ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Fashion and Beauty»
  • Hairstyles, Cool Cuts, How to Style Your Hair»
  • Hair Coloring

How to Henna Your Hair

Updated on January 27, 2011

So, you're sick of your hair color, and want to do something about it. But, getting your hair colored at a salon is expensive.

Why pay someone else to do something you're more than capable of doing yourself at home, for a fraction of the price?

The Pros and Cons of Henna


  • 100% natural
  • Cost effective compared to a trip to the salon
  • Will not damage hair
  • Easy to upkeep
  • Beautiful highlights


  • Limited color selection (recipe section later in article)
  • Color depends on natural shade of hair
  • Messy
  • Dyes skin in addition to hair (temporary)
  • Henna prevents future use of chemical dyes and perms, due to it's unique coating of the hairshaft. This can last months.
  • Time consuming depending on the desired intensity of color

Image courtesy of Raffat @ flickr
Image courtesy of Raffat @ flickr
Image courtesy of 235uranium.
Image courtesy of 235uranium.

What is Henna?

Henna is a small tropical tree. It's leaves contain a special compound, Lawsone, that has an affinity for bonding with protein. In the Bible, henna is called Camphire.

Is Henna Safe?

Yes, henna itself is safe in it's pure, unadulterated form. When additives are added, it's safety is called into question. PPD, an additive that turns henna black and makes it stain faster, is known to cause severe burns and cancer. But PPD is only one additive, there are more. Premixed henna body art pastes are known to have harmful additives, so avoid them at all costs. For your safety, only use pure henna powder from a reputable source.

Is Henna legal in the US?

As a hair dye, you bet. For body art it's actually illegal, though prosecution isn't probable.

How to Henna Your Hair: Step by Step Guide

Supplies needed:

  • Gloves
  • Non-metal bowl (Henna does not like metal!)
  • Non-metal spoon
  • Shower cap
  • Vaseline
  • Time (plan on watching a movie... etc)
  • Old t-shirt and pants (in case of drips)
  • Hair clips
  • Old towels


  1. Make sure your hair is clean and dry.
  2. Follow the mixing instructions on the packaged henna hair color (if applicable, body art henna mixing instructions will be posted later in this article).
  3. Gather hair from your hairbrush, and do a strand test. If you like the results of dyeing your hair from the hairbrush, proceed with dyeing your entire head.
  4. Change into your "painters clothes" (old t-shirt, pants).
  5. Apply vaseline to the skin of your hairline and ears.
  6. Cover your shoulders with an old towel.
  7. Have your henna mixture and other supplies handy, apply gloves, and section hair.
  8. Make a section at the nape of the neck first, clipping all of your other hair on top of your head and out of the way, (if you have short hair you may skip this step).
  9. Coat the first section with your henna mixture, then create the next section, coating that one in the same way you coated the first.
  10. Move forward until you reach your hairline. Cover the hair of your hairline well.
  11. Sweep your henna-covered hair up on top of your head, and apply shower cap.
  12. Leave henna on according to either package instructions or recipe suggestions.
  13. Rinse henna out until water runs clear.

Image courtesy of Raffat @ flickr
Image courtesy of Raffat @ flickr

Henna FAQs

Q. I really want to give henna a try, but I'm currently using chemical dyes. Can I switch directly to henna, or do I need to wait for the old color to fade?

A. A year needs to have passed since the hair was permed, dyed, bleached or straightened. Some claim that if you're using pure, body-art quality henna (mehndi) that you can color sooner. If you do choose to risk it, be sure to do a strand test first.

Q. Can I henna my hair a certain shade, such as chestnut brown or espresso?

A. Well... yes and no. Henna is red, is red, is red! Unless additives are added to the mix, that is. Chemical additives are bad with a capital B, so if you really have your heart set on a color other than red, it might actually be safer to either go to a salon or use a traditional hair color!

With that said, henna can be coaxed into other variations of it's normal red shade with certain natural additives, so if you're daring, you could give that a try. Check the recipes section for some ideas.

Q. I've always wanted to be a blonde. Can I lighten my hair with henna?

A. While henna can give some awesome highlights, it can't actually lighten hair. Color has to be lifted to lighten the hair, and henna coats the hair follicle. It adds, it does not take away.

If you know that you want to be blonde, head to the salon, and don't try henna first. More than likely, you'll be disappointed, plus the henna coating your hair will prevent you from getting your hair bleached for a long, long time.

Q. What about black henna?

A. There is no such thing as black henna. Henna is red. However, some people refer to indigo as "black henna". Don't be fooled though, chances are those "natural" black henna hair colors at the store do not contain indigo, they contain PPD. How can they call it natural if it contains p-phenylenediamine? My guess is that although it is toxic and hazardous, p-phenylenediamine is still "natural", as in from a natural source. If you want to dye your hair black, please see the recipe section further down on this page.

Q. Is there any way to know for absolute certain what color my hair will be after dyeing it with henna?

A. Actually no, there's not. That's why it's so vital to do a strand test using hair from your hairbrush before dyeing your entire head. Because henna coats the hair in a transparent coating, results will depend on the original color of your hair, since your natural hair color is the base. So it varies from person to person.

Q. Why can't I perm my hair after treating it with henna?

A. It's all thanks to how henna works. Henna, when applied to the hair, bonds it's tannins to the keratin of the hair follicles on a molecular level. Once bonded, the fiber of the hair is strong, durable and glossy. That's why some people claim it can make split ends disappear. It actually binds with the hair shaft, repairing it. With a protective coating of henna on the hair shaft, it's almost impossible for anything to penetrate it, even chemicals. So, please think carefully before dyeing your hair with henna.

Image courtesy of ReneS @ flickr
Image courtesy of ReneS @ flickr


Like pies, cakes and cookies, there are hundreds of recipes for henna, and each are as unique as the person who conceived them! This list is by no means an exhaustive one, and chances are, even if you find a recipe you love and adore, you'll make at least a slight alteration to it over time, making it more suited to your preferences.

Many women add oils to their mix. Some use yogurt instead of lemon juice. For my list, I'm keeping it simple, but feel free to experiment! As long as you do a strand test first, that is. ;)

Classic Henna Recipe: Body art quality henna powder, lemon juice.

It's really that simple. The amount of henna powder you need will depend on your length of hair. The amount of lemon juice will depend on the amount of henna powder. Mix top-quality henna powder with lemon juice until it's the consistency of mashed potatoes. Then, cover it with plastic wrap and let it steep for about 12 hours. Before applying, add more lemon juice until it's the consistency of gravy. Apply to hair, and let it set for 2-4 hours.

Classic Henna Results: (will vary)

Blonde + Classic Henna = Brilliant Red

Gray + Classic Red = Copper Penny

Ash/Dark Blonde + Classic Henna = Red

Red + Classic Henna = To Dye For Red

Medium Brown + Classic Henna = Irish Setter

Dark Brown + Classic Henna = Cherry Wood

Black + Classic Henna = Black with Red Halo (in the sun)

Interested in the Classic Red recipe, but want a gentler color? Substitute half of the henna powder with powdered cassia and viola, tamer red!

Brown Henna Recipe: Two parts body art quality henna and one part indigo powder, lemon juice. Mix in the same way as the Classic Red recipe.

Brown Henna recipe results: (will vary)

Blonde + Brown Henna = Light Brown

Gray + Brown Henna = Light Brown

Ash/Dark Blonde + Brown Henna = Light Brown

Red + Brown Henna = Medium Brown

Medium Brown + Brown Henna = Medium Brown

Dark Brown + Brown Henna = Brown with warm highlights

Black + Brown Henna = Black with warm highlights

Espresso Henna Recipe: One part body art quality henna, two parts indigo powder, lemon juice. Mix in the same way as Classic and Brown.

Espresso Henna Results: (will vary)

Blonde + Espresso Henna = Dark Brown

Gray + Espresso Henna = Dark Brown

Ash/Dark Blonde + Espresso Henna = Dark Brown

Red + Espresso Henna = Dark Brown

Medium Brown + Espresso Henna = Very Dark Brown

Dark Brown + Espresso Henna = Very Dark Brown

Black + Espresso Henna = Warm Black

Raven Henna Recipe: Henna and indigo powders, lemon juice.

First, mix up henna and henna hair exactly as instructed for Classic Red Henna. Then, mix up indigo all by itself and apply to hair. Let indigo set for 1 hour, then rinse. It may take more than one application of the indigo to dye lighter colored hair black, but if you want 100% natural black hair, it's well worth the time invested.

Blonde + Raven Henna = Black

Gray + Raven Henna = Black

Ash/Dark Blonde + Raven Henna = Black

Red + Raven Henna = Black

Medium Brown + Raven Henna = Black

Dark Brown + Raven Henna = Black

Black + Raven Henna = Black

Do you have your own henna mix you'd like to share? If so, please feel free to post it in the comments section. :)

LUSH Henna

If you're not up for experimenting on your own mixes, there is one brand of 100% safe pre-made henna that I know of, LUSH.

Are there other 100% safe pre-made henna mixes out there? If so, please tell us about it in the comments section.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Hadassah 3 years ago

      I have heard you can use coffee with henna. What colors do you get with brown coffee on dark brown hair? What about gray hair?

    • profile image

      Joanna 4 years ago

      I wanted to know where to buy henna and indigo powder online =)

    • profile image

      Tushima Bania 4 years ago

      Can i put heena on my temporalily straightening hair ?

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 5 years ago from California

      @ Maya

      I am happy to hear about your success. However, I still wouldn't advise anyone to attempt what you've done. There is absolutely no way to predict what the results will be, especially if real henna was used previously.

      The "black henna" that you were using may have been a small amount of henna spiked with PPD.

    • profile image

      Maya 5 years ago

      Hey girls, those of you who said you can't bleach your hair after using henna .. well i did. I used this so called black henna on my hair for a year, than i had to do two bleaching and then put some colour dye light brown on my hair and i was light brown :)) then i dyed my hair with blond colours and in no time i was platinum blonde - after more than 8 months of dying since platinum is harder to get if you want to do it step by step. So it is possible to dye ure hair after using henna :))

    • profile image

      pooja 6 years ago

      i had applied henna last week and this week i did permanent hair straighting i was not told that it will not stay.. now im really concerned weather it will stay or not ...

    • profile image

      Rosh 6 years ago

      Hi I am using heena and indigo for abt 1 year now. I feel the number of white hair has increased manyfold. Does indigo make ur hair turn white quickly is that a side effect?

    • profile image

      Maraya 6 years ago

      You can get indigo from Lush cosmetics. It's good quality henna. I've not done mine yet, I'm 15 and have dark dull brown hair. I really want a warm deep chocolatey brown. Will henna help me get this??

    • profile image

      maraya 6 years ago

      Where can I get indigo?is it the same that is availavle at grocery shops for white garments?

    • profile image

      ann 6 years ago

      I am new to henna i like to be on the brown side, how do i wash my hair with coffee and can i use conditioner after using henna?

    • profile image

      Maya 6 years ago

      I have bought this henna hair dye (haven't used it yet) and it says blonde.

      I realise this isn't just Henna, and it says that on the packet. But it says all the stuff in it is natural, so I'm just wondering if it could give me any allergic reactions? I don't think it contains PPD, and this brand of dye is sold in many places, including on amazon and health food shops.

    • profile image

      angela Jimenez 6 years ago

      I did not have a good experience, I bought the product and no one informed me at the store of any of the information I have read. It did not work for me since my hair had been chemically processed :(!!!!!

    • profile image

      Lolita  6 years ago

      I do not have a perm or relaxer and I would like to know what happens if you use henna if you have recently straightened your hair with a blow dryer and flatiron??

    • profile image

      Tiara 6 years ago

      What happens if you use henna if you have recently straightened your hair?

    • profile image

      Amandaleet1972 7 years ago

      I used henna a LOT in the 90's, My mother used it in the 60's, I'm not a scientist, but I have not found it to be permanent- the main reason I DO use it. I hate the idea of roots and upkeep. I recently used it again about a month ago for the first time in maybe ten years- loved the color, but I can say for *myself* that it is almost gone. Perhaps a chemist could still find evidence of it on my hair, but in my opinion, I would not consider it permanent by any means. As far as removing it I had always recalled hot oil treatments as a way to speed it up; so I avoid them and conditioners when I use henna in hopes of preventing early fading. So the part about adding oils confuses me I have to say.

      BTW, I do believe the plant is called Lawsonia, not Lawsone..

      Good Luck

    • profile image

      mary 7 years ago

      a lot of people are saying that it's permanent but some people say its not.Which is it?

    • profile image

      Nadeen  7 years ago

      I have really healthy hair, but the thing is it's THINNING! I love its natural color, I've never dyed it, it's medium brown and in the sun it can have a hint of red, just a HINT! so it isn't red..

      Anyway, I just bought pure henna from well, I don't know, but the man looked Pakistani! I bought a bit over a pound, and he said if I wanted to keep my hair color and just use henna to make my hair healthier (and thicker?) I should just mix it with water and leave it on for an hour or two..

      Another girl I met who was also buying henna told me to mix it with coffee from Turkish coffee (Turkish coffee is common here, it's like coffee in coffee machines I think over there)

      I was just wondering, do you have any idea what mixing it with coffee will be like? Maybe brown not red? she said tea will make it red.. but coffee will give it a brown color

      also, I'm not sure but I might want to just have my hair brown but have it more red.. How can I get to that?

      Obviously, haha, this is my first time using henna! I'm VERY excited :D

      Thanks :)

    • profile image

      Cherelle 7 years ago

      No ingredient listed. At least not in English. I think I'm going to take my chances.

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 7 years ago from California


      I don't know what the henna powder you bought contains. It could have additives, it's hard to say. You could try a strand test with some hair from your brush and see what color it turns your hair. Perhaps it's just brownish on the skin, but it would turn hair red. I know henna tattoos always look rather brown to me, lol.

      Does the packaging have an ingredients list?

    • profile image

      Cherelle 7 years ago

      First of all let me say thanks for the info and making it plain. This past weekend I bought 100% Natural Ayur Rajasthani Henna Mehndi from a local Indian market. I just read in your post that pure henna turns hair red and only red. The package says clearly dark brown. A few questions now come to mind:

      Is what I bought not pure, 100% henna?

      Should I use it or buy something else?

      There are so many types available locally. Which are the best? Worst?

      I'm not particular about the color as my hair now is black. I'm just interested in shine and the strengthening properties. I just don't want to use the wrong kind and waste my time and money. Thanks :)

    • profile image

      Polly 7 years ago

      I have used henna on my hair about every 6 weeks for many years. My hair is shiny and silky. Gray strands turn orange, which gives me natural highlights in my brown (now reddish brown) hair. I like Light Mountain henna because the instructions are good. On the instructions, it advises that if you hate the color, you can make a paste of CountryTime lemonade powder and apply that to your hair. It will neutralize the henna so it will wash out. Good reminder to not drink that stuff right! Never tried it as I have never been dissatisfied with the results. Using the hair from your hairbrush is a very good way to figure out if you like the color, and how long to keep the henna on. This is especially important if you want to highlight the gray strands, as it may take longer for the gray to suddenly turn orange. Orange, of course, sounds awful, but when it is mixed in with the other colors of my hair, it looks terrific (I am often told). Especially in the sun.

    • profile image

      Talal 7 years ago

      I am from Middle East and Henna is considered something very special for us. Henna has superior benefits for human such cure from different diseases, make hair healthier, shinier, and softer. It doesn't have any kind of side effects. We even believe that Henna is the soil of the heavens' gournds. Believe me, try it once and you will always love it.

    • renegadetory profile image

      Carolyn Dahl 7 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      Since I was pregnant I began using henna to dye my hair and I have continued to use it. It makes my hair super shiny! I even like the smell of it! Great information for anyone interested in using henna!

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 7 years ago from California

      @ Sandra

      You could give the teas a try with a strand test. If you like the results of any mixer with a strand test, chances are very high that you'll have the same good results with your entire head of hair. The only thing to watch for that a strand test won't help you with is skin sensitivity. So if you wanted at add cayenne pepper for example (No, I do not recommend it!) it would be a good idea to also do a patch test on a small bit of skin. Keep in mind that your skin will become dyed for a while.

      Tea shouldn't cause any skin sensitivity at all, so that shouldn't be a problem.

      As far as where to buy your henna and indigo, that's up to you. I recommend checking to ensure that the seller or site has good feedback and is well established. As long as they do, you should be pleased with what you buy.

    • profile image

      Sandra Gray 7 years ago

      I'm new to henna and currently researching it and trying to sort out all the dos and don'ts, including conflicting information everywhere. I haven't bought any yet. Do you have any recommendations for the purchase of good quality indigo and henna but, of course, at a decent price? I don't want anything premixed as that seems to go against much that I've read about Hennaing. Henna seems inexpensive no matter what but Indigo seems quite more expensive. Also as far as using teas in the mix, I have some Jasmine tea and some Peony tea that I don't like the taste of. I was thinking of using them in the bathtub but I wondered if they would be okay to use in the henna mix to counteract the smell. They are organic and from China. Also for the strand test, do you just test it with the Henna or with the Indigo too? And if so, do you just mix up a tiny bit of the Indigo. I guess I don't see how one could test it with the Indigo as the Indigo needs to be mixed up 15 minutes before applying it so it couldn't be applicable for the strand test. I'm looking to dye my hair a darker brown, hopefully with some reddish tones to it as that's how it is now (not counting the grays popping up.)

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 7 years ago from California

      Okay Katie, I've done some research on this problem and here's what I've found so far.

      The green is from the indigo. The indigo needs some time to oxidize, which will darken it. Hopefully your hair color will continue to darken and develop. It takes 4-5 DAYS to fully oxidize, don't judge the color before then.

      If it doesn't, I would reapply henna. I would also keep it covered during the waiting process and perhaps even give it a shot of heat from a hairdryer. Heat = red tones. So saran wrap and heat will make it more red. No wrap and room temp = cool tones (blue/green).

      Whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to correct this with a boxed color. That will ruin your hair.

      If the color is awful no matter what you do, you can climb aboard the "shampoo train" if nothing else. Buy a bottle of Prell and basically do six weeks worth of washings in a day. It's horrible for your hair, and you'll have to really baby it for a while, but when all else fails it's something to fall back on.

      Good luck, Katie! Please post back with your results.

    • profile image

      Katie 7 years ago

      I just used henna for the first time this weekend. I have healthy hair-it hasn't been chemically dyed or straightened in years. It is straight, thick and naturally reddish-blondish brown, and I was aiming to dye it dark chestnut or chocolate brown. Just generally darker.

      I tried Lush's caca brown and I have to say...I am quite disappointed and a little panicked. My hair is now a flat mousy colour, almost ashen, no highlights or lowlights to speak of except for a subtle greenish can i help rinse this out?!?!?

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 7 years ago from California

      @ juju

      I don't think indigo henna will turn your hair white. I think it's impossible. :)

    • profile image

      juju 7 years ago

      ive never dyed my hair b4 and i really want it to go black black therefore i bought the ingido henna which is the blackk one but im worried if it grows white??? pls helpp!

    • profile image

      juju 7 years ago

      does indigo henna make your natural hair white after it grows????

    • profile image

      One Rising Dove 7 years ago

      I have used henna for years. I have applied it over commercial hair dyes and vice versa. I also had a perm over top of it. It was the most wonderful perm I ever had!!! The ends had more henna layers on them so they did not take tightly. It was as close to a 'Hollywood' perm that you can get. Use a mild perm, and try to find a hairdresser who has not been conditioned against henna and all the do's, don'ts and other horror stories that are rampant about henna. Expect to experiment a lot with henna, and not expect consistant results. But, I have never had a gross failure, like hair turning green if you color over it with commercial products and vice versa. But, as always, do a test patch to see if you get the results you want ... recommended for any new hair coloring product you may try out. Great to hear that 'Lush' has a good henna product. Will try that one out! Great page! Thanks!

    • profile image

      lushgirl 7 years ago

      I have a question. This page makes this comment:

      "A year needs to have passed since the hair was permed, dyed, bleached or straightened. Some claim that if you're using pure, body-art quality henna (mehndi) that you can color sooner."

      Although I have never used a chemical dye on my hair I do straighten my hair, I also use Lush henna. Now I have been successfully able to use a chemical straightener and wait a week or a few days before using the Lush caca's (marron and brun). Not only has Lush covered my few grey strands but it 'sticks', meaning it hasn't interfered with the straightening at all. So please can someone explain the idea that one cannot straighten their hair and also use henna?

    • profile image

      Mae 7 years ago

      Hello is it true henna for long term is bad and can weaken hair over time and make it brittle? What excatly is lawsone and can damage hair or roots?thanku so much for your time!

    • profile image

      redhead 8 years ago

      I didn't know about the lemon, so I have been just mixing henna powder with water and putting it in streaks around the crown of my head. A hair dryer sets the color a little more. But if you want to play, this gives a mild color and seems to wash out in less than three months. Of course I'm a redhead so it is hard to tell the difference between henna'd and non-henna'd hair. I use it to brighten the new hair (that hasn't been sunkissed yet) and cover the emerging whites.

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 8 years ago from California


      Let me attempt to answer your question. Henna creates a transparent coating over your hair, thus changing the tint of your hair color. That's the reason why results are somewhat unpredictable with henna hair color... your own hair color will make the end color vary, depending on the shade and color depth of your natural hair.

      With that said, henna does "fade", but not completely. However, the growth isn't nearly as painful as a normal dye because the henna hair color was strongly influenced by your own color. So the root color doesn't clash with your own natural coloring since the henna color was based on your own natural color.

      When I grew my hair out after a henna there was no visible line of demarcation. It was rather like a gradient and not noticeable at all. The only way I could really tell was to lay the ends of my hair against the crown of my head and even then it just looked like my hair was somehow naturally darker at the ends.

      The thing that really grated me was the fact that the hair that had been treated with henna looked so much better than my new growth. It was shiny and glossy, strong and resilient, and it made my normal hair look mousy in comparison.

      Keep in mind that I didn't straighten my hair at that time. Perhaps that would have improved the health of my hair and added enough shine to make it less annoying.

      All of my treated hair was eventually cut off. If it was still on my head it would probably still look somewhat different, though only I would really be able to tell.

      So this is a really long answer to your fairly simple question, huh?

      To summarize: Yes it fades, somewhat. No, there are no "roots" per se. But there will probably be evidence of henna on your hair forever and ever, just very subtly.

      Keep in mind that I am speaking from my own personal experience of dyeing my own unique head of hair. It may or may not be relevant to you, or anyone else. Your mileage may(and almost certainly will) vary. Unless you are genetically identical to myself, and even then there would still be variances in the quality of henna used.

      Please consider updating us on your experience with your henna in the coming months if you choose to grow it out.

    • profile image

      just-to-wonder 8 years ago

      okay, so from someone who has dyed their hair, i'd like to know how to reverse the doings of henna

      my mum was the one who suggested it to me, because i wanted to dye my hair quite badly and she told me not to as it damages hair, and henna is a good alternative as it benefits hair. she said it was great as it fades out, you dont get roots and it doesn't take that long to fade.

      i wanted to know if the 'fading out' is true, will i get roots and how long will it take for me to get back to my original colour (speaking in terms of months)

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 8 years ago from California

      @ Nicool

      Henna is a serious commitment. I don't know if I'd say it's completely permanent, but it's effects can last a very long time.

    • profile image

      Nicool 8 years ago


    • profile image

      Laila 9 years ago

      I watched my mom suffer through years of commercial hair-dying, always with uneven results and of course, exposing herself to toxins. The whole process seemed to disempower her and I hated it. I swore I'd never do that. I also liked my own gray hair (still do). But on a trip to Morocco I henna'd my hair for the first time on a lark and I love it, love, love it! I feel linked to a long line of female beauty and empowerment. Now that I've used up the henna I got from Morocco, sometimes I buy it in a Pakistani store, sometimes I use Rainbow Henna from the health food store. I have fun experimenting with different shades and techniques and I love playing mudpies. It's not any more time-consuming, and much more healthy, than many of the things we women do to ourselves in the name of beauty. I also love that it strengthens the hair and is a medicinal herb and has also been mentioned in many religious texts, rather than derived from greed, petroleum, and women's insecurity.

    • profile image

      carter 9 years ago

      i've experimented a few times with henna and indigo (both high quality sources) as i wanted to see if i could get my (now with quite a bit of white) brown hair to go black.

      I tried doing a henna and indigo mix together followed by an indigo by itself but no matter what, i could not get it to go black. It came out a strange dark brown with burgendy highlights where the grey/white is. Each time I'd wash it, it would lighten up some and eventually had an interesting shade of reddish brown.

      If I stop at the henna stage (without using indigo) I get really cool electric copper highlights where the greys are.

      One thing the recipes i've used recommend using essential oils (like lavendar or peppermint) and instead of straight water, use herbal teas to mask the rather unpleasant smell of natural henna and indigo (they will make your hair smell weird for a while otherwise)...

      I had used celestial seasonings cinnamon apple - did a good job of masking the henna, but everytime i'd wash it, i'd smell the apple cinnamon tea coming thru... If I ever do it again, I'd experiment with other flavored teas - maybe ones that are more masculine - and ones that i'd never care to drink again since it'd remind me of my hair, lol.

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 9 years ago from California


      Added a new section in response to your comment.

    • level1diet profile image

      level1diet 9 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      I had no idea what henna was and even how it looks. A past girlfriend, now still a friend, is using henna and now I know what the heck she's doing. One question I'll research for my Level1diet readers... does it cause cancer? Cheers and thanks again for the info!

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 9 years ago from California


      Thank you so much for sharing your techniques! I like the idea of having the hair up out of the way in a bun on the top of the head. Talk about convenient, especially if you have a LOT of hair to henna.

      The conditioner recipe is just fabulous too, can't wait to try.

    • Wahine profile image

      Wahine 9 years ago from California

      For some people, it is a very nice alternative. But, not everyone likes having to apply a bucket of mud to their head every month or two. So, it's all about what makes you happy.

      Personally, I think it's well worth it, and rather fun too!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      I had no idea you could henna hair! It sounds like a good alternative to chemically hair dyes...