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Thread: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

  1. #1
    Henna Seeress Nightshade's Avatar
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    Lightbulb I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    And I LOVE it!


    UPDATE: I've re-written this as an article with more step-by-step detail and pictures. /UPDATE.

    First, some background:

    Despite my best attempts to do so for the last few years, I'm still been markedly unhappy with how dark the length of my hair was. Back in the day when I was a henna n00b I had no idea that multiple applications of henna would produce a darker color.

    In a way it was probably a good thing, I'm sure those many full-head applications of henna really helped to hold my damaged hair together, but now I'm down to only about 4-6 in of damaged hair on the ends, but the length from about APL down is quite dark.

    Eventually I developed a mix that gave me coppery hair (35% henna, 65% cassia) and switched to root-only applications. All well and fine, but that wasn't helping the length.

    I tried damn near everything to get the length to lighten up including:
    • honey lightening (with the proper dilution and several types of honey)
    • Amla (sometimes blended with EVOO sometimes not)
    • EVOO
    • Yogurt
    • ColorFix
    • various shampoos
    • adding other herbs, such as turmeric to my henna mix (which did stain the length brighter but washed out quickly and stained me and my shower moreso)
    Way back in the day on the old Henna Removal thread (archived boards) I remembered that several people were using vol30 peroxide to lighten things up and that peroxide alone worked better than bleach for henna.

    And Sun-In's main ingredient is, you guessed it, peroxide.

    Now, before I go into what I did and how I did it, a few things to keep in mind:
    • This is NOT A HENNA REMOVAL METHOD. You are not going to get back to blond with this.
    • This method worked for me, and may work for someone else, to lighten up henna a few shades. Do NOT expect it to make you a copper redhead if your natural hair is dark brown or black. You can't go that far without damage.
    • I did an assload of strand testing and went very slowly, doing this over the course of two months. If you decide to try this, speed things up or skip steps at your own peril. I don't want to hear, " Nightshade I nuked my hair trying this, but I didn't strand test and used a whole bottle of Sun-In on dry hair, hit it with a hair dryer and then went tanning on the beach for 10 hours." I'm joking here, but only in part.
    So, here's what I did.

    Strand testing. After gathering several test locks I set one aside as a control, misted one with Sun-In and set it aside. After a week, nothing had changed (this is without exposure to the sun or hair dryer). I tried it again the next week on a new lock with the hair dryer, following the instructions that said to apply the Sun-In to damp hair, comb through and apply a hair dryer. Now, we're seeing progress. I tried a few more variations before settling on a method. I'd post pics of the strand tests, but the color differences weren't showing up well.

    Application to Hair. After strand testing and then waiting two weeks after the last test to see any residual developing I went for it. I-
    1. showered and shampooed my hair, but did not condition it (henna lets me get away with this, YMMV. ETA: I do normally use lots of conditioner, I just skipped it this time as I didn't want anything on my hair before using the Sun-In)
    2. towel tried my hair and combed it out gently.
    3. shook the Sun-In bottle and then misted my hair, focusing only on the darker length, from APL down, going lighter where the transiton from henna to cassia/henna hair took place
    4. combed my hair
    5. busted out the hair dryer (which hadn't been used on hair for years), set it on medium, and applied it to my hair, not nuking it, but not making the heat ultra-diffuse either. I had my hand behind my hair and it was never too hot on my hand. While doing this I kept my hair somewhat contained rather than letting it blow all over. This 1) kept the heat where I wanted it and 2) kept tangling to a minimum.
    6. When my hair was getting dry I ran the APL-down length under cool water in the faucet, an repeated steps 2-5. I did this about 4 times per session.
    7. Then I hopped back in the shower, rinsed and conditoned my hair, then added a bit of my leave-in conditioner.
    8. Waited. My hair continued to lighten over the next 2-3 days (almost oxidation in reverse). I experienced no redarkening of my henna. I waited 2 weeks before my next Sun-In session.
    I did one session every two weeks or so, I think only three sessions total. I used a total of 1 bottle of Sun-In (the pink bottle, not the blue one).

    And the results? Drumroll please....

    Color Difference Before (ends to roots):


    Color Difference in the sun:



    Color difference with flash:


    Bun Before:


    Bun After:



    Before:



    After:


    After it settled down more:




    [/B] So there you have it. I may do another application or two, but I'm still waiting to evaluate how things develop over the next two weeks.

    Damage? None, really. After the end of each session my hair was dry and tangly at the ends (duh!), but after a shower and some conditioner seems perfectly fine. The only stuff that tangles is the last 4-6 inches, which was already damaged and prone to tangling to start.

    Why didn't I detail the process as I was going through it?
    1. Because I wanted to go through it without the pressure of people wanting to see results
    2. I didn't want to have to listen to 1,001 Sun-In horror stories.
    Some important things to keep in mind:
    • As you can tell by my Amazon Goddess Bronze Tan, I don't spend a lot of time in the sun. I don't tan, I don't go to tanning beds.
    • I Took. My. Time. I can't emphasize this enough.
    So- Questions or comments welcome! I'm so happy!
    Last edited by Nightshade; February 26th, 2021 at 08:24 AM.

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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Woah big difference great job.. and no damage right? Just lifted some henna?

  3. #3
    Henna Seeress Nightshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha25 View Post
    Woah big difference great job.. and no damage right? Just lifted some henna?
    No noticeable damage, at least not yet. I went into this knowing I could damage my hair, and I was okay with that. I've grown out some epic damage, and figured I could handle whatever happened

    Also, I don't think it lifted the henna... honestly I'm not sure WHAT peroxide does, if I'm just lightening the hair under the henna or doing something to the henna itself. Iris was much more up on the chemical side of what was happening down to a molecular level

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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    well this is good and waayy better than bleaching and cutting. Great job

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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Wow, it looks great!!! yay!

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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    What a difference!!
    I love your hair

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    Hiding in plain sight spidermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Very nice. The bun looks a lot better.

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    Ficcare Librarian Islandgrrl's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Wow!! Just WOW!!! What a difference. And it's BEAUTIFUL. I hope there's no damage that comes popping up later. You got amazing results.
    Islandgrrl - Izzie
    Calf length, heading south to lengths unknown.


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    Goth in the Sun NiAosSi's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Oh wow, you can definitely see the difference. It blends much nicer now. Good to know that Sun-in might help.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I Lightened my Too-Dark Henna with Sun-In (Yes, really.) VERY pic heavy!!

    Great job! So glad it worked out.

    No Sun-In horror stories, promise, just wanted to pass along a message from my salon... Sun-In reacts terribly with any type of product that contains metallic salts/or such, so if you've used those in the past (color dye like Feria, etc.) than please DON'T USE SUN-IN!


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