Staining Hair with Plant Pigment…. Natural Dye Experiment

IMG_6176-2Ever since my Natural Fiber Dying class at The Spiritweavers Gathering last Spring, I have been OBSESSED with figuring out how to dye hair with plants. IF people have been dying natural fibers with plants for thousands of years, shouldn’t we be quite close to finding more natural alternatives to hair-coloring? We all know about henna, right? But there has to be more straightforward ways to use the pigment in plants as a way to add color to hair, in a bigger way than “enhancing highlights…..” I’m talking, let’s dye your hair green with plant blood.

The endeavor of natural fiber dyeing combines 4 of my favorite things…….Nature, Science, Art, and Craft.This is what drew me into the experiment. As of today, I have gotten this far…….Succesfully staining hair green with Spirulina and acid-yellow Tumeric. Unsuccessful was the beet. Next time, Hibiscus powder (or perhaps cranberry?) for my pink, and black walnut husk for a darker hue.

Here is how we conducted our natural fiber hair-dying experiment.

First, I got myself a very light-haired model, my daughter Mars. I also used my own hair, which is light on the ends, to see if plant color would grab to it (it did!) As is true with any direct dye’s, light hair will show color better.

I got myself some Beet Root Powder, Spirulina Powder, and Turmeric Root Powder which I found at my local apothecary. These powders can be found on Amazon by clicking the links:)

Then I got my Alaffia- EveryDay Shea- Moisturizing Shea Butter Conditioner, which I use as a base for all my experiments which require a creamy conditioner. I love this stuff because it works great, it is affordable, and the company is so incredibly cool. Check em out!

I got 3 bowls, 3 color applying brushes, a hair clip, a comb, and a few sheets of foil.

IMG_6181-2I mixed a tablespoon of each powder with 6 pumps of conditioner, blending thoroughly with a color brush till the colors were creamy and consistent.

colorThen, I painted the color on thickly to strips of Marley’s blonde hair in foils. I sealed up the foils, and then I scrunched the remaining Turmeric conditioner into my hair. We went about our business, me processing peaches we just foraged at a nearby neighbors yard, and Marley dressing up in a Santa Claus outfit that she made out of paper. Simple pleasures!

1/2 an hour later, we both rinsed our hair, and let it dry. Here is how it turned out…..

IMG_6216IMG_6233As you can see, Marley’s hair really picked up the yellows and greens, not the pink at all. I think perhaps that beet root powder was not finely ground enough, thus harder to penetrate the hair with pigment. My ends were a literal acid yellow, which tickled the shit out of me.

What would I do different next time to get a more saturated color? Probably add heat to the mix by clamping the foil packets with my flatiron on a low heat setting. I think that would help the color bond to the hair. And then, I would follow up with a Beauty Vinegar rinse to seal that color in tight;)

This experiment has been super fun, and we both smell like exotic herbs. Our hairs are shiny and bright! We will DEFINITELY continue playing with this concept, mixing new pigments and herbs till we get this thing figured out……And we will keep sharing what we find:)
Want DIY hair color inspiration? browse HTHG’s DIY color category and learn how to master your own hair color!

Interested in a DIY foil, Balayage, Dip-Dye, or Ombre? Check out the HTHG DIY color video library. Save yourself the salon prices and master these techniques yourself.

If you are a DIY hair-cutter who is curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free and quite clean chemical-wise, as far as hair dye is concerned.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your other DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!

xoxoxox, HTHG


Spiritweavers Gathering, Embrace of the Feminine Heart

Hello Dears.

7U6A7132Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a sacred gathering of women in the California Redwoods. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It was a gathering curated and created by Daughterofthesun’s Amy Woodruff, and it was called the Spiritweavers Gathering.7U6A7205

I have been following Daughterofthesun on Instagram for several years now, constantly inspired by the visual journey of her authentic and colorful life, which she seemingly lives with absolute gratitude and love. When she announced the Spiritweavers Gathering, a communal skillshare in the woods featuring many of my favorite artists and craftswomen, I felt instantly called.

Against my own practical, rational mind, I followed my heart and said YES to the opportunity to buy my ticket to the SpiritWeavers Gathering. I have to thank Nikki Jacoby and BeTheFair’s Brette Howard for encouraging me. We walked an unknown, mystical magnetic path, knowing deep down that we needed and deserved this time together, communing with creative and visionary women in nature. 7U6A7277

Here is what I learned, and I will try an keep it concise.

-Our inner voice is our best guide, and much of what we do in our daily life distracts us from listening to it. It is important to do what we can to tune in to it. Without following our inner voice, we spin our wheels without purpose. It is there all the time! Listen to your hearts, babes.

-As women, having time with other women in a safe and supported environment is incredibly healing and rejuvenating.

-Being in nature is essential to getting grounded, and connecting with the elements.

-Being in connection with the elements helps us access deep intuitive wisdom, boundless energy, and endless inspiration.

-Ritual is a beautiful way to worship whatever god or goddess or energy or nothing that you want.

-We are all gifted with unique wisdom, and it is important that we share our gifts with each other.

-We are incredibly fortunate to have everything that we need to survive.

-Having sisters, blood or chosen, is incredibly important. 7U6A8031



I find my mind reeling with so many things to say. I think I will stop here before I get really cosmic on you. The point is, wow. This experience really impacted me, inspired me, uplifted me, and put me on a more clear path in life. And I am so, so grateful.7U6A8089

On that tip, you will notice some changes here at HTHG as I process and fine-tune my message to you all. Please do feel free to let me know what you think, you know I so appreciate your questions and feedback:)

Highlights from the Spiritweaver’s Gathering were these.7U6A7167

I learned to dye silk using natural pigments. We dyed scraps with boiled fennel, blackberries, oak balls, and horsetail. 7U6A7179More on that here!

I learned to infuse honey for beauty and remedy. Thanks to Janelle Campbell, I now have the knowledge to infuse with confidence, as well as 2 of my own small infusions. 7U6A7419

Here is a quick DIY…

Add any medicinal or flavorful herbs or flowers into a jar, and pour honey over them. Cover, and set in a warm place to infuse for 2 weeks, making sure you flip the jar over every few days to mix. If you use fresh herbs, your honey will have a shelf life of 4-6 months, dry herb infusions will last literally for thousands of years.

I made an infusion with calendula, rose, horsetail and lavender to use on my skin as a mask, or mix with water and use as a spray toner or hair conditioner.

I made another one with orange peel, cayanne, and turkey tail mushrooms for a digestive immune booster and tonic for boosting circulation. I will use it by eating a spoonful when I need it.

Check this post out on medicinal herbs for beauty:)

More on honey infusions here.

7U6A7183Marysia Miernowska from the Gaia School of Healing taught us about the language of medicinal plants using the Wise Woman Tradition. I Highly recommend, if you are interested in the subject, the book Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series) by Susun Weed.

Brette, Nikki and I took a business 101 course for conscious creators from a thoughtful and savvy entrepenuer named Britt Neubacher who owns Tend Living, a water-wise creative garden/landscaping company in San Diego. In a group of 20 women, we discussed the trials, the blessings, and the frustrations of building conscious businesses.

I learned about wild fermentation from master fermentors Mori Natura and Nastasha McGuirk. The class was really interesting and informative, and also very affirming as I realized that I have been over-thinking my fermented krauts for years now. I have been over-salting and overfussing. Turns out, you can safely ferment literally anything. The key is, you have to use filtered or distilled water, and not too much salt (must be sea salt.)

We foraged wild greens like sorrel, baby pine needles, mugwort, dandelion, and nettles and mixed them with cabbage, carrots, and salt for a perfect fermented tonic kraut. We also sampled homemade fermented krauts, cheeses, breads and kefirs. When I got home, I ordered Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Katz to keep me inspired and educated on journey deeper into fermented foods.

7U6A7191I shared my toothbrush with a banana slug.7U6A78857U6A78787U6A7860

I did some hair, of course;) Felt very called to return next year as a skillsharer and teach braiding and holistic DIY haircare. See you there:)?

Lastly, I had the pleasure of connecting with 5 incredible creative women and their really exciting brands.7U6A8131

April Rose of Rainbow Kimono and Sara Harris of Totally Blown stole my heart, and I returned home with a beautiful ceramic moon phase neck piece and a killer massively distressed crop T shirt which had been totally blown away by a shotgun shell. Read more on these two visionaries in the links above. 7U6A7927 7U6A7918

Bunni and her Daughter Alchemy of Zen Bunni Chocolates were a pleasure to meet. Alchemy is 4 years old, and she let me do her hair on a sunny afternoon by the river. Bunni was kind enough to gift me 5 chocolate bars which were enough to make me fall in love with them, their chocolate, and the story of their tiny rabbit hole biodynamic chocolate shop in Venice, California. Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 3.50.39 PM

Photo by Brette Howard.

I have been taking my Sunpotion Prash on the daily, a spoonful at a time. I feel the lifeforce barreling through me in a way that I have never felt before. I tend to be a cold, damp person and I have been feeling quite a bit of inner heat from it. And it tastes so heavenly. The herbal mix of honey and ghee melt down my throat like fire caramel. I do yoga as it melts in my mouth and it is a total sensory explosion. Check this great company of transformational foods and supplements if you feel the need to help get your energy flowing in the right direction. IMG_4920

I also finally got to meet my insta-friend and favorite natural beauty brand Naked Eye Beauty’s Jen Zillioto in person, which was so awesome, and she was just as lovely and down to earth as I thought she would be. Big shout out to her and her lovingly-naturally-crafted line of skin, hair, and makeup products.

In a nutshell, thanks to vision of Daughterofthesun, the dream building of the Spiritweaver sisters, and the generosity of all the women who came to share and learn, my chakras are open, my roots are deep, and my mind is Totally Blown. Can’t wait for next year. And I wish every one of you sisters who are here today abundant opportunity to root down and commune with your fellow woman. We all deserve it.

xoxo, HTHG

4/20 Special: 6th Sense Divining Hair Oil Recipe

Hi dears. Happy 420!

I’m about to get all medicine woman on you.

I really like the theory of hair being like our “6th sense” or the gateway to our intuition. I think that it makes a lot of sense, in that beautiful place where biology and mysticism cross paths, that our hair is our sensitivity to the world around us. 7U6A1228

Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment. This has been seen in Kirlian photography when a person is photographed with long hair and then re-photographed after the hair is cut……..

as reported by Cee Young, from this amazing article.

Today, as you all know, is 4/20, a national holiday that is dedicated to a plant with many uses, one of them altering and/or heightening the senses.  Today, we celebrate the comeback plant that has officially made it to the mainstream, welcome Cannabis Sativa…

7U6A0608To honor the many medicinal aspects of the cannabis plant, we will be making a powerfully moisturizing and color-protecting divining hair oil,…..Using organic hemp oil from the sativa plant, amber resin, fractionated coconut oil, and a little of the fresh green leaves or flower itself, if you happen to have some laying around. We got our fresh green leaves from the University of Washington cannibis research lab!

7U6A8084First off, lets talk about the benefits of hemp oil.

Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant and all psychoactive compounds are removed during processing, has excludes it from criminalization. Hemp oil has been used for years in beauty products as a vitamin D rich, non-pore clogging oil. It has been known to be anti-inflammatory and to reduce pore size while encouraging healthy cell production.

In the hair, hemp oil adds easily absorbable moisture and shine. Fatty acids from the plant provide protection from the elements, and help you keep your color fresh longer. Sounds great, right?

Hemp oil is especially good for…..

  • dry hair
  • dull hair
  • color treated hair
  • course hair
  • curly hair

Now, let’s talk about why we put the fresh herb in our hair oil.

7U6A0973As most of us know, the chemical compound THC from the cannabis plant has been used for centuries to ‘heighten the senses.’  I thought it would be fun to experiment with heightening the ‘hair senses’ by using infused cannabis leaf in a hair oil. So I tried it out, and now I am excited to share my recipe with you.

Do I expect that you will experience psychoactive effects by infusing low-THC weed leaf in oil and then using it in your hair? Not likely at all. But your hair will love it, and maybe, just maybe, it will help you tap into a deeper intuitive place by giving your hair that special ‘6th sense’.

I realize that not all of you have legal access to fresh cannabis. So the fresh leaf option is for those of you who live in legal green states. You can most certainly use the recipe without the fresh herb, just the oils and amber, and you will still get the powerful moisturizing benefits of the hemp hair oil.

But if you have access to legal weed, and you are a experimenter and a bit of a mystic like myself, add some to your oil and let it infuse for a week, and let your hair experience a gently heightened sense of being:)7U6A8058

7U6A8065What you will need to make your oil

Here is what you will need to make the 6th Sense Divining Hair Oil.


Begin by opening up your dropper bottle. Roll up the cannabis leaves (or crumble up the flower) and drop into the bottle, through the funnel if needed. Repeat with the amber. 7U6A8075

Now, pour your oils into your bottle, one at a time. Fill bottle to the brim, put the cap on, and let it sit in a sunny place for a week, shaking it well once a day.7U6A8079

After a week of infusing, keep your oil refrigerated.


Use a couple drops of your 6th Sense Divining Hair Oil any time there is an energetic block between you and your intuition, or you and your hair. Use a couple any time your hair needs taming, moisture, and shine. Use it when braiding cornrows, to moisturize the scalp and shine up your rows. Or, just apply it to dry hair and smooth it through with your hands.7U6A0846

Fun Fact: Did you know that ‘4:20’ started with a group of high-school stoners in California in the early 70’s who called themselves The Waldo’s? They met every day at 4:20 to get stoned. Yep, real deals. I leart it on the Internets. Here is the story.

Also, did you know that the mighty Cannabis plant has the strongest fibers of any plant known to mankind? It is considered a fantastic and sustainable building material.

Please enjoy this post and recipe, and share it if you love it!

And for more hair and body products that call upon the power of the herb, check out this post from HTHG for Refinery29.

xo, HTHG

How to Naturally Treat Dandruff.

Guest Post Alert, Babes! read on if you have issues with Dandruff.

How to Treat Dandruff With Natural Ingredients7U6A8426

Dandruff is an issue for a lot of people and it is not easy to get rid of, causing embarrassment or many people. Those unsightly dandruff flakes on the shoulders can make for some pretty embarrassing social encounters. So, what is dandruff, anyway? Dandruff is actually flakes of dead skin on your scalp. It seems that even the experts don’t know exactly what causes it, but they do have some clues, as well as suggestions on how to treat it. Although experts don’t really know the causes of dandruff, they do all seem to agree that it is not caused by poor hygiene. In other words, it has nothing to do with your physical hygiene habits.

Causes of Dandruff

There are several things that can cause dandruff. If you do not brush your hair on a regular basis, you are not helping your scalp to get rid of the dead skin flakes on your head. As a result, they build up, resulting in that embarrassing dandruff falling on your shoulders. A good rule of thumb is to brush your hair for at least 2 minutes every morning and evening.

If you have a yeast allergy, that could be a cause for dandruff, as well. If this is the case and you notice that your dandruff gets better during the hot months of summer because the bright sunshine counteracts the effects of the yeast allergy. You may find that your dandruff problem is better in the winter. Now, even though experts agree this could be a cause, they also agree that it could just be because of the dryness in winter that is caused by the dry heat caused by keeping your house warm.

Natural Ingredient Remedies



Although aspirin may not be a natural ingredient, it has some of the same ingredients as the special dandruff shampoos you can purchase in stores. Crush up two aspirin into a powder and add them to the amount of shampoo you put on your hair. Shampoo your hair as you normally do and leave it in for 2 minutes before you rinse. Be sure to rinse it very well and shampoo again without aspirin. Go ahead and use conditioner as normal. If you follow this routine every time you wash your hair, you should see marked improvement.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been proven to be an effective treatment for dandruff. There are shampoos you can buy that have tea tree oil in them, but you can purchase the tea tree oil from health stores and simply add it to your favorite shampoo. This is a great natural remedy for dandruff that has been proven to work.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Yeast grows on your scalp and the acidic nature of the apple cider vinegar prohibits the yeast from growing. This, in turn, helps to prevent dry flakes of dry skin from forming, keeping your dandruff in check.

Check out this awesome ACV dandruff tonic!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural oil that will keep those dead skin cells from forming on your scalp. You can purchase a shampoo that already contains coconut oil, or you can just buy the coconut oil. About 1 hour before shampooing, take about 5 tablespoons of coconut oil and massage it into your scalp. If you don’t need that much, use 3 or 4 tablespoons.

Avoid Stress

Sound strange? Well, it’s not. The daily stress that you encounter is one cause of dandruff. Stress has a huge impact on the whole body and on your emotional health, as well. It may not be easy, but you will thank yourself when you see a reduction in dandruff problems, as well as an improvement in your overall health. Make a checklist of all of the things you do daily and cut out some of the things you really don’t need to do. You will be amazed at the results as you begin to feel better.

Eat Healthy

Make sure you eat a diet rich in zinc and vitamin B6 are critical for keeping your hair and scalp healthy and flourishing. Cut down on the unhealthy foods that are full of sugar. Eating foods like this don’t allow the body to function as it should.

Plain Yogurt

Yes, you read right! Yogurt is not only great for eating, but plain yogurt can get rid of your dandruff. The process is simple. Simply wash your hair as you normally do, then massage plain yogurt into your scalp and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse out the yogurt, using mixture of thyme, nettle and sage. Rinse the yogurt into a bowl and put any of the remaining mixture into your hair.

Baby Oil

Use a little bit of baby oil and massage it into your scalp. Put a towel over your head and leave it on while you sleep. In the morning, shampoo with your regular shampoo.

Olive Oil

Massage olive oil into your scalp and allow it to stay on for about ten minutes before your wash your hair, then shampoo, condition and rinse as usual. Before you go to be, massage more olive oil into your scalp, put a towel on your head and let the olive oil stay in while you sleep. When you wake up, your dandruff should be completely gone.

Fight Back Against Dandruff With Home Remedies

Dandruff has plagued people probably for centuries, and people have made use of natural remedies for that long. If your dandruff is really bad, following some of these tips will help you to get rid of your dandruff and keep the pesky critter at bay.

Please help to spark discussion by leaving your comments. Share your own story and leave responses on the comments of others. Let’s get some good conversations going and learn from each other’s experiences.


Maja Tisma

Maja Tisma is the co-founder and editor of blog. She works as a professional graphic designer and blogger, but she has a big passion for beauty & health. Over the recent past, she has contributed several articles about healthy lifestyle, diets, eating, fitness, and beauty on various blogs.

How to Remove Hair Color at Home

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.05.39 PMHi Dear DIY Hair-colorers! In the last year, I have done a total of 94 DIY Color Consultations here at HTHG, all for people who are looking to achieve their perfect hair hue at home.

Most of these consultations are for people who made a little hair color oops, and ended up with a shade that they do not like, and are looking for ways to remove color without excessively damaging their hair. I decided that it was time to write a post on how to safely and effectively remove hair color at home.

It should be noted however, that it is not possible to literally remove all permanent color from the hair. What is possible, however, is removing enough hair dye that it makes re-coloring and achieving good results MUCH easier.

I asked my friends at Austin Beauty School Avenue Five to put together a post for us on the subject, and here it is….

How to Remove Hair Color at Home.

There’s no need to hide out in your home for three months while your new hair color slowly fades. If you regret that burgundy red shade on your head now, even though it seemed perfect when you first spotted it on the side of the hair dye box, it may seem you’re stuck with it, but you’re not. You can breathe a sigh of relief that no matter what dye you put on your hair, there are many tried and true ways to remove it quickly and easily. However, before you reach for that bottle of bleach solution, consider some other less caustic solutions to remove color from your hair at home.

Shades that are unnatural, like blues and greens, may be harder to lighten because they can turn into different colors, so be careful and do a strand test first. However, with natural colors, the key is to match the method with your hair color type, permanent or semi-permanent. If you’re trying to remove hair color without affecting your natural color underneath, always seek to reduce the color, not strip it. Some of these solutions come off a shelf, and others you can make with a few simple ingredients you have at home. Our technicians at our Austin beauty school have some suggestions for you to try!


  1. Color Remover – Buy a color remover and you won’t have to worry about bleaching your natural hair underneath. It only gets rid of the artificial color. It works well for permanent colors, that other methods may have more trouble getting rid of at one go. There are different color removers sold by different manufacturers and they all come with different instructions. Follow the instructions to the letter for the best results. If you don’t get rid of all the color right away, try it a few more times to get rid of it all. This will also work well for semi-permanent color, but there are even gentler ways to life that type of color that you may want to try listed below.
  2. Vitamin C Treatment – People swear by this treatment to remove any color, permanent or semi-permanent, even difficult pinks to deep red shades. It’s also popular because it only contains two ingredients: crushed effervescent vitamin C tablets and shampoo.There are no strict measurements, but use at least two tablets or more. Mix it with enough shampoo to cover your hair. Then, cover the hair and let it sit for 20 minutes to one hour before rinsing thoroughly. It’s just that simple! It can be repeated several more times, if the color hasn’t faded enough.
  3. Dishwashing Soap – Dishwashing soap is also a gentle way to remove color. In fact, you can substitute this type of soapy liquid for the shampoo and use it with your vitamin C tablets or alone. Either way, it works well for semi-permanent color mistakes.
  4. Anti-Dandruff Shampoos – Another easy fix for pastels or small shade changes is anti-dandruff shampoo. Some people swear it will release color in just the right amount without having to go out and buy an expensive color remover. It will work best the quicker you use it, before the color has time to set completely. However, this does not work well at all for permanent colors. Some people like to use this shampoo with the vitamin C tablet mixture to give it a boost in color-removing power.
  5. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice – Mix two teaspoons of lemon juice to each two teaspoons of baking soda. This is a little messier to apply than some of the other solutions, but it’s all-natural and can lighten the hair significantly. People who don’t want to pay for the vitamin C tablets might like the fact that both baking soda and lemon juice are very cheap ingredients. Let it sit on your head for only a few minutes and then rinse out. The lemon can dry the hair and damage it, so be careful not to leave it in too long. This mixture is also good for scrubbing off excess hair color that gets on your skin during a dye job.
  6. Hot Oil Treatment – For those that want to condition their hair, while lightening it, try a hot oil massage and treatment. Put the hot oil treatment on your head and cover it with a shower cap for about an hour. Then, rinse it with hot water and watch the color come out. You won’t have to worry about damaging the hair because it’ll actually nourish it instead!
  7. Epsom Salts and Baking Soda – These are also sometimes referred to as “bath salts.” The beauty of this treatment is that you can do it in the bath, and just lay down to soak your head in the tub, even while it releases the color in your hair. This method only works with semi-permanent colors, not permanent colors.

While a few of these methods do work with permanent colors, many people turn to bleaching to correct permanent color mistakes. This can be done with a watered-down bleach solution, but it can still have a high risk of damaging the hair. Plus, it can affect the natural color underneath. However, if that’s your last resort, then test it on a strand first and see how it works. Otherwise, most people would prefer to avoid the bleach all together and opt for safer, more natural, methods as outlined above.

While we are on the subject of hair color, If you are a DIY enthusiast who is curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your other DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!

This article was submitted by Avenue Five. They are an Austin Beauty school for aspiring professionals, providing three comprehensive training programs specializing in haircare, massage and skincare. Avenue Five is dedicated to providing salon-professional educators in a fashion-forward, interactive learning environment.

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