Cassia, Zizyphus, and Amla: Conditioners Without Color Change

Amla, Cassia, Zizyphus powder

Henna provides some great conditioning benefits, but these benefits go hand-in-hand with color change.  The lawsone molecule binds permanently to the keratin in your hair, providing strength and shine while dyeing the hair. That’s great for those who wish to dye and condition their hair simultaneously. But what if you’ve already achieved your desired color, and want to regularly condition without seeing the color darken? Continued application of henna can cause the hair to become a darker and darker color. Or, what if you have light or gray hair which you wish to keep the way it is?

              Ancient Sunrise® Cassia provides similar conditioning benefits as henna with little to minimal color change on darker hair colors. Ancient Sunrise® Zizyphus Spina Christi cleanses and conditions the hair with no color change at all. Repeated applications of henna can also cause curl pattern loosening for some. Some find that using Ancient Sunrise® Amla alone in the hair helps to bring back volume, while others find that cassia helps to restore their curls. This article will explain how to use Cassia, Zizyphus, and Amla powders as hair treatments that provide conditioning without color change.

The Plant Powders

Cassia Auriculata, Cassia Obovata, Zizyphus Spina Christi, and Amla (emblica officinalis) powders all work in different ways. Cassia works most similarly to henna. Its dye molecule, chrysophanol, binds to the hair much like henna’s lawsone molecule does. Cassia makes the hair shiny and strong, and for some, can restore the hair’s natural curl pattern. Cassia’s conditioning effects can last up to a month or longer. Zizyphus acts as a two-in-one cleanser/conditioner that adds a thin plant wax coating to the hair, protecting it from environmental effects, and giving the hair shine and strength. Zizyphus can be used weekly. Amla is not a conditioner as much as a hair treatment most useful for those who wish to give their hair extra body and bounce. Each of these powders has a unique process. Continue reading to learn the best ways to use them.

Cassia Obovata and Cassia Auriculata Powder

For Benefits Similar to Henna, and for Curls

Ancient Sunrise® Cassia is great if you love the way that henna makes your hair strong and shiny, but want to avoid repeating full-head henna treatments which may darken your color. Cassia can be used in one of two ways:

              For a quick conditioning treatment, mix Ancient Sunrise® Cassia powder with distilled water and apply immediately. Cover and leave it on the hair as long as desired (one hour is good). This is a good method for those who have light or gray hair and do not want a noticeable color change. This method will condition hair with little to no color change, but will not yield effects that are as strong or permanent as the method below.

              For a more effective, and longer-lasting conditioning treatment, mix cassia with a mildly acidic liquid or an Ancient Sunrise® fruit acid powder and distilled water, and allow it to dye-release at room temperature for 8-12 hours just as you would with henna. Apply, cover, and leave in the hair for one hour to several hours. Those with darker hair will not see any color change. Lighter or gray hair will be dyed a golden tone.

Cassia Obovata dye molecule

              Ancient Sunrise® cassia, like Ancient Sunrise® henna, can be applied to either damp or dry hair. Ancient Sunrise® Clarity Cassia has a fine sift and is great for those with thin, delicate, and damaged hair.

              Important: Cassia’s dye molecule reacts poorly with minerals. The golden tone can become muddy and brown if you have mineral build-up in your hair. It is best to do a Rainwash treatment ahead of time for the best results.

              Cassia can be used as a conditioner once a month, or more frequently if desired. Its effects are not as permanent as henna; it is fine to apply a new treatment whenever you feel your hair needs it.

Cassia Auriculata has a weaker dye molecule than Cassia Obovata, but it is a great replacement. You can learn more about Cassia Auriculata here:

Zizyphus Spina Christi Powder

For Clean, Shiny Hair Protected Against the Elements

Zizyphus Spina Christi does not contain a dye molecule. Its natural saponins and plant wax clean the hair and protect it with a thin, flexible layer. Ancient Sunrise® Zizyphus is perfect for those who want absolutely no color change. Use zizyphus before and/or during a trip to the beach or the great outdoors. It protects the hair from salt water, wind, and dirt. Some notice that they can wash their hair less frequently when using zizyphus (Note: Please wash your hair once it feels greasy, or smells bad.) It is quicker and easier to use than cassia, but its effects are washed away after a number of shampoos.

              To use Zizyphus Spina Christi powder, mix a heaping tablespoon of powder with distilled water until it becomes a fluffy paste. Bring this paste to the shower with you, and set it nearby, but away from the direct stream of water. Wet your hair, and apply the paste from scalp to ends, massaging your scalp. You may need to work in sections. Leave the paste in your hair for several minutes, then rinse. If you are having trouble rinsing the paste completely, use a small amount of conditioner or a vinegar rinse to give your hair more slip. Dry and style as usual. You can use zizyphus once or twice a week. More often may cause a build-up of the coating, causing your hair to feel stiff or waxy.

              As zizyphus creates a hydrophobic barrier over the hair, make sure to wash your hair with a normal detergent shampoo prior to applying a plant powder dye to ensure effective dye uptake.

Important: If you are sensitive to latex, conduct a patch test before using zizyphus. Those with latex allergies often experience a cross-reaction when using zizyphus.

              Read more about Zizyphus Spina Christi here.

Amla (Emblica Officinalis) Powder

For Fluffy, Voluminous Hair

As noted earlier, amla is not necessarily a conditioner in the same sense as cassia and zizyphus are. It is acidic, and therefore may be drying for some. When used in a plant dye mix, amla can prevent the curl loss that sometimes occurs with henna. On its own, amla can give the hair more volume and bounce. It does this by temporarily loosening the hydrogen bonds in keratin, allowing the hair to be reshaped.

Amla powder

              Mix Ancient Sunrise® Amla powder with distilled water into a thin paste. It does not have to be as thick as henna. Apply from roots to ends, cover, and leave in for 10 minutes. Rinse, and set towel-dry hair in a braid, curlers, or another heatless curl method. When the hair is dry, it will be fuller and fluffier.

              Ancient Sunrise® Amla can be used as an acid to dye-release cassia. Mix 25g amla for every 100g cassia, and add distilled water. Follow the instructions above for applying and processing cassia.

              Read more about various uses for Ancient Sunrise® Amla Powder here.

Final Notes

Repeated applications of any of these methods will show more improvement in hair quality over time. Conditioning protects the hair against damage, and balances moisture retention, allowing the hair to stay stronger longer. For best results, use Cassia monthly (or more often if desired), Zizyphus weekly, and Amla whenever you wish to add some temporary oomph to your hair. These methods can all be used on hair that has been treated with plant dyes, as well as hair that has not.

If you have any additional questions about using these products to add strength, shine, and body to your hair, feel free to contact a Customer Service Representative via phone, email, or online chat.

Author: Rebecca Chou
Updated by Maria Moore 11/16/22

Full Coverage: How to Dye Hair Blonde with Plant Dye Powders

Henna dyes hair shades of red. Add indigo, and you’ll get brunettes, but what if you have gray, white, or light blonde hair and want to keep it that way? Mixes that have a higher amount of cassia, and a smaller amount of henna and indigo will help dye hair blonde. Tones that range from sun-kissed straw to deep, “dishwater” blonde are possible on lighter hair. These mixes are great for those who don’t want red, brown or black hair, and for those who wish to tint their grays to blend naturally with their root growth. This article will cover everything you might need to achieve your ideal blonde.

Cassia mixes dyed these mohair samples a range of blonde shades.


Cassia auriculata is a plant dye powder that has similar benefits of cassia obovata. Clarity’s dye molecule, chrysophanic acid, is too weak to change hair color very much.

              Cassia is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “neutral henna” or “colorless henna.” It is not henna, but it is used in a similar way. It needs to be dye-released with a mildly acidic liquid just as henna is, and it also provides hair with strength and shine.

              This plant powder will not make dark hair lighter. All plant dye powders add color to the outer layers of the hair strand; none will lift the melanin contained within the hair’s cortex. This plant powder will act as a conditioner without altering the color.

              Ancient Sunrise® no longer sells cassia obovata due to supply chain issues. We do sell Clarity Cassia, which is cassia auriculata. Read about cassia auriculata here:

Choosing your Fruit Acid

Like henna, cassia’s color can be manipulated depending on a choice of fruit acid, when used with henna or henna and indigo. Fruit acid choices such as Ancient Sunrise® Copperberry and Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino will bring out brighter tones.  The Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair Blonde kit contains Ancient Sunrise® Clarity Cassia, Twilight Henna, Sudina Indigo, and Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino Fruit Acid Powder.

              Ancient Sunrise® Nightfall Rose and Ancient Sunrise® Amla powder will mute the brighter tones, allowing for more neutral, “wheat blonde” results depending on the amount of henna and indigo in the mix.

              For richer color, greater permanence, and more control over warm and cool tones, one can increase or decrease the amounts of henna and indigo in a mix. The remainder of this article will discuss how to do this.

Adding Henna

The dye molecules from cassia are translucent, and less permanent than henna. Some find that cassia alone provides results that are too subtle and which fade over time. Adding a small amount of henna, a much more permanent dye, leads to warm blond results that do not fade.

              Henna and cassia mixes will dye light hair a range of shades from strawberry blonde to bright, fiery orange. The more henna, the warmer and redder the results will be. For results that lean more toward blonde rather than copper, it is important to use a mix that contains a majority of cassia, and just a touch of henna.

Mixing henna and cassia results in warm blondes and light copper results. Note the image above was created using cassia obovata, which we no longer carry.

              The Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair kit in Sunshine contains 200g Ancient Sunrise® Clarity Cassia and 50g Ancient Sunrise® Rajasthani Twilight henna, or a 4:1 ratio of cassia and henna. This kit gives warm, strawberry blonde results on light hair. The Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair kit in Fire has equal parts Ancient Sunrise® Clarity Cassia and Ancient Sunrise® Rajasthani Monsoon henna for vivid copper-orange results.

              Feel free to play around with ratios by purchasing samples of the kits, and samples of cassia and henna to test on hair collected from a hairbrush or recent hair cut, or on a 1” section of hair on your head.

Adding Henna and Indigo

Adding both henna and indigo to a cassia mix will allow for darker blondes, and neutral to cool blondes.  Equal proportions of both henna and indigo in small quantities added to a larger amount of cassia will result in neutral-to-warm deeper blondes.

              The Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair kit in Chai contains 200g Ancient Sunrise® Clarity Cassia, 50g Ancient Sunrise® Rajasthani Twilight, and 50g Ancient Sunrise® Sudina Indigo. It is a 4:1:1 ratio of cassia, henna, and indigo. Its fruit acid, Ancient Sunrise® Nightfall Rose, assists in adding ash tones. The Chai kit dyes light hair medium to deep blondes. It is a very popular choice for those who wish to blend their gray hair into warm highlights.

              Those who want cooler toned blondes can experiment with adjusting their henna and indigo ratios. In a majority cassia mix, more indigo will help to neutralize warm tones from the henna and cassia, resulting in cool. Ash blondes. To keep results light, cassia should always make up the majority of the mix, or about 75% minimum. Indigo should not be more than three times the amount of henna. Too much indigo will cause results to have a violet tinge.

Just a few possibilities for mixing cassia, henna, and indigo, and the expected results when applied to light hair. Please note that 100% cassia will not give golden tones, this is what you can expect with the current Ancient Sunrise Blonde Kit.

              An example mix for a cool, lighter blonde on gray hair could be 6 parts cassia, 1 part henna, and 2 parts indigo. Mixes using all three powders can be more complicated, as there are more factors to control. You can read Full Coverage: How to Achieve Neutral or Cool Tones to learn more about mixing cassia, henna, and indigo to achieve your perfect cool-toned color.

              Remember that ratios should be based on dry powder weight. If you need help converting weight to teaspoon/tablespoon measurements, feel free to contact the experts at customer service.

              Using a mix of cassia and indigo without henna is generally unadvised. Both dyes are less permanent without the presence of henna. In some cases, a cassia/indigo mix may be used to tone away warm tones in hair that has been hennaed already and is too red.

Final Tips

Cassia is particularly sensitive to hard water. A build-up of minerals will turn cassia-dyed hair from golden yellow to a murky brown or awkward gray. It is highly recommended to use Ancient Sunrise® Rainwash to clarify hair prior to dyeing, and periodically afterward.

Hair that is dyed with cassia will become dark when subjected to minerals. Use Ancient Sunrise® Rainwash Mineral Clarifying Treatment to keep hair light and bright.

Using Ancient Sunrise® Rainwash prior to dyeing will also ensure the best color results. Build-up may prevent adequate dye uptake, leading to weaker results.

              As with any mix, it is better to start lighter and go darker. Many clients who are looking for blonde results specify that they want to stay as light as possible. For some, just a spoonful or two of henna and indigo for a full packet of cassia will be enough to achieve the desired results. Gradually deepening your results will be much simpler than unintentionally dyeing your hair too dark and trying to remove the color.


Hair that is dyed with natural plant dye powders doesn’t have to be red, brunette, or black. Blonde shades are great for those have have naturally light hair and want to keep it that way, and for those want to tint or brighten their gray hair without going too dark. Blonde mixes allow gray root growth to blend more easily into the length. Those who have used henna for hair products and wish to transition back to natural gray hair can use blonde mixes to do so.

              It is important to keep in mind that cassia, henna, and indigo are all additive dyes, and cannot make the hair lighter. If one wishes to dye their naturally dark hair blonde with cassia, they can consider lightening their hair first, then dyeing the lightened result with a blonde mix. Remember to consult a professional stylist for lightening.

              For all other questions, don’t hesitate to call, email, or chat with Customer Service at

Author: Rebecca Chou
Updated: Maria Moore Jan 2022

Henna for Hair 101: Choosing Your Mix

Nearly any natural hair color is achievable with the correct mixture of plant dyes.

When choosing your mix, we understand that it can be overwhelming. If at any point you’re not sure where to start, contact our wonderful customer service team!

The quick and dirty facts about henna for hair are the following:*

  • Henna by itself stains keratin a range of shades between copper and dark auburn.
  • Indigo darkens and browns these shades, and cassia lightens these shades, adding golden tones.
  • Equal parts henna and indigo will result in a medium brunette on most. More indigo will result in darker and darker shades of brunette.
  • Equal parts of henna and cassia results in bright, fiery tones of copper and orange. More cassia will result in lighter and brighter tones of strawberry blonde.
  • All three together will result in more shades of blondes and golden brunettes.
  • Henna first, then indigo second in a two-step process results in a shiny jet black color.
  • None of these powders or mixes will turn darker hair a lighter color.

    *color results depend on starting hair color, with the exception of jet black.

Important information

If you are already lost, click here to read Henna for Hair 101: Bare Essentials.

The amount of product you need will depend on the length and thickness of your hair. If you have very short hair, you will want to adjust your measurements to save product. If you have very long hair, you will have to increase the amount of product you are using. The Customer Service representatives at are there to help you if you need it.

We have several types of henna, indigo, and cassia that vary by tone and/or sift. To see descriptions of the plant powders and fruit acid powders read Henna for Hair 101: What’s the Difference Between All These Plant Powders?

Choosing your Mix: Pre-Made Kits

If this is your first time using Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair products, it is easiest to start out with a pre-made kit. Ancient Sunrise® has a wide variety of kits to dye hair any shade from blonde to jet black, and they are formulated for regular hair, graying hair, and fragile hair (both natural and relaxed). We include the correct ratios of the plant powders and acid powders you’ll need to achieve your desired result, as well as gloves, a piping bag (great for quick and easy root touch-ups), and instructions on how to put everything together. No measuring or guessing necessary. All you’ll need is distilled water.

Because certain powders need to be mixed at certain times for the best results, we do not pre-blend the powders, but rather provide them in individual packets inside the kits.

We recommend choosing one or more kits to sample on some hair you have collected, and then using the full kit of your choice after determining which one works best for you. If you’re not picky about your results, you can jump right in with a full kit.

Below is a quick cheat sheet on the kits, their formulations, and the expected results.

Even if you want to create your own mix rather than buying a kit, the chart below can help you see what you might need to achieve your desired result.

Everything in the kits is available for individual and bulk purchase. Most customers start with kits until they are comfortable with the process, then order in bulk. We offer bulk discounts, which makes stocking up economical.


If you have light hair:

Desired ResultKitMix
Brighten blondes, adding golden tone and shine Ancient Sunrise® Blonde

• 96.5% Ancient Sunrise® Clarity cassia
• 1.5% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• 3% Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino fruit acid

Warm, strawberry blonde or golden blonde Ancient Sunrise® Sunshine

• 80% Ancient Sunrise® Clarity cassia
• 20% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino fruit acid

Deep, neutral blonde to light golden brown

Ancient Sunrise® Chai• 66% Ancient Sunrise® cassia
• 17% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• 17% part Ancient Sunrise® Sudina indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Nightfall Rose fruit acid
Vivid, orange red Ancient Sunrise® Fire • 50% Ancient Sunrise® Clarity cassia
• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon
• Ancient Sunrise® Copperberry fruit acid

Bright, rosy “true” red

Ancient Sunrise® Red • Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon Henna
• Ancient Sunrise® Copperberry fruit acid

Deeper “true” red Ancient Sunrise® Cinnamon • Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon Henna
• Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino fruit acid

Auburn Ancient Sunrise® Auburn (gray hair kit)• Ancient Sunrise® Rajasthani Twilight henna
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino

Medium, warm, chestnut brown

Ancient Sunrise® Medium Brown

• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon henna
• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Sudina indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino
Medium Cool brown Ancient Sunrise® Cool Brown • 50% Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon henna
• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Sudina indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Amla fruit acid
Dark, warm, chocolate brown

Ancient Sunrise® Dark Brown• 33% Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon henna
• 66% Ancient Sunrise® Sudina indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino
Dark, cool brown Ancient Sunrise® Cool Dark Brown• 33% Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon henna
• 66% Ancient Sunrise® Sudina indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Amla fruit acid

Soft Black/Very Very dark brown Ancient Sunrise® Warm Black

• 20% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• 80% Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino
Jet black

Ancient Sunrise® Black 2 step process
• 1st: Ancient Sunrise® Monsoon henna
• 2nd: Ancient Sunrise® Sudina indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino


If you have medium brunette hair:

Desired ResultKitMix
Richen color (a shade or two darker)

Ancient Sunrise® ChaiSee first chart for kit mix details

Slightly ginger Ancient Sunrise® Fire

Ginger Ancient Sunrise® Red or Cinnamon

Medium to Dark Auburn

Ancient Sunrise® Auburn (gray hair kit)

Darker brownAncient Sunrise® Medium Brown or Cool Brown
Darker cool brownAncient Sunrise® Dark Brown or Cool Dark Brown
Warm soft black Ancient Sunrise® Warm Black
Jet Black Ancient Sunrise® Black

If you have darker hair:

Desired ResultKitMix
Add warm tones

Warm red tones under sunlight

Ancient Sunrise® Red or Cinnamon, or Auburn

See first chart for kit mix details

Deepen color by a couple of shades

Ancient Sunrise® Medium Brown or Cool Brown

Soft black

Ancient Sunrise® Dark Brown, Cool Dark Brown, or Warm Black

Jet BlackAncient Sunrise® Black

If you have graying hair:

Desired ResultKitMix
Blend grays to a golden light brown tone

Ancient Sunrise® ChaiSee first chart for kit mix details

Rich red highlights with an overall warm colorAncient Sunrise® Henna for Gray Hair: AuburnSee first chart for kit mix details

Chestnut highlights on darker hair or blend gray with medium brown hairAncient Sunrise® Henna for Gray Hair: Medium Brown

• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino
Dark, warm brown highlights on black hair or blend grays with dark brown hairAncient Sunrise® Henna for Gray Hair: Dark Brown

• 33% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• 66% Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino

Jet BlackAncient Sunrise® Henna for Gray Hair: BlackTwo step process
• 1st: Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna
• 2nd: Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino


If you have natural hair, thick/curly hair, or delicate/damaged hair:

Desired ResultKitMix
Add shine with no color

not in kit form

Ancient Sunrise® Clarity cassia with fruit acid of choice
Add warm, copper tones to light and medium hair colors not in kit form

Ancient Sunrise® Rarity henna and fruit acid of choice
Color light hair medium brown or make medium to dark hair a few shades darker Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Delicate Hair: Medium Brown • 50% Ancient Sunrise® Rarity henna
• 50% Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino
Color medium hair dark or make dark hair a soft black Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Delicate Hair: Dark Brown • 33% Ancient Sunrise® Rarity henna
• 66% Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino
Jet BlackAncient Sunrise® Henna for Delicate Hair: Black Two step process
• 1st: Ancient Sunrise® Rarity henna
• 2nd: Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara indigo
• Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino

Note: Kits that are not labeled “for gray” will blend grays nicely into highlights.

All full sized and sample sized kits can be found here:

Our Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair E-book has great, detailed information about mix formulations, testing, application, trouble-shooting, and more. And of course, we have awesome Customer Service Reps who are all experts on henna for hair, available for consultation via phone, email, and chat during our business hours.

Author: Rebecca Chou
Updated: Maria Moore 2022