Sunday, 5 October 2014

The henna project, day 1

My supplies arrived!
  • 2 x 5 gram Indian henna samples
  • 2 x 5 gram Indigo samples
  • 4 x 100 gram cassia
Now I can proceed with the first step in the plan
  1. Strand test henna mix
  2. Allow to oxidize for a week before deciding on mix
  3. Strand test indigo mix over henna’ed strands
  4. Allow to oxidize for at a week before deciding on mix
  5. Full hair of chosen henna mix
  6. Indigo mix for about wasit/classic-ish length and down
Judging from the amount of henna people use, I should be at something around 500 gram (!) henna for my length and thickness. I havent been able to find a first time-henna user anywhere near my length but classic length users seems to use around 300 gram, so doubling that more or less for my length would have given me full red dye.
Of course that means that my planned use of a 5 gram sample puts me at literally just 1 % of what the norm for a henna gloss should be. I really shouldn’t see a lot of dye from this.

For a regular CO wash (Smurf) I can do it with just 200 ml conditioner, although I prefer 250. But for a heavier, thicker treatment containing cassia I will need at least 300 ml product in total. A heavier treatment can be quite hard to distribute properly, so I need the extra volume.

The full sized henna mixes I plan to test are:

  • 5 g henna + water to hydrate
  • 100 gram cassia
  • 300 ml Tressemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner
  • 50 ml argan oil
Regular batch
  • 5 g henna + water to hydrate
  • 100 gram cassia
  • 300 ml Tressemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner
The cassia-content is lower than what I usually do, but this will fit with the 100 gram bags.

My theory is that cassia and henna botch carry beneficial oils, so the argan-batch should be the best. But it needs to be tested.
I hope the super light henna gloss will be sufficient to just nudge my natural titian hair colour a bit into red. Henna has a sort of “watercolour” effect so my natural red tones + the henna should be good.
Since the gloss is so light, I hope it will severely reduce the risk of unwanted staining.

But first I need to reduce them to useful test sizes.

The supplies…

My scale only goes to 5 gram intervals so I needed to see how much 5 gram henna is in ml.
The 5 gram henna sample added up to 11 scoops of the 1 ml spoon.
For simplicity sakes, I will pretend 5 gram = 10 ml and do a 1/10th portion size for strand testing, where the henna is slightly stronger.

Argan-test batch
  • 1 ml henna + water to hydrate
  • 10 gram cassia
  • 30 ml Tressemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner
  • 5 ml argan oil
Regular test batch
  • 1 ml henna + water to hydrate
  • 10 gram cassia
  • 30 ml Tressemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner
The procedure
  1. Freezing henna + water overnight to destroy the plant cells for dye release
  2. Defrosting the henna + water next day
  3. Add cassia, conditioner and argan oil for the argan-batch
  4. Allow 1 hour for dye release
  5. Apply to hair and leave on as long as I can tolerate. I hope for at least 4 hours for the actual hair treatment
  6. Rinse out using lots of conditioner
  7. Check colour every day and take pictures of oxidation process
  8. After 7 days, proceed to indigo for length: Indigo is simpler. Just mix indigo, conditioner and maybe argan oil

Hydrating the two 1 ml henna’s with 3 ml water each and freezing them. I had planned to transfer the henna and water to a bag each for freezing, but with this little material it turned out to be just about impossible.  
So I simply put some cling wrap over and will add the other ingredients into the glasses tomorrow.

I CO washed with Tressemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner to see how it worked for me and was pleasantly surprised. My hair felt smooth, strong and happy. Didn’t miss the ‘cones at all.

The conditioner is definitely perfect and good to go. Now to test the henna and indigo mixes.


  1. I've read many times that oils added to henna/indigo prevent the herbs from... working. I can't tell now if it's the colouring that is prevented or the general effect - shine, thickness etc.

    1. Huh. Hmm, that's not good. I really thought it would help...
      To be honest I feel a little lost at finding good information about henna. "Articles" are usually too low level on info and the threads on uTT leaves me a bit confused...

    2. I know. U don't plan to use henna, I just read things here and there as they appear on blogs I follow etc. and I see so many different opinions! The one with oil seems.consistent though.