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Mixes: Henna, Indigo, Cassia and Fruit Juices

Ancient Sunrise® was created for people who are allergic to chemical hair dye. Our mixes can be safely used over chemical dye, and chemical dye can be applied over Ancient Sunrise®.

Ancient Sunrise® will show you how to have beautiful hair with henna, indigo, cassia, and fruit juices, as women did for centuries before the invention of chemical hair dye. We provide pure individual plant powders, and teach you how to formulate them for the best possible results. Boxed henna mixes are based on faulty chemistry, and often contain chemicals, adulterants, contaminants and unlisted additives to try to compensate for the fact that pre-mixes can’t work very well. We’re here to answer all your questions and to achieve beautiful hair color for people who are allergic to chemical hair dye.

For five thousand years, people women have known how to create the perfect henna mixes for hair. Each woman probably learned the mix from her family or a friend, and used only plants growing in the area. When chemical dyes were introduced, the intimate person-to person transmission of henna knowledge stopped. Pre-packaged henna with unlisted ingredients, chemicals, and chemical salts became consumer products. Adulterated mixes comprise over 90% of the henna hair dye market and have given henna a terrible reputation because they cross-react, often disastrously, with oxidative hair dyes. Ancient Sunrise® is different. Not only do we test every shipment for purity, we’ll teach you to formulate hair colors with pure plant materials so you can achieve any color, even over chemically treated hair.

Mixing henna requires both science and art. The basic natural chemistry of the plants must be respected. Learn here how to get the results you want. You cannot box up the powders together, pour boiling water on them and expect good results; the molecules will not play nice together.

Working with plant dyes does not quite follow the color theory of crayons or chemical dyes. Plant dye molecules are different sizes and shapes, and those shapes fit differently on the dye molecule attachment points of keratin molecules, just as different tetromino shapes lock down in the game of Tetris. Plant dye molecules also change with time, heat, oxidation and pH. The acidic fruit juices you mix into henna also vary the dye color when they contain anthocyanins or anti-oxidants.

Plant dyes are translucent, permanent stains, which do not remove the pigment from your hair. You can always dye your hair darker with these plants, but you cannot dye dark hair a light color with bleaching the melanocytes within the hair shaft first. The outcome of your Ancient Sunrise® henna for hair will depend on your base color and products used or damage caused previously.

More information and free e-book

The links below connect to chapters of the free e-book Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair, a book researched and written by Catherine Cartwright-Jones PhD, a researcher who focused her graduate and doctoral work on henna. Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair is meant to help people understand how to dye their hair without chemicals, to protect their own health and the health of the planet they live on, to correct the misconceptions that have lead to chemical hair dye industry replacing henna, and to dispel the abundant misinformation about henna.

You can download these selected chapters or download the entire book free of charge at
You can also find additional articles and information at our companion site Henna for Hair.

Ancient Sunrise Chapter 5
Plants that Dye Hair

Learn more about henna, indigo, and cassia and the chemistry of each of these dye plants.
Understanding the botany of these plants will help you understand how to get the best results
from your henna hair dye.

Links to specific topics in this chapter:

Ancient Sunrise Chapter 6
Henna and Acidic Mixes

Learn the necessary chemistry of mixing henna and cassia with a mildly acidic liquid.
Learn about the different fruit acids and and how each has a different effect on henna.

Links to specific topics in this chapter:

Ancient Sunrise ® Chapter 7
Mixing and Testing your Henna Mix

Learn mixing , dye release, formulation, and testing of a wide range of non-chemical permanent
colors from henna, indigo, and cassia. This chapter includes step-by-step instructions to produce
the color you want for your hair.

Links to specific topics in this chapter:

Ancient Sunrise® Chapter 12

Each person can achieve perfect hair with Ancient Sunrise® products, but it might not
happen on the first try. Here are the answers to the most frequent challenges;
these include problems with hard water, slight adjustments in color, getting complete
and permanent color, and the occasional surprise.

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