Using Henna To Color Hair Guide

Henna (also known as Mehendior, Hena) is a flowering plant used to dye skin, fingernails, leather, silk, wool and even to dye hair and has been used for centuries. Nowadays henna is widely used by the Indian women as a dye for hair, skin and nails as well as for body art and temporarily tattoos. Using henna to dye your hair is probably the best way to color your hair naturally without damaging it. Henna simply adds color to the hair with a gentle and natural approach. It doesn’t alter the structure of the hair but it does condition and nourish the hair, as it doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals. It works great to color red or reddish brown hair.

The benefits of using:

  • prevents premature graying of hair
  • nourish and condition the hair
  • make hair shiny and smooth
  • doesn’t irritate the scalp or the skin
  • simple and easy to use
  • henna doesn’t lighten (or bleach) hair
  • doesn’t contain harsh ingredients and chemicals
  • henna straightens and thickens your hair
  • doesn’t contain ammonia
  • prevents hair loss and dandruff

You will need:

  • henna powder
  • lemon juice (vinegar, red wine)
  • protective plastic gloves
  • a shower cap to cover your hair
  • a bowl
  • wide-toothed comb
  • old towels


  1. Step One. Put on some old clothing and drape your shoulders with an old towel. Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands from staining. To prevent staining your skin, apply Vaseline, almond oil, petroleum jelly or any oily cream to your forehead, around the hair line and ears.
  2. Step Two. Put the henna powder in a bowl and add lemon juice. If you don’t have lemon juice you can use vinegar, red wine or water. Mix the ingredients well until you get a smooth paste.
  3. Step Three. Divide your hair into a few sections. Remember: henna must be applied to a clean, dry hair.
  4. Step Four. Start the application of the bottom layers of your hair and slowly work your way up. Make sure you apply the paste evenly and all your hair is covered. Use a comb to spread the dye through your hair.
  5. Step Five. Wrap your hair in an old towel or a shower cap and simply wait. The duration depends mainly on your natural hair color. If your hair is dark you will have to wait for approximately 2-3 hours, but if your hair is lighter it can take up to 4-8 hours.
  6. Step Six. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water but don’t use a shampoo. Henna will nourish and condition your hair naturally. If you find the paste too difficult to remove use a mild conditioner and apply it generously to your hair. Rinse your hair thoroughly until the water is completely clear. Don’t use hot water to wash your hair because the cuticles will open and allow the color to escape and fade quickly.

If you want to achieve lighter color
Mix the henna powder with 3/4 tbsp. yogurt. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap your hair into a towel. Leave the mixture on for about 2/ 3 hours and then rinse your hair thoroughly.

If you want to achieve more saturated brown color
Mix the henna powder with 1 tbsp. coffee and leave the mixture on your hair for 6/ 8 hours.

If the color is too bright
To neutralize too bright color, warm up 2/ 3 tbsp. olive oil in a microwave and rub it on damp hair. The oil will absorb the excess amount of henna. Use a shampoo to wash your hair. Repeat this until you get the desired color.

Useful Tips for henna:

  • can easily stain your clothes – so put on some old clothing.
  • Never use to color your hair if you have used chemical dye or if you have bleached it.
  • Always wear protective plastic gloves when dyeing your hair.
  • the more often you use henna the darker the color will become.
  • You can add indigo to make shades of brown.
  • It usually takes approximately 3-6 hours for the color to develop completely.
  • When you buy always make sure it actually contains henna.
  • after the first application it will create a transparent red color but the color of the hair will get darker.
  • henna cannot lighten your hair.
  • Henna prevents premature graying of the hair.
  • 120gr. should be enough for short hair.
  • 250gr. should be enough for collar length hair.
  • 350gr. should be enough for longer hair.
  • 520gr. should be enough for waist length hair.
  • It is permanent.
  • Always do a test to see whether you like the color.
  • works great on brunettes and dark blondes.
  • can successfully color gray hair.
  • can last up to 4/ 6 weeks.
  • it’s best to have your hair colored by a professional.
  • always try the color on a small, hidden section of your hair to see the real color.

To learn more see also the articles:

Color Your Hair


Split Ends

Oily Hair

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