Welcome back :-)
So here's the deal in order to get henna to 'stain' or achieve 'dye release' you need an acid and you have TONS of options here.
A few commonplace acids are outlined below
Lemon Juice- use lemon juice in the following ratio 1/4 c to 100 grams of henna and enough warm water to make a paste (warm water just makes mixing easier :-)
Honey- 2-4 tablespoons of honey to 100 grams of henna and enough water to make a paste
Coconut Milk or Whole Milk Yogurt- 1/4- 1/2 cup to 100 grams of henna and, you guessed it, enough water to make a paste
Cocoa Powder-2 tablespoons to 100 grams will get you dye release but if you want the henna to be more brown in color then use up to a 1:1 ratio of cocoa powder to henna and water to make a paste
Green Tea- this one you have to steep a strong cup of green tea (8 ounces steeped atleast 10-15 minutes) add to 100 grams of henna and if additional water is needed for consistency then just add enough to make a paste
Amla Powder- 4 tablespoons to 100 grams of henna powder add enough water to make a paste
Now these are some of the basics for your mix and we'll get into other add ins that we use like hibiscus or herbal powders next.
A few things to remember DO NOT USE COFFEE IN YOUR HENNA PASTE. I'm not exactly sure what the origin is but black coffee shouldn't be your go to for dye release and it makes your henna smelly :-(
ALWAYS USE NON REACTIVE UTENSILS for mixing like plastic forks and bowls or wooden never metals
IF YOU ARE HENNA'ING FOR COLOR the best choices are lemon juice, cocoa powder, honey and amla.
If you are henna'ing more for conditioning then honey is also a good choice, coconut milk and yogurt being the best for moisture, and of course amla is best if your hair is weak, brittle, and/or damaged.
This is the beginnings of the beginning, once you have mixed your henna don't be alarmed if your "paste" is a little lumpy they kinda dissolve as the dye releases
|Henna paste before dye release|
Mix and cover with plastic wrap as seen below
and put in a warm place like atop the fridge.
Start checking for dye release in about 2-4 hours and use as soon as possible once you have it.
A big mistake we make is letting the henna sit over night. Applying the henna paste at it's peak is best for achieving optimum color and do not leave henna on for more than 4 hours. This is another common mistake but we'll get into those in a trouble-shooting post very soon
check for dye release by putting a small amount of henna on the heel of your hand. Leave it on for about a minute then wipe of with a paper towel.
You should see a brownish or orangish spot
- that means you're all set!!
If for some reason you can't use your henna right away stick it in the fridge for later or next day or in the freezer if you can't get to it in the next 24 hours. The longer henna is left out the more dye content it loses so if you want to use it in a week or if you have leftover paste FREEZE IT! That way it remains potent. Henna powder can also be frozen for years at a time.
So this is the beginning of the journey, more to come!!!
Labels: cocoa powder, dye release, henna, henna for hair, how to apply henna, organic henna powder, rajisthani