202 Responses to “The Fine Art of Dying Your Hair with Henna”


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  1. TM

    Hey, nice site! I’ve used henna for a few years now and love it. I DON’T love the henna from LUSH, it stinks to high Heaven and gives me a bloody headache. I get mine from HennaKing now and I also use the indigo from them too. Cheap, shipping is a little much, but I order a few packs at a time now to last me about 8 months. I have noticed, as you have, that henna makes the hair shinier, stronger, and covers the white hairs (yeah, I have a few haha) very nicely, giving some highlights in those areas. I feel ya, the mess…it’s unavoidable, so, I put two old towels on the floor, one on my shoulders, and when I’m done, I wipe around my face and neck, and put on a tight-fitting shower cap. Then I clean up. Jump in the shower after a couple of hours to make another mess! Fun times ;-)

  2. Carola

    This is the funniest thing I have ever read!! I have been using Surya Brasil’s henna (mixed with a bunch of other ingredients), and it used to make my hair shiny, but no longer seems to do so (I may be using too much; it is temporary, and, at least for me, washes out easily, even with only water). I may resort to a different semi-natural dye soon. Eventually the dye stains come out in my experience: even on granite! Good luck! ( :

  3. sara

    Chuckling away here, been there and done all that and some !
    I have used henna for 30 years and have the best head of hair .
    I have the technique sorted out now. thin latex gloves , disposable shower cap and an old plastic jug.and a tubular snood to wrap the whole head while the henna works.
    mix the henna with the hottest water from the kettle,let it cool a bit but apply hot .
    I use my hands, brushes etc just make more mess and you cant tell if you are right down in the roots.slather it on to sections of hair ( I keep the rest out of the way with a few hair clamps )when its all covered I just scoop out any left overs and rub them in to the bits round my ears and hairline .
    take the gloves off now . Pop the shower cap over the lot and then the snood (we call them ‘Buffs’ but I think that is a trade name , anyway those versatile head or neck stretchy scarf things)or tie an old cotton scarf round your head.
    relax for an hour or two and then as above , jump in the shower and rinse well- best to resist shampoo for 24 hours to let the colour mature
    I use al kehira henna -cheap and very reliable for colour, available in markets and plenty of shops.
    I used to do my hair at my own monthly red time- nice bit of ritual alchemy – but nowadays as a crone I just do it whenever I feel like it.

    • I love your references to moon times and being a crone. Makes me think I’ll wait until my own moon time and dye my hair with henna, I like the ritual of it. Besides I usually feel hideous, like I turn into a gorgon, during that time of the month, so pretty and healthy hair may make it better! Thank you for your post!

    • Julia

      Sounds like you have had a lot of experience with henna! Could you tell me how long it usually lasts in your hair with this brand?

  4. Agnes

    Thank you for this website! I just tried henna for the first time. UGH! First the good news, my hair feels like virgin hair. Soft, curly, no frizz. Wonderful! Too bad I can’t go through life with my eyes closed because my grey roots are O-R-A-N-G-E orange. My natural hair color is grey. A whole lotta grey. All my grey roots are orange. Did I mention the color orange? I read up on the whole henna deal, found some website by some lady who did her masters on henna.I am not making that up, although maybe she did. I did a henna, indigo, amla concoction that was suppose to produce medium brunette. I even called the website and spoke to a woman who assured me it would be a deep medium brunette. The amla was suppose to turn the red (aka ORANGE)a deep reddish brown. I hope I can say this without being censored, here goes… Liar, Liar pants on Fire – not unlike my roots! I have the nastiest shade of orange ever seen on the human head. My bathroom however has a lovely shade of medium brown speckles here there and everywhere. I am still washing brown color out of my hair and it has been a week and a half. Traumatized isn’t the half of it. I am torn between soft hair with that unique orange, glow in the dark feature or chemically colored hair that feels like straw but looks natural.

    • Bailarina

      Using shampoo to wash your hair after applying henna turns it orange. After using henna only wash with water, then expose your hair out in the sun so the process continues. It’ll help your hair achieve the red color that looks more natural, It could take several days. Wash your hair after a day or two. I Use a cleansing conditioner the second day and my henna color becomes a beautiful red color, by the third day. I only use pure henna, and I use it to color my gray hair which is about 3% of my hair. The rest of my hair is black. The result: Black hair with red highlights. My hair shines, and when people look at my hair in the sun they always compliment me on my audacious red highlights. I love it. I have been using it for about two years as an alternative to chemical hair color, to cover my first grays. My hair is very long and wavy, but not frizzy thanks to henna.

      • Cezanne

        You just explained why my hair turned carrot orange instead of the auburn red it was supposed to end up, I washed it with shampoo when I rinsed the henna out!! At least now I know what I did wrong and what not to do next time because I am definitely trying again. Even with the horrific patchy orange result I got my first time, I am hooked on henna!

      • jenna

        but which kind of henna? I have the light mountain natural. It has cheetah on the front. i did a test strand, but didn’t notice much. maybe i would notice more if i did my whole head? at least to get the softening effects? it says it has a few different leaf powders. ie. cassia auriculata, lawsonia, and indigofera tinctoria.

        • kc

          Henna is a specific plant. I just did my hair for the first time with light mountain natural dark brown – the one with the lion on front – and I know that this one doesn’t contain henna, it’s mostly cassia. Cassia isn’t known for its red qualities and from what I’ve read doesn’t last as long, but is less extreme. I have to say that I didn’t notice much on the strand test, but absolutely yes, when I did my whole head there is a miraculous difference in texture, it’s the first thing after a long string of expensive commercial conditioner prayers that has actually made a real difference to my former straw hair. The color is a nice medium brown, there is a bit of red probably from the old dye job but it’s definitely brown hair, not red. My strategy for now is to go on using the cassia until my old dye job has grown out, and then try henna for more color pow.

          • EG

            Thank you for this post! I am about to go on a atw trip, and am about 15-20% grey (I’m only 35) so dealing with roots is a nightmare without a salon nearby. But I want to get away from chemical processes as well. Your “plan” above (using cassia until the old dye job grows out then experimenting with henna) pretty much answered (most) of my questions: Just a couple more, if you don’t mind:

            1. Did the medium brown cassia have the same risk of staining your skin and everything around you when applying?


            2. Did you try any other shades besides the dark brown? My hair is naturally dark brwn but looks better with my skin lifted a shade or two. Was wondering if you had any results with that.

            Thanks again for the very informative post!

          • EG

            Apologies – in the post above I meant the dark brown cassia, not medium brown.

    • Cyn

      Dear Agnes,

      I developed a PPD allergy to hair color and fabric dyes. I was a mess – I looked like someone threw hot oil on me. My only alternative to dye was henna. I tried a deep wine red and I had screaming orange roots. My husband was calling me Bozo. I went for Mahogany from Henna Color Labs and the color is perfect!

    • Seyhan

      It is not Amla oil that gives any colour.. It is just oil, to condition, the best oil ever for hair. But it is the Indigo you need to use, completely sticking to instructions, to turn your orange colour henna dyed hair to neutralize into brown colour. You don’t keep indigo that long on the hair, after henna wash out, put indigo as instructed, just for 15-30 minutes, with my dark brown hair, 20 minutes is enough! Then you will have a perfect brown colour hair where your roots and rest of hair are not orange but medium brown! I have more than 80% grey, only 35 years old, I have tried henna and indigo after many years of chemical hair dyes (premature greying) and voila despite not being very experienced and not preparing henna right to get the perfect dye, also keeping it short-only 3 hrs on a winter day at home – I got the result! It’s just like hair dye, but better conditioned, covering greys and depending on the light of the place, giving different shades unlike the chemical hair dyes, which is great, isn’t it! :) Read all and follow all instructions as told to get the right result.

    • sue

      I used henna for 20 years until I turned too gray and was getting a green color. I then dyed with naturtint but found it was harder on hair, lightened too much in the sun and my hair got thinner.
      Switched to henna 3 weeks from the last hair dye. I used henna, amla and indigo and it was wonderful. I am 80% gray and I find that after I hennaed the second time, I got the orange roots, so I mixed indigo and water on the roots. I do not color my whole head so I get nice highlights. my hair has never been shinier, except when I did henna years ago. I do not use conditioner as I don’t need it.

      I am getting inching from the mehandi indigo so I switched to henna hut. It is better. I also add salt to the indigo mix to hold the color. Indigo does lighten as you go along. I do also let the henna color rest for 8 hours covered before I apply. I leave on 5 hours.

      I have had itching for indigo that lasts for 3 days, I had less with henna hut indigo, but still had some. any ideas on that issue? Sue

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  6. Anna

    I am laughing with you and not at you! I just did a henna treatment and it was such a comedy of errors I started googling to see if there were some tips/tricks which is how I found your blog. I thought I was prepared-I read ALOT of posts. I had gloves, covered the bathroom floor with plastic, had the saran wrap and my shower cap ready, and thought I was all set. And I turned one of those plastic hanging bags they give you when you buy a dress at the store into a great cover up by making the hanger hole into a neck hole and cutting “arm holes” in the sides. Genius that I am, I forgot-DUH-plastic is slippery. Lost my balance, grabbed the counter, upended the bowl of henna, and now I fear I will look like an oompa loompa for several days! Thanks for the laugh and making me feel a little less uncoordinated!

  7. Laura

    I started using straight Henna powder mixed with Indigo powder in July. It was not a packaged natural hair color kit, just the herb. I was not going to use any more commercial dyes on my hair, also, even though going a little gray. I found a great “how-to” for this in Diane Kidman’s “Hair Gone Wild” book. I did a few strand tests and got the ratio I needed and then did it and absolutely love the results. If I had not done strand tests, I would have had some funky turnouts. I ended up using 36 grams of henna powder and 50 grams of Indigo. I have shoulder length brown hair that is very fine and now it is a deeper brown with auburn highlights where the grey was. It is also fuller with a lot of shine. I also use your “sorta poo” method for washing hair (I did have to dilute the castille soap with distilled water)which has kept me from going back to commercial shampoo (yay!) and it keeps the color well. The Indigo seems to fade, so it gets a little lighter by the third week out. Don’t give up on the Henna.

  8. Sarah

    Thank you! You made me laugh out loud several times and made me forget that my husband was neurotically trying to figure out how we are going to pay rent this month!

  9. Patti

    This had me chuckling also!! I have been henna-ing my hair for over 4 years and I don’t think that I will be going back to chemical dyes!! I have only used pure henna from I follow the directions from their website and everything turns out good, my whites turn a dark strawberry blonde and the rest of my hair has a red tint, especially in the sunlight. Yes the actual process of henna can be messy but if you stick with it you will get better, my 14 year old daughter applies it for me, that helps a bunch!!

    • Ginger

      What color are you ordering? Do you have medium dark brown hair?

      • Patti

        I have been using Rajasthani Twilight!! Yes my hair is dark brown with whites in a very noticable clump at my hairline!! I use lemon juice to mix my henna ( it has to sit overnight to release the dyes) I put it on at night and cover my head with a plastic cap ( got a bunch from Sally’s) and I sleep with it on!! Yes it stains my pillowcase ( just use the same one each Henna-night). In the morning I get in the tub to soak it out and use only conditioner. I resist shampooing for a few days. The colour develops over the next couple of days, and my colour does NOT fade!! The main reason I switched to henna was I was tired of dyeing my hair and watching my beautiful red colour go down the drain!! I hope this helps, good luck!!

        • MaidMirawyn

          I also sleep in henna, most of the time. Shower cap, then wrapped in an old tea towel, then I lay an old towel over my pillow. I sleep on the sofa when I do this, and barely move around while I sleep! Very intense results.

          And I make way less mess in the application process than I used to!

    • Lyla

      I also use and love the henna from Don’t want to sound like a commercial for them but I have never been disappointed in their products and services. I’ve tried mixing mine with everything from wine to vinegar because the lemon juice seemed to make a lighter color than I wanted. Using a little indigo with the henna usually gets me to the dark reddish brown I love. Trying cranberry juice for the first time today for something different. Soo much better results than chemical dyes that leave your scalp and hair stripped of all moisture. It does take some experimentation but worth the effort when you figure out what works for you.

  10. Ginger

    Hysterical, But I’m still gonna try it although I wish I knew what color Patti is using. Sounds pretty!

  11. Cherry

    Well I’ve just used henna called bonvita, from a health food shop. I mixed it to the paste with hot water and left it to cool. I forgot about it for about an hour and it had got a bit thicker, no worries I just mixed it with some warm water.
    I used gloves too, very smart I was, and then it was like applying cow poo to my hair, and it had little lumps and bits fell everywhere to my horror, all over the basin and floor. I added 1tsp of coffee to it to cover the grey, then after great difficulty ,with stuff flying everywhere, I covered my hair in it.
    Now the instructions said to dry it with a hair dryer, none of this shower cap nonsense, but I could hardly get my comb thru my hair, it was awful, and tangled and I dried it over the shower.and massive clumps wouldn’t dry, I did my best. Then I couldn’t remember what to do next, and we have new carpet so no traipsing thru to the kitchen where the empty container was. I used shampoo and conditioner and wasted lots of water cleaning the shower and everything. Oh my hair is so silky smooth, and the grey isn’t completely covered but the colour is great!’

  12. DT

    That was my experience with henna to a T, except with red henna, and my hair is 26″ long… I resolved to never use henna again, though I had a great experience with a pre mixed henna hair dye that I found to be easier to use than regular dyes… It’s not 100% henna, of course, but its the next best thing. So yea now I’m off to color my hair with henna… Again… Because I guess Im just a glutton for punishment.

  13. Sonya

    long time reader, first time commenting. Love your blog, btw. You and WellnessMama have changed my life!
    Anyway, i just finished hennaing my hair for the first time, and thanks to your cautionary tale, I was extra careful, and i didn’t make a mess at all. I wore old painting clothes, sat in my shower, had a bowl full of clean wet rags for wiping off my mistakes. I used red henna, and my white gloves were traffic cone orange by the end! Can’t wait to see the results!

  14. JustJamie

    You are awesome!! Thank you for the laughs. An all natural friend turned me to Henna and told me to give it a whirl on my not so natural blonde locks. I think I shall steer away, for now, due to the fact that you and I have so much in common and I would create a disaster. It’s what I’m good at. :) Blonde doesn’t stain, hee hee. I do like the idea of much healthier, semi-permanent color, so ya never know. I do tend to color my hair when I get bored.
    Also, thanks to you, I have been making my own deodorant for 2 months now and am in love. I keep coming back to your page for hints, tips and new tricks. Peace and love!

  15. Crunchy Nut

    What a fantastic website! You are funny & witty and written a really enjoyable piece. Keep it up.

  16. how to apply heena grown color for hair i don’t know
    can you explain step to step early as possible

  17. MaidMirawyn

    Thanks for links! I have been using henna for years and years; I love it. I’ve often used Rainbow Henna, which sort of the “gateway drug,” available in many health food stores. I’ve also used Lush, though theirs contains oils and stuff as well as whatever combination of henna, indigo, and cassia is in the color you pick. I have also used henna from my local Indian grocery.

    I have to admit that I rarely use gloves, but use a nail brush and sugar scrub as soon as I finish. Very little staining, probably because I use mixes with very little indigo and don’t let my mixture steep long.

    If you want to buy the Mountain Rose henna, be sure to click on “Learn More,” right under the product listing. There you can find out what’s in each mix; there’s also a chart to help you figure out what result you’ll get. Leslie, for instance, used “Black,” which is henna and indigo (probably lots of indigo). On medium brown hair, the typical result is black; on dark brown hair, “deep black.”

  18. Erin

    I’ve been using henna bricks from Lush, probably not as natural as it should be, but not as bad as box dyes I think. only thing is though, I had read that you cant use henna on chemically treated hair (and I had been dying my hair with box dyes before that). So I waited about just over a year without doing anything to the colour(boy that was a painful phase, but it was long and I just couldnt wait for it all to grow out) and then used the henna. It seems to pretty fast – I use a black one and over the first few days it gets darker, but then red pieces come through a lot. But its good enough. So I’m trying to convince my mum to switch to henna, She used it when she as my age (early twenties) but pretty much for the last 15 years at least she’s been using drug store dye, every 3 months to cover greys. I’m trying so hard to get her to switch to henna, because its terrifying to think of all the chemicals being absorbed through the skull (and going down the drain)! She’s worried it wont cover her greys, plus that it wont work on recently chemically treated hair. Does she really have to grow it all out (so a full head of grey) to use henna, or do you know if people have had luck switching right away? thanks!

    • Sally


      I use Lush Henna Caca Noir every 2 months (my hair seems to hold any dye very well, so I don’t have to do it much more). Lush Henna is all-natural (ingredients are on the Lush website) without heavy metals & can be used over chemically treated hair. I used it a month after dyeing my hair black to touch up the roots and have not stopped using henna since. Loads of people have also said that they have no problem going back to normal dye after if they want more color range. I say give it a try – no need to wait.

    • sue

      I used naturtint to color my hair. Switched to henna after going 3 weeks from the last hair dye. I used amla and indigo and it worked out fine. I am 80% gray and I find that after I need to do the indigo and water on the roots. I do not color my whole head so I get nice highlights. my hair has never been shinier, except when I did henna years ago. I do not use conditioner as I don’t need it.

      I am getting inching from the mehandi indigo so I switched to henna hut. It is better. Sue

  19. Lynne

    Many years ago (no I won’t tell you that it was more than 35) I tried using Nestle’s henna. It came in a lovely metal bottle with Egyptian pictures on it. I couldn’t see much of a difference, but when I got to work, my friends obviously could. It took years to live down my “fire engine red” (their words) hair.

    Over the years, I had thought of trying henna again, and leaving it in a shorter time for less dramatic results. But now that I have silver streaks (so much better sounding than annoying greys) I don’t want to end up with them turning a lovely flourescent orange, so I am interested in the comments about so-called “neutral henna”. I think I will seek it out.

    • Darcy

      The natural henna will give your hair strength and shine and everyone I know that has used it, they love it.

  20. Darcy

    I have used henna for about 9 years, and I buy it online at with no problems whatsoever. I am a natural redhead that went grey early. I boil raspberry tea, then add henna and let that cure overnight, usually about 24 hours, in the fridge. I add a little grapeseed oil, about a tablespoon (I have long hair down to my mid-back but it is baby fine and thin)and leave it on at least 3 hours, but it works best if I can leave it on for 5-6 hours. I do not shampoo, but I rinse it and sometimes use conditioner to help get all the henna feel out. About 3 days after the treatment, I shampoo. My henna never washes out, my roots only grow out. The ends of my hair are as rich and vibrant as the day they were colored. Just my two cents.

  21. Darcy

    Oh, I forgot to add that I always wear gloves and I make sure my roots are covered well and just glop it all over my head. I wrap two Wal-Mart bags over my head, clipping the top one, and then put my henna towel (the one with red stains from my monthly use) on top, clip it, and go about my household chores or take a nap. I do like to put Vaseline around my hairline and attach rolled cotton around the edges, over the Vaseline, to help catch any drips. The biggest problem is trying to sleep with the bags making the crinkly noise, but I do not have to fiddle with plastic wrap, the FREE Wal-Mart bags work like a charm, and I can throw the bags away after use. :) Good luck ladies!

  22. I’m about to do my 4th treatment & I LOVE IT. This stuff is magical! A few things I’ve found (I read a lot before I tried … the directions the stuff came with were crapperific). If I’m repeating info already given, sorry.
    Glove yes – I buy boxes of latex gloves @ Smart & Final (they are also great for cat sand & dog poo clean up). SIFT THE DRY STUFF before mixing (makes a HUGE difference in how it mixes, no clumps). Apple cider vinegar – yes. Super strong black coffee instead of water – YES (for brunettes, it’s the bomb). I infuse the coffee w/ rosemary and orange peel and add vanilla (helps w/ the weird alfalfa smell). I also add honey and a few tablespoons of coconut oil (deep conditioning). Mix HOURS before you’re going to use (it has to oxidize or something). Let sit in a warm place (like bread ready to rise), then mix and get busy … There is no exact amount of liquid, I aim for slightly runny yogurt. It makes a mess, but with practice it does get better. Vaseline along the hair line & a nasty old t-shirt help too. And while plastic wrap is a great 1st layer, add a shower cap on top of that. Finally, leave it on for HOURS, 4 minimum. Preferably sit in front of a hot fire or in the sun (heat helps, who knows why). Rinse w/ conditioner only & wait a good 24 hours (longer if you can stand it, I can’t) to do a full wash. I’ve also learned that the color you get right away is NOT the color you get by day 3 (something about oxidizing again, but it was all in scary science speak and I got bored). I re-apply every 4 weeks and my hair is amazing. Grows like a week, cool highlight effect where my gray is, and it’s a color I tried for years to get from a box & from a pro and never could. Once you get hooked, you’ll never go back.

  23. Just found your blog and I love it. Using henna for the first time today and found this very, very helpful. Thanks!

  24. I love henna and using it for a long time, more then twenty years. My hair are very healthy and don’t like to use colors to dye my hair.

    Henna is natural and I use most thing natural.

    Nice site and the information is great!

  25. Shannon M

    I’m super excited to try henna! I have been chemically coloring and highlighting my hair for YEARS now. I’m tired of my grey roots showing and having to pay boo-coo dollars every 8 weeks to have them retouched. I have dark brown hair with 10% grey hairs around my front crown area and underneath the sides. Can anyone tell me how long does the henna last with dark hair with greys? Will the roots start to show again like chemically treated hair?thanks so much!!

  26. Talena

    Oh my…I feel so much better about my 1st henna experience now!!! I made the mistake of enlisting my 2 sons to help with the back of my waist length hair. Not one of my better ideas!!! Brothers + mud(what they claimed henna was) = mud fight. Fun for them…not so much for me.

    I also use the Rajasthani Twilight henna from I have naturally curly auburn hair & just want to cover the gray. I use 3/4 henna & 1/4 amla. Amla is acidic so there is no need for lemon juice & it also prevents the curl loosening effects of the henna. This mix matches my natural color perfectly. I just rinse the henna out & do nothing but conditioner wash my hair for about a week. It looks a little coppery the first day or two but then darkens to the auburn color I want & does not ever fade. I only do my roots using a carrot bag now & that is a much easier & less messy process.

    Side note: I don’t like the smell of henna so I add ginger root powder to my mix.

  27. I used natural henna to dye my hair today 5/15/14 an my edges tuen reddish otange how do i turn my edges brown with out causing so much damage i need help fast

  28. Meljandro

    I found this site through Google searching “dying hair with henna”, and I honestly thought I’d have to sit through a boring hoity-toity tutorial that sounded like the teacher from Feris Bueller’s Day Off was teaching it, as with most tutorials on blogs.

    I gladly I admit I was wrong. I didn’t exactly learn how to dye my hair but you definitely made me conscious about the dangerous mess it can be, and most importantly, how research is critical for henna dying methods. Thank you for being honest and HILARIOUS. I hope you get paid for this stuff.

  29. Rachel

    I live in Australia, but I searched around and found a good quality pure henna from Yemen on eBay for pretty cheap, $8 or $9 and I have short hair from growing out a buzz cut, couple inches long. Time to get ‘sperimental !!
    From my research I discovered
    – it matters that you get a pure natural henna with only indigo added if you want darker, as a lot of the products advertised as red have chemical added which is no good. Apparently don’t add wine, you can try tea, coffee, paprika or amla powder for various results, and apple cider vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice as just the mild acid is needed to activate the dye.

    -apparently the freshness and growing region of the henna matters. Different varieties have different dye content and fineness of grind, some hennas are made as a conditioning treatment more than a dye. It’s important to get pure, body art quality henna powder.

    – I did some hennas in high school with a BonVita or whatever was at the health food store and they were a big globby mess. This was much smoother for 2 reasons:

    1. I think the henna powder was a finer, better quality this time
    2. I mixed my henna/warm water/vinegar mix to pancake batter consistency and let it sit for 24 hours in a covered metal bowl before application. I only meant to leave it for the day and do it at night, but I got tired and left it until next morning. It had been clumpy when I left it, now with a stir it was really dissolved and even and went on smooth and creamy instead of chunky drops falling everywhere.
    3. I also put pawpaw ointment all around the hairline before I started, applied it straight to the head with the gloves over the metal bowl, and did it on a winter morning so the paste was cold and I used all cold water for rinsing stuff – as the heat helps the dye set, I thought this would reduce staining if it got anywhere before I could clean up, and in the end I had made virtually no mess except the gloves and sink, used a dark, damp facewash and toilet paper to clean around my forehead and ears. I had a big commercial glad wrap dispenser so it was pretty easy to wind my head around it before I tore it off, but probably recommend getting a hand with the plastic wrap otherwise. Then find an old beanie or scarf to wrap over the plastic – more heat and less alien-head feeling.

    Hope that helps!!:-)

  30. Sera

    You’re hilarious, I love this article!!! xD

  31. Aanchal

    I am an Indian girl with brown hair and haven’t used henna a lot, but looking forward to try some soon. My mom has been using henna forever. We had a beautician who used to come to our place to apply henna. Its a very useful tip for all you henna lovers, after leaving in the henna in the hair for about 2-3 hours, just wash away the henna with plain water (no shampoo), and then when you hair dries, apply a good lot of mustard oil and leave it over night. You will have the shiniest, and softest locks ever, also the color will stay in much longer.

  32. Erika

    I’ve been meaning to comment and say how much I love reading your blog. So informative and always entertaining. You’ve definitely inspired some of the crunchiness in my life!

    Just wanted to share: I’ve been a hennahead for a few years now. Started out using just pure henna and lemon juice on my naturally blonde hair and got the fiery orange look, which I thought was fun for a while. With repeated applications if developed into a nice, deep red. I experimented with indigo in my mix for an auburn color. I thought the indigo faded pretty quickly though.

    About a year ago I fell off the wagon and lightened my hair with chemicals (it was lighter but still quite red). Since then I’ve been mixing progressively less and less henna with mostly cassia (and chamomile tea instead of lemon juice) and just using it at my roots. I’ve got a kind of strawberry blonde ombré-ish thing going on now, which I actually kinda like. Still, I’m trying to go more towards my natural blonde and am slowly weening the henna out until I get to where I’m just using cassia.

    Anyway, long story short, I love dying my hair with plant dyes. I think it’s pretty fun smooshing the mud-like goop on! And I really believe with patience and experimentation you can achieve almost any color (the exception is anything lighter than the color you start out with). It’s good to be in control of the ingredients you slather on your head — no burn-your-scalp (and nose!) chemicals. And it leaves your hair looking and feeling soooo healthy.

  33. Dee

    Thank you for telling us about your first outing with henna…mine was just a little less traumatic. I used a brand that I now know was not pure henna…did NOT read the label(I washed it out after 1 hour).
    I live in Jamaica and have natural African American hair – today (Sept. 4 2014) is the 6th time I am using henna. Thank God it really does get easier – the process is long but it is easier. I now use Nupur 9 (henna with 9 herbs); I mix my henna with coconut milk; when the henna is set I add 2Tbs of oil (today I used almond)
    The coconut milk makes the henna have a conditioner type consistency – easy to apply and easy to wash out with water (I use the tub in my wash-room).
    I started mixing henna with coconut milk when I read about it on Dawn Michelle’s blog at minimalist beauty – this is the 3rd time I am using this method and it works for me.

  34. Ms Shawn

    I have really thick fine hair. I tried Henna for the first time this spring. I got my henna at Sprouts. Since I have previously used chemical dyes I stayed away from any metal bowls or spoons Awesome results. Had the hubby help put it on in the tub(he broke out his black nitrile gloves). Worked awesome, so have done it twice since, just need better applicator. The condiment bottle I tried just got clumped in the tip. Thinking about getting one of those spatula things from the hair shop. instead of the cellophane, I put a shower cap over the top, then an old crappy towel to catch the drips. smells better than the chemical dyes and no migraine afterward so I am a happy camper.

  35. Si Bur

    Buy powdered natural henna, I use Morocco Method. I use the whole pot per treatment. Wash hair with shampoo and dry thoroughly before treatment. I cook up some fresh ground coffee in a french press and use that as my mixer, straight in hot. I keep mixing all of the powder in a bowl until there’s a cake batter consistency. Pop on some gloves (cheap medical gloves will do) and test temperature until cool enough to touch your scalp, sit bowl of mixture inside larger container e.g plastic sink basin. You could layer some newspaper on the floor around the larger container if you think you’re going to be really messy. I don’t bother putting vaseline on my hairline to stop the henna staining my skin like some people do, i’ve colored my hair with henna numerous times without this step and it’s never stained my skin, even after being left on for 8hrs, it washes off immediately. Sit on your haunches and just bend your head over the basin, gather all your hair in, and just start scooping it up with your hands and massage it in like it’s conditioner. Keep going until all of your hair is coated from root to tip and the mixture is gone. As the mixture cools is begins to thicken and harden, so by the time it’s all applied it usually stops dripping. I usually then gather all the hair up and hold it in place in a bun on top of my head with a hair tie. If there’s no shower cap around or it won’t fit, grab a plastic grocery bag and use that to cover your head, after that i usually shove a beanie hat on my head to hold everything in place as well as not look too stupid. I hang a towel over my shoulders for the rest of the day, as if I just got out the shower, to catch any drips rolling down my neck. I leave it in for a whole 8hrs, which means it’s best to do on the morning of your day off. When it’s sat for a good length of time, I take a shower and massage conditioner into my hair which helps loosen all of the henna mixture and wash it out. Don’t shampoo your hair for 24hrs after this. Use special henna-care shampoos and conditioners to protect the color and not strip it out over time. Color should maintain vibrancy this way for 4-6months before another treatment will be required.

  36. What’s up, this weekend is fastidious for me, as
    this occasion i am reading this great informative piece of
    writing here at my home.

  37. over the hill & off the pill

    I thought the write up was hilarious. I had to cover my mouth, not to wake my husband in our bedroom, next to my home office, having almost peed my pants. You should write comedy. You’re so funny!

    I am trying to tame the red, so I bought Light Mountain Dark Brown (mix) for a more conservative brown with red highlights. I agree about the bathtub. I bring a “door” mirror in the bathroom with me, and I don’t leave until the disposable shower cap and towel over it are secure. White furniture idiot here.

    I’m a WAR Breast Cancer watcher (Women At Risk) so I am using natural hair color, but who knows…Arsenic is natural as well.

    CrunchyBetty… You’re terrific.

  38. over the hill...

    The Dark Brn Light Mountain Henna turned my hair green. I got most of the green out with Baking Soda (leave on 5 minutes) and another shampooing. I read that the lighter stands will look green until the brown color oxidizes. Wow, it’s my husband’s B-Day and he thought I went “Mrs. Grinch” to surprise him. LOL

    I was panicked until I did my due diligence. OK, I can leave the house this week.

  39. over the hill...

    One other comment. All Hennas will oxidize over the first few days. My hair was coopery red (think Carrot Top) once, and then turned a medium Alburn. In my panic I forgot about the oxidation process. Life lesson here…stay calm!

  40. Vanessa

    I do not understand henna does not hold on my hear, I did black with a spoon olive oil and water just worled three days and does not cover my white haire properly
    please help ! ;-) thanks

  41. Marcia K

    I recently found I was allergic to sulfa and sulfates, which meant to me no more hair color kits from the store. Which lead me to GREY HAIR!!! A whole head of awful granny grey hair which used to be beautifully colored regularly black.. I feel OLD!! And now I see this post, and have hope. Well, I hope I don’t make the mess that you made, first of all, but I have hope that I can cover this awful grey and feel and look young again!!! Oh thank you SOOO very much for the hope!! I’m off to the whole food store to find my black henna!!! Whooo!!

  42. storm5

    Shielo is my new holy grail shampoo! It leaves my chemically treated hair very clean, very moisturized, fuller looking and softer feeling, no matter which conditioner I pair it with. I use the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner and I seem to get fuller and healthier looking hair with each and every use. It’s the best shampoo I have ever used. In addition, it’s sulfate free.

  43. Ella

    I’ve just laughed my head off reading this post. After dying my hair several times with henna I could relate to all of it. This is the wittiest thing I’ve ever read about henna.

    Personally I used body art quality henna, unadulterated, as I wanted fiery red hair. It was a hugely messy business. I started out methodically and calmly but before you know it a blob has appeared, from nowhere, on your face or the wall creating an instant orange stain. I left the henna on for 3 hours wrapped tightly underneath a modified carrier bag.

    When I rinsed it out it over the bath it looked like a hippo from a river bank had been playing in my bath. It took several rinses and washing my hair thoroughly to remove all the loose henna. I then let my hair air dry.

    Something almost magical happened when it dried though. My hair was a rich vibrant red that I’d always wanted and it was incredibly silky and smooth and seemed twice as thick. I was truly delighted. The amazing condition was not something I was expecting. It’s this experience that has converted me to henna.

    I now make up batches of it and freeze it in the freezer. I have to say though… Henna is very messy. It stains and can easily turn into a disaster if you don’t plan ahead and take your time. I understand why chemical hair dyes exist now.

    The only problem with henna (apart the hassle and the mess) is they it tends to fade faster than I anticipated. My next goal is to develop a routine that’s easy and mess proof. For me the mess and hassle is worth it just for the amazing colour and condition.

  44. Evie

    I bought the Natural Black from Henna Color Lab and the process was not bad my fist time but I didn’t see a difference at all in color, it’s still the same. My grays are still there, I’m so disappointed. Does anyone know of a good brand that will actually work?

  45. chrisy

    Oh gosh I love how this was written. Your humour is awesome :D. Quite the experience you had,eh!

    I’ve been dyeing my hair since I was a teenager with henna. My mom is from iraq, so she can always find the purest forms around here (given I can’t read arabic).

    Gloves are mandatory! And…perhaps, amongst everything, you would fair better with braiding/tying/clipping your hair once finished, then double-bagging two grocery bags over your head. I never knew about the saran wrap method myself!


  46. Hi does anyone know how can I dye my black hair dark borwn using Henna. I don’t want to use any chemical on my hair. My hair is already very dry. Do you think using Henna would make them any better??

  47. I hv a few tips for henna application – always put a shower cap or plastic bag on the hair after applying henna. If U don’t the henna will dry on the hair making the hair dry. This will lead to hair breakage which means subsequent hair loss. The henna does not need to dry on the scalp.

  48. Claudia

    I have a question for all the red-head ladies. I am not a natural red-head, so I have to keep up with it every couple of weeks. The thing is, my natural hair color is very dark, almost black, so when my roots begin to show they really SHOW. I don’t want to have to re-bleach them before using the Pure Henna Hair Dye from Henna Color Lab, but I’m afraid the color will not stick, I will end up wasting my time, and be left with two completely different tones. All help is greatly appreciated!

  49. Eloiseish

    Hullo, tell me, crunchy ones, I of gray-silver hair at age fifty eight I love intensely, want to use Henna. Tell me what does Henna do for gray silver hair. Will it make it shiny and strong. Are there dangers. Tell me, tell me. Do not want color. Just gleam and strength and supergirlness.

  50. m33r44

    I agree – the style is foul


  1. […] other quality brands out there. Basically, if it uses any weird ingredients, don’t buy it. READ LOTS about henna before you use it- otherwise you may end-up with no results, a frustrating, messy time, […]

  2. […] products, their henna has only a few real ingredients, and two other bloggers (Real Food Liz & Crunchy Betty) also used their henna with fantastic results. Since I’ve only used one brand, I can only […]

  3. […] Crunchy Betty & the fine art of dying your hair with henna, as well as, What not to do…    *fun story! […]

  4. […] that people note about dying hair with henna at home is how messy it can be. I really enjoyed The Fine Art of Dying Your Hair with Henna by Crunchy Betty, which is a very funny look at everything that can go wrong throughout the […]

  5. […] The Fine Art of Dying Your Hair with Henna | Crunchy Betty – The sixth thing NOT to do while dying your hair with henna: Assume that you can, single-handed, in a bathtub covered with grass-smelling, soon-to-stain splatter …… […]

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