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Thread: How long does it generally take henna to darken, and advice?

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default How long does it generally take henna to darken, and advice?

    Sorry if this has been asked before and is annoying, I'm brand new and not sure where to post. But I just want to ask a quick question. I used a henna hair mix once that wasn't 100 percent because it faded fast, and had a pre mixed red color, so I've heard those aren't 100% hena. I just got some baq quality from I think is what it's called. I had that insane coppery golden color in my hair when I used the non-100% stuff for probably about 3 days before it settled. I loved the color, but it didn't last and that's when I learned about not using pre-made colors like that. So with the 100%, I'm wondering if it takes less time to oxidize and settle fully, or mostly at least, because I don't want to go in to work with bright goldeny yellow copper hair haha I know I need to mix the henna with lemon juice, and let it stay on for a few hours, and I heard about leaving it on overnight, does that make it oxidize faster or darken it more? That's the main thing I'm not sure about, is if I leave the henna mix on my hair for say 8 hours as opposed to 5, will it just make it oxidize faster so there's less of the bright copper orange, or will it make the color overall come out a darker red in the end? I want the nice rosey orange shade that's very natural looking, not a coolaid red or auburn.

  2. #2
    aims to misbehave Tisiloves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    London, UK

    Default Re: How long does it generally take henna to darken, and advice?

    Henna generally takes about 3-7 days to oxidise depending on your hair, method and environment.

    If you want a short oxidation time I would suggest mixing your henna with hot water rather than lemon, as acids can give a brighter initial result.

    The longer you leave henna on the darker the end result. To work out your ideal mix and development time why not try strand testing and then waiting for it to oxidise. For more information try the henna colouring article.
    Lady Cuilpantiel Of The Raven Tower in the Order of the Longhaired Knights.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: How long does it generally take henna to darken, and advice?

    Remember you don't have to use lemon juice, which can be very drying for some people.
    I never used anything but filtered water or chamomile tea to mix henna (I'm growing out my henna now)
    The color you end up with will depend on your starting color (natural or dyed) so if your hair's too dark you might not get the color you want.
    It's pretty easy to get to auburn (which you say you don't want) if your hair is any darker than light blonde, so be cautious about leaving it on for too long (and remember when you do get the color you want, only do roots from then on or it will get darker with every application)

    The first time I did henna it was very orange (my hair's blonde, but I had a dark brown semi over it) and that was just mixed with water, so I think the neon look will happen regardless of the mix. Oxidization varies from person to person, I think mine usually took about 5 days.
    Leaving the henna on longer won't make any difference to the oxidization time as far as I know, but it will make it darker than if you left it on for a couple of hours (I used to leave mine for one and a half hours - before that I would leave it on for 3 hours, but it got too dark after doing that a few times) I made the mistake of doing too many whole head hennas, when I should have moved on to just doing the roots.

    The really, really important thing with henna is to strand test! Because it depends on the hair color underneath, it's quite hard to predict the exact color it will turn out, so it's best to experiment first, unless you're feeling brave. It's VERY permanent, there are a lot of use who are now sick of it and longing to get rid of it! But it's great if you really want red hair forever!

  4. #4
    Now-shorthaired mod Anje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Indiana, USA

    Default Re: How long does it generally take henna to darken, and advice?

    For me it's about 2-3 days, longer with lemon juice. Lemon juice also really, really irritates my scalp, so I advise mixing the henna with warm water instead.
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