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Color your hair naturally with henna: easy recipe

Updated on April 6, 2011


What is Henna?

Henna (Lawsonia Inermis) has been used been used historically for body art, dyeing fabrics, and coloring hair. The henna plant is native to Asia and Africa. Henna leaves produce a red orange stain when crushed. The chemical responsible for this pigment is known as Lawsone.  

Unhealthy synthetic hair dyes

Synthetic hair dyes damages hair. Repeated coloring leaves hair dull and weak. We’ve all seen people with over processed hair. Over time hair will become dry, brittle, and broken. Synthetic hair dyes also contain unhealthy ingredients. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions, asthma, and even blindness.  

Henna as a natural hair dye

 Henna is a great alternative to synthetic hair dyes. This natural pigment binds to the proteins in hair.  It produces an orange or reddish brown color in hair. Your hair color results depend on your natural hair color. Henna is said to be an excellent hair treatment.  The same chemical that colors hair bind to the weak points in the hair. Henna is a natural protein treatment.

Where to buy Henna

Only purchase 100 % henna. There are a lot of products claiming to be henna that are not pure henna. You have to be careful of these misleading products, because they may contain harmful metals and salt. These ingredients can be damaging to your hair or even your health. So how can you tell the difference? Well real henna will only dye your hair red. Any product claiming to dye your hair any other color is not henna. Henna leaves are often grounded and sold as a fine powder. Real henna should be green in color and smell like hay. I recommend using body art quality henna. Body art henna has higher dye content. I recommend Jamila brand henna. This is pure henna and come in 100 g packages. You may need, more depend on how much hair you have.


How to dye your hair with henna

You can play around with the recipe but here is a basic one

100 g body art quality henna

½ of lemon juice or black tea

¼ cup of water

1 teaspoon of olive oil for extra conditioning



Mix all the ingredients together. Cover mixture with saran wrap. Let it marinate for 12 to 24 hours, so the dye will release. The longer it sits the better (not so long that it dries out). The mixture should turn from a dark green to a mud-like color. This means it’s ready. It should be a pudding-like consistency. Next apply to hair.

*it is a good idea to wear old clothes and wear gloves, henna stains skin and clothing!

Apply a generous amount throughout hair. You will want to saturate your hair. Keep adding more until it feel like you’re wearing a muddy helmet. Next place a disposable shower cap on your head and wait. Now here’s the tricky part. The longer your leave it in your hair, the redder it will stain. I’ve heard of people leaving it in for as little as 20 minutes, or as long as 12 hours. Your color results depend on the original color of your hair and how long you leave henna in. I recommend doing a strand test on your before your dye your hair. Simply coat a few shed hairs and wait two hours. This should give you an idea of the color results. After you have achieved your desired color simply shampoo and condition.


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    • Gabby G profile image

      Gabby G 5 years ago from USA

      I don't know. I would research it. do mean the henna art cones? those are only for skin. pure henna powder is the only kind you'd want to use on your hair.

    • profile image

      FG 5 years ago

      can i dye my hair with a henna cone?

    • profile image

      Morgana 5 years ago

      I have been using henna for five years and my hair has never healthier.

    • profile image

      krissy 6 years ago

      i really want to try this because since i dyed my hair i noticed it started to break and fall out so i'm searching for a product that will make my hair grow again to the length i desire......if any of u guys know i product i can use please email me at im very desperate.

    • Gabby G profile image

      Gabby G 6 years ago from USA

      yeah I agree. that's why I stopped dying my hair with chemical hair dyes 9 years ago. They seemed to fry my hair. natural is better

    • profile image

      Charmain 6 years ago

      I still prefer natural hair dye color, once my aunt tried to use an artificial chemical hair dye, the whole of her head skin turn into color, it takes her few months to wash away the color. Furthermore those chemical dye could cause cancer when it absorb into skin for long period of time.

    • AlwaysGoGreen profile image

      AlwaysGoGreen 6 years ago from El Paso, Texas

      I have always wanted to do this. I just might do a streak. Good information.