View Full Version : Alternatives to chem dyes

August 7th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Hi. I was born blonde...VERY blonde but over the years, I have darkened all the way to a light brown.
I know that chem dying is bad, especially for my curls so I am interested in finding a less harsh alternative or a natural alternative??

I would like to henna, but I realize it is only red-darker colors

Also, I don't know about henna because I don't want to lose my curls!

August 7th, 2010, 10:35 PM
You can mix henna with other dyes, such as cassia, walnut, indigo, and katam. From what I know of them (I haven't tried them, except a bit of walnut; I add amla and cloves):
*Cassia's molecule is similar to henna's except that it has a triple ring instead of a double ring. It is pale and should dilute henna nicely.
*Walnut's molecule (juglone) is an isomer of henna's (lawsone), but is browner and doesn't bind as well to hair.
*Indigo and katam have completely different molecules and won't fill the henna binding site.

I've been hennaing for years and haven't lost curl. Probably because I use amla, and I put my hair up when hennaing.

August 7th, 2010, 11:17 PM
Indigo with henna will give a lovely deep brown - there will be some reddish undertone, however, and in my experiments with hendigo, I found it was not possible to get a lighter, less red-toned brown - if you wanted to tone the red, you had to go darker with the brown shade (i.e., medium brunette, not light brown). Katam (buxus) gives a lovely brown that is lighter, and much ashier - however, i found that it washes out fairly quickly - i only got 3 shampoos out of an application, and repeat applications left my virgin roots a grey-green colour. Given that buxus has to be re-applied frequently, am not sure how to deal with the roots issue, unless a person were doing henna and buxus together, roots only. I would not recommend doing henna/buxus repeatedly on the length, as the henna will darken with successive applications, and then the buxus will wash out, leaving you with darker and darker red. You could also check out the Elumen thread - it is a long-lasting, PPD-free hair color that won't damage hair - but, it's not a "natural" product, either!

August 8th, 2010, 12:28 AM
What color would you like to be ? Are you hoping to lighten to blonde again or do you want to go darker ?