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Using henna hair color as an alternative for harsh dyes that can be found in salons and drug stores is a great idea to help improve the overall health of your hair while enhancing the color as well.

What is Henna?

Henna has been used for centuries to change hair color as people’s primary dyeing agent. It is free of peroxide and not ammonia-based like many current products on the market. The natural henna dye will make your hair very glossy, shiny, as well as providing a very natural looking red tint. The henna also provides permanent color.

As time has gone by, companies have come up with different color options within the henna spectrum, so you have different color options with the same henna hair color benefits.

Common Misconceptions About Henna

  • You can achieve any color with 100% henna. The only color that you will guarantee to achieve with 100% natural henna powder is usually an orangey-reddish tint. 
  • Henna is an ink. Henna is actually a plant, not a chemical or an ink.
  • Black henna is just as effective. indigo, also called black henna, is another plant that will color the hair similarly to natural henna. However, it doesn’t have the same bold qualities, therefore should be used no more than 20 minutes after mixing for best results. Also, make sure it does not contain PPD, which is harmful to the skin and may cause blisters or rashes.
  • Henna is temporary. It is actually a permanent hair dye, so before you commit to the color it will leave you hair, make sure to do a strand test first.

What You’ll Need

  1. Purchase your henna. Henna can be purchased in the powder form that would typically be used for body art. You want to buy enough for the length of hair that you have. Typically, 100 to 500 grams will do.
  2. Mix your henna. Pour powdered henna into a plastic cup and slowly stir in enough of your citrus juice — fresh orange, grapefruit, or lemon will do — and mix with a plastic spoon. You will want enough liquids mixed with the henna powder to produce a yogurt like consistency. Keep mixing and slowly adding the juice until you achieve that. Once the desired consistency is achieved, cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight at room temperature. This will allow the mixture time to let the dye release for results that last longer once applied to your hair.
  1. Apply the henna to your hair. This can be done by yourself or with some helping hands, whichever you prefer. Apply the henna hair color to clean, dry hair while combing it into sections. It is also helpful to be wearing an old t-shirt or using old towels since this can be a rather messy process. The dye will stain the fabric that it touches. The henna should be applied thick and worked through your hair and scalp. After it is completely applied, wrap your hair in plastic wrap, and let the dye sit for two to four hours. Depending on how well your hair takes color, you will know how long to leave it on.
  2. Rinse the henna out. This process should be done using water first, then slowly adding shampoo. If you are still having trouble getting it all out, then do a wash with conditioner.

Whenever you are finished with this process, feel free to blow dry your hair or style as normal. Keep in mind that your scalp will be stained red for a couple days, which is completely normal. The color that comes from the henna will last longer than typical dyes and leave your hair feeling stronger, repaired, and healthy.

Have you used henna before as a hair dye? And if so, what was your experience like? Would you recommend it to other curlies?

Read: Henna Your Way to Healthy Hair