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Dyeing your hair with Henna

I have been using NATURAL henna in my hair for well over 10 years! So here is a simple recipe, information and tips!

Short hair recipe:

  • 50 grams natural henna powder (Lawsonia Inermis)

  • Add water to pudding consistency

  • 4-5 drops of your favorite essential oil

Long hair recipe:

  • 100 grams natural henna powder (Lawsonia Inermis)

  • Add water to pudding consistency

  • 6-8 drops of your favorite essential oil

Optional additions: Hibiscus powder, Amla powder, Mayo, tea (moisturizing additions)

Quick Tips:

  • Be sure to avoid falsely advertised "henna dye" sold at beauty stores or online, as they can have really damaging additives. Read the ingredients carefully. This is why henna gets a bad reputation amongst hair colorists, because many are used to dealing with chemical henna dyes that have added metallic salts or developers, and when they use more chemicals on top like bleach on chemical henna hair, it can turn your hair green or fry it!!

  • Henna builds on the natural color of your hair.. It will always stain a reddish color. If your hair is black, then it will be subtle. If your hair is blonde, it will be a bright orangey/strawberry blonde color. Check out the graphic below to see an approximate idea of what your color will look like with henna. My hair is a medium brown, for example.

  • Always look for straight up "Natural Henna" if you want the reddish color result. The only ingredient is henna plant AKA Lawsonia Inermis, THATS IT. Countless people tell me.. "I used henna on my hair but it turned brown or green" that means they didn't use a pure henna product, they used something called "henna" but with additives. Theres a lot of products out there with additives but all you need is the powder for low cost haircare. I sell organic henna powder in my shop which I use for both body art and on my hair!

  • Lush sells a more expensive henna bar, but it also has added color options like Indigo, which is natural, but makes the final color more brown. Be mindful of the additives as they change the result of your hair. Always read the ingredients and instructions.

  • Consult with a Natural beauty expert if you have concerns or in-depth questions regarding your hair type and henna. I know that natural henna hair care works on many different hair types, but its best to consult with a pro who intimately understands your haircare needs! One expert on Natural haircare of all textures and types is Henna Sooq! Khadija offers a plethora of herbal haircare products, specializes in henna and hosts FB haircare groups that are excellent.


  • Henna has been used as a hair dye since ancient Egypt! Click the link to see some cool (mature images) of mummy hair and recreations of Queens. SLAY GODDESS DIVINE!

  • Henna is permanent. Wait, what? I thought henna was temporary? Nope! Henna is only temporary on our skin because skin cells exfoliate and regenerate after 2 weeks. While we do shed quite a bit of hair on the daily, we do not shed our entire head of hair.. HOPEFULLY!

  • Henna is cooling on the head, it promotes blood flow which can promote new growth and get rid of a headache.

  • Henna is UV resistant. It protects your hair against UV rays! Groovy.

  • Henna treatment is anti-fungal. It can help with dandruff which sometimes can be triggered by fungus called Malassezia. Henna is an amazing plant medicine!


  1. Mix up your ingredients to a spreadable, but not too watery consistency. You don't want it to drip down your face and back!

  2. Cover your mixture with a lid or plate or wrap and let it sit 2-5 hours. This is the time when the dye molecules become available! The warmer the climate, the sooner your paste will be ready to rock and roll!

  3. Prep your hair coloring area, I do it in the bathroom, removing rugs incase a drop falls. I like to have my dark hair color towel ready incase I need to clean up any mess. Put newspaper or something down on your counter so you don't stain anything.

  4. Spread the henna all over your hair, massaging it down to the roots. Depending on your hair texture and length, you may need help or to separate your hair into sections for easier coverage.

  5. Wear gloves if you don't want orange hands! I love henna and deliberately opt for the gloveless method..Totally understand its not for everyone!!! Clean up your edges with a towel so you don't have an orange forehead or ears.

6. Wrap up your head with a plastic baggie. This keeps the warmth in, and the henna wet for better absorption. Yes I will walk my dog around the block with a plastic poop baggie on my head. I don't care! (My neighbors probably think interesting thoughts.)

7. Keep the paste on for 3-5 hours, then wash out. You will see all the henna powder particles seep out of your hair. It takes a thorough scrub to get it all out! I will sometimes pre-rinse in the utility sink, and then shower, shampoo and condition. This is up to you! Henna won't stain your shower or tub unless you leave it in there so be sure to squeegee it down the drain so you don't get any henna powder film on your lovely tub or shower!

8. I usually do all this washing before bed so I can see my fresh henna hair the next day. Note that it starts out a brighter color, then oxidizes like rust and calms down/darkens in the next 2 days. Just like henna body art!

Was this article interesting or helpful? Let me know! I love hearing from you. Connect with me on Instagram for more tips, discussion and henna inspiration!


XOXO The henna witch aka Mishelle

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