Tips for using henna on your hair

I’ve really got into using henna on my hair recently; it’s a great alternative to hair dye if you’re pregnant or just don’t fancy sticking chemicals on your hair and it does give great colour, but there are some tips if you want to use it.

First of all, think about whether you want to use a powder. I’ve used Lush’s henna before, but found that the block it came in made it a nightmare to break up and prepare. Instead, I’ve started to use this powder in auburn (although be warned, it’s stupidly expensive on Amazon- I get it from Infinity Foods in Brighton for £2.59. If you have a major issue buying some, let me know.) The thing with henna is that if you mix up too much, you get a lot of mess. I’ve found that mixing up about half of the packet will give me enough to cover my hair with hardly any left over and very little of the mixture on the floor.

When mixing my henna powder, I use a bit of cold water and enough boiling water to make a smooth paste. This part of the process stinks, but you do get used to it. If mixed correctly, it should look like melted chocolate! I have special utensils for mixing the powder, because you really wouldn’t want to get this stuff in your food…

Make sure you wear gloves, and just apply as you would a normal hair dye- little bits, starting at the roots, making sure you cover all areas. This is something that I’ve found takes practice and gets better every time you do it; you need to get used to the texture of the paste. Oh! And don’t forget to use Vaseline or something as a barrier around your hairline. I’ve found that henna stains will generally wash out in a hot shower when they’re on your arms (or the bottom of your feet…)

Then, depending on how red you want your hair, you have to consider whether you want to wrap it or not. The best bet is to use clingfilm. If you leave your hair exposed to the elements, it will be a darker, browner colour. It’s not glamorous, but then we all suffer for beauty, right? /sarcasm.

I leave henna on for about an hour and then rinse. My favourite shampoo for this is The Body Shop Ginger shampoo, as it really cleans all the paste out of my hair; I lather it about three times until the water runs clear. I add a bit of coconut oil on my hair at the end and rinse out. You will smell of henna until your next shampoo, so be warned. Also, don’t panic if you find a bit of colour coming out when you wash your hair again- reds notoriously rinse badly, whatever product you use.

If you find a bit of henna left on your skin, rub a bit of lemon juice on it (but not near your eyes. Ask me how I found out this was a BAD IDEA.) and rinse off. Et Voila! Dyed hair with henna!

PS- Apologies for no photo of my newly henna’d hair- my eye is still gross and I wouldn’t want to inflict that on anybody.


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