Toning Henna – Part 2 (Stylists Editions)

In Toning Henna – Part 1 (Stylists Edition), five recipes were tested on hennaed hair, post oxidation, while one recipe was testing on hennaed hair prior to oxidation. I noticed that the hair was different between each recipe, but I didn’t expect to see such a difference between the hair that was toned before and after oxidation, even with similar recipes.

Welcome to Toning Henna – Part 2, where we explore the same mixes, same time frames but all of the hair had the toning mixes applied before the henna had time to oxidize.

Hair Prep

All of the mohair used was prepped by using a clarifying shampoo and the Twilight henna paste sat on the hair for 24 hours due to lack of body heat. Body heat allows us to keep the paste on for less time to get optimal results, so when testing on samples using henna, 24 hours is a good time frame).

Toning Mixes

All mixes are based on weight

A 90% cassia; 10% indigo (30 minutes ,60 minutes)
B 75% cassia; 25% indigo (30 minutes, 60 minutes)
C 50% cassia; 50% indigo (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes)
D 25% cassia; 75% indigo (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes)
E 10% cassia; 90% indigo (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes)

Mixing Prep

Ancient Sunrise® Clarity Cassia and Sudina Indigo were used (Zekhara indigo can be used for toning as well). Both cassia and indigo powders were mixed together with distilled water right away. The paste should be a thick consistency, only slowly dripping off of the mixing utensil. The paste was applied right away after mixing.


Original Control
Henna Control

Toning Henna (Part 2) • Comparing Mixes

First Test vs Second Test

After observing the samples over a weeks time, I noticed that these samples looked much different than the first series of tests I ran. It’s important to note that the only difference between the first and second tests was that the first test was done after the hennaed hair had settled into it’s final color, while the second test took place before the hennaed hair had settled into its final color.

Hair from the first test is on top in each photo; hair from the second test is on the bottom in each photo.

Every hair swatch of the second batch of samples appear to be lighter and cooler. Warmer tones show lighter to the human eye because of how we see color, therefore if they were the same level of hair color, all of the bottom swatches would be darker.

It’s probably safe to assume that if one were to do a mix that didn’t come out as warm as straight henna, that toning, either immediately or after a week of letting the hair sit, the results would be cooler in general. It will be important to conduct these tests over different swatches of hair and different mixes. For now, an accurate assessment would be that if you want your hair darker and not as red, then doing a toning mix with cassia and indigo would be good.

Final Notes

If you have a client who is panicking because their hair is brighter than what they’re comfortable with immediately after washing their paste out, keep in mind what results their looking for in the end. Always test any toning mix before applying all over as to prevent further complications. Sometimes just doing a toning shampoo can help calm the hair down during the oxidation if you don’t think that doing a toning mix is right for your client.

Always test to find out what mix and time will work best for you and your hair. Contact our customer service team for assistance: or call 1-855-MEHANDI or 330-673-0600. Visit and for more information.

Maria • Ancient Sunrise® Specialist • Licensed Cosmetologist

Toning Henna – Part 1

If you have hennaed your hair and aren’t a fan of the red, or if you just want to tone your hair down a bit, this blog may be for you. Even if you’ve done a combination of henna and indigo and/or cassia, you can still use indigo and cassia to tone.

What is toning?

If you’re familiar with “henna gloss” or “indigo gloss,” then you’re already familiar with the idea of toning. Toning is a way to alter your hair color from the current color. It’s called “toning” because you’re fine tuning your hair color by adding the missing pigment that will help you get the color that you’re looking for. People tone or do glosses for many reasons, but the biggest reason is because their hair may have come out brighter and/or lighter than expected.

Toning can also be beneficial if you’ve made a mistake in your mix, such as using too much henna, accidentally leaving indigo out your mix, or even correcting a mix where the indigo had demised.

Hair Prep

All of the mohair being used for testing has been prepped with a clarifying shampoo before applying henna. For Test 1, the indigo/cassia mix was applied the same day that the henna past was removed. For Test 2, the indigo/cassia mixes were applied 7 days after the henna paste was removed.

Mix Prep

In all cassia/indigo mixes, both Clarity cassia and Sudina indigo powders were mixed in the same bowl, and distilled water was added. The paste was applied to the hair samples immediately after mixing each set of powders.

Test 1 – Toning Henna before Oxidation


I used 20% indigo to 80% cassia on freshly hennaed hair that hadn’t oxidized for mix A. The goal was to see if the hair would be different than applying a toning mix to hair that has oxidized, mix B. I did notice a difference in the tone.

Note: Due to the lack of difference in color, I did not do a mix for 15 minutes when making mix B for this particular ratio.

Left: 15 minutes; Middle: 30 minutes; Right: 60 minutes
60 minutes

Left: A 80% cassia/10% indigo pre-oxidized application
Right: B 75% cassia/10% indigo post-oxidized application

30 minutes

Left: A 80% cassia/10% indigo pre-oxidized application
Right: B 75% cassia/10% indigo post-oxidized application

When I compared these test pieces to hair that had been toned after letting the henna had oxidized, I noticed that even though that mix A, despite having more indigo and less cassia, didn’t come out darker than mix B. The test pieces that only had the mix on for 30 minutes are quite comparable (off camera, the pigment in mix A is slightly more brassy and doesn’t have as rich of a red as mix B for this timing).

There will be another blog in the future comparing more on toning freshly hennaed hair in detail, as this yielded interesting, yet unexpected results.

Test 2 – Toning Henna after Oxidation

Test 2 mixes.
Top left big chunk of hair is the control.
Mix 1

10% indigo; 90% cassia

30 minutes
60 minutes
Mix 2:

25% indigo; 75% cassia

30 minutes
60 minutes
Mix 3:

50% indigo; 50% cassia

15 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes
Mix 4:

75% indigo; 25% cassia

15 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes
Mix 5:

90% indigo; 10% cassia

15 minutes
30 minutes
60 minutes

There are a couple of strands that have similarities such as test pieces K and I as well as L and J.

K is 90% indigo and 10% cassia that was left of for 15 minutes, where as I is 75% indigo and 25% cassia for 30 minutes.
L is 90% indigo and 10% cassia that was left on for 30 minutes, where as J is 75% indigo and 25% cassia for 60 minutes.

The benefit of having two mixes with different timing that have similar results is that if you take a long time to apply paste your hair, you can always start with the mix that is the longer time for the first part of the application, then switch to a mix that needs less time to process.
IE: If you’re trying to tone bright hennaed hair to a dark brunette, and it takes you a half an hour to do your root area, you could do mix I for the first part, then about half way through switch to mix K. This will allow for an even color.

If your hair continuously comes out more red than you’re looking for, you can definitely use a mix of indigo and cassia to tone it down to a darker shade. Customer service can help you determine the best ratio and timing for your hair! Testing is always a good idea to prevent your hair from going darker than you’re wanting.

For more information on Clarity cassia visit:

MariaAncient Sunrise SpecialistLicensed Cosmetologist