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View Full Version : Do I mix henna w/ hot water, or lemon juice, or both? Update


CurlyKitten
August 6th, 2003, 01:38 PM
I just got some henna today and I am trying to mix it. First, I started adding lemon juice like Reverend Bunny recommends on her website. THEN, I remembered people saying that they mix it with hot water, so I went to Madeleine's website and she says she mixed with boiling water ONLY. Which one do I do? :? Or do I use both? Do I have to let it sit for some hours to release the color? Or do I just slap it on? I want to add some olive oil too, when do I do that? I know I should have figured this out before I started mixing, but HELP :( :(

strawberry
August 6th, 2003, 02:11 PM
relax :D i hennaed my hair on sunday. the way i do it is straight lemon juice for all the mixture. i put lemon juice in and mix until i get a yogurty consistency, and then let it sit someplace warm (on top of my computer monitor :D ) for about four hours. this has always worked wonderfully for getting all the dye to "release" and catch on my hair. you can add hot water too if you want, to help speed the process along. i have heard that you shouldnt put olive oil in with the henna because it will impede how much of the color sticks to your hair, but ive never tried it so i cant help you out there really. i do think that it would make the mix so slippery it wouldnt stay on well though. hth :D i loooove henna :D

CurlyKitten
August 6th, 2003, 02:24 PM
8) That is me, relaxed 8) 8) 8) I am calm now :D I mixed the henna with lemon juice, then when I ran out of lemons, I used a little ACV. I decided not to use oil, because I have also heard that it can keep the color from sticking. I just hope it doesn't dry out my already dry hair :?
I am going to clarify my hair tonight with ACV, then apply the henna and leave it on for a couple hours. I want really red hair, but I work at a school so I don't want to shock the children :D
Thanks for your help Strawberry, I was flipping out ;)

smiles
August 6th, 2003, 02:32 PM
you can use either. boiling water or lemon juice or acv - all three works fine but boiling water is the best. maybe a lemon and a tsp of acv can be added too.

if its natural henna, it releases color with time. so i leave the preparation overnight for the color to mature.

paulien
August 6th, 2003, 03:06 PM
I've always used hot water and then added a bit of lemonjuice (helps with the smell according to who is putting it in my hair, i didn't mind)

I'd like to ask an additional question;

I've made the mistake to bleach my hair sometime ago ( :oops: yuck!) It's abolutely NOT me. My hair has been darkened gradually since, but is still blonde. I'd like to get brown again and some peole recommended coffee. How does one use that?

smiles
August 6th, 2003, 03:11 PM
make a THICK decoction of coffee and use that to mix henna. you can add lemon juice or acv too. i use coffee to cover my greys.

snippet
August 6th, 2003, 03:13 PM
I used ACV and warm water the first time, let it set overnight and then added more water just before using to thin it out more as it thickens over time.

The next time I used lemon juice but I didn't have enough lemons. It would take me an orchard to get enough juice to get it to a yogurt consistency. So I then used more ACV and water. It worked well too.

I used body grade henna like the reverend bunny suggested.

CurlyKitten
August 6th, 2003, 03:32 PM
Ladies, I already mixed up the henna with lemon juice and ACV. It is sitting on top of the oven. Should I unwrap it and add hot water too?

Jonobie
August 6th, 2003, 04:07 PM
i put lemon juice in and mix until i get a yogurty consistency, and then let it sit someplace warm (on top of my computer monitor :D ) for about four hours.

Ah! The perfect amount of time to catch up on the longhair boards, right? :) Now I know the *true* secret of henna -- it helps enable board use! :-)

Sorry, Curlykitten, I don't have any henna advice for you. I'm waiting for my old highlights to grow out before I use it.

Cheers,
Jonobie

Madeleine
August 6th, 2003, 04:10 PM
Ladies, I already mixed up the henna with lemon juice and ACV. It is sitting on top of the oven. Should I unwrap it and add hot water too?

You're probably going to mess up the consistency if you add too much liquid - you don't want to have your head dripping from henna that got too runny, been there, done that ;)
I'd recommend just nuking it in the microwave now, stir, let sit until you need it, and warm it up to a comfortable temperature again before you apply it.

CurlyKitten
August 6th, 2003, 04:12 PM
Ladies, I already mixed up the henna with lemon juice and ACV. It is sitting on top of the oven. Should I unwrap it and add hot water too?

You're probably going to mess up the consistency if you add too much liquid - you don't want to have your head dripping from henna that got too runny, been there, done that ;)
I'd recommend just nuking it in the microwave now, stir, let sit until you need it, and warm it up to a comfortable temperature again before you apply it.
Okay, Thanks Madeleine. I turned the oven on low, so it is warm. We don't have a microwave so that's out of the question :oops:

Jonobie
August 6th, 2003, 04:18 PM
I'd like to ask an additional question;

I've made the mistake to bleach my hair sometime ago ( :oops: yuck!) It's abolutely NOT me. My hair has been darkened gradually since, but is still blonde. I'd like to get brown again and some peole recommended coffee. How does one use that?

Hey, Paulien, there are some older threads we've had about using coffee & other natural ways to darken hair. Take a look and see if these help:

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/viewtopic.php?t=444&
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/viewtopic.php?t=4465&
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/viewtopic.php?t=1187&
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/viewtopic.php?t=1489&

In general, though, you use coffee by making a strong coffee infusion and pouring it several times through your hair. You can either leave it in or rinse out. A couple of shampoos will remove the effect, so you have to do it periodically.

Hope that helps!

Cheers,
Jonobie

Madeleine
August 6th, 2003, 04:21 PM
CK,

You'll probably be fine, don't worry about it too much - there are so many different henna recipies out there, most require boiling liquid, but some don't. The worst thing that could happen is that you don't get maximum dye release. I that case just try again in a couple of weeks :)

CurlyKitten
August 6th, 2003, 04:36 PM
Thanks Madeleine, you're the Henna Queen 8)

strawberry
August 6th, 2003, 06:44 PM
glad i was able to help :D when i dyed my hair *bright* red the first time it scared my family and certain friends :D the reactions were half of the fun. the other half was i loooove my hair color :D Ah! The perfect amount of time to catch up on the longhair boards, right? Now I know the *true* secret of henna -- it helps enable board use!

:D quite true :D but if i look at the bowl just sitting there too long then i just want to put it on right away :) patience is something i have only when i cant see what im waiting for :D

Fox
August 7th, 2003, 02:19 AM
I normally use boiling water with a touch of lemon juice or vinegar. Since you can do it either way, you'll have to try both and see how you like each way. :) I am anxious to hear how it turns out for you.

am sure the oven will warm it up just fine!

CurlyKitten
August 7th, 2003, 12:49 PM
Thanks Fox :D My henna experiment was a relative success. My hair looks very nice today, it is smooth and shiny, BUT it isn't particularly red :( No one even noticed any change. I remember reading that it helps to apply the henna twice the first time you use it, since it builds on itself, and the more you use it, the redder your hair will be.
I applied the henna at 11pm last night (BAD BAD plan) and figured I would just sleep with it on. I didn't actually go to bed until 1 am because I was having such trouble trying to figure out how to keep the henna from leaking out overnight. When I finally got to sleep, I woke up again at 3:30AM in SOOO much pain! My whole head was aching from the heavy henna head (I guess) and my teeth were killing me! I think maybe the henna was making me bite down hard on my teeth.
Anyway, I had to wake up and rinse it out then, and I didn't get back to sleep until at least 430AM because I was still in soooooooo much pain. My whole body was aching, I can only blame it on the henna :D I then had to wake up at 630 and go to work. SOOO, not the best day.
Lesson: Apply henna in the DAYTIME!!! 8)
Also, I sure had a rough time getting the henna out of my hair! My hair felt like yarn! I was a little panicked, it felt like all my hair was wet yarn, and I couldn't get it out! I finally globbed conditioner all over my head until I could get it out. :?
I will definitely do it again though. But after reading this, don't ask me why ;)

Madeleine
August 7th, 2003, 02:08 PM
Oh my, CurlyKitten, what an ordeal! I'm sorry you had such a bad night. :(
I always use henna during the day, I couldn't sleep comfortably either if I was worried all the time about dripping and staining the pillows. For me the most annoying part about a henna treatment is that it takes a whole afternoon to do it.

About the colour, I'd suggest trying some boiling water next time (or heat up your vinegar until it boils) ... and if that doesn't help, switch henna brands.

I sure hope your next henna experience will be a better one!

CurlyKitten
August 7th, 2003, 07:35 PM
Thanks Madeleine :) Next time, I will modify my technique. I learned a lot from experience :D I read somewhere that using boiling water in the henna "cooks" it, this is why I was initially scared to use it (boiling water). Is this true?

Madeleine
August 8th, 2003, 01:46 AM
I read somewhere that using boiling water in the henna "cooks" it, this is why I was initially scared to use it (boiling water). Is this true?

Not sure what that's supposed to mean, really ... I know at least one lady that makes a thinner mix of henna and boiling water, brings that to boil again, then strains it and adds something to make a gel out of the liqid. That's Britta's henna method. If the boiling would harm the henna in any way I'm sure her hair wouldn't be as stunningly red as it is - I think her natural colour is dark blonde or light brown.
Check out her homepage at http://www.xxl-haar.de/ and see for yourself :)

smiles
August 8th, 2003, 09:02 AM
CK, boiling water shouldnt be a problem. i actually 'cook' the prepared henna in microwave for 30 seconds and it gives good coloring that way. go figure!

CurlyKitten
August 8th, 2003, 10:54 AM
I will have to add boiling water next time then. I guess part of using henna is experimenting to find out what works best on your particular hair. My hair actually seems redder today too, so that's a good thing 8)

Heidi
August 15th, 2003, 12:03 PM
Hi! I know I'm jumping in waaaay late on this thread, but I wanted to add my two cents in case you're thinking of doing it again...

I think the lemon, coffee or acv all help the henna release the dye and they also help to improve the stainability on your hair. Just as you often need an acid to aid in dying other animal fibers such as wool or silk fabric, those ingredients also aid in staining your hair.

Obviously, the henna works well with the water or the instructions in the packaged mixes would recommend something else, and Madeleine's beautiful hair is a stunning example of this. But in my experience, acid in the mix gives my henna maximum staining power. I like to warm my lemon juice a bit before adding it to the henna.

Another tip for getting the henna out of your hair is to dunk your head in a big bowl or bucket of water and swish it around a bit before rinsing under the tap. I do this a couple of times, then rinse, then dunk-n-swish a few more times. I just take a big bowl into the shower with me.

I'm sorry your first experience didn't feel very good for you...I've had that heavy henna-head. Yeesh! I still prefer to sleep on it, because I know that it will be in my hair for at least 6 hours. If I do it during the day, I get impatient and end up not leaving it in as long :rolleyes: I try to pile the hair onto my head evenly before wrapping it in plastic, then in fabric (towels are too heavy). I form my feather pillow into a sort of neckroll for better support. A glass of wine or two to make me sleepy doesn't hurt, either. ;)

CurlyKitten
August 15th, 2003, 08:43 PM
Thanks Heidi 8) I am still planning on using henna again in the future, so advice is still appreciated. Heating the lemon juice is a good idea, no one has mentioned that. I think that is what I will try. Thanks for the tip :D