Heena Mehendi

Henna is a non-damaging plant-based dye that you can use to stain your hair a reddish-brown color. Applying
henna dye to your hair can be quite messy, and you have to take some precautions to make sure you don’t stain
your forehead or surroundings. Once henna is on your hair, you have to wrap it in plastic and let it soak in for a
few hours before you can rinse it out. The key to dyeing your hair with henna is the preparation, because the
powder must be mixed and left to sit for several hours before it can be applied, so make sure you mix the powder
in advance.

Preparing for Application
1 .Mix the henna powder. Henna comes in a powdered
form, and you must mix this with water before you can apply it to
your hair. Mix ½ cup (50 g) of henna with ¼ cup (59 ml) of warm
water. Stir to combine. Stir in more water by the tablespoon (15
ml) as necessary, until the henna paste becomes the consistency
of mashed potatoes.
○ Once you’ve mixed the
powder and water, cover the bowl with plastic and let it
develop at room temperature for about 12 hours.
○ When you’re ready to apply
the dye, mix in a bit more water until you have a thick but
spreadable consistency.

  1. Shampoo, then dry your hair. Before applying henna, you’ll want to start with clean hair. In the shower
    or bath, wash your hair with your regular shampoo to remove dirt, oil, and styling products.Rinse out all of
    the shampoo. Once out of the shower, towel dry, blow dry, or air dry your hair.
    ○ Do not condition your hair, as the oils in the conditioner can prevent the
    henna from penetrating your roots properly.
  2. Protect your hairline with oil. If you have long hair, gather it up and tie it back so it’s out of your
    face and off your shoulders and neck. For short hair, put on a headband to keep your hair out of your face.
    With your fingers, apply some coconut oil, body butter, or petroleum jelly to your hairline, including your
    forehead, neck, and ears.
    ○ The oil will create a barrier between the henna and your skin, so this will
    prevent stains around your hairline.
  3. Comb and part your hair. Let your hair down and comb it with a wide-toothed comb. This will
    remove tangles and knots without making your hair frizzy. Part your hair in the center, and let your hair fall
    evenly to either side of your head.
    ○ You don’t have to section off your hair, because you’ll be dyeing it in layers.
  4. Protect your skin. Henna tends to get everywhere, so it’s a good
    idea to wear old clothes and to protect yourself with a rag or old towel.
    Drape the towel over your shoulders. Arrange the towel to cover your neck
    and shoulders, and use a pin or hair clip to keep it together. Because henna
    can stain the skin, put on a pair of rubber or nitrile gloves to protect your
    hands and nails.
    ○ You can also use a plastic sheet, poncho, or
    a cutting cape.
    ○ Keep a damp rag nearby to wipe drips off
    your skin immediately

    Applying the Henna Paste
    1 . Apply the paste liberally to a small section of hair. Starting with the topmost layer of hair, grab
    a thin 2-inch-wide (5-cm-wide) section of hair from the middle back of your head. Comb this section away from
    the rest of your hair. With a large tint brush or your fingers, apply 1 to 2 teaspoons (2 to 4 g) of henna to the roots
    of your hair. Spread the henna toward the tips, adding more paste if necessary.
    Henna paste doesn’t spread as easily as conventional dye, so it’s important to ensure
    that your hair is fully saturated from root to tip.
  5. Twist the hair on top of your head. When you’ve fully covered the first
    section of hair, twist it a few times and then wrap it into a bun on top of your head. The
    henna paste is quite sticky, so the coil of hair will just sit there. You can pin it in place if
    you like.
    ○ For short hair, twist the section and pin it on top of your head to keep it out of
    the way.
    ○ 3. Apply paste to the next section. Working with the same topmost
    layer of hair, take a fresh 2-inch (5-cm) section of hair from beside the
    original section. Apply henna paste to the roots with your fingers or a tint
    brush. Work the paste toward the tip, adding more paste if necessary, until
    the entire section is saturated with henna paste.
  1. Twist and wrap the section over the original bun. Twist the dyed section of hair a few times.
    Wrap it around the original bun that you created with the first section of hair. Because the henna is so sticky, the
    coil will stay, but you can pin it in place.
    ○ For short hair, twist the section, place it on top of the original section, and pin
    it in place.
    5.Continue applying paste to the rest of your hair. Work in small sections, like before. Work
    toward the front of your head, applying henna to the hair on both sides of the part. Continue working in thin
    2-inch (5-cm) sections to ensure proper coverage. When you’ve dyed the topmost layer of hair, repeat the
    same process with the layer below until all your hair has been dyed.
    ○ Keep twisting and wrapping each section of hair around the original bun.
  2. Touch up around the hairline. When every section of hair has been covered and twisted into
    the bun, go around your hairline and add more paste to areas where the henna looks sparse or more
    coverage is needed. Pay particular attention to the hairline line and roots.
    Setting and Rinsing
  3. Wrap plastic wrap around your hair. When your hair is fully covered, take a long sheet of
    plastic wrap and wrap your hair. Wrap the plastic all the way around your hairline and completely cover
    your hair and the top of your head. Don’t cover your ears.
    ○ Wrapping your hair in plastic will help keep the henna warm and moist, and
    this will allow it to set.
    ○ If you have to go out while your hair is like this, you can wrap a scarf around
    the plastic wrap to cover it.
  4. Keep the henna warm and let it set. Henna generally takes between two and four hours to
    set. The longer you leave it on, the deeper and more vibrant the color will be. You can encourage color
    development by keeping the henna warm. Stay inside if it’s cold out, or wear a hat if you must go out.
    ○ You can leave the henna on for as long as six hours if you want to achieve
    maximum vibrancy.
    ○ A few hours should be enough if you’re just nourishing your hair with henna.

    3.Rinse with conditioner. When the henna has had enough time to set, put your gloves back on and
    remove the plastic wrap. Hop in the shower and thoroughly rinse the henna paste from your hair. Rub
    conditioner into your hair to help loosen the paste.
    ○ Continue conditioning and rinsing until the water runs clear and there’s no
    paste left in your hair.
    4.Wait a few days for the color to develop. Henna takes
    about 48 hours to develop properly. When your hair first dries, it will look
    very bright and orange. Over the next couple of days, the color will
    deepen and become less orange]
  1. Touch up roots as they grow out. Henna is a permanent dye,
    so you don’t have to worry about the color washing out or fading over
    time. You can reapply to achieve a deeper and more vibrant color, or just
    apply more paste to your roots as they grow out.
    ○ When touching up roots, leave the henna on for the same amount of time as
    the original application to achieve a similar color.
    Disadvantages of henna for hair
    While henna offers plenty of benefits, it also comes with a host of disadvantages. Some are merely cosmetic,
    while others are more serious.
    ● color may bleed initially
    ● color may fade or become dull over time
    ● can only darken hair, not lighten it
    ● requires an involved application process
    ● may dry out hair
    ● difficult to remove
    ● can’t be bleached
    ● stains skin and clothes
    ● color may be affected by heat styling
    ● not recommended for salt and pepper hair
    ● can cause hair damage
    ● may contain unhealthy additives
    ● may cause allergic reaction
    ● may cause hair loss
    ● may result in loss of hair texture
    Difficult to change the color
    Once you dye your hair with henna, it’s difficult to make
    changes. In general, you’re pretty much left with what
    you’ve got.
    Henna “will stay deeply in the cuticle and make it extremely
    difficult for your hairstylist to open the cuticle again and
    change the color,” says Monica Davis, a professional hair
    stylist and the founder of My Straightener.
    Lightning isn’t easy
    When it comes to lightening your hair after using henna,
    proceed with caution.
    You can bleach hair that’s been colored with pure henna. Before you do, be doubly sure you’re using 100
    percent henna powder or paste.

    Because many henna dyes have additives, that’s easier said than done.
    You’ll also need to wait for the henna to start fading naturally. Otherwise, the bleaching process will open the
    cuticle of the hair and deepen the red-orange or blackish hue.
    Ultimately, Violetta’s hair didn’t lighten as much as she thought it would. She also noted that her hair strands
    became “stretchy,” dry, and brittle.
    In the end, she posted this video explaining why she stopped using henna altogether.
    Generally speaking, your best bet to get rid of henna dye is to let your hair grow out.
    Best for dark hair
    “Henna in its pure form works best on dark hair,” says Salila
    Sukumaran, an ambassador of India’s health ministry and the
    founder of wellness travel consultancy Ayurgamaya.
    On salt and pepper hair, henna “leaves a bright orange sheen,”
    Sukumaran notes.
    If you’re hoping to cover up gray, the better option is to use a high
    quality chemical dye.
    May cause hair fall out
    Many people also complain of hair falling out after henna
    “Henna alone can’t cause hair loss, but low quality or improperly applied henna may lead to dry hair and scalp
    and cause intense hair loss,” Davis explains.
    May have potential health side effects
    As an Ayurvedic practitioner, Sukumaran says overuse of henna may cause imbalances.
    “Henna is extremely cooling and if a Kapha body-type individual… leaves on the mask for longer than a couple of
    hours, they are likely to fall sick,” she says.
  1. According to Ayurveda, leaving henna on the hair and scalp overnight may cause:
    ● mucus buildup
    ● coughs and colds
    ● neck and shoulder aches
    In addition, leaving henna on too long makes hair dry and brittle.
    May react with metal
    If you’re surfing the web looking for information on dyeing your hair with henna, you’ll likely come across
    warnings not to use it with metal bowls.
    This may especially be true when it comes to iron or aluminum.
    While Davis notes that most modern commercial henna dyes are protected from oxidation and don’t react with
    metal containers, it’s difficult to determine whether this is the case with the henna you’re using.
    While there’s no scientific evidence to confirm whether henna reacts with metal, it’s safest to use a glass or
    ceramic bowl.
    Advantages of henna for hair
    While that’s a pretty lengthy cons list, there are still plenty of advantages to dyeing hair with henna.
    ● can be done at home
    ● may be cheaper than other boxed dyes
    ● can be left on longer to deepen color
    ● is permanent
    ● lasts longer than chemical dyes
    ● provides a safe alternative to chemical dyes, especially for pregnant people
    ● seals the cuticle of the hair
    ● softens hair
    ● improves shine and strength
    ● helps prevent dandruff
    ● reduces oiliness of the scalp

    ● helps prevent premature graying
    ● may prevent hair loss
    ● helps combat lice
    Hair appearance
    If you know which products to use, henna can add shine, luster, and strength to your hair.
    “Due to the high concentration of tannins, henna is very effective against premature hair graying,” Davis says.
    If you’re committed to the color, henna may also offer the most long-lasting hue.
    “Henna can provide a rich auburn color that will potentially stay on your hair much longer than any chemical salon
    dye,” Sukumaran explains.
    Hair health
    On top of that, henna offers both nutrients and protection for the hair
    and scalp.
    “It’s rich with antioxidants, proteins, and has an antifungal effect,” Davis
    says. “All three are very helpful for scalps that are prone to dandruff.”
    It can also give your hair a major dose of vitamin E, a natural hair
    Other potential health benefits
    Sukumaran notes that henna may have Ayurvedic health benefits as well.
    According to Ayurveda, henna is also a cooling agent that may provide headache relief and dry up excess oil on
    the scalp.
    Does henna ‘ruin’ hair?
    A lot of buzz around the internet might suggest that henna will ruin your hair.
    Sukumaran shares a cautionary tale about a regular user of henna who decided to bleach her burgundy-toned
    hair, and the hairstylist didn’t use a henna-safe bleach.
    According to Sukumaran, the chemical reaction between the henna and bleach caused the customer’s hair to
    Although the stylist washed the bleach away immediately, the damage was done.
    The upside is that, even if the hair shaft becomes damaged, it will grow back as long as there’s no damage to the
    While this story is anecdotal, it’s still important to be aware of the powerful effects some chemical and herb
    combinations can have.
    Some henna users, including YouTuber ife360TV Naturally, find that their hair appears damaged after repeated
    henna applications, including changes to texture and hair fall out.
    Some henna mixtures may react adversely to bleach or chemical dye. Always let your hair colorist know if you’ve
    applied henna to your hair, and always do a patch test and strand test to determine how any dye will interact with
    your body.
    What to know before you dye your hair
    With the cons list above, you may be ready to skip using henna on your hair.
    Before you toss it out completely, it’s important to understand why these downsides might happen and how to
    avoid them.
    Whether henna works on your hair or not depends on several factors, including:
    ● hair porosity
    ● hair texture
    ● whether you use conditioning agents
    ● frequency of application
    ● duration of application
    ● allergies
    ● product quality
    Hair porosity and texture
    Everyone has different experiences when using henna

    This is because everyone has a unique hair porosity that influences how easily their hair takes the henna dye and
    what happens to their hair after it’s dyed.
    Henna works best on extremely porous hair, or hair that’s especially absorbent. Low-porosity hair might not take
    the dye as well.
    Those with curly hair may experience that their curls aren’t as tight or bouncy after using henna.
    This happens when the lawsone molecules in henna adhere to the hair strand, creating a sheath of color that
    changes hair porosity.
    This also weighs down the hair, potentially unraveling curls.
    The more frequent the henna application, the thicker the
    coat of lawsone molecules on the hair strands. While this
    may result in deeper color, it can also have a flattening
    “Regular use of henna can mess with curly heads,”
    Sukumaran says. “Henna tends to develop a coating on the
    hair shaft, which makes the hair strand straighter. If you
    have wavy or loose curls, you may find your curl pattern
    shifts with regular use.”
    Preventing dryness
    Additionally, henna can dry out the hair.
    “Normal high quality henna makes dry and frizzy hair even
    drier and frizzier,” Davis says.
    Davis adds that this effect can be countered by adding moisturizers to your paste.
    Bloom offers tips for addressing the loss of curls, including adding a hibiscus tea rinse to your hair care routine
    and avoiding protein-rich conditioners, like egg masks.
    Application frequency and duration
    As previously mentioned, applying henna to the hair over and over again causes the protein molecules to build
    up on the hair shaft.
    This can cause the hair to become heavier, less porous, and lose its natural curl.
    Sukumaran suggests leaving henna on your hair for under an hour if you have curls or waves.
    As someone with a head full of wavy hair, she notices her own curl products don’t work as well after a prolonged
    henna application.
    “Leaving henna on for longer will change hair texture to smoother and straighter,” she says.
    As with most ingredients and products, there’s a possibility of being allergic to henna. This can cause irritation
    and redness on the scalp.
    Additionally, there are some henna imposters out there.
    Black henna
    is an artificial dye made of paraphenylenediamine, sometimes
    called PDD. PDD oxidizes into an indigo or blackish color when it
    interacts with air, creating a “black” stain.
    However, it can cause irritation to the scalp,
    ● contact dermatitis
    ● burning sensation
    ● redness
    ● swelling
    ● itching
    ● flaking
    ● scarring
    ● blisters (in severe cases)
    Many hairdressers develop contact dermatitis or allergies after extended exposure to this dye. Some, like Davis,
    consider black henna applications to be unsafe and don’t offer it in their salons.
    Always do a patch test to rule out the possibility of allergies before you apply henna to the hair. Avoid black
    henna, which is made with the synthetic ingredient paraphenylenediamine (PDD).
    Product quality
    In addition to imposters, many henna powders, pastes, and mixes include unsafe additives
    Trusted Source
    , like:
    ● silver nitrate
    ● carmine
    ● pyrogallol
    ● disperse orange dye
    ● chromium
    These additives have been found to cause:
    ● allergic reactions
    ● chronic inflammatory reactions
    ● late-onset allergic reactions to hairdressing products and textile dyes
    What to use
    Commercially, you have lots of choices when it comes to henna. Ready-made pastes are widely available, but it’s
    important to make sure the product you choose is high quality.
    Davis worries about the lack of quality control in henna products.
    “Dishonest manufacturers may simply sell contaminated products or add chemicals to reduce production costs,”
    she says.
    She avoids henna altogether with her clients.
    If you choose to use it, she advises finding a product that’s:
    ● free of PDD
    ● free of pesticides
    ● free of additives
    ● safe for the skin
    Godrej Nupur Henna is one popular option used by Bloom. Sukumaran recommends it, because it’s mixed with
    Ayurvedically beneficial herbs
    Many henna users also recommend Lush products or henna dyes from The Henna Guys.
    In India, Shahnaz Husain products are well-loved and widely used.
    The brand offers many Ayurvedic skin care and hair care products created using only plant-based ingredients
    and herbs. The company also includes recipes to create pastes and masks.
    Shahnaz Husain products include:
    ● henna powder
    ● indigo henna powder
    ● henna hair treatment powder that can be used as a hair mask
    Forest Essentials offers an Intensive Hair Repair Masque made from banana pulp, fenugreek, hibiscus, and other
    herbs to help combat the dryness that henna can cause.
    Traditional recipes for a henna dye may include tea or coffee to enhance its staining potential. If you’re using pure
    henna, you may also want to add ingredients, like:
    ● coconut oil
    ● amla powder
    ● hibiscus flower powder
    ● bhringraj powder
    Plain henna powder can serve as a base to create a custom paste, but henna powder doesn’t mix easily with
    liquids and may be difficult to use.
    If you’re going the DIY route, make sure to follow your recipe for henna dye closely, including safety precautions.
    Post-dyeing hair care is just as essential as prep. Here are the best practice
  2. Rinse the henna thoroughly with water.
  3. Leave your hair alone for 24 hours.
  4. Shampoo and condition after the waiting period.
  5. Treat the hair with a moisturizing mask.
    “After applying a Henna hair mask and washing it off, it’s best to leave the hair alone for 24 hours,” Sukumaran
    says. “This helps the color to deepen and the beneficial properties to integrate.”
    She suggests waiting until the day after to shampoo and condition to get optimum results.
    Davis also recommends treating your hair with a good conditioning and moisturizing mask.
    The verdict: Is henna bad for your hair?
    Like any beauty treatment, it’s important to know how your hair and skin will react if you dye your hair with henna.
    Knowing what’s in your henna dye will greatly increase your chances of ending up with a gorgeous head of
    healthy, richly-colored hair