6 Things To Know Before Using Henna Hair Dye

You may recall my excitement earlier this summer, when I decided to try using henna as an all-natural alternative to hair dye. I’ve always enjoyed changing-up my hair color, and thanks to a good friend of mine who happens to be a very talented hair stylist, I’ve had the opportunity to change it rather often.

However, looking for a more natural hair-coloring option, I decided to take a chance and try a henna hair dye that you can use at home.

I had heard great things about Lush’s henna line, so while on a vacation in Palm Springs, my good friend and I decided to have a little hair-dying party in our hotel room– where no one could see us make fools of ourselves!

Here are a few things I learned from our experience:

1. Using Lush’s henna is pretty easy and straight-forward.

You simply melt the whole brick in a bowl with hot water, until a mud-like consistency is achieved.

It takes a little elbow-grease to break the brick down at first, but before you know it, you’ll have an earthy-smelling mix that’s ready to apply.

2. It will get messy.

Really messy.

Like most hair dyes, you’ll want to use gloves when handling this mix. (Lush provided these for us when purchasing at their store.) I also recommend standing in your shower while applying to your hair, so that any spills are contained!

3. It will stain everything.

Again, a good reason to stand in your shower, to avoid staining your counters and floors.

It’s also a good reason to protect your skin! We used Lush’s Ultrabalm, an all-natural alternative to Vaseline, as a protective shield around our faces.

Apply to your forehead, ears and neck to prevent staining.

4. This dye takes a long time to set.

Depending on the vibrancy you want, the package says it can take one to six hours for the color to develop!

That’s a long time to have your scalp wrapped in plastic. (This was another recommendation from the store employee– the plastic wrap keeps the dye warm, and therefore, more effective.)

I only lasted two hours before I couldn’t take it anymore.

5. Henna will not even-out your hair color.

In my experience, if you have roots or highlights when you start the process, you’ll still have roots or highlights when you’re finished.

I happened to have roots AND highlights at the time (you can see before pictures here)–> so you can see how the reddish color varies throughout my hair, where I had more blonde highlights. I was hoping for a more even color, so this aspect was a little disappointing for me.

However, if you have natural highlights (without roots) it could turn out very pretty!

6. You must be careful when dying your hair AFTER using henna.

Only after using the henna hair dye did a hairstylist tell me that you shouldn’t use any permanent dye on top of the henna. So, if you don’t like the resulting color from the henna dye, you may not have a whole lot of options in order to correct it. (This will vary by stylist– I’ve heard that some are still willing to work with post-henna-dyed hair.)

Gosh, that would have been nice to know before we got started.

Luckily, you can safely use semi-permanent dye as a temporary fix–> which means going darker, rather than lighter with your color. My stylist had to put the semi-permanent color on twice, because the first time around my henna-dyed hair didn’t absorb the color very well.

I hope these tips prove helpful for anyone interested in trying henna, too!

Reader Feedback: Do you color your hair? Have you ever tried using henna hair dye, or would you like to? I think I would have been very happy with the results had I started with an even hair color… but thanks to my pesky roots, I see some some semi-permanent dye in my future. I may even try a “test strand” with highlights– just to see what happens! I’ve heard horror stories of hair smoking while applying permanent color after using henna (certain brands have compounds added to it), so that’s a scary thought! As I understand it, the henna dye is permanent, so you’ll have to wait until your hair grows out before making any drastic changes.

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I use morrocan method for henna dye. http://shop.morroccomethod.com/

Best hair dye ever and comes in various colors

Kimm Hunt

I use the henna powder you can buy at any IndoPak grocery stores. There’s many brands to choose from. I like Depur.

I’ve been using henna for 3 years. It’s messy and a pain but for $5 a coloring you can’t beat it.

I’ve found you have to leave it on for at least 3 hrs. I usually go to bed after applying and wake up in the middle of the night and wash it out. Takes 15 min. Soak hair lying in a bathtub and gently work the henna out. Then hop in the shower and wash w/ shampoo. I use conditioner w/ a few drops of evoo.

I’ve never had problems with my roots being lighter than the rest of my hair. I usually dye my whole head but when I had very long hair I only dyed my roots for a year. There was no difference bw the new or old color.


The only henna I use is what I purchase from Mehandi Henna. They carry, only after testing the henna themselves for purity and content, the best henna for covering gray that is pretty much chemical free from harmful chemicals. I say pretty much because nothing is perfect in love and war. I mix my dry henna (which you keep in the freezer until you use it) with lemon juice until it has the consistency of thick pudding (it needs acidic content) and let it sit for the day until dyes are released. I put a wooden chop stick in it as it will show color on the stick so you know it’s releasing. I like to put my henna in the window so it gets the warmth from the sun which helps it to release faster. I then put it on my hair and let it sit for 2-3 hours. It covers my gray perfectly and gives me a beautiful red with highlights through it. Sometimes, I use their indigo if I want a more brownish henna. That you don’t mix in until you are ready to use your henna. You mix the indigo with water and then mix through the henna paste. Never put indigo in the freezer or refrigerator. That will destroy the indigo.


Thanks for sharing all of that stuff with us, and your tips for reach best results 🙂
My name is Fab, I’d like to ask for a piece of advice please 🙂 🙂 🙂
I dye my air with a mixture for a light brown which contains Cassia obovata, Lawsonia inermis and Indigo tinctoria, I do it every month since February …however my hair colour is a way darker that I wanted to be since I started…
I thought I may start a new mixture to go lighter using Lawsonia inermis, Walnut hull, Cassia obovata, Curcuma and Add warm chamomile to it.
I’ m Still waiting to wash away the Indigo as you can see in these pics..
Are there any advice you could gently give to me pls?
How long should I wait before to try this new mixture, based on your experience?

Hope you can help me with that, I really do


I grew very tired of my hair and thought I would just go gray and be done with it, I hated it. but now I am unable to re dye back to red, The color washes out as fast as I rinse, will red henna help hold any color ? my color now looks like straw pinky kind of almost blond..


Just a quick question
Will blonde henna darken, my already blonde hair?


Julie Hiscox

Google “Henna for Hair”. The website has very detailed information about using henna in addition to having high quality henna, indigo, cassia and amla for purchase. I started using henna about five years ago after a dye mishap that turned my hair magenta. After removing the errant dye, I tried henna. Not without misgiving because going in that I would have to let it grow out before I could dye it with a chemical dye. Fortunately, the red has been very close to my original color (back in the day). My hair and scalp are very healthy and everybody loves the color. Much better alternative than soaking hair and scalp in chemicals and the color is better than any traditional hair dye, especially for red hair. I am not associated with the subject website, but am a loyal customer.


I started using pure henna and ginger blonde henna from Henna Color Lab (US based company in Oregon) and the results are FANTASTIC. The ingredients list is completely natural and the results are stunning.

I saw a couple questions and thought I’d lend an answer.

No, henna will not lighten your hair, you can only go darker.

Yes, henna has an “earthy smell” which will go away after a couple washes. You can add a couple drops of essential oil to your mix to lessen the smell but personally I prefer it to the harsh chemical smell of regular hair dye. It doesnt bother me but not everyone like it.

Yes, your hair will be bright orange right after dying it and can also have green undertones but the color takes up to 48 hours to completely settle into a dark red and the funky undertones will go away.

Yes, henna is permanent and you should not use any dye that has metallic salts in it after using it, results could be from color not holding to your hair literally burning off because of the chemical reaction it causes. Henna binds to your hair unlike dye which only covers it. So if you like chemically dying, bleaching or perming your hair, DO NOT USE HENNA!

I had massive hair loss from years of chemically abusing my hair plus I got the implant birth control (which made my hair fall out at an alarming rate) so I switched to all natural henna and couldn’t been happier with the results. My hair has never been healthier and I’ve been seeking this color for years. In the sunlight it shines and looks like fire! I highly recommend HCL henna hair dye to anyone wanting to go chemical free!

Best of luch to you all <3


The henna plant is RED/ORANGE! If it is any other color then it has additives of some sort. I had bleached blonde damaged hair. I starting using Henna because I wanted to grow my hair out and my boyfriend’s mom said she used this and it did wonders for her. I buy my henna at the nearest Arabic store.

if you are superstitious then apply it 2x a month: cut & dye on a full moon. Dye on new moon
if you are not superstitious than just cut once a month and dye twice a month

First Time Applying Henna to my Hair:
boil 9 ounces of water
12 TBL spoons of Henna powder
a whole lemon
apply it to your hair

The second time and every time after that use:
boil 3 ounces of water
1 TBL spoon of Henna
and half a lemon

Before pictures: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTxcxOGjQb7szryeTN0Q4QtCygtWbU8NPK-Yao0/?taken-by=baebee_s

After: https://www.instagram.com/p/BT1MjmyDQtoACUbUAV263C295_oEBNzhTkCHK80/?taken-by=baebee_s


I have used a paste of bentonite clay mixed with water and apple cider vinegar applied to my hair to pull the henna coloring out with success in the past. It does not pull it all out, but it is noticeably lighter after each application. That may be something to try, if you don’t like your results.


I have been losing hair for the past few years, and due to Hair Loss I thought of using Henna for the last 1 year. I feel that may be due to Henna I am still losing lots of hair. Can Henna be the reason for hair loss. Pls advise.


    Yes, henna can cause hair loss from not being rinsed out properly or through scalp irritation. IT can also cause hair loss due to causing excess weight from the product and other external factors gathering on top or even from the mechanical stress of having the product on the hair for so many hours during the dyeing process.
    2 seconds to Google that, m’dear.


    I actually would recommend for u to get blood test if u have not already. Could be diet. Thyroid. Or some vitamin deficient thats causing loss of hair. I had the same problem. Mine was hypothyroidism and with meds and the henna actually thickened my hair. U have to change u r diet with meds also. Good luck.




Can you use Henna hair dye as normal henna for your skin?

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