View Full Version : Henna over highlights

January 9th, 2012, 06:06 AM
I recently came back to the forum with hair that's a bit of a mess. It's in a short wedge shaped bob - front is almost chin length, top layers at back are only 4in - and was heavily highlighted until about 5 months ago. The longest sections are currently mostly white from where successive stylists have bleached more strands each time, and the amount of highlighted hair gradually reduces towards the roots, where I have 2in or so of virgin hair. This wouldn't be too bad for growing out except that my natural colour is mousy mixed with dull grey, and I hate it!

I like the white-blonde, but I realise the bleach is damaging my hair and growing it longer isn't realistic with that amount of damage going on. I also noticed the other day, when looking at some photos from a couple of years ago, that it seems to have straighened a lot of my natural curl, which makes me quite sad.

My plan is to grow the back down until I have a straightforward chin length bob, grow the highlights out completely, and then start growing properly. The bad part of this plan is my natural colour, so I'm seriously considering henna again.

I used henna and indigo together when my hair was long, and achieved this colour (actually mixture of colours because it looks like I was reducing the amount of indigo). The photo below is from 2006.


This time I don't want to use indigo because it doesn't take on my greys anyway, so I'm going to embrace the natural henna red. I have no idea if it will suit my skin tone, but there's one way to find out!

Before I do this, I have some questions:

To get the best coverage possible as quickly as possible, I need the highest lawsone content I can get. This is currently Rajasthani Twilight at Mehandi.com which is the same as Indian Henna on the Henna Boy site (which will probably work out cheaper for me). Is all of that correct?

I downloaded the "how to" book from the Henna Page and it says that making the mix with something acidic like lemon juice encourages the henna to achieve a deeper red colour. I know there's been a lot of discussion here about acid and henna, so does anyone have any experience of this? (I know my white highlights will probably go orange at first, but my goal - which I assume will take repeated applications to achieve - is a much deeper colour.)

If I can't get a colour that I can live with on the highlights within a reasonable amount of time, will my stylist be able to colour over the highlighted parts to achieve a similar colour to the virgin hair? (I'm getting a trim tomorrow, so I can ask her this myself, but I know she'll go into a panic when I mention henna.)

I'm encouraged by the photos on this page:

She says in her instructions that she's just using henna. Is that for real?

And finally, I know henna is permanent. At my length, permanent is much less of a commitment than with long hair, so it isn't really a concern.

January 9th, 2012, 06:15 AM
Hi, I am just playing around with my henna mixes at the moment before I do a full head application (first ever!), I also have some very white highlights. They predictably came out bright day-glo- orange, but i have have successfully toned that down on my test strands with a non-permanent light brown box dye with no problems. I realise that the brown will fade eventually, but by then I hope to have built up enough henna layers that my highlights will not be orange any more! I have the Henna Boy Rajasthani which I mix with camomile tea, I was worried to use lemon juice as my hair is bleach damaged & dry, but i am finding that this henna does stain quite deeply anyway. Sorry i couldn't be more help! :)

January 9th, 2012, 07:38 AM
Thanks. It is helpful to know that you managed to tone them down at home. That means my stylist shouldn't have any problems if I need to go down that route. I don't want to mess around with semi-permanent dyes (other than henna) at home because they tend to turn out permanent on my hair!

The reason I asked the question about the lemon juice is because I know it dries out hair. But if the difference in how the colour turns out is quite noticeable, then I think it might be worth it for me.

January 10th, 2012, 02:12 PM
I paid a visit to the salon today, and had a talk with my stylist about the options, including henna. As I predicted, she was worried about the idea of henna at first, but cheerfully helped me gather pieces of cut off hair when she realised I was planning to do strand tests before smothering my head with it. I explained to her that "pure" henna is perfectly fine to use on my bleached hair and it's the henna mixes that can cause weird colours and damage, and why, and I thought she'd got it. Then, when I left and I commented that the next time I see her it might be to correct my colur, she said she could do it, but she'd have to do a strand test first because of "the metallic salts in the henna". I suppose an hour chat with a client isn't going to cancel out what she was taught on her hairdressing course :rolleyes: