Henna, Natural Hair Dye

Henna Powder

What is Henna?

I recently found out about the wonders of Henna, searching online and reading other people's experiences encouraged me to try it. First of all I am going to tell you what is Henna in simple words.

It is a green powder extracted from an Indian plant called Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) which produces a reddish pigment when mixed with hot water and acidic liquids. In this powder's particles there is Keratin which also is in our hair,so when both come together, the Keratin attaches giving you existing hair colour a red tint. It doesn't make your hair a fire engine red unless you have platinum blonde hair, and the resulting shade depends on your own existing hair colour.

Example pictures

Thick Yoghurt consistency.
Thick Yoghurt consistency.
It's quite odd looking but this is how it should look like.
It's quite odd looking but this is how it should look like.
Saran Wrap.
Saran Wrap.

How to prepare your hair dye?

Dying you hair with henna is actually not that bad as everyone portrays it. It can get messy but it's worth it in the end.

The first thing you want to do is put on some gloves, henna will stain your skin (does Henna tattoos ring a bell?) and wear some old clothes. Grab a plastic bowl (metal bowls can react with henna giving bad results if the henna you bought isn't pure) to put your mix in. Place the powder (150 gr for medium hair) and pour boiling hot water and the juice of one or two lemons. (You might notice that as soon as you apply the hot water, the paste starts to smell earthy, and a bit like grass; the smell is a tad strong but nothing you can't bare) Stir until you get a thick paste light yoghurt or brownie batter. If it's too thick, add more hot water; if it's to liquid add more henna powder. The lemon juice will help release the pigment, so the colour is more vibrant and rich on your hair. Let it sit until it cools down (20 - 30 mins / some people leave it sit overnight but it still the same result)

Before you apply put some moisturiser of pretolleum jelly on your hairline, ears and neck to avoid stains.

When you have your paste ready, apply it on towel dried hair. If your hair is dry the henna application will be even messier. Part your hair and start from the roots, then cover the shaft of your hair until the ends. Once your hair is fully covered in henna, put plastic wrap on it to maintain the heat. Then you should leave it on for 3 to 6 hours. The longer you leave it the more conditioned your hair will be. Henna isn't only a natural hair dye but it is an amazing deep conditioner. It makes your hair super silky and glossy. You'll notice an improvement on your hair's health and body.



Will henna only dye my hair RED??

No, you can add natural ingredients to change Henna pigment or to enhance the red tint. Take into consideration that Henna will only darken your hair colour, it will not lighten up your shade by any means. You can't go blonde with this.


Things you can add to get a redder tint:

  • Beet juice
  • Red Wine
  • Clove water
  • Cinnamon water

Things you can add to achieve a brown tint:

  • Pure ground coffee
  • Black tea
  • Regular tea


Rinsing Henna

Now this the real messy part. You will need a bottle of your favourite conditioner and loads of water. Don't rinse it in your kitchen sink, or in your bathroom sink, or in your bathtub. Rinse it in the shower, PERIOD.

When the 3 to 6 hours have passed and you have removed the plastic wrap, you hair will feel like stiff mud. Let the water run on top of your head and let all the henna rinse off. DO NOT SHAMPOO! the shampoo will strip off the colour and remain for a shorter amount of time, just rinse it with water for now. It might feel like you've been under the water for ages... and trust me you have; but hang in there it's almost over. You'll see your shower floor stained, so just put some water on it and it'll go away. Then put a reasonably big amount of conditioner on your palm and then lather it all over your hair, massaging your scalp and henna leftovers. Conditioner will not strip the colour off, so it's safe to use it.

After you've rinsed your hair, when it dries it will feel stiff and dry; this is normal. The next time you wash your hair now with shampoo and all, it will go back to normal. You will notice your hair healthier from day one, it will just be a little stiff like hay.

If you're not content with the result, don't worry. Henna isn't permanent, although it might be after several applications (it will eventually fade but will take longer). If you want to remove the colour right away you can with mineral oil (although it won't remove everything)

Other people's results

Resulting shade may vary. It depends on your natural hair colour.
Resulting shade may vary. It depends on your natural hair colour.
Resulting shade may vary. It depends on your natural hair colour.
Resulting shade may vary. It depends on your natural hair colour.

Before and after

Never mind the cup. It was the only picture in which my hair colour showed up properly. My hair is naturally curly.
Never mind the cup. It was the only picture in which my hair colour showed up properly. My hair is naturally curly.
This is after hennaing my hair, and I straightened it for a party, the colour shows up more intense when my hair is straight.
This is after hennaing my hair, and I straightened it for a party, the colour shows up more intense when my hair is straight.

Comments 10 comments

blueiiidgirl36 profile image

blueiiidgirl36 4 years ago from Richmond

I might try this.


urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

I have tried. it works pretty good.Great hub. Voted up


Sunita-Sharma profile image

Sunita-Sharma 4 years ago from Los Angeles,California,US

Great hub! Have not used it for quite some time now...will soon start using it again..it works as a good conditioner also!


bmukherjii profile image

bmukherjii 4 years ago

I always use henna, for natural hair color. But recently i am noticing some grey hair, which is very negligible, but after henna conditioning it turns into orange and becomes clearly visible. can i add some chemical colors to it to hide the orange effect[ for example natural burgundy, or brown]. Also tell me if this product is safe for mixing with henna[ http://www.godrejexpert.com/]


Smart is Good profile image

Smart is Good 4 years ago from Lima, PerĂº Author

Hey bmukherjii, If you don't want the orange tint in your grey hair try adding some ground coffee into your henna mix to darken it. Chemical products are ok to use after two weeks of having hennaed your hair and only if the henna you use is pure henna not compound henna. If your Henna has other ingredients then it might react badly. I have heard Lush Henna Hair dyes are pretty good and they're all natural. They come in 4 shades, even black (which is henna mixed with indigo but it's still natural)


Susie 3 years ago

I like to use Henna to dye my hair so much, but I do not know where to buy the true Henna. Please advise

from susie


sammy 3 years ago

i used it after relaxing my hair,my hair wasn't that hard but it looked good and healthy,though we took lesser time and applied it in the different way.


sammy 3 years ago

how often can one apply the henna hubs especially the black henna,is it ok to apply it weekly .does it have some side effects


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago

An interesting alternative to the beauty parlor.


Michelle Noe 2 months ago

I have been using henna with indigo to make a great brown with highlights... lots of info on line. Covers the grey really well. The henna allows the indigo to take without caustic chemicals.

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