How to color hair naturally with Henna hair dye
I used to get all kinds of crazy things done to my hair that involved hair dye, bleach and a lot of chemicals. When I got pregnant with my oldest 15 years ago (oh my gosh I’m getting old) I stopped coloring my hair to avoid the chemicals. My natural color hair is a light brown and so I just went with it. But a few years ago I was horrified to find WHITE hairs starting to come in. I completely blame my children – and my grandmother who was completely white in her 30’s. I had read a little about how to color hair with henna hair dye but it seemed overwhelming and risky since it’s permanent. It took me months, and an increasing number of white hairs, to take the leap. And I’m so glad I did! I love being a red head!
I’m going to break it down for you into 8 easy steps so the process is easy to follow.
8 Steps: How to color your hair with Henna hair dye
- Buy a high-quality hair henna from Mehandi.com/hair. Make sure you buy henna that’s tested for lead. You can purchase Henna to make it red, indigo to make it black or cassia to condition without color. You’ll need about 100g for shoulder-length hair, about 200-250 grams for bra strap length hair, hip length about 300-350 grams, and only about 50g for roots.
- Mix the henna powder with lemon juice to activate it and let it sit 2-3 hours before applying (4 for gray/white hair and no more than 6 hours). You need the acidity. You can also mix with water and add citric acid but I personally find the lemon juice more gentle. There are a lot of opinions on this but all lemon juice works best for me
*Note about essential oils: You can add 5-10 drops of essential oil per 100g to help cover the grassy smell of henna (optional). Only use high quality oils (doTERRA of course) and avoid harsh oils that could irritate skin.
* Recommended oils to add to henna: Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary, Frankincense
- Section your hair and apply liberally with a tinting brush (local beauty store or here). After the first time or two just apply to the roots. I split my hair into pigtails and and do one side at a time, row by row.
- Touch up the edges. Make sure to get all the fine hairs around the hairline
- Wrap your hair with saran wrap or cling wrap. Make sure to cover the hair lines so you don’t get henna on your furniture or clothes.
- Leave henna on 4 hours
- Rinse throughly. This takes time. Be as thorough as possible and rinse until clear.
- Shampoo and Condition and you’re done! Dry with an old towel due to stains from residual henna.
Scroll down for a list of henna hair dye tips you NEED to know!
Rinse until clear, shampoo, condition generously and you are done!
Tips and tricks you need to know:
- Be sure you want read hair because Henna is PERMANENT.
- WEAR GLOVES. Henna is so messy and it stains. I always wear an old black shirt, cover the counter up and keep baby wipes nearby to clean up any mess quickly. Seriously – wear gloves or you will have orange hands for a month.
- Put something down on the countertop. I use a piece of shelf liner.
- Let the mixture cure at least 4 hours to overnight. It will cure faster if you set it out in the sun to get warm.
- It’s best to use filtered or distilled water if you aren’t using lemon juice.
- It takes me about 35-45 mins to apply the henna to my roots now that I’m use to applying it myself.
- Do not apply to all your hair after 1-2 times doing it all, just do the roots. Applying to all of the hair will cause the ends to get darker and darker and more maroon than red.
- Wash daily for the first 3-4 days and use an old towel to dry to avoid staining your nice towels.
- Your hair will look more ORANGE than red the first 1-2 days. This is normal. The color will deepen to a beautiful red.
NOTE: If you have chemically dyed or bleached in your hair it is possible that the dye will not take or that a reaction could occur. I have read stories of henna working well over colored or bleached hair and stories of it going wrong as well. Do your own research and use at your own risk.
Do you want to see more pictures of henna hair dye being applied? Check out this detailed and amazing page: How to Henna your hair that also includes tips on applying henna or indigo to chemically treated or bleached hair!
Why not regular (chemical) hair dye?
- Over 5,000 chemicals are used in hair dyes
- Hair dye users may have increased rates of cancer (National Cancer Institute)
- Chemical hair dyes leave hair damaged, dry and brittle
Why is Henna better?
- It’s incredibly inexpensive if you do it yourself, about $5 per root touch up
- It’s 100% safe and chemical-free
- It not only won’t damage your hair, it’s actually GOOD for it and will strengthen and condition it.
I hope this inspires you to ditch your chemical hair color and try something natural and GOOD for your hair!
Have questions? Need help deciding whats best for you?
Email me [email protected] and I’ll be in touch very soon. Happy oiling! I look forward to working with you!