Using henna is a great way to dye your hair red without using chemical-based dyes. Natural henna can thicken hair, help protect the scalp from sun damage, and help nourish the hair and scalp. Instead of chemically coating your hair, henna dyes it a different color, so that your natural hair color remains visible.
Part 1 of 3: Preparing Henna
Step 1. Buy pure and natural henna
You will need 50-100g of henna for short hair, 100g for medium hair, and 200g for long hair. Don't worry about the exact measurements, it's a less stringent process. When buying henna, there are a number of things to keep in mind.
- Some of the henna sold in the market has been mixed with additives. If you bought henna that already has a certain color description, you may not need to dabble with adding something to the mix unless you are an experienced henna user. The additives described herein are intended to be mixed with pure henna powder.
- Freshly removed henna will be anywhere from green to brown in color, and smell like dried herbs or grass clippings. Do not buy henna that is purple or black in color, or that has a chemical smell.
- If you suffer from severe allergies or have sensitive skin, do a stain test before using it. Dab a small amount of the henna mixture on your skin, wait a few hours, and watch to see how your skin reacts.
Step 2. Know what you will get
This is not an exact science. There are varying amounts of variables, and you may not get exactly what you want after the first coloring. Results will vary, and your hair may have an uneven color. If you are a perfectionist when it comes to your hair, this process may not be for you.
- Pure henna can only produce red. If a product called henna or henna is meant to dye hair black, the henna contains indigo. Some henna mixtures can give you a blonde tint, but they will always be reddish blonde.
- As opposed to masking your natural hair color, the henna will mix with your hair color. This is an important thing to keep in mind when mixing colors. Set the color you want to combine with your natural hair color, not the color you want to get. Keep in mind that very light hair may need to be dyed several times to make it look dark.
- Since gray hair has a translucent color, it will be a cleaner canvas for the henna. This means the effect of blending with non-gray hair will not occur, and your hair color will be much more similar to the color produced by the dye. This also means that your hair will easily get an uneven color, as hair with more dye will be noticeably darker.
Step 3. Gather your gear
There is a wide range of ingredients that can be mixed with pure henna powder to create different effects. The list is longer than one article could list, but here are some things to consider.
- For a strawberry blonde, use a squeeze of lemon, vinegar, or red wine.
- For a fiery red, use brandy.
- For a less intense red-brown color, use coffee or black tea.
- If you don't like the smell of henna, you can add ingredients that smell good, such as essential oils, rose water, or cloves.
- You don't need to add anything to change the color of pure henna. Water can also be used, although you will need to add a little lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice to oxidize the dye. If this is your first time using henna, you may want to see how it blends in with your hair color, so that at a later date you can decide what you want to add, if any.
Step 4. Mix the henna
This is a fairly simple process. Pour the henna powder into a bowl. Gradually add the liquid, then stir.
- Use ceramic, plastic, glass, or stainless steel bowls.
- There's no way to know for sure how much fluid you'll need. Add a little at a time, stirring until the mixture has a sticky, yogurt-like consistency.
- This can be a messy mix, and will stain any surface if it hits. It's probably a good idea to wear gloves, and you should immediately wipe off any mixture that accidentally gets on your skin.
Step 5. Let the mixture sit
Cover it with plastic wrap and wait at least a few hours or one night for best results. You'll know if the mixture is ready when the henna turns darker from green to dark brown. This means the dye has oxidized and is ready to use.
Part 2 of 3: Preparation for Applying Henna
Step 1. Don't wash your hair for one day
The natural oils from your body will help the dye to sink in. Showering is fine-water won't strip your scalp of oil-but don't shampoo.
Step 2. Gather your gear
Keep everything you need within your reach, so you don't have to move to get something while you're coloring. You'll need a garbage bag, some petroleum jelly, some prepared henna mixture, a towel that's okay if you get dirty, and a pair of plastic gloves.
Step 3. Make a hole in the top of the garbage bag large enough for your head to pass through
It is basically a full body armor. Put it on. Alternatively, you can wear old clothes, or use old towels.
Step 4. Apply petroleum jelly on your skin
If this disgusts you, you can skip it, but you could accidentally get paint on your skin. The point is to apply it along the sections of skin near the edges of the hair: along the hairline, ears, etc.
Part 3 of 3: Smearing Henna
Step 1. Apply henna all over the hair
Make sure you wear gloves first. The most important thing here is to coat your hair with the henna mixture evenly.
- Pay special attention to the ends and roots of your hair, especially along your hairline.
- Be careful not to use too much.
- Once your hair is evenly coated, stack it on top of your head, and wrap your hair in a towel tightly.
- Wipe off excess henna with a damp cloth.
Step 2. Silence
For best results, leave for one night; You may need to cover your pillow with a trash bag, or something that you don't mind getting dirty.
- If you don't want to sleep with the dye stuck to your hair, you can simply leave it on for a few hours. But the longer you leave it on, the more pronounced the effect will be.
- The bigger the effect of the change you want, the longer you will need to let the paint sit.
- It's easier to darken light hair than it is to lighten dark hair. If your hair is very dark in the first place, leaving the henna on overnight won't turn your hair strawberry blonde.
Step 3. Rinse the henna
You will also need to wear gloves for this process, or your hands will get orange stains. Be very careful: it's very easy to color things you don't want to color. Depending on the length of your hair, this process can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour.
- Kneel in the tub instead of standing, or your entire body is stained.
- Remove your hair cover carefully.
- Rinse thoroughly, until the running water becomes clear.
- Stand under the shower. Apply shampoo, then rinse.
- Apply deep conditioner and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
Step 4. Let your hair dry on its own
Look at your new hair in the mirror! Do not wash or wet it for the next 24 to 48 hours.
- Unused henna mixture can be stored for up to 6 months in the freezer, or for a week in the refrigerator.
- Do not dye your hair with henna if you have applied chemicals to your hair in the last 6 months. Also don't dye your hair with chemicals for 6 months after dyeing it with henna.
- Be prepared for a very messy process. In this case, it will probably exceed your imagination.
- The instructions that come with the henna powder package when you buy it are often not sufficient. It's a good idea to read through the many guides before starting, so that you really understand what you're getting into.
- Applying Henna to Hair
- Using Henna for Skin