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Thread: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

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    Default Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    Hi, I made my account a long time ago but work in a hospital, so the pandemic gave me no time to perfect my henna game!

    I've been using Kitsune and Red Raj for about a year now. I love them both! Nature saw fit to give me medium-dark ash brown hair, so they both come out a dark auburn. I have to sparingly bleach small pieces to get the red I really want to show when I'm indoors as well as out in the sun.

    Is there any way (other than Amla, tried it a few times! Bought from Mehandi) to get a true red that leans more blue than orange? If anyone has any tricks please share! When I used conventional dye it was easy to find cool reds that weren't burgundy. I love henna though so I'm very willing to experiment if anyone has tips. 🤞For cooler red luck!

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    Member akurah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    I made my henna look cooler red by using Manic Panic. I would put it in the mud mixture. I think you could get similar cool results just by putting the manic panic dye on your already henna'd hair.
    Lady Nemetona of the Blessed Circle in the Order of the Long Haired Knights

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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    Thanks Akurah! I'm not opposed to faking what I can't make, I hadn't thought of deposit only color

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    Henna Seeress Nightshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    Aye deposit only color is your best bet. Henna is a red-orange molecule at heart, and most often by layering henna you're going to skip cool red and head into burgundy first.

    Some people have done a two-step treatment with henna and then hibiscus powder (so hennaing, rinsing that out and then applying hibiscus powder, letting that sit, and rinse that out) to get more of a cherry cola red, so that's another (if not fussier) option, too!

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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    I heard that adding red wine or specific herbs will make a cool result.

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    LHC FairyGodMum lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    How's it doing now? Have you colored?
    WCC method (washing) --- Rinse-out oil (MO) --- LOC/LCO method (styling)

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    Member paulownia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    I'm pretty sure that the plants called also Manjistha ( Rubia cordifolia, Rubia tinctorium) give cool red tones.
    Never used the herb solo but I saw it as one of ingredients in some herbal dyes.
    Den som väntar på något gott väntar aldrig för länge.

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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    I had good results cooling henna down with small amounts of indigo in the mix. However, be conservative with indigo! At the time I did little test strands with different ratios indigo to henna on hair I collected in my brush. That's a good way to see what happens. It can make for a slightly cooler auburn. But It will not make for cool bright red.
    I have seen hennas that are cooler red on people, I think some places of harvest have a slightly differend lawsone ratio and dye deeper and cooler? But I haven't dived deep into the how and why of that :P
    Lady Bainwen, Scribe of Glorious Horizons in the Order of the Long Haired Knights
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    Member Gingevere's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    Is this the shade of red you're going for? Just trying to get a better idea.

    I second the suggestion of adding a smidgen of indigo or hibiscus powder to your henna mix. I've seen folks getting the results they want from that, but you'll probably want to do a strand test or something first. You could also reach out to Khadija at Henna Sooq about which part of the world to source a cool red henna from... she's extremely knowledgeable about how henna varies from region.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Anyone know how to get a cooler tone of red?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulownia View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the plants called also Manjistha ( Rubia cordifolia, Rubia tinctorium) give cool red tones.
    Never used the herb solo but I saw it as one of ingredients in some herbal dyes.
    I use manjistha regularly these days for exactly this purpose. Used on its own (mixed as a mud and applied like henna), it doesn't last long, and washes out after a week or two; mixed with henna, it does seem to last quite well, and also knocks out the very very orange first few days that you get while straight henna is oxidising on light roots. The key thing to remember is to adjust the ph. If your mix is acidic, it will make the henna EVEN MORE ORANGE; if you add small amounts of baking soda until it's mildly alkaline, it shifts everything cooler. I'm really happy with it.

    My current recipe:

    4 parts henna (I use Raj)
    1 part chamomile;
    4 parts manjistha, simmered with tap water for 45 minutes to an hour, left to cool, and carefully sieved through cheesecloth to get out all the grit. Adjust the sieved liquid to mix up the henna, plus a little baking soda as necessary until the ph is alkaline;
    A good bloop of honey. My hair really likes honey, but leave this out if yours doesn't.

    I cook up the manjistha and use the liquid rather than adding the powder based on traditional yarn/fabric dyeing recipes to create dye release (it's the same stuff they use to make Rose Madder dye), and to make sure I don't dilute the volume of the henna too much. You could try mixing it in as a powder and see if that works for you - I haven't tried that yet. Warning: your pot WILL suddenly boil over, and the smell of cooking manjistha is not wonderful. I do a final rinse with hibiscus tea when I remember - it doesn't seem to affect the colour, but it helps to make my hair smell nice

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