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Thread: The henna/cassia thread

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    Member Elettaria's Avatar
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    Default The henna/cassia thread

    We have a huge thread for cassia, and umpteen threads for henna, but we don't appear to have a thread for those who use henna with cassia. Let's get started! I'm particularly interested in knowing what proportions and recipes produce what colour results on different hair colours, with pictures of course. I'm also curious about whether one herb becomes dominant in a mix. For example, I've heard that the henna colour will easily take over a henna/cassia mix, that a 50:50 blend will produce a colour closer to that produced by henna than someone half-way. Is this definitely true, and what happens with the other features of the herbs? Are the conditioning properties closer to that of henna, or are they in the middle? If you find that henna leaves your hair glorious but cassia leaves it a bit dry, what's a mix likely to do? What about ease of application? How about the staining power on skin of the little bits of henna/cassia which creep out when you're applying the stuff? Do you find there are any differences when mixing up the blend, such as when determining whether dye release has occurred?
    Last edited by Elettaria; July 13th, 2009 at 04:06 AM.
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    Member Elettaria's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    So show me your pictures of henna-cassiaed hair!
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    Henna Seeress Nightshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Elettaria View Post
    We have a huge thread for cassia, and umpteen threads for henna, but we don't appear to have a thread for those who use henna with cassia. Let's get started! I'm particularly interested in knowing what proportions and recipes produce what colour results on different hair colours, with pictures of course. I'm also curious about whether one herb becomes dominant in a mix. For example, I've heard that the henna colour will easily take over a henna/cassia mix, that a 50:50 blend will produce a colour closer to that produced by henna than someone half-way. Is this definitely true, and what happens with the other features of the herbs?

    In my experience, yes. You get a more copper-red with a 50/50 blend. For me to get a orange-copper I have to scale the mix to 35 henna/65 cassia to get a color that I would peg as more what I feel the 50/50 should look like



    Are the conditioning properties closer to that of henna, or are they in the middle?
    Having used both cassia and henna on their own, and not currently coloring with a blend of both, the conditioning properties are in the middle. Cassia tends to make my hair more fluffy, henna more sleek, but I get shine with both.


    If you find that henna leaves your hair glorious but cassia leaves it a bit dry, what's a mix likely to do?
    I think henna is a bit more forgiving as it leaves behind stronger conditioning properties. Cassia doesn't have as strong as an immediate effect, so rinsing the grit out strips the oils and whatnot from your hair, but doesn't leave the strong resin coating behind that henna does, hence the fluffiness for a few days until things settle down. A post-cassia oiling, or adding honey to the mix seems to help.

    What about ease of application?
    I think cassia tends to be more finely sifted across the board, while henna has a much more mixed bag of good versus poor sift. So long as you get a good sift, they both seem to be easy to apply with a dye bottle with the tip cut larger, but henna seems to be more of a gel, where cassia seems to go from mud to runny with the nice gel middle phase.


    How about the staining power on skin of the little bits of henna/cassia which creep out when you're applying the stuff?
    I don't have an issue with my 35% henna /65% cassia mix staining my skin on my face or neck, but it will produce a faint stain that fades quickly on my palms and nails.


    Do you find there are any differences when mixing up the blend, such as when determining whether dye release has occurred?
    Not really I find that even with my fairly dilute blend I still get discernible dye release in the form of the mud turning brown, or puddles of orange on the top. It also still passes the "dot your hand with the mix and let it sit for 30 seconds then wipe, if you have orange behind you're ready" test.

    That said, I treat my henna/cassia blend just like I did my henna mix. I blend it with hot chamomile tea, mix with a hand mixer, cover, and put atop a pan on my food dehydrator base for 4 hours or so.

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    Of Elven Blood Cherry_Sprinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    YAY!! Finally a thread that I can join whole ! I am using Nightshade's mix.. and here are my henna/cassia result pics! and you can read all about it on my blog here

    Before:



    After:



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    Member Elettaria's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    Thank you, Nightshade, this is great!

    My strand tests so far (50:50) seem to leave a weaker orange stain on the hand, but they do produce that orange puddling. I'm not finding the hairball tests as useful as I'd hoped: there's an obvious difference between the 1 hour test and the 8 hour test, and the others are in the middle, but if I hold up two similar tests I can't really see the difference. I've been warming my henna by putting it right by a spotlight bulb, and checking the temperature with a room thermometer.

    Hot chamomile tea is what I'm using too, brewed quite strong with a lid on to make it even stronger.

    I don't use honey, being a good little vegan, but I read somewhere here that agave syrup should have similar results, being a humectant. Or should I stay off sugar on my scalp since seborrhoeic eczema is a species of fungal/yeast infection?

    Very glad to hear it won't leave me with an orange face, I was dreading trying to do it tidily enough.

    I did buy myself a couple of tint bottles and cut the tip larger, but I think they're going to be too hard to squeeze. Catherine on H4H warned against them, but then I do take her warnings with a pinch of salt!

    I've done a couple of strand tests with 50:50, one left on for 1 hour, one for 2. I'll see if they darken any more over the next couple of days, otherwise I'll go ahead and do my roots for 2 hours. If that doesn't sort out my scalp, I'll do a full-head application, possibly with your 35:65 mix. How long do you leave it on for? I don't think it's worth doing for much less than 2 hours, considering how long it takes to apply in the first place. Does 3 hours of that blend give you the equivalent colour you'd get from 1 hour of henna, or does it work differently to that?
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    Member Elettaria's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    I'm afraid I haven't worked out how to find blogs yet, Cherry Sprinkle. Could you give me a link? And would someone be kind enough to tell me how to find individual blogs? Apparently there are 946 of them in total! Your hair is fabulous: what proportions are you using, and what's your natural colour? A dishwater blonde friend of mine goes red on and off, and I'm trying to talk her into hennaing again (not to mention going back to red, she's currently on dark brown and it looks awful with her skin). We did try before, but we were doing whole-head applications, it was the days before I knew about cassia, and it got too dark for her taste.
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    Henna Seeress Nightshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Elettaria View Post
    Thank you, Nightshade, this is great!
    You're welcome

    My strand tests so far (50:50) seem to leave a weaker orange stain on the hand, but they do produce that orange puddling. I'm not finding the hairball tests as useful as I'd hoped: there's an obvious difference between the 1 hour test and the 8 hour test, and the others are in the middle, but if I hold up two similar tests I can't really see the difference. I've been warming my henna by putting it right by a spotlight bulb, and checking the temperature with a room thermometer.
    That they don't look terribly different is pretty normal. I can't tell much of a difference on my hair if I leave it on at least 2-3 hours. Any more than that the color doesn't get darker on me, which is nice.


    Hot chamomile tea is what I'm using too, brewed quite strong with a lid on to make it even stronger.
    Yep, that's exactly what I do


    I don't use honey, being a good little vegan, but I read somewhere here that agave syrup should have similar results, being a humectant. Or should I stay off sugar on my scalp since seborrhoeic eczema is a species of fungal/yeast infection?
    Herm... I'm not sure on that one. Maybe a bit of aloe (make sure there's no alcohol) instead?



    I did buy myself a couple of tint bottles and cut the tip larger, but I think they're going to be too hard to squeeze. Catherine on H4H warned against them, but then I do take her warnings with a pinch of salt!
    Hahhaa, indeed. I have this one from Sally's (cost like $2) and it works great. When I'm done I just take off the lid, lay a scrap of plastic wrap over the mouth, put the lid back on and pop it in the freezer. I have no issues squeezing it at all.


    I've done a couple of strand tests with 50:50, one left on for 1 hour, one for 2. I'll see if they darken any more over the next couple of days, otherwise I'll go ahead and do my roots for 2 hours. If that doesn't sort out my scalp, I'll do a full-head application, possibly with your 35:65 mix. How long do you leave it on for?
    Normally I leave it on for about 2.5-3 hours


    I don't think it's worth doing for much less than 2 hours, considering how long it takes to apply in the first place. Does 3 hours of that blend give you the equivalent colour you'd get from 1 hour of henna, or does it work differently to that?
    It's different. With 1 hour of straight henna I'd get vibrant orange that cooled to copper-red. with 3 hours of my 35/65 henna cassia blend I get an almost coppery blonde at first that darkens to a bright copper color.

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    Of Elven Blood Cherry_Sprinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Elettaria View Post
    I'm afraid I haven't worked out how to find blogs yet, Cherry Sprinkle. Could you give me a link?
    Sure thing
    http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/blog.php?b=48988
    http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/blog.php?b=48862

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    Of Elven Blood Cherry_Sprinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    Hey Nightshade, how long should I leave my next application on since I went for the full 6 hours this time and the next will have slightly more henna? I don't want to darken the color

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    Member Avalonna's Avatar
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    Default Re: The henna/cassia thread

    I've been using a henna-cassia mix for several years now. I don't measure (I probably should!), but I aim for 1/3 henna and 2/3 cassia. I mix the straight henna with lemon juice and let it sit overnight, then add the cassia with warm water in the morning. For the past few months I've been adding a couple of tablespoons of honey, which makes it easier to apply. I don't find that my skin gets stained at all with my mix, but then I am pretty careful to put lotion all over my ears, hairline, and neck. The picture in my signature is a pretty good example of my color, greatly improved over my natural blah mousy brown.

    ~ Lady Akeso of the Healing Herbs in the Order of the Long Haired Knights ~

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