to be covered with plastic wrap - as air tight as you can make it. Air dries it out, just like it would dry out anything of that nature you might try to cook.

Also, metal ruins henna. Make sure that when you mix it, you use a wooden or plastic spoon. Never let anything metal touch your henna.

If you want it to get a little more runny right now, maybe add some lemon juice. I've never mixed my henna with any teas - just plain old henna and lemon juice. I only mix in enough juice to get it moist for dye release, cover it with plastic, then wait. Then when I am ready to do my hair, I gradually mix in more lemon juice until it is the consistency I want for applying to my hair.

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 06:45 AM
Tin foil won't keep out the air. If you leave your henna sitting for any length of time, it needs to be covered with plastic wrap - as air tight as you can make it. Air dries it out, just like it would dry out anything of that nature you might try to cook.

Also, metal ruins henna. Make sure that when you mix it, you use a wooden or plastic spoon. Never let anything metal touch your henna.

If you want it to get a little more runny right now, maybe add some lemon juice. I've never mixed my henna with any teas - just plain old henna and lemon juice. I only mix in enough juice to get it moist for dye release, cover it with plastic, then wait. Then when I am ready to do my hair, I gradually mix in more lemon juice until it is the consistency I want for applying to my hair.


I am not using a metal bowl and I stirred it with a wooden spoon. I used chamomile tea to prevent dehydration of my hair. The stain on my skin is still too pale, almost invisible. Removing the tin foil, Plastic wrap it is! By the way I bought my Jamila and cassia henna from Henna Boy and the jamila has an expiration date (it expires on 2014), but they say that it is also suitable for hair.. So this is not a problem.. Dye release is taking too long though :S

Shatam1
March 16th, 2012, 08:49 AM
If it is pure henna u should not worry about metal. I use metal utensils all the time and it works just fine, as long as there aren't any metallic salts in the henna:)

Nightshade
March 16th, 2012, 08:52 AM
You can add another splash of water, too, if it's too thick, it won't hurt your mud at all!

Do you have your henna sitting someplace warm? I set mine atop a food dehydrator, or in the summer, outside in the sun (using plastic wrap to keep the moisture inside). If you set it someplace 85F or warmer, you'll see much faster dye release (but also faster dye demise, so don't let it release for longer than you need to. I mix mine up with steaming chamomile tea, then let it sit atop the dehydrator for 4 hours, then apply to towel-dried hair) :flowers:

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 09:20 AM
You can add another splash of water, too, if it's too thick, it won't hurt your mud at all!

Do you have your henna sitting someplace warm? I set mine atop a food dehydrator, or in the summer, outside in the sun (using plastic wrap to keep the moisture inside). If you set it someplace 85F or warmer, you'll see much faster dye release (but also faster dye demise, so don't let it release for longer than you need to. I mix mine up with steaming chamomile tea, then let it sit atop the dehydrator for 4 hours, then apply to towel-dried hair) :flowers:

Yes I keep it next to the radiator, warm all the time, but Jamila has slow dye release as it seams and the stain on my skin is still almost invisible even after 12 hours. I used hot chamomile tea just like you. Some people say that it should have immediate results on skin and paste color should change fast but mine didn't. Should I add a little lemon juice to help it? I am desperate because I wan't to be pretty for a hmmm certain gentleman (^_^)

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 09:23 AM
If it is pure henna u should not worry about metal. I use metal utensils all the time and it works just fine, as long as there aren't any metallic salts in the henna:)

Yes it's pure Jamila and cassia and says "summer crop 2011" on the box, it hasn't expired, I stored it in the fridge (I received it yesterday) but I use glass or plastic bowls and wooden spoon just in case

Nightshade
March 16th, 2012, 09:33 AM
Lemon juice will actually make it release less dye and limit your uptake. :) If it's been 12 hours next to a radiator, I'd just use it, honestly. I'd be afraid it's going to start to break down and you'll lose potency (if it hasn't already).

Where are you testing it in your skin? The best place is the heel of your hand, where the skin is thicker, not somplace with thin skin like the inside of your arm :)

malwes
March 16th, 2012, 09:33 AM
Hi there! I hope you are all well :)
Yesterday I tried to make a Jamila henna/cassia paste for the first time. I used hot (but not boiled) chamomile tea and my mixture has a very earthy scent. I put some tin foil on top of the bowl to keep it warm and left it near the radiator for 12 hours. I tried to test it on my hand today, but it only leaves an idea of yellow stain on my skin so I guess it's not ready yet.. *anxiety*
I kinda dropped too much chamomile tea in the mixture, it became a little runnier (not as thick as yogurt consistensy) but although the quantity of my paste is not much (I used only a few grams for strand test), I noticed that it's drying out... Right now its thicker than toothpaste. I am afraid that if I leave it longer in a bowl of warm water or near heat it dry out completely. I read somewhere in the forum that If I add extra chamomile tea or extra lemon to make it easier to apply, the dye release process might be reversed.. Any ideas?

Hi Octopus.
In my opinion you might have missed the dye release and henna just demised :(.
If you had put such a hot water (although not boiling) the dye release happens very quickly. If additionally you put it near to the radiator - it oxidised and demised.
Don't put hot water into henna as it kills its dying abilities. Put water of room teperature with or without something acidic and then let it go. 12 hours if around 21 Celsjus degrees - if on radiator it is 3-3,5 maximum.

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 09:36 AM
Lemon juice will actually make it release less dye and limit your uptake. :) If it's been 12 hours next to a radiator, I'd just use it, honestly. I'd be afraid it's going to start to break down and you'll lose potency.

Where are you testing it in your skin? The best place is the heel of your hand, where the skin is thicker, not somplace with thin skin like the inside of your arm :)

I tested it on the inside of my wrist (-_-)

Nightshade
March 16th, 2012, 09:40 AM
I tested it on the inside of my wrist (-_-)

Ahhh, that might be your problem :) Test it again on the palm of your hand, right near the base of your thumb. Let it sit for 30 seconds or so, if it leaves a pale orange dot, you're ready to henna!

It's almost impossible to get a good stain on the inside of your wrist even if you left the henna on there a good long time. Henna, when applied to skin, takes best on the palms and bottoms of the feet because of the thicker skin.

Anje
March 16th, 2012, 09:45 AM
Do be aware that henna thickens up a bit as you wait for it to release. Some of that's pretty normal in my experience.

Something to try in the future: I like to mix mine in a ziplock bag. Just mix liquid (I typically use water and oil) and henna, and massage the thing til the lumps are mostly gone. If you keep it sealed up, you won't lose water to evaporation this way, and cutting a corner off makes a good way to either apply the henna or transfer it to your applicator.

carolyncasl
March 16th, 2012, 09:49 AM
I thought that tea has a faster dye release than lemon juice. When I mix my henna with tea, I get the orange stain on my palm after an hour.

Georgies
March 16th, 2012, 09:52 AM
I had the same issue when I mixed up Jamila (weak dye on the skin) so I freeze-thawed the paste and it stained really well after that.

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 10:02 AM
Ahhh, that might be your problem :) Test it again on the palm of your hand, right near the base of your thumb. Let it sit for 30 seconds or so, if it leaves a pale orange dot, you're ready to henna!

It's almost impossible to get a good stain on the inside of your wrist even if you left the henna on there a good long time. Henna, when applied to skin, takes best on the palms and bottoms of the feet because of the thicker skin.

Just did as you suggested. It leaves a yellowish stain but I can hardly see it, plus it disappears the 2nd time I wash it. My skin is very pale/fair by the way and I haven't rubbed my hands with oils or cremes today (-_-) I think the first test henna paste was a failure... (but the weird thing is that it stained a little the wooden stick I used for stirring..) I am stainless (-_-)
I have dyed some hair I collected from my brush with my failed paste and have put it in a plastic bag in my pocket..

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 10:04 AM
I had the same issue when I mixed up Jamila (weak dye on the skin) so I freeze-thawed the paste and it stained really well after that.

Hmmm I have some paste left, I'll try it. Thanx!

Nightshade
March 16th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Indeed, if you think it demised, it can't hurt freezing it and seeing if you get a bit of extra dye release of out it. Freezing breaks open the cell walls of the henna more and this may give you more dye :)

Octopus
March 16th, 2012, 10:16 AM
Indeed, if you think it demised, it can't hurt freezing it and seeing if you get a bit of extra dye release of out it. Freezing breaks open the cell walls of the henna more and this may give you more dye :)

Hope restored!!! Thank you :) We will see in a few hours

Nightshade
March 16th, 2012, 10:16 AM
Hope restored!!! Thank you :) We will see in a few hours

Good luck! Just warm it up before you put it on your head! nothing is more miserable than a mop full of cold henna :o

MonaMayfair
March 16th, 2012, 10:29 AM
Hi Octopus.
In my opinion you might have missed the dye release and henna just demised :(.
If you had put such a hot water (although not boiling) the dye release happens very quickly. If additionally you put it near to the radiator - it oxidised and demised.
Don't put hot water into henna as it kills its dying abilities. Put water of room teperature with or without something acidic and then let it go. 12 hours if around 21 Celsjus degrees - if on radiator it is 3-3,5 maximum.

I agree with this.
I use COLD chamomile tea for my henna/cassia mix and it's ready within 4 hours (left at room temperature, not near anything hot!)
If you do use hot liquid, it's readier much sooner, but according to the gurus at hennaforhair, the result is usually a bit lighter in color and not so long lasting (tending to fade) They say the same thing about a water or tea mix versus a more acidic mix (like lemon juice) A mix with lemon juice takes longer to dye release and usually results in a deeper. more permanent stain on the hair.

Also, (depending on how much cassia you used) you're unlikely to see a bright orange stain on your hand the way you would if it were henna alone you were testing.
On the hennaforhair forums, I've read that for such a mix you would judge if it were ready by the time factor rather than by testing for stain.

On the covering with plastic - I use plastic wrap. Push it down so it touches the surface of the henna and prevents air from getting in.

Shatam1
March 16th, 2012, 12:23 PM
Just having that pale yellow color on your hand is more than enough for me to put it on my hair , wrap it and keep it warm for at least 3 hours. The results are always fine for me. Good luck:) I also use very hot tea but not boiling and put it on my hair within an hour max, always works:cheese:

Octopus
March 17th, 2012, 09:34 AM
UPDATE: I did it! Yay! Dye release happened and henna/cassia paste turned brown! (^_^)
I am waiting for my samples to become oxidised before I decide which shade suits me best, but seems that my paste still doesn't stain my skin which is good, no orange hands!
The trick was to seal it at once with plastic wrap and NOT tin foil just like you suggested, I put the paste into plastic WHITE disposable cups and I waited not only for the paste to turn brown, but to also stain the white cups with the yellowish dye. I put the paste samples close to a radiator for 4 hours (at a really safe distance this time where the paste would be warm enough but not right next to it) and for another 4 hours (approximately) having the radiator switched off, in the already warm room. I threw in the chamomile tea 1-2 extra sachets to make it stronger (and used filtered water -not sure if this helped but I thought to mention it anyway just in case)
Cassia seems to make my hair samples a lot golden and brighter. I used 40% jamila henna so I thought it would be more copperish than golden since my hair are not too fair. I mixed the same paste (with the dye already released) with conditioner (50% paste + 50% conditioner) to discover that it gives a lighter shade VERY similar to my 25% henna + 75% cassia). All samples were applyed each on a different moist strand of collected hair for 6 hours.
Thank you all of you!
I will pretend to be an alchemist for a little while, creating more samples, oh so excited!! :D

sashinka22
March 17th, 2012, 07:22 PM
good to hear :)
well, next time mabe this will help:
http://www.hennapage.com/henna/how/timetemp.jpg


more info here- http://www.hennapage.com/henna/how/dyerelease.html

i think the more acidic the paste + the hotter the temperature is, the quicker the dye releases. but i have not that much experience, fix me if i'm wrong.

caribou55313
March 20th, 2012, 06:19 AM
Things that speed up dye release and lessen the useful life of your paste: Heat of liquid, heat of room, neutral pH (like water). Example: Henna mixed with boiling water will give you instant dye release and the dye in the paste will not be active as long, and may fade because the dye will not attach to the hair quite as permanently. This paste, though ready in an hour, will probably be significantly weakened after 12 hours.

Things that slow down dye release and make your dye active for a longer time: Normal controlled room temperature (65-75 F.), room temp liquid, slightly acidic liquid (strong tea or fruit juice). Example: Henna mixed with apple juice will be ready after 6-10 hours at room temp, and will remain quite strong for a couple of days at least.

Some henna crops release dye sooner than others; the supplier should be able to give you specifics on the crops she is selling.

Octopus
March 20th, 2012, 07:31 AM
sashinka22 this is great! Very useful, Thank you!
Indeed When I used hot water the dye was released really fast, but the paste became useless very fast also. "The more acidic the paste..": perhaps, but that could dry the scalp out.. I also used lemon but only enough to help the dye release. I would add just water to create the consistency I want. Since I can achieve dye release with less acidic liquids, I can wait a little longer for the dye release, because it's safer for the scalp I think

caribou55313 Maybe the hot water wasn't a good idea after all because I wanted my paste to be active for a little longer..
Like I said on a previous post, and when I used lemon instead of hot water, it helped when I kept my paste near a radiator where is was warm but at a safe distance. The paste turned brown at about 6-10 hours

zombi
March 20th, 2012, 07:49 AM
You can add another splash of water, too, if it's too thick, it won't hurt your mud at all!

Do you have your henna sitting someplace warm? I set mine atop a food dehydrator, or in the summer, outside in the sun (using plastic wrap to keep the moisture inside). If you set it someplace 85F or warmer, you'll see much faster dye release (but also faster dye demise, so don't let it release for longer than you need to. I mix mine up with steaming chamomile tea, then let it sit atop the dehydrator for 4 hours, then apply to towel-dried hair)
This sounds like what I do.

Also, if the henna is too thick, I've thinned it with water before but it didn't make any difference in efficacy that I noticed. Just easier to spread.

gabee
March 20th, 2012, 07:58 AM
Jamila henna has one of the longest dye release times out of most henna types. I think waiting 12-24 hours is normal for Jamila. Most other hennas however dye release much quicker.

CopperHead
March 20th, 2012, 12:11 PM
I use very warm tea and my dye release is never more than an hour or two. I think you left it too long and the dye demised. Next time start testing the mud after an hour and you should have much better results. I have found this true no matter what henna I am using. When I used lemon juice it took much longer.

If I can't put my finger in the tea, it is too hot. This is how I gage the temp. :)