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Learn all about hair henna with easy recipes and how to henna your hair steps.

Alanna's gorgeous red hennaed hair using ORa henna powder.Hair Henna

Henna has been use to dye the hair for over 6000 years. It's a beautiful, safe, and healthy way to color your hair, however, there are many myths about hair henna, so let's dispel those first!

Henna & Commercial Hair Dyes

You may have heard that you cannot use henna over already colored hair or use traditional hair dyes over henna. Not exactly true.

You CAN use natural body art quality henna (BAQ) over already colored or bleached hair. You CAN color over hair that has been colored with natural BAQ henna.

You CANNOT use commercial hair dyes with adulterated or poor quality henna.

Body art quality henna is pure henna (assuming you get it from a reputable supplier, like us, of course!) and will not cause reactions with chemical hair dyes. Henna that is labeled as hair henna often has metallic salts, lead, and other chemicals that can react VERY badly with chemical hair dyes, including melting your hair. That is right, MELTING your hair. This is why you should ONLY use high quality BAQ henna on your hair.


The Color of Henna

Henna is red. Any henna labeled as any other color is mixed with something other than henna. Henna is a transparent dye, so it will NOT lighten your hair. Just like henna on the skin, henna uses the color of the hair as it's color base.

  • If you have white blond or gray hair, you will get a super bold red color.
  • If you have light brown hair, you will get a brown/auburn color.
  • If you have dark brown or black hair, you will get glossy red highlights in the sun.
All hair gets a glossy natural looking color with natural highlights and lowlights with BAQ henna. Henna covers gray beautifully and naturally!

It is possible to get other colors like black or browns naturally by mixing BAQ henna with other herbal options such as indigo. We only offer quality natural BAQ henna at this time.


How Much Henna Do I Need for My Hair?

If you have exceptionally thick hair, add a bit more. If you have curly hair add much more! Any henna you don't use can be frozen for later use or for use in a henna gloss.

  • Short Hair (Chin Length) = 50-100 grams
  • Shoulder Length = 100-200 grams
  • Mid Back Length = 200-300 grams
  • Waist Length = 500 grams

*TIP* To save money, buy henna by the kilo. Unopened henna powder is good for 3 years if stored in a cool dry place. You can even mix larger batches and freeze extra henna in individual sized "servings" for later use. You'll have already mixed, ready to use henna at your fingertips!

How To Mix Hair Henna and Apply Henna to the Hair

As with skin henna, there are a million different ways to mix henna for use on the hair, but I'm going to give you the easiest most reliable recipe.

Remember, henna is a transparent stain that used your hair color as its base. Do a strand test before committing to hennaing your entire head to be sure you like the results. Mix a little bit of powder with water and apply it to either your hair or hair gathered from your hair brush.

  1. Mix fresh henna powder with lukewarm water until you get a consistency of pancake batter.
  2. Allow henna to sit and release dye for 4 hours. If you are using Jamila henna, allow 6 hours or more.
  3. USE GLOVES, to apply the henna to clean dry hair, being sure to completely saturate every strand. You will need to knead the henna into your hair with your hands. Apply the henna very thick.
  4. Put a plastic cap over your hair, pressing it down so it touches the henna paste.
  5. Wipe off ANY henna that is on the skin, as it will stain.
  6. Leave the henna on your hair for 2-4 hours or more. The longer you leave the henna on, the richer the color. You can leave the henna on longer, and it will NOT harm your hair in any way. Two hours is the bare minimum to leave the henna on.
  7. Rinse the henna out of your hair. This is not the easiest task and will take forever if you have long hair!
  8. Follow with a quick shampoo and conditioner.
  9. IMPORTANT! The color you see now is NOT the final color of your hennaed hair.
    The color will tone down, getting darker and less orange, over 3 or 4 days to your final color. This change can be dramatic, so don't judge the color until day 4.



Additional Tips


  • You can add a little bit of sugar or conditioner to the henna when mixing it, to make it easier to work in and out of the hair.
  • You can add scent to your henna by adding rose water or essential oils to the henna. If you add essential oil only add a couple of drops or you WILL get a headache.
  • If you don't like the smell of henna, add a teaspoon of ginger powder to the henna to neutralize the scent.
  • The easiest way to rinse the henna out of your hair is to swish your hair around in a bathtub to loosen the henna, then shower.
  • For deeper color you can reapply henna as often as you like.
  • You can henna just your roots or your entire head.
  • Some people report that henna will dry their hair out, though the vast majority of people benefit with softer better conditioned hair. Simply add conditioner to your mix to prevent this possibility, and do not mix your henna with lemon juice.
  • If you have curly hair, henna may loosen your curl pattern.

Creating and Using a Conditioning Henna Gloss

Using a henna gloss is a great way to pep-up your color every so often. It's also wonderful if you don't want to commit to full blown henna color, because a henna gloss does not leave nearly as much color as the henna recipe above.

  1. Mix henna paste (henna and water) with your favorite hair conditioner in a ratio of 1 part henna to 3 parts conditioner.
  2. Apply and allow to sit on your head for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer you leave it in, the more color will be deposited on the hair.
  3. Rinse.

Benefits of Henna

  • Henna is a natural conditioner and hair strengthener.
  • Reduces or eliminates dandruff.
  • Henna is permanent and does not fade as much as typical red hair dyes.
  • Henna leaves a natural looking color with natural highlights.
  • Henna is great for men to use both on their hair and beards.
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