How To Mix & Apply Henna To Dye Hair

henna powder for hair

Dyeing our hair with henna can be can be done as often we want without us bothering about the side effects. It is also a great conditioner, especially if you mix it with right ingredients. Just follow a few steps properly and you will get perfect henna hair dye each time. Most of the homes in our village have henna plant so we use it extensively for hair care in the form of hair oil, hair pack and also for dyeing the hair.

What Is Henna?

The word henna or mehandi refers both to the plant and the paste made out of the leaves for dyeing. The botanical name of henna plant is Lawsonia inermis. It is a small shrub with pointed narrow leaves and fragrant white flowers. We usually apply fresh henna paste got by grinding the leaves with water but you can also use henna powder too.

henna hair dyeHenna Hair Dye Tips: 

  • Applying henna is a time consuming process as you need at least an hour of soaking time so choose a day when you have plenty of time to dye your hair.
  • Make sure to buy the henna powder that is pure and also one that does not have any other additives added to it. When buying henna powder make sure to check the label to see only henna is listed as an ingredient.
  • Henna paste stains skin and it also lasts for quite some time so make sure to wear gloves if you don’t want it to stain your fingers. Also when applying, make sure to wear an old dress to avoid any stain on your clothes.
  • Henna looks different on each and every person. If you are trying out henna for the first time, make sure not to try it before any special occasions as henna color does not remove easily from the hair.
  • I would strongly suggest adding eucalyptus oil. Since we are letting henna soak for at least for an hour, it might not agree with everyone. Some might get a headache or catch a cold. Adding eucalyptus oil prevents that but try using good quality eucalyptus oil.
  • When mixing, make sure that the paste is neither too thin or too thick, it should be of smooth spreadable consistency without any lumps.
  • The quantity of the powder depends on the length of the hair, usually 1/4 cup will be enough for medium length hair and 1/2 cup for long hair.

how to use hennaHow To Mix Henna For Hair:

To make home made henna hair dye, first make a strong tea decoction with regular black tea. Now take the required amount of henna powder depending on the length of your hair, add in amla powder and aloe vera powder. For 1/2 cup of henna powder, I like to add a tbsp of each. I some times add fresh aloe vera gel and amla too, I grind them finely in a mixer and then mix into the paste.

Add in enough of the prepared tea decoction and few drops of lemon juice to form into a paste and let it sit overnight covered in a iron kadai. If you don’t cover the kadai, the paste will form a skin. The next day morning, add in one egg and few drops of eucalyptus oil and mix really well.

how to apply henna to hairHow To Apply Henna On The Hair:

First cover yourself with a cloth to prevent any stains and wear gloves. Divide the hair into sections and apply the henna paste to each section with your hands, you can also use a brush too. I like to start from the top, once I finish a section I gather it on top into a bun and continue applying henna till I finish applying fully.

Let it sit for at least two to three hours before washing it off with plain water. Do not immediately wash your hair with shampoo, wait for a day and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Inspite of adding egg, it might be drying for some so always make sure to condition your hair after you shampoo your hair.

how to make henna paste for hairThe Next Day:

Henna color might look too bright the first day after you apply. Don’t panic, it will deepen over time. Henna hair dye can be made with coffee decoction too. Try it with both tea and coffee and choose the one that you like best based on the final color of your hair. If you are looking for natural alternative to chemical hair dyes then henna hair dye is a very good option.

Henna Hair Dye Side Effects:

Henna is a bit cooling and people who are prone to sinus infection will find it hard to let the henna soak for 2 to 3 hours. For them, I would highly recommend adding eucalyptus oil. I have never seen anyone develop an allergy using fresh henna paste but it might not be the same with store bought henna powder, it depends on the quality of henna powder.

how to apply mehndi on hair


  1. kurinji
    December 21, 2013 / 6:41 am

    Which henna powder brand is good in the market?

    • Anonymous
      March 12, 2015 / 1:28 am

      Hello, The best henna to get for your hair can be found at Henna Caravan, it is fresh and direct from Jamilla in India. They can ship all over the world and have an excellent tutorial on henna for hair.

    • Buttercup
      April 15, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      Ion Organics – they are new and I bought their pure Henna Powder and tried it on myself. The color is close to deep red, and it didn't fade away unlike many that I had used in the past. It is organic and good for sensitive skills n types.

  2. ramya
    December 22, 2013 / 1:04 am

    Hi Kurinji, I have always used fresh henna leaves for all my home made treatments. I got the henna powder for this post from a local store and it didn't have any brand name.

  3. Anonymous
    June 8, 2014 / 10:29 am

    Hi Ramya,How much henna powder & how much tea water should we use for just below shoulder hair length? Do you have to wait until the tea water cooled off before you add the henna powder? Thank you..

    • Anonymous
      March 12, 2015 / 1:30 am

      Hello, You can also use just lemon juice and henna. Also steeping a bit of ginger and cardamon in the lemon juice makes the henna smell really good. Do NOT put hot water on your henna, it will make your henna dye fade and it won't "take"

    • Unknown
      May 22, 2017 / 7:12 am

      Hey can we use the masala tea decoction instead of black tea

  4. Ramya Venkateshwaran
    June 8, 2014 / 1:56 pm

    Hi,Around 3 to 4 tbsp of henna powder will be enough for shoulder length hair. Wait for the tea to cool down a bit before adding it. Around 1 tbsp of tea water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice will be enough(app). Add enough liquid till you get a spreadable thick paste.

  5. Anonymous
    December 20, 2014 / 6:01 pm

    What we can use instead of the shampoo to home remedies

  6. Ramya Venkateshwaran
    December 21, 2014 / 3:52 am

    Hi, I have posted homemade shampoos in the blog, give it a try. Also if you get arappu powder, you can use that…..

  7. SV
    March 29, 2015 / 3:22 am

    Adding Eucalyptus oil is a great idea! I usually end up with cold if I keep heena for a more than 30mts.Next time I will try adding Eucalyptus oil.Thanks !

  8. anu
    May 11, 2015 / 7:07 pm

    Hi,what colour the hair will turn after applying henna will it be brown /black..if its brown is there anyway that i get a black shade by mixing any other ingredient..Thanks in advance

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 15, 2015 / 11:31 am

      It will be reddish brown, if you want a black shade you can try using henna along with indigo. Since many are asking for it, I will be posting henna along with indigo very soon….

  9. Anonymous
    July 31, 2015 / 9:57 am

    Hi Ramya, Can I mix henna with both tea and coffee decoction together? I don't know which one will be good for me. I don't like reddish color.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 5, 2015 / 1:53 pm

      I would suggest mixing henna with tea alone, coffee alone, tea + coffee and choose the one that you like. Each ones hair color is different and the best way to find out is through trial and error…:)

  10. myblogggg
    February 4, 2016 / 5:09 am

    hi ramya , can i use bru powder as coffee decotion to mix with henna

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 8, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      Yes you can use Bru coffee powder for mixing with henna…

  11. Ranganatha N
    February 4, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Will all hair ll be Brown or only white hair will be Brown !?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 8, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      The white hair will be reddish brown and the dark hair will take on a light reddish tinge…

  12. Dhanushram Nadal
    March 11, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Hi How to use the fresh henna leaves for the pack

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 21, 2016 / 5:12 am

      I have a recipe in the blog using fresh henna leaves please check it out…

  13. Ana Lopez
    May 4, 2016 / 12:32 am

    Hi, I have read that lemon can dry your hair…I would like to mix the henna with coffee to add browner tones to my greys (I will use Indigo afterwards) but my scalp is very dry and itchy, can I use something else instead of lemon to release the color dye?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 6, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      I am not sure about an alternative for lemon juice, why not try adding few drops of any unrefined oil to prevent dryness?

  14. Unknown
    June 18, 2016 / 10:43 am

    kindly post on henna – indigo dye for black hair

  15. Unknown
    July 13, 2016 / 9:45 am

    why do you have to let the paste sit overnight or at least five hours before we can use it ?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 15, 2016 / 11:06 am

      Usually the paste is left to soak overnight in iron kadai which helps henna to release it's color readily…

  16. Patti McBride
    November 4, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    Hi Ramya!I have been using henna on my hair for almost 3 years. I use the natural henna and my hair and it turns a gorgeous reddish brown. My hair stylist applies it to my hair every 6-8 weeks, and we keep it on for 2 hours. As the weeks pass it loses some of its color, but you can still see the red. My hair is naturally a dark, dirty blond. I like using henna because it doesn't have any of the harsh chemicals in it. And, my hair is in really good condition. Thanks for this informative web site. I am a vegan soap maker and I'm always looking for new beauty recipes that I can make for my family and friends. –Patti McBride 🙂

  17. Unknown
    November 17, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    can we use any other oil? like olive or coconut oil?

  18. kevin Luther
    March 6, 2017 / 5:17 am


  19. Anonymous
    April 5, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Hii..can i mix henna with lemon and coffee?

  20. Sai Kanakha Lakshmi
    May 24, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Hi Ramaya, Thanks for this wonderful henna recipe. Can you please clarify my doubt about Indigo.what is indigo powder and where can i get it? It is good for hair.

  21. Sai Kanakha Lakshmi
    May 24, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Sorry, Wrongly typed ur name in my post

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