Dyeing hair with henna

If you want to color your hair in a purely natural way and also care for your hair, henna offers a solution. It does not damage the structure of the hair, it is healthy for the hair and cheap. There are several colors available, such as red, brown and black, but you cannot bleach your hair with it. You can also easily make paint from henna yourself to dye your hair. How should you do this and what result can you expect?

The product henna

Hanna is made from the shrub Lawsonia inermis, which grows in a hot and dry climate. The shoots and leaves of this henna shrub are dried and ground into powder. It is a pure natural product with which you can color the skin and hair. Henna will not damage the structure of the hair and it is even healthy for the hair. In addition, it is cheap and makes your hair shine.

What colors are possible?

There are more colors possible than you might think. When you use it for the first time, it is difficult to estimate exactly how it will turn out. The henna from Iran colors the hair dark red; Egyptian and Moroccan henna give it an orangey hue. Henna powder can also be mixed with other dried plants, so that more color variations are possible. In addition to red, dark red, copper, brown, chestnut brown, black, golden blonde and ash blonde are available. You can never really make your hair blonder with henna, at most a little lighter because it has become redder. However, bleaching the hair is not possible.

The cons

Some people find it a hassle to dye their hair with henna. It must remain in the hair much longer than chemical dye. The chance of spills is greater and you don’t know how it will turn out when you dye it with henna for the first time. It is better not to use henna if your hair has been chemically treated. In that case, wait at least six weeks before using henna. Otherwise, the treatment may produce undesirable results such as green hair.

The advantages

The big advantage is that, unlike chemical paint, henna does not affect the structure of the hair. It is even healthy for the hair. In addition to the new color, it also gives a radiant shine. This is caused by the weakly astringent tannin, which smoothes the hair surface and also makes it harder at the same time. As a result, oily hair no longer needs to be washed as often and fine, thin hair gains more volume.

The method

To dye your hair with henna, you need to make a paste from the powder. Use about 100 grams of henna for medium hair and add boiling hot water while stirring until you get a smooth paste. Don’t make it too watery, otherwise it will drip. Don’t make it too firm, otherwise it will not be distributed properly over the hair and pieces may fall off your head. If it is too thick or thin, add some henna or water.

Additions to henna paste

There are quite a few options to add to the henna paste to influence the coloring process or to give the hair extra care. You can try out the following:

  • The following applies to red henna: if you want a less red and somewhat darker result, you can use strong coffee or tea to mix the mixture instead of water. Walnut oil also makes the red less noticeable and gives the hair a brown glow.
  • If you want to speed up the coloring process, add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • To care for dry hair, you can add a beaten egg (yellow) to the cooled mixture. This also makes the mixture adhere better to the hair. You can also add two tablespoons of olive oil to dry hair.
  • You could also add honey. This not only gives the hair color, but also a complete hair mask.


How does it work?

Below is a step-by-step explanation of how you can color your hair yourself with henna:

Step 1

Before you start working with henna, wash your hair and rub it towel dry. Wear plastic gloves to protect your skin. If you want to protect the skin around your hairline and ears against unwanted coloring, apply some cream or Vaseline in advance.

Step 2

Apply the henna paste to your hair. Start close to the hair roots and work from the hair roots to the ends. For longer hair, divide your hair into different sections. If necessary, you can secure the strands with a hair clip. Once the henna is well distributed throughout the hair, massage it thoroughly for a few more minutes. Put the hair on top of the head.

Step 3

Remove the henna that got on your ears, neck and forehead. You can do this with a wet washcloth that has been soaked in warm water.

Step 4

Place a piece of plastic or bathing cap over the hair. You can also use aluminum foil. This works faster because it stays warmer. Then you can wrap an (old) towel around it.

Step 5

The longer you leave the henna on, the more intense the color will become. And the darker your hair, the more time the henna needs to work. A guideline for the working time is 45 minutes to an hour and a half. What the result will be depends on your own hair color, the type of henna powder and the condition of the hair. For example, if your hair ends are somewhat porous, they will light up more brightly. Therefore, if necessary, apply henna to them a little later. Also pay attention to gray hairs. They will turn out redder than the other hairs.

Step 6

Rinse the henna from the hair with warm water afterwards. Then wash it with a mild shampoo. A nourishing hair mask afterwards completes the beauty treatment.

The hair has become too red

If the color is too red because the henna has done its best, you can do the following: massage some olive oil through your hair. Let this work for about ten minutes while wearing a bathing cap or aluminum foil. Then wash it out and you will see that the worst of the red is gone. Do this again if necessary. A hair mask is then no longer necessary.

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