Preparation

1)Boil 1/2 litter of water

2) In a non-metal bowl mix (using a non-metal spoon) 1 tablespoon of Bentonite Clay with hot water

  • You can skip this step if you want because Bentonite clay doesn’t have any impact on the colour, but it does remove product build-up, kills bacteria, removes toxins (detoxes) and improves curl definition
  • If you use metal recipients or utensils you will reduce the power of the bentonite clay because it will start attracting also the metal ions (so it has then less capability of attracting the toxins from your hair and scalp)

3) In a tea pot, put 1 chamomile tea bag and the remaining boiled water

4) Put in a separate bowl 7 tablespoons of Cassia and 1 tablespoon of henna

  • If you use less than 1 tablespoon of henna the stain will be hardly noticeable
  • Make sure it’s pure Cassia Obovata
  • Cassia fades out with washes but it will last up to 3 weeks. It also creates build-up, so the ofter you use it, the bigger the effect.
  • Unlike Henna, it’s safe to bleach or use normal dyes after you use Cassia
  • Some people add rhubarb root powder (stains hair yellow) to the mix but in my case I got a very strong and unnatural yellow greenish tone and it also caused an allergic reation.
  • Some people add Turmeric (Kurkuma in german) to the mix. In my case I got bigger gray coverage but also a darker tone than with cassia alone. If you decide to add turmeric add only 1 part turmeric to 6 parts cassia because it’s strong. Also note that your scalp will get stained yellow so you need to wash the hair 2 to 3 times after dyeing, in order to remove it from the scalp.

5) Add enough Chamomile tea to the cassia mix until you have the consistency of yoghurt / pudding / pancake dough

  • mix using a non-metal spoon
  • here is a video showing the correct consistency it should have
  • Camomile colors your hair yellow (doesn’t oxidize) and also calms the scalp
  • Cold liquids will not let cassia dye release (in my experience there was less colour with room temperature tea than with boiling hot tea). Some people use lukewarm tea because boiling liquids are supposed to make the dye fade away faster from the hair but I personally didn’t notice any difference between using lukewarm and boiling tea.
  • Don’t add catnip tea to the cassia mix because it reduces dye release (that was my experience)
  • Some people use also Marigold flowers, which give a golden-reddish tone. In my experience it didn’t have any impact on the colour.
  • You can add also 1 tablespoon of walnut hull powder
    • it gives better gray coverage than just cassia alone
    • the hair will be brown with very subtle blond highlights (not the golden “beach” highlights you get with cassia alone).
    • If you decide to add it to the mix, do it only after the cassia mix is already with a pudding consistency (after the tea) otherwise it will be harder to turn it into a pudding consistency
    • when you use wallnut hull powder, the mermaid rinse will still leave a bit of residue in the scalp, so you might want to co-wash afterward the mermaid rinse
  • You can also add 2 tablespoons of conditioner to the mix
    • some people say that adding conditioner to the mix might reduce dye release but in my case it didn’t (in my experience, there is no difference in terms of colour between adding conditioner before or after dye release)
    • Some people say that conditioner reduces dye uptake but I didn’t notice any difference and it made my hair much less dry and also reduced dripping
  • don’t add any oils or aloe vera gel because it reduces the efficiency and uptake of the Cassia dye (based on what I read online)
  • don’t add honey because it has peroxide, so it removes any yellow tones from the grays and make them look whiter (based on what I read online)
  • some people leave the mix over to dye release (minimum 10 minutes, maximum 12 hours – recommended 12h and preferably not less than 8h) but in my case I saw no difference in the end colour result with and without dye realease)
    • To leave it for dye release, cover the cassia bowl with plastic wrap trying to remove excess air from the bowl (push the wrap down in the middle with your hand). Put the cassia bowl on top of the tea pot in a way that no liquid can enter inside. Put a towel on top so that it’s kept warm longer (helps with dye release).
    • the more acidic the mix, the longer you need to allow for dye release
    • the higher the temperature, the faster the dye will release
    • more info about dye release here
  • You can also add 4 tablespoons of apple juice but in my experience there is no difference in colour, at least when you are using henna also
    • Some people add the juice of one lemon instead of apple juice but my experience was more scalp irritation and the same colour effect. Other options are orange juice or apple cider vinegar.
      • Lemon oxidizes the hair but doesn’t have peroxide (responsible for gray hairs). It also helps prevent gray hairs
    • Acids like apple juice make Cassia yield (develop) colour, help the colour bond with the hair and make the colour last longer (more info here)
    • Some people add one spoon of Amla (is also acidic) instead of lemon juice in order to get a darker smokey ashy shade of gray instead of the golden tone you get from the lemon (amla is also supposed to help fix the (cassia) dye to the hair). In my case I tried it both mixed and instead of lemon juice and in both cases the colour effect was much more subtle and unnoticeable than just with lemon juice alone (for my hair, amla actually removes the dye from hair).
    • the more acidic the mix, the darker the colour and the longer it will last (but the drier your hair will be and the longer you will need for dye release)

6) Add catnip tea to the remaining of the chamomile tea in the tea pot.

  • it will be used to rinse the hair before dying

 

Washing and Dyeing

1) Bring the clay bowl and the catnip-chamomile tea bowl to the bathtub and put the cassia bowl inside a recipient with warm water in order to keep it warm

  • it feels better and the heat helps it get better absorbed by the hair

2)  Tilt your head down and massage your scalp using a scalp brush. Repeat using your fingers.

  • this will pre-clean the scalp and promotes blood circulation (hair growth)

3) Wet your hair until it’s soaking wet. Rub a bit of a sulfate-free silicone-free shampoo between your hands and massage the entire scalp (below the hair) in circular motions. If some part is feeling dirty or dry, wet that part again with water and use more shampoo. Massage the whole scalp using the shampoo brush. Rinse using the shampoo brush simultaneously.

  • If you are having problems finding a shampoo, check the ingredients of baby’s shampoos.
  • Applying Cassia to washed wet hair improves the dye absorption drastically versus applying to dirty dry hair
  • shampooing before tea rinses, clay and deep conditioning allows the products to be better absorbed by the scalp and hair

5) Dip the hair length on the clay bowl until it’s completely empty. Then rinse it out making sure there are no residues left on the hair.

  • you can also leave it longer until it starts drying out (but don’t let it completely dry out on your hair) but check how your hair is from time to time. In my experience there is no difference in terms of result between rinsing the clay immediately and leaving it on for 25 minutes.

6) Add hot water to the catnip-chamomile tea to make it lukewarm and pour it over your head.

  • the dye uptake on the hair (colour stain) is higher when done after a leave-in catnip rinse (that was my personal experience) – catnip acts as a mordant (helps fixate the dye)
  • in order to benefit from the catnip stain, the catnip rinse should be done before and not after the cassia dye because hair that has build-up (also from cassia) will not be stained by the catnip
  • some peple report that rinsing with catnip will also make the hair softer and make rinsing out the cassia easier, although I didn’t notice a difference in these matters
  • chamomile will help soothe the scalp from the irritation of the lemon/apple juice acidity and, in my experience, adding chamomile to the catnip rinse doesn’t affect the colour outcome
  • catnip prevents split ends, softens the hair, calms and moisturizes the scalp, reduces frizz and helps taint gray hair gold
    • don’t worry, as a tea it won’t make your cats go crazy 😉
    • Don’t apply conditioner or hair mask to the hair roots (to the hair sitting on top of your scalp) after a catnip rinse because it will create product build-up (make it feel dirty and producty).
  • don’t apply any oil, conditioner or anything else before you apply the dye so that the cassia adheres better to the hair

7) Wrap the hair in a towel turban and leave it on for at least 5 minutes.

  • use a dark towel because sometimes it’s not easy to remove cassia and/or tea stains
  • the more towel dried the hair is, the less dripping you will notice while the cassia dye is on your hair

8) Go in front of a mirror and put on gloves so that you don’t stain your nails. Put a plastic bag around your shoulders, fixed with a hair clip in the front.

9) Start by lifting all your left side hair (including the left half in the back) and apply cassia from above your ears moving to the back through the neckline (stop in the middle of the back). Let down a bit of the hair (both in the front and in the left haf of the back) and apply cassia from that line until your ear as well as in the back of your head down till the neckline (stop in the middle of the back). Repeat section by section until you finish the left side (when you reach the middle part of your hair). Then repeat on the right side.

  • Take into consideration that cassia will not lighten hair, it’s just a yellow dye
  • You can also apply it to the lenght of your hair íf you want

10) Apply a hair mask to the length of the hair

  • You can skip this if you want (and should skip it if you are applying cassia to the whole hair) but it’s a good opportunity to deep condition

11) Put on a shower cap and then, on top of it, a warm cap.

  • some people apply heat but in my case it didn’t have any impact on the resulting colour and heat damages the hair

12) Let it sit maximum 1h.

  • if you don’t use henna leave it minimum 5 minutes, maximum 6 hours (recommended 4h ; preferably not less than 1h ; 8h is already too much and it will make the scalp sore)
  • if you use henna the longer you leave it the more red tones you will get
  • detailed instructions here
  • If you lie down, put a towel on top of your pillow so that it doesn’t get dirty.

13) Make chamomile tea with 1/2 litter water and let it sit.

  • If you have low porosity hair don’t add catnip because in my experience it creates build-up even if you rinse it out with water and as a leave-in it causes loss of curl. For high porosity hair catnip might help condition the hair.

 

Rinsing and conditioning

1) Bring the tea pot to the bathtub.

2) Fill your bathtub with just water and lie down for a while, making sure the whole hair is submersed. While submersed, gently massage the whole scalp in order to remove any residues

  • This mermaid rinse really helps reduce shedding by a lot. I’ve tried soaking my hair in a recipient with water as well as rinsing under the showerhead and in both cases I had much more shedding than with the mermaid rinse. Additionally, with the mermaid rinse, it’s no longer necessary to wash the scalp with conditioner or shampoo to remove the cassia.
  • in order to prolong the colour, some people oil their hair before shampooing the next time (you should usually wait 72h before shampooing) but in my experience I didn’t notice any difference

3) Rinse with lukewarm water (more on the cold side).

  • the cold will help sooth the scalp

4) Add warm water to the tea to make it lukewarm (but more on the cold side) and rinse the hair with it

  • chamomile will help soothe the scalp
  • the cold will help sooth the scalp
  • chamomile tea prevents hair loss, strenghts the hair, prevents split ends and softens the hair
  • if you have curly hair, don’t use chamomile as a leave-in because in my experience it leads to loss of curl

5) Apply hair mask to the length of the hair. Add enough until the hair is slippery like seaweed. Let it sit while you do the rest of your shower routine:

  • scrub feet
  • wash body
  • apply shower oil to body
  • wash face
  • whatever else you do 😛

5) Rinse (doesn’t have to be perfectly rinsed) with lukewarm water (more on the cold side)

7) If you have curly hair, plop your hair using a mirofiber turban towel, plopping the lenght of the hair on top of the scalp instead of rolling it in the turban. Leave it as long as possible (if possible leave it until it gets unconfortably cold; if not at least 5 minutes).

  • if you don’t have a turban, spread a microfiber towel on a flat surface (ex: closed toilet seat), with your head down put all your hair plopped in the center of the towel and move your head down until your head reaches the towel, then wrap the 4 corners of the towel around your head.
  • Using a t-shirt or a microfiber towel (instead of a normal cotton towel) will help prevent breakage and frizz
  • some people scrunch using a microfiber towel but I didn’t notice any improvement in terms of curl definition
  • If you have straight hair, put the towel with your head up like a nun

 

Drying and Days between washes

Check my healthy hair routine.

 

Tipps:

  • Take into consideration that shampoos with sulphates may strip the cassia dye from your hair much faster
  • Don’t give up on Cassia. The ofter you use it, the bigger the build-up and therefore the more pronounced the color will be.
  • Don’t rinse your hair with lemon juice after dyeing your hair with cassia because lemon juice reduces build-up, which means that it will fade the Cassia dye faster
  • For more tipps, check out my healthy hair routine.