How to Dye Hair With Henna. Henna is an all-natural, safe hair dye that permanently colors hair without harsh chemicals. Body art quality henna is recommended over store-bought boxes of pre-mixed hennas because it is more pure, and can be safely used even on hair that has been recently bleached or synthetically dyed. Mixing body art quality henna and applying it to your hair will yield vibrant, shiny, soft, healthy-looking results. Read on to learn how to dye hair with henna.
Prepare the Henna
Purchase 100 to 500 grams of body art quality powdered henna, depending on the length of your hair.
Pour the henna powder into a plastic container.
Mix in just enough citrus juice to create a paste about the consistency of yogurt.
Cover the container with plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight at room temperature, around 70 degrees F. This allows the dye to release for long lasting, vibrant results.
Apply the Henna to Your Hair
Wash and dry your hair and comb it into sections. You should be wearing an old T-shirt or have a towel wrapped around your shoulders.
Work the henna into the hair and scalp, starting at the nape of the neck. You can smear it on with your gloved hand, use a squeeze bottle or use a piping bag. Apply it thick, like cake frosting.
Continue sectioning off your hair and applying the henna. Make sure all of your hair is thickly coated with no dry spots below the top layer.
Wrap your entire head with plastic wrap or with a plastic grocery bag to keep the henna warm and moist while it is processing.
Wipe up any henna that may have gotten onto your forehead, around your ears and on your neck.
Allow the henna to sit for two to four hours. People with hair that tends to be resistant to dye can leave it on longer.
Wash the henna out of your hair by rinsing as much of it out as possible with water first, and then shampooing. Conditioner helps to release the last bits of henna from the hair.
If you need your henna to be ready faster, place it in a hot (about 95 F) place for two hours. Always do a strand test before dyeing your whole head. This can easily be done on hair harvested from your brush or you can do a section at the nape of your neck. Apply lotion to your hairline and around your ears and neck to prevent staining. It will take about two days for the color to fully develop. It may seem overly bright at first, but it will get darker as it oxidizes.
Never allow wet henna to come in contact with metals of any kind. When wet henna touches metal, a reaction occurs that can lead to a head of green, damaged hair. Henna allergies are rare, but you should still always do an allergy test before using any hair or skin product for the first time. Mix a small amount, dab it on your forearm and wait one hour. If no symptoms appear within that hour, you can apply it to your whole head.