Strand Testing: Guarantee The Perfect Colour Outcome
Trying out a new colour for the first time can be exciting! We want to get stuck in, make the change, and come out with glorious new tresses.
When you’re trying a new colour, blending your greys, or trialling a new look, strand testing is the best way to guarantee you’re getting the outcome you’re hoping for - and if you’re not, what to do to achieve it!
The hair colours we sell are henna based and made with plant materials - so they
are affected by your hair chemistry. Everyone’s hair chemistry is unique, and isn’t just about your natural hair type, but the products you’ve used, too! Because of this it is crucial to strand test - we can only predict what the outcome is likely to be on your hair, but strand testing will give you an exact outcome.
Seven Steps To Guarantee The Perfect Colour Outcome:
So you want to try a new colour, and have a couple of products in mind.
If you’re looking at trying our It’s Pure Hair Colours, then the best thing is to strand test, using one of our 10g sample sizes in the colour (or colours!) of your choice. 10g is just the right amount for a strand test - if you have already purchased a full size box this is about a tablespoon and a half worth of the powder.
The Logona, and Sante hair colours unfortunately don’t offer sample sizes - but you can (and should!) still strand test! Both the Logona and Sante powder colours are 100g, so using about a tablespoon of the powder from the pack would be enough to do a full strand test.
The Logona Colour Creams may be a little more tricky - using 10ml of these is enough to do a full strand test. If you haven’t got a measuring cup to hand, don’t worry; this is roughly a palm full worth of the powder.
So, read below for our steps on exactly how to strand test, and guarantee the perfect colour outcome…
Make sure your hair is clean and dry before applying any colour to it. If your hair is unwashed, or is still wet, this may prevent the henna from bonding to the hair.
Find a discrete piece of hair to test on - or if possible, cut a strand off to do a test with! You need to use a strand that’s at least an inch wide to get a true picture of the colour.
The perfect strand test really is only for that - strands - rather than certain areas of hair. Don’t test just your roots or a patch of greys.
You need to make sure you do the test from root to tip with your hair, so that any sections of hair that differ in colour show their true outcome. If your hair is grey at the roots, but has much darker lengths, the colour will show up differently on each part of your hair.
Mix the colour up according to the instructions provided! All our kits come with full instructions, and different colours require different timings.
Following the instructions exactly will mean your strand test is much more accurate to the colour you’ll get if you use it all over.
Apply the colour to the strand you’ve chosen. Make sure the strand is fully covered, and that the paste is quite thick on your hair! For henna and other herbal colours to bond correctly, the paste needs to fully saturate the hair, and if it is too thin the colour could be quite diluted.
Once your strand is covered, from root to tip, wrap it in clingfilm and leave it for the same amount of time as it would be if you were covering your whole hair.
Our hair colours usually take 90 minutes to 180 minutes to develop on the hair (follow the enclosed instructions), and for the darkest shades, the longest times are the best as these help the colour to deepen.
Rinse the colour out of the strand. We usually advocate just using water to rinse out, as shampoo can fade the colour more quickly - but this is entirely up to you.
Once the colour is rinsed out of your hair and your hair is dried, we advise waiting up to 48 hours to see the true colour!
Henna-based colour can take time to oxidise on the hair, and sometimes has a green tinge after the initial application. Indigo can also take time to deepen on the hair; so some of the darker shades, such as our Very Dark Brown, might darken after a couple of days.
See below one of our team member’s videos, where she performs a strand test, for a more visual guide:
What if you didn’t get the colour you were hoping for from your strand test?
We’ve written some tips below about our most frequently asked questions:
Oh No: You’ve Seen No Colour Change
Getting no colour from your strand test can be pretty frustrating, especially if you’ve followed all our steps!
This can happen for a number of reasons:
Many shampoos, conditioners, or styling treatments contain ingredients such as silicones which affect how well henna-based colour bonds to the hair. Using oils on hair can also prevent henna from taking, which is why it’s crucial to ensure hair is clean and dry before colouring.
The first thing to try if you notice there’s no colour from a strand test is to use an organic clarifier, like our own It’s Pure Clarifying Treatment, or the Logona Mineral Clay Pre-Treatment. These treatments are gentle on your hair, but help with removing products, silicones, oils, or build up that may be bonded to your hair, preventing colour from taking.
What colour your hair is before dying impacts the outcome of herbal dye.
Have you perhaps chosen a shade that was too light for you, or are you a natural brunette hoping to add depth, or vibrancy to your colour? Sadly no henna colour will lighten your hair, but you can use one of our more red based dyes, such as the Henna Red, on very dark or black hair for some beautiful red undertones in the light..
If you chose to use a Logona or Sante colour also, while these can give strong colours on lighter hair, on hair that is mid - dark brown it’s unlikely you’ll get a massive colour change! Trying one of our It’s Pure dyes may give you the colour you’re hoping for.
If you’re trying to blend greys that are particularly stubborn, you might find you need two applications of herbal dye to get a good colour. If you’re trying for a brown, or very dark shade, , you might need to choose the next, darker shade to get a rich colour.
Darker shades may also take more time to develop on the hair - so if you opted to only test the strand for 90 minutes, it’s possible you needed to leave the dye on for the full 180 minutes to get a really good outcome.
Oh No: Your Strand Test Has Gone The Wrong Colour
Your strand test going the wrong colour can be infuriating - but this is why strand testing is key!
If your strand test has come up too light, then it may be that you need to leave the colour for a longer time - Indigo takes time to fully develop on the hair, so leaving it for more time gives it a chance to properly bond.
If your colour has come up too dark this might be due to the colour of your hair before dying. If you used a brown shade, on top of naturally dark or brown hair, then it’s natural to notice your dark hair get darker - particularly if you’re noticing the ends are darker than your roots.. If you noticed a good shade on your roots but it is too dark on the lengths, perhaps consider only covering the roots, rather than the whole head, when you dye your hair.
If you have got a strange colour, such as blue or green, this could be that you may have used a chemical colour or lightening agent on your hair! It can be difficult to get a good colour when trying to cover over highlighted or bleached hair, so if you notice blue, we’d suggest waiting to use our dyes until the highlighted or bleached areas have grown out.
Or if you’d tried pure Indigo over grey, white, or too-light hair, you might get a blue/green tone. Not to worry - if you’re aiming for black, you’ll need to cover first with a brown or red shade, and then use the Indigo over the top. You can read our full guide to this, here.
For more information about strand testing, achieving perfect colour and all things hair, contact our experts here!