Also thanks to the approaching summer, the desire for a lighter hair full of natural shades and accentuated reflections begins to peep out. I noticed this firsthand but also and above all from the various messages you send me.
I think it's a bit of a desire for all of us to have shiny hair with unique reflections .
Especially for us who are henna addicted and are aware of the potential of dyeing herbs : a real bath of light and brilliance that revives the hair, sublimates its color and gives the possibility of obtaining the much desired reflection.
But you can get tired of the shade achieved over time, layering the pigment application after application so it's more than normal that the need to want to go back to having a lighter shade emerges.
So today I'll explain IF and WHEN it's possible to lighten your hair by downloading layered henna.
But why might those who use henna and herbal dyes want to lighten their hair?
There are various cases that can occur, I mention only the most common ones:
- the color you obtained with the dye mix is too dark
Are you a beginner with herbal dyes and did you apply the dye mix directly to the entire hair without first doing the test on a hidden strand? SURPRISE you ended up with hair much darker than your natural color.
Don't despair! The positive thing is that having used the herbal dyes only once, the pigment has not yet stratified so surely with the next 3-4 shampoos the dark pigment will tend to fade and the shade will become less dark.
PLEASE NOTE: Katam and Indigo discharge with the first 2-3 shampoos, but after 3-4 applications the pigment begins to stratify more and more on the stem and discharge less and less with washing.
- the color you got with the henna is too red / coppery
If, on the other hand, following this first application, the shade is too coppery or red, it will be harder to adjust the shot because once the lawsone binds with the keratin it doesn't go away. So in this case the only alternative you have is to try to tone down the red.
If you start from a light / blonde base and you wanted to stay that way, unfortunately there is little you can do. You can tone down the auburn using amla or cassia and katam but by toning down the red the color of the stem will also become slightly darker. Remember that the practice test is essential before making other messes.
If, on the other hand, the copper appears on your white regrowth, you can run for cover with a new mix containing cassia and katam / indigo to tone down the red; you can learn more here: How to remove the red henna from your hair
- the dark color is due to the henna which has been stratified over time
Application after application, the pigment stratified bringing the color towards an ever more intense and darker shade
that is, you have always applied the dye mix to the entire hair, not just to the regrowth. Which I strongly advise against unless it is exactly what you want: to find yourself with ever more intense and dark hair over time.
I would still like to be able to strengthen my lengths while covering the white regrowth
While you color your regrowth with your dye mix, you can pamper your lengths
using a special dyeing mix dedicated only to the lengths, in which cassia must prevail over the dyeing herbs (lawsonia, katam or indigo) in order to revive the reflections and continue to enjoy the benefits of the dyeing pack
using a healing wrap based on amla, cassia, methi, sidr - the choice is yours according to your needs.
How do I lighten my hair by downloading layered henna?
From the messages I receive, I know I'm not the only one having to deal with layering, sometimes done consciously, sometimes unconsciously with dye mixes that turned out to be a little too dark compared to the starting color.
So the first thing you do when you no longer like a color that seems too dark is to look for the least invasive method to lighten your hair and get a lighter shade.
Can we really lighten our hair color naturally without damaging it?
Read on and we will find out together.
What does the act of lightening hair mean/assume?
In simple terms, lightening and/or bleaching the hair means removing part or all of the pigment from the hair shaft , oxidizing and altering the melanin and changing the structure of the shaft irreparably.
Bleaching can lighten the color of our hair by several tones based on the starting color and the final color you want to achieve.
The fastest and most used traditional method to lighten hair is the use of hydrogen peroxide also known as hydrogen peroxide, which in the alkaline environment created thanks to ammonia or its substitutes, manages to penetrate into the heart of the shaft and degrade and oxidize its pigments depriving them of color.
If you want to understand more about how traditional dyes work on your shaft, I suggest you read this article: Hair dyes without chemicals: a mirage?
So can I chemically lighten my hair already dyed with henna and herbal dyes?
Depends! Each hair is unique and its reaction to an aggressive chemical treatment such as bleaching is truly subjective.
It depends on the dye mix you used on your hair and how layered the pigment is. If you have only used lawsonia, cassia or reflective herbs with madder or hibiscus on your hair, you will most likely be able to chemically bleach without risking getting a strange color on your hair.
If, on the other hand, you have treated your hair with dye mixes added with picramate or containing indigo or katam, then greenish reflections are guaranteed.
Do you want certainty on how your keg will react? Only a test on a hidden lock can give you an answer that will avoid unpleasant surprises.
What are the natural methods to lighten hair treated with henna:
- lawsonia coats the hair and over time, application after application, henna not only makes the hair stronger but also the color, as we have seen above, tends to darken.
- dyeing herbs color tone on tone, i.e. they add their coloring pigment to the natural pigment of the hair, so they can darken the hair.
The natural poultices that I will suggest below are very mild and you need several poultices, repeated at regular intervals over time, to obtain appreciable results in terms of "lightening" of the stem.
Delayer the henna in medium to dark shades
The darker the color, the longer it will take to notice the progress you are making. It will take perseverance and patience but I assure you that using these natural methods to unload the vegetable pigment, even if your hair doesn't seem lighter immediately, it will surely be softer, shinier and healthier.
A conscious choice is made by choosing not to stress and damage the stem and to lighten the hair gradually and very delicately without removing the natural pigment.
Hair wraps to make henna destratify and remove the vegetable pigment
- oil-based "nourishing" wraps (with shea butter, coconut oil, or your favorite hair oil). The oily compresses help to discharge the vegetable pigment over time
- Moisturizing wraps made from rice or corn starch - you can also find an example of a wrap in the video below
- if you are lucky enough to live by the sea, the sun and the salt air will be your ally in discharging the pigment
- methi wraps on some types of hair discharge the dark pigment
- wraps with conditioner and lemon juice can be a pleasant surprise, without drying out the hair thanks to the fat content of the conditioner.
another method for discharging the henna is to make compresses based on cassia (neutral henna) prepared with hot water and the juice of half a lemon. After preparing the compound, it should be left to rest for 12 hours covered with plastic wrap and then, once applied, left in place for 1 hour and then rinsed thoroughly.
They are methods that do not necessarily work for everyone because not all hairs react the same way. So arm yourself with patience and aim for your goal by experimenting firsthand to understand which pack works best on your hair.
Lighten light hair naturally without damaging it?
The good news is that the lighter your hair, the easier it is to notice the progress you are making.
On already naturally light hair you can use a mix of reflective herbs (such as rhubarb, turmeric) that can reflect or compresses of cassia and chamomile oxidized in lemon juice for 8-12 hours.
If you choose to add reflective herbs to your mix, I remind you that they are powders that give more or less golden reflections based on the pH of the dye mix.
The yellow released by turmeric is cooler, almost a Simpson yellow while rhubarb releases a warmer tone, reminiscent of the color of wheat.
You can learn more about this topic here: Auburn Blonde, Caramel Blonde or Venetian with Turmeric or Rhubarb
Keeping in mind the characteristics of each individual herb, you can experiment and vary the percentages until you get the nuance that you like best. On light hair, the pack will enhance the base color, giving beautiful natural shades, with immediately noticeable results. Make sure you always start with a test on a hidden lock.
The same mixes I recommended for light hair will not give any kind of reflection on dark hair, they will lighten the color.
If you have dark hair because you have stratified the henna, arm yourself with patience and constancy and make the wraps recommended for this type of hair.
Better to opt for natural methods to lighten your hair gently without damaging it
I reiterate that the results obtained with the natural methods recommended for de-stratifying henna will always be very subjective because the wrap that will give excellent results on my hair may not work on your shaft.
Each keg is a world unto itself and will react differently to the same pack.
There are also chamomile-based lightening lotions and shampoos on the market, but by looking at the Inci it turns out that they still contain hydrogen peroxide. In small percentages but there is, so it's important that you don't let yourself be fooled by the "chamomile" claim when the lightening effect is then performed by hydrogen peroxide with all that this assumes.
You did well and you managed to de-stratify henna so now the question that arises is:
Is it possible to obtain a lighter shade than the current colour?
Try to answer these questions, bearing in mind that herbal dyes do not contain depigmenting agents and therefore cannot lighten the stem:
Is your natural color, your regrowth lighter than the color you got with the dye mix?
Do you have a high percentage of white hair or even better, do you have a white line when you have regrowth?
If the answer to these two questions is YES, then I have good news for you. With a lot of patience and perseverance you will be able to achieve a lighter shade over time by changing the percentages of your dye mix to give a lighter shade and paying attention to the layering.
I did it, why shouldn't you?
My natural color is a dark brown, but I boast 80% white regrowth already at 40. But I saw the first white hair when I was already a teenager
I went through various phases in the natural coloring of my mane in these now more than 8 years of henna and I abandoned my chocolate brown mane for 1 year in favor of the intense black you see in the photo above.
Using indigo in my dye mix for a while (30% lawsonia 70% indigo - and I also often double swiped with indigo only) and double swiped for a good few months was enough to layer and darken my brown, changing from medium and rich to very dark brown / black indoors or in artificial light.
Black is beautiful but in the end, this phase also helped me to understand that I am madly in love with the nuances and the thousand reflections that have brown-toned hair obtained with the dye mixes of dyeing herbs.
Obviously after this phase, I had to ingenuity to understand How to Lighten Hair in a Natural Way by Downloading Stratified Henna and returning to the warm chocolate brown and rich in the wonderful reflections of Katam.
I used exactly the methods described above, wraps applied to the lengths with painstaking patience but above all I took advantage of the trump card that my generous white regrowth gave me.
I modified my mix (35% lawsonia and 65% katam for regrowth and madder and hibiscus wraps (50-50%) on the lengths once I reached my shade and I grit my teeth even when the gap between regrowth and lengths started to notice:
my reverse shatush as I liked to call it and which you can also see in the picture below.
So I hope my testimonial can encourage you to avoid harsh bleaches.
To stay consistent and in line with our path, using hydrogen peroxide or other chemical bleaches to lighten our lovingly pampered hair with henna and Ayurvedic and herbal dyes is out of the question, right?
Starting our journey into the fascinating world of dyeing herbs, each of us has made a conscious choice and a declaration of love for our hair.
I therefore hope that this article has been useful for you to find out how you too can obtain a slightly lighter shade, making the most of the natural reflections of your hair.
© Beautiful Delights
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Rozalia & the Beautilicious Delights Team.