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 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 have a unique process. Continue reading to learn the best ways to use them.
Cassia Obovata 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 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.
Ancient Sunrise® cassia, like Ancient Sunrise® henna, can be applied to either damp or dry hair. There are two types of cassia: Ancient Sunrise® Sudina Cassia, and Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara Cassia. Their primary difference is sift. Ancient Sunrise® Zekhara Cassia has a finer sift, and is therefore great for those with thin, delicate, and damaged hair. Both products can be used in the exact same ways.
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.
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 nearby 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 text 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.