How to dye your hair with henna

I’m trying to live a more natural, chemical free lifestyle. Problem is one of my most addictive beauty routines is dying my hair. Ever since the age of twelve I have been experimenting with my hair color, trying every color of the rainbow. Literally, I’ve gone hot pink and lime green before. I can’t help but wonder what long term effects those chemicals can have on the human body.  I dye my hair about once a month. 12 times per year really starts to add up to a lot of chemicals when you think about it. I also have VERY fine hair. My other concern is premature hair loss from chemical damage. The thought of going bald obviously does not sound like very much fun to me.

I’ve known about using henna for hair color for a long time. My mom tried her dying her hair with it when I was little. She ended up with Ronald McDonald red that needed to be fixed by a professional .  I heard other horror stories that scared me enough to stay away from it.  For the past year I had been bleaching my hair blonde which caused a lot of damage. Then I decided to go red again. I used drugstore dye but it wouldn’t last. Within a few days it was fading. I wanted vibrant, glowing, fiery red.  Most people would make an appointment a reputable salon and get their hair dyed by a professional. Not me. I’m too cheap to spend money on my hair. I get my hair cut once or twice a year at Supercuts for $15. Considering that I almost always dye my hair myself I shouldn’t wonder why I  think my hair always looks like a tragic mess.

 Anyways, after doing some research  I decided I couldn’t really go wrong giving henna a try. It’s all natural (comes from the plant lawsonia inermis ) It’s chemical free,  It has a reputation for long lasting bright, fade resistant color. All things I was looking for . Plus according the  henna for hair website it also strengthens your hair, helps provide UV protection,  has anti fungal properties to kill ringworm and fungus and it will help prevent dandruff.  It seemed just too good to be true! I bought some henna online. You can also find it in many grocery stores or stores that sell Indian groceries and food. Make sure you choose high quality body art grade henna. The cheap stuff may contains fillers and dangerous chemicals such as metallic salts and lead (!)

First I mixed the green powder with lemon juice to make a paste.  You want to mix it with something acidic. If lemon is irritating to your skin you can use orange or grapefruit juice. Vinegar works too but it stinks and who wants to be stinky?  Let the henna sit overnight. As it rests it will release the dye, resulting in deeper, more vibrant color.

Henna powder
Mixed with lemon juice

I applied it to my hair and let it sit for two hours. Don’t be afraid to apply it generously. Slap it on real thick like icing working from the back of your head to the front, making sure to get the henna all the way down to your roots.  Wrap your hair with plastic or put on a shower cap to avoid a mess while the magic happens.

Once it  has sit for 2-4 hours it’s time to rinse. I used conditioner, then shampoo, then more conditioner. It’s kind of a pain to rinse out. Just keep rinsing and use plenty of conditioner. Eventually the water will run clear and you will know it’s all out.

Everyone’s results will be different depending on what your hair color was starting out. The results may take up to four days to properly develop, especially if you used an acidic liquid to mix the henna powder.  The color may be shocking at first but the color will deepen over the next few days.


Close up

I love how it turned out. I will admit, at first the color was wayyy too intense (think orange highlighter.)  It toned down after a few days. The after pics were 3 days later and now its gotten a wee bit darker as well.  I will definitely be using henna again.
Here’s some tips I learned from my first time:

  • Wear gloves the whole time, and section your hair prior to applying the color for easier application
  • Plan to dye your hair on a Friday or when you can hide in the house for a few days if the color needs time to tone down
  • If you think the color is too bright at first, give it at least four days because the color will deepen if you used lemon juice to mix with the powder
  • If you have left overs freeze it in a zip lock bag so you can do your roots in a few weeks

So what do you think? Too bright or just right? Have you tried henna before? Tell me about your results!

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8 Responses to How to dye your hair with henna

  1. I used to do my hair with henna but after a point I grew tired of the orange color. It looks great on you, it make your eyes brilliant blue!


  2. Naomi says:

    It looks great!


  3. Tricia says:

    So pretty! I love the brightness!


  4. Kala says:

    I think it looks gorgeous – you did good:):)


  5. Holly says:

    It's gorgeous!


  6. I love it! What a cool way to dye your hair! 🙂


  7. Anonymous says:

    If you ever want to go a different color ….good luck. Henna and bleach is never a good mix. Will burn your hair off. I love the idea of going organic and natural, but if you ever get sick of it, henna does not mix well with professional haircolor.


  8. Anonymous says:

    looks great! perfect with your skintone!


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