Henna benefits for hair: how to get rich brown locks (2023)

Henna benefits for hair: how to get rich brown locks (1)Share on Pinterest

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Henna, known botanically asunbewaffnete Lawsonia, is one of the main ingredients in many commercially available body and hair dyes. It is one of the oldest plants used for this purpose.

Henna leaves have also been used for psychological and medicinal benefits, as well as decoration, since ancient times in North Africa and Asia.

In traditional medicine, henna is known as aastringent, laxative and abortive. However, it is also used for hair.

"Henna has antifungal properties, which makes it beneficial for people with dandruff and hair loss problems, as well as other microbial issues," he says.DR. Khushboo Garodia, a certified trichologist.

Henna also helps reduce premature graying of hair as it is rich in hennaTannin, a plant compound found in teas that contributes to their rich color.

Contains hennaVitamin E, which helps soften the hair. The plant's natural leaves are rich in proteins and antioxidants that support hair health.

Henna has also been used as a natural hair dye since ancient times.

(Video) Why I Stopped Using Henna On My Hair | My Henna Hair Story

Henna is usually used in powder form mixed with water. It is then applied to dry hair.

For best results, apply henna and leave overnight. Alternatively, you can apply it in the morning and wash it off after 4 or 5 hours.

Henna stains, so cover your shoulders and work area with a towel or old sheet when applying to avoid staining your clothes. However, henna stains on the skin are not permanent and usually come off after a few washes.

To get a rich brown hair color, you can brew some coffee or black tea and add it to your henna mixture. Also maderoter Tee,Hibiscusflower powder orbeet juiceit can help get a deep red color.

Some believe that mixing henna in metal can cause unwanted reactions. Henna can also stain plastic. Garodia recommends using a ceramic bowl.

(Video) How To Mix: Dark Brown Henna Hair Dye (2 Step-Process)

what will you need

  • old towels or sheets to cover shoulders and work area
  • rubber gloves
  • Hair coloring brush
  • Shower hood
  • Bowl and stirrer, not of metal, not of plastic
  • lemon juice orApple Cider Vinegarto release dye
  • filtered or distilled water (or coffee or tea as suggested above)
  • hairpinspart your hair (optional)
  • Fundfor heat treatment (optional)

how to mix

  1. Add water by the spoonful to 1 cup of henna to create a thick paste that resembles pancake batter.
  2. Add a hydrating ingredient of your choice (more on that below).
  3. Squeeze some lemon or apple cider vinegar and mix.
  4. Cover and leave overnight. You can keep it in the fridge when the weather is warm.

How to apply to hair

  1. Cover your shoulders with a towel or an old sheet to prevent stains. Put on gloves.
  2. Starting from the middle of the head, take a few strands of hair and start applying the henna with the brush. Be sure to cover your scalp with henna as well.
  3. Gather the hair on top as you go. You can use bobby pins for this.
  4. When you're done, cover your head with a shower cap or polythene bag.
  5. Leave on for 4 to 5 hours or overnight depending on how dark you want the color to be.
  6. It is best to apply it during the day and if possible put it in the sun. You can also sit under a dryer. The heat helps the color penetrate deeper.

How to wash hair dye

  1. Rinse off the henna slowly in cold water.
  2. Do not wash immediately afterwards. Leave the color on for a day and wash your hair after 24 hours.
  3. Towel dry and let hair dry naturally.

How to prevent hair dryness

Henna can also be mixed with moisturizing ingredients to create a nourishing mask. Garodia recommends this to prevent hair dryness.

You can also oil your hair after washing out the color. This can help replenish moisture lost in the dyeing process and ensure a deep, rich color.

Garodia recommends the following ingredients to create a nourishing hair mask during the coloring process. Mix the recommended amount with 1 cup of henna powder.

  • 2 Owner
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 taxShikakai(acacia ready) Staub
  • 1 TaxBockshornkleesamen(Soak overnight and work into a thick paste.)
  • 1 TaxAmla(Indian Gooseberry) Powder
  • 1 TaxGel the aloe vera
  • 1 Taxlinseedsoaked and made into a thick paste

Henna comes from the leaves ofunbewaffnete Lawsoniawhile indigo powder is extracted from the leaves ofindigo dye. Both have been used as natural colorants for centuries.

While henna tends to give hair a chestnut color, indigo gives it a deep brown to black color. Typically, indigo powder is applied after the henna dye has been washed off to obtain the desired black or brown hair.

Indigo powder can also be mixed with henna. It is effective on gray hair and acts as a permanent dye, unlike henna which is semi-permanent.

While henna tends to dry out hair if not mixed with natural moisturizers, indigo conditions hair.

Henna is often sold in a powder form that can be soaked overnight and applied to the hair. However, Garodia suggests that not all packaged henna is a good buy.

Some henna products can cause allergic reactions on the scalp, she warns.

(Video) Medium Brown Henna Hair Dye - How to Mix Medium Brown Henna - Strand Test Results

To searchshowed that henna products often contain impurities due to lack of quality control. These contaminants can cause allergies and permanent scarring.

Garodia mentions that there are three types of henna products on the market:

  • Natural henna.Made from natural henna leaves, it gives the hair a chestnut color.
  • neutral meat.This adds shine to the hair without coloring it.
  • black hena. This is made from indigo and is not technically henna. It consists of a chemical substance calledParaphenylendiamin. If stored too long, allergic reactions may occur.

Additionally, Garodia warns that some hair types should avoid henna.

"People with dry, frizzy hair shouldn't use henna," she says. "If you still want to use it, you should mix it with some kind of natural moisturizer to help maintain the hair's hydrolipidic balance."


Many packaged forms of powdered henna contain impurities. Read ingredients carefully and research a product before using it.

Dyes containing paraphenylenediamine can cause irritation or scarring on the scalp and should be avoided.

The practice of applying henna to the skin and hair is rooted in the cultures of South and Central Asia. The oldest use of henna dates back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, where it was used for mummification. In many Muslim countries, men traditionally dye their beards with henna.

The most common and enduring traditional use of henna is seen in wedding ceremonies, where women paint intricate designs on their hands and feet.

During wedding preparations, a day is dedicated to this body art, commonly known as mehndi. The women of the bridal party sing and dance together while the bride decorates her hand with henna.

Author's reflections

When I was growing up in India, my maternal grandmother's house had a henna tree on the porch. In summer my nani or grandmother used to pick some leaves from the tree and grind them on a whetstone.

Then she put a piece of henna paste on our palms and made a fist.

This had a cooling effect and turned our hands and fingers a deep orange color. She also applied henna to her hair. She's had red streaks of hair for as long as I can remember.

(Video) Mix Henna Paste For Natural Brown Hair Color | Without Chemicals | Deep Conditioning Henna Mask

Henna is an ancient medicinal plant that has been used as a natural dye for over 4,000 years. Its antifungal and antimicrobial properties can be beneficial for the hair and scalp, particularly for premature graying and reducing dandruff.

However, extra care needs to be taken when applying henna to frizzy, dry hair - henna has a tendency to dry out the hair.

Henna is most beneficial in its natural form. Several brands already sell henna powder, but there is a possibility of contamination due to lack of quality control. Using contaminated henna can cause an allergic reaction.

When using henna for hair and skin, it's important to get it from a reputable source.

Shirin Mehrotra is an independent journalist writing about the intersection of food, travel and culture. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Food Anthropology.


What can I mix with henna to get brown hair? ›

Brewed Tea or Coffee:

I always like mixing henna with brewed tea or coffee instead of water. Mixing it with brewed coffee or tea adds a tint of color brown to your hair naturally. The result of the color brown varies from hair to hair depending on the already existing shade of your hair color.

What can I add to henna to make it darker? ›

Adding essential oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, or clove oil can darken the henna stains. It is believed that some essential oils are hot in nature and produce heat when applied to your body. Using the oil, we've just mentioned will help the henna stain become darker.

Does coffee make henna darker? ›

Coffee will not make your hair darker or browner. But it will smell very strong and give you a headache.

What is best to mix with henna? ›

Getting started with your henna mix for hair

Start by soaking the henna powder in an iron container with coffee or tea-stained water. You need to have a paste-like consistency, so don't add too much. The next day, add a dash of lemon juice, and the yoghurt or egg for extra nourishment.

Does henna get darker the longer you leave it on hair? ›

Hennaed hair oxidizes to a deeper shade during the first weeks after application. The majority of noticeable color change occurs in the first two weeks; oxidation continues slowly and minimally thereafter. In some cases, oxidation can continue and cause the color to darken further.

Why is my henna not getting darker? ›

The skin was not clean when the henna was applied.

Lotions, sweat, hair products (this is a big one, as they often contain wax that doesn't easily wash off the skin completely), and anything else on the skin will be a barrier between the skin cells and henna causing a lighter henna stain.

Why add lemon juice to henna for hair? ›

Henna requires an acid to break down the dye molecule contained within its leaves. Bottled or fresh lemon juice is the perfect companion to henna as it is very acidic, reliable, readily available, affordable, and safe. It makes no difference in the final outcome if you use fresh or bottled juice.

Does salt make henna darker? ›

Putting henna (and any herbs) onto damp hair really helps it go on much easier. Also applying indigo onto damp hair (with a dash or so of salt) has gotten the indigo to absorb better and give even darker, richer black color results. Adding sugar to your recipe makes the henna paste smoother.

How long does it take for henna to turn brown? ›

Henna paste gives out bright orange dye called Lawsone. This dye oxidizes over 48 hours to turn from orange color to dark shades of maroon or brown.

How do you make brown henna not orange? ›

How to avoid your hair from going orange with henna. After you are done washing and drying your hair with regular henna, all you need to do is mix some indigo powder in warm water. The powder is readily available.

Does lemon juice make henna darker? ›

Lemon juice is also often the culprit behind hennaed hair that became darker than desired. A lemon juice mix yields bright orange tones at first, but the stain oxidizes very dark over time.

Does hot water make henna darker? ›

Use Heat and Cloves

The first one involves heating water in a pan, putting in a few cloves, and then using the steam to further darken your henna stain. Steam for about 40 seconds, pause, and then again steam for 40 seconds; do not overdo it.

Does coconut oil darken henna? ›

Here we can see henna made with essential oil, and once the paste has been removed it is protected with coconut oil. Both parts of the process resulted in a rich dark stain 24 hours later.

How do you mix henna and coffee for hair? ›

05/10​Recipe for the best henna natural hair dye

Brew some black tea and then add one egg yolk and one teaspoon lemon juice to it. Now add one teaspoon coffee powder along with one teaspoon amla powder. And you ultimate hair henna is ready.

Why do people add coffee to henna? ›

essential nutrients found in the Black Brewed #coffee help richen the color tone of your #hennahairdye . Not only this, it also improves your scalp condition to healthier and softer hair. If you're looking to add more texture and color to your henna hair dye - Coffee is the answer you're looking for.

What makes henna darker and last longer? ›

Apply mustard oil

Most of us have mustard oil at home; all you need to do is, once you have removed the dried henna, apply mustard oil, which gives your mehendi a darker colour. It is believed that mustard oil is hot in nature and produces heat in your body.

What does adding vinegar to henna do? ›

Additives to Mix With Henna Hair Dye

The acid in apple cider vinegar or freshly brewed tea and coffee can help henna bind to keratin, a protein that provides structural support to the hair's cuticle and cortex. Two to three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar are enough to help deepen color and reduce redness in the dye.

What oil can I mix with henna? ›

Some varieties work well for henna and some do not. We find that Cajeput, Tea Tree, and Niaouli oils (which are in the same family as eucalyptus) are SAFER, more effective and have higher percentages of terpenes and mono-terpene alcohols.

Should henna be mixed with hot or cold water? ›

The temperature of the water affects how fast or how long it takes for the henna powder to release its dye before it's ready to colour your hair. This can vary from 15 to 20 minutes with freshly boiled hot water to 5 or 6 hours with cold water. You can apply the paste hot or cold to wet or dry hair.

How many times we should apply henna on hair in a month? ›

#1 Henna improves hair growth

The powder can be used to create an essential oil that nourishes and encourages growth. Boil 250 ml gingili oil until it starts to smoke. Add 5 cups henna powder to the oil and let it boil for 5-6 minutes. You can apply this essential oil to your hair 2-3 times a week.

Can henna make black hair brown? ›

If black doesn't really suit your style and you want to go for a soft brown/auburn hair color, here's some good news for you! Not only is it possible to get this hair color with henna and indigo, but you can also actually do it much quicker as you don't need to process the hair dyes separately.

Is 4 hours enough for henna? ›

Apply henna for maximum 2-3 hours in one time, more than that will make hair excessively dry and it will start breaking up. 5. Preconditioning & shampoo should be done before henna application, rinse your henna with plain water only after the process.

Does olive oil make henna darker? ›

Yes, olive oil may darken henna and make it long-lasting. You can apply it after scraping the henna paste off the skin.

How do you make henna hair brighter? ›

Below Are Other Methods to Lighten Your Henna
  1. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice. The first one that most people have heard of is lemon juice. ...
  2. Honey. Honey is not just for dessert these days. ...
  3. Chamomile. Chamomile has many anti-inflammatory effects if applied directly to the skin. ...
  4. Cinnamon.

How do you activate henna? ›

There are a lot of different techniques that people use when mixing their henna to improve its staining ability, including mixing with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, strong tea, etc. Once the henna is mixed with the liquid, it needs to sit for 12-24 hours to become fully “activated”.

What does adding sugar to henna do? ›

SWEETENERS or saccharides help the henna paste adhere to the skin and retain moisture. Sugars are humectants, absorbing moisture from the environment to gently rehydrate the paste. Sugar alters the consistency of the paste making it super silky and smooth and can create a stringier and more flexible texture.

Does lemon and sugar help darken henna? ›

Does lemon and sugar really work in darkening the colour of henna? Yes, it does! You need to apply this concoction when the henna paste is completely dry. Once you apply this sticky solution on the mehndi, the sugar will help in sticking of lemon juice, which in turn will darken the colour.

Should I add tea or coffee to henna? ›

​Recipe for the best henna natural hair dye

Brew some black tea and then add one egg yolk and one teaspoon lemon juice to it. Now add one teaspoon coffee powder along with one teaspoon amla powder. And you ultimate hair henna is ready.

Does henna get darker after the first day? ›

Using soap and water to take off the henna paste will result in a much lighter stain that will not last. For the first day your stain will appear to be bright orange in color, and then eventually darken to a dark brown or mahogany in color.

Can you add oil to henna for hair? ›

Adding essential oil to henna paste makes it more efficient. Always choose 100% herbal henna powder. You can also go for Indus Valley henna leaf powder. It is 100% pure and free from any chemicals and additives.

What happens if you leave henna on longer? ›

The time you leave the henna on your hair also impacts the result. For example, leaving it on for 1-3 hours is good for getting highlights and 3-4 hours for getting rich color. However, henna exposure for more than 5 hours may dry out your hair and scalp and weaken the strands.

How do you fix orange hair after henna? ›

Putting a brown or black natural hair colour on top. henna, putting a brown or black natural hair dye on top should counteract the red tone. This is because the darker dyes contain indigo, which is a bluish-black colour that darkens the red/orange colour of the henna, making it go dark brown.

How do you make light brown with henna? ›

How to Apply Light Brown Color?
  1. Pour the henna into a glass bowl (non-metallic). ...
  2. Once mixed, let the henna sit to activate for 45 minutes (if the henna hardens up at the end of the 45 minutes, just add a couple drops of water to loosen it up again).
  3. Divide your hair into four sections.

Does coconut oil lighten henna? ›

Argon oil, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil. Similar to using oil on your skin, oil can help fade and pull henna dye from your hair overnight.

Why does lemon and sugar help henna? ›

The sugar in the mixture is a humectant, absorbing moisture from the air, gently re-hydrating the henna paste. The lemon juice is an active ingredient in the paste itself so it's a perfect addition to help get the darkest color possible.

Do you put sugar water on henna? ›

In many cultures, after applying henna designs, a mix of sugar, lemon juice, rosewater, garlic, and other herbs is applied over the paste. The design may then be wrapped in a cotton or gauze material or simply left to dry in the open air.

What oil makes henna last longer? ›

It is good to apply some thick oil (shea,jojba,olive oil,ect…) or petroleum free Vaseline on the hennaed area before and after you shower. The oils help henna stain more efficiently, look richer in color and help stain last longer.

Does Vaseline help darken henna? ›

Apply olive oil or Vaseline after removal of henna for the color to deepen and darken. For making the colour grow dark faster, you can use Vicks.

How much lemon juice to add to henna? ›

3 – 5 ounces henna powder (depends on hair length) Water 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1 egg (optional — used as emollient) 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice (optional — used as fixative) Mix henna with warm water until it is a paste with yogurt consistency.

Does olive oil lighten henna? ›

Mixing one cup of olive oil with three or four tablespoons of sea salt creates a mixture that may be able to loosen the henna dye from your skin while exfoliating the fading tattoo. Use a cotton swab to fully coat your skin and let the olive oil soak in before gently rubbing off the salt with a wet washcloth.

What does olive oil do to henna? ›

You can also apply coconut oil, almond or olive oil. After 15 minutes, use a paper towel to dab and remove the oil. The oils condition and moisturize the skin and avoid skin exfoliation. Generally, when dead skin exfoliates, henna also becomes lighter or patchy.

Does baby oil help henna? ›

Baby oil

Baby oil can help dissolve henna pigments and remove the tattoo. One method is to add about three capfuls of baby oil to a warm bath. After soaking in the bath for 20 minutes, a person can rinse the baby oil away.

Can henna turn black hair to brown? ›

If black doesn't really suit your style and you want to go for a soft brown/auburn hair color, here's some good news for you! Not only is it possible to get this hair color with henna and indigo, but you can also actually do it much quicker as you don't need to process the hair dyes separately.

How can I make my hair brown naturally? ›

To dye your hair with coffee:
  1. Brew a strong cup of dark-roast coffee.
  2. Mix about 1/2 cup of coffee with 2 tbsp. of coffee grounds and 1 cup of leave-in hair conditioner.
  3. Apply the mixture to clean, damp hair.
  4. Let the mixture set for at least an hour, and wash it out when you're done.
  5. Repeat if necessary.
May 3, 2017

What does adding lemon juice to henna do? ›

Lemon Juice Will Make Hennaed Hair Darker, Not Lighter

However, using lemon juice in a henna mix has the opposite effect. Lemon juice mixes result in vivid, fiery results at first, but the color is known to oxidize to darker and darker shades over time.

How long does it take for henna to go from orange to brown? ›

Henna paste gives out bright orange dye called Lawsone. This dye oxidizes over 48 hours to turn from orange color to dark shades of maroon or brown.

Should I oil my hair after applying henna? ›

After applying henna, oil your hair using mustard oil, and shampoo your hair the next day. This will leave your naturally conditioned and soft, and the results will last longer.

What foods make your hair brown? ›

Iron helps to boost the production of melanin in your hair. Foods rich in iron are dark green vegetables like spinach, legumes, broccoli, quinoa, tofu, dark chocolate, fish, bananas, tomatoes, soybeans, lentils, nuts, and seeds like cashew, peanuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

What can cause hair to turn brown? ›

It's the same pigment that gives skin its color! This melanin pigment is made by special cells called melanocytes. These cells live at the bottom of each strand of hair. When these cells make a lot of melanin, your hair turns brown or black.

Does coffee make hair brown? ›

By using coffee in your hair, you are also saving yourself from all the chemicals in regular dye. It will leave it looking beautiful and healthier. Coffee will darken your hair.


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