Re: Help...Henna Is Not Flowing Through The Tip...!!???

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Posted by Maureen on August 11, 2002 at 20:00:25:

In reply to: Help...Henna Is Not Flowing Through The Tip...!!??? posted by Angel on August 11, 2002 at 15:49:59:

Hi Angel,

There are a lots of different points in your mixing of your paste
that you might want to take a look at when trying to find the source
and cause of the clogs you are getting.

Some henna powders you purchase will either not have been sifted or
not sifted well enough to consider using with any of the small tips.
You will have to find a really talc like henna powder that produces a
stringy like paste to use those small tips. And even then, what you
put into your recipe and how well you mix it up and even in what
order you mix in your ingredients will be a factor.

The henna powders I am aware of and have used that are of that talc
like consistency are the Moroccan henna powder that Kenzi and I both
carry, Jamila that lots of people here care including Kenzi, Kim,
Castle Arts and myself, Kimia that Kim, Lauren and I carry, and
Navaid 1 and 2, Kezzi 1 and 2, Usha that I carry. There are other
powders that are available that I have tried that also were of a
wonderful consistency like Al Aroosa that Angi sent me a couple of
boxes to try. So, when you know you want to use the small tips, you
will want to select a henna powder that is best suited for that
stringy paste and those fine lines. Which doesn't mean that you
can't work with other henna powders to get it to work for you and
your tip. Just that some henna powders do it easier with less effort.

You will have to look at the brew you are using for your paste and
make sure you strain it extremely well. Even little things that you
cannot see can be there in it and get caught in the tip and
accumulate in an instant and then you are clogging and clogging and
clogging. That is where straining your brew and/or paste is
crucial. When using fresh lemons and limes in your paste, make
straining a habit. It will save you frustration down the road.
There are a number of different straining techniques to use. The one
Kenzi refers to is one and an effective one. I would add to that an
additional step to use when mixing your paste after straining. That
is to put the mix into a plastic bag...seal the top and squish and
squeeze the paste between your fingers. With your fingers outside of
the plastic bag and the paste inside the bag of course. This lets
you squeeze out any remaining small lumps or pieces. Then cut a
whole in one bottom corner of the plastic bag and squeeze the paste
into your applicator bottle(s).

Your tips themselves can catch dust that will create clogs with you
apply the paste. So you will want to make sure you rinse them well.
Also get some really fine gauge wire...the sort used in jewelry
making for seed beads. Wire that size can be used to unclog your tip
and get the paste to flowing again. It also can be used to clean out
the tip prior to use and to insert into the tip after use and when
clean for storage. An tip with an open whole will just accumulate
dust. The pre-rinsing and storing with the small wire inserted in
the small whole can help keep your tips prepared for use.

Also, paste will sometimes not come out of the tip because of air
bubbles in the paste and insufficient paste in the bottle. When the
bottle is less than 1//2 to 3/4 full, it can begin to become
difficult to get the paste to flow out. So keeping the bottle full
can help you through this. I tend to fill two bottles and use one to
keep the other bottle filled up. It prevents you from having to
squeeze the bottle so hard as to hurt your fingers and allows the
paste to flow out with ease. A full bottle is finger friendly.

If you use a terp or add some sort of oil to your paste, it may be
important to be sure you add the liquids prior to your oil.
Sometimes adding the oil and then adding something like lemon juice
can cause the paste to get strange and require an extra special
stirring and mixing and possibly even straining and squishing to
remove the clog causing strangeness that can happen when lemon juice
or some other liquid is added after your essential oil and/or terps.
Also, a sufficient waiting period of your paste is made up and used
is beneficial not only for the dye release and staining capability of
the paste...But also so that the powder and sugar if you add sugar to
your paste can adequately dissolve and absorb the liquid and be mixed
thoroughly. Sometimes if you add sugar last...just prior to using,
it will not have dissolved adequately and can create clogging
problems for you.

So I recommend that you look at your powder, your brew, possibilities
for sifting and straining and squishing around in the plastic bag,
the order in which your ingredients are mixed, timing to assure
ingredients have dissolved and been mixed thorough, prepared tips,
wire for unclogging and keeping the bottle filled to identify where
in your recipe and/or process you can tweak what you do so that the
paste becomes more the consistency that you need. There are lots of
places to look for the cause of the clogs. But once you know where
in your own recipe and procedure you can intervene and do something
differently, I am sure you will find the culprit and get a good
flow. Just know, that those clogs don't ever seem to disappear for
life. But there are things you can do to make things better.

Hope this helps. Take care.



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