Dyeing Hair with Henna, Part 2

The blog post that gets looked at the most is the one I wrote after dyeing my hair with henna the first time.  That was written about a year and a half ago, and I’ve learned a lot since then, and thought I would share that information.

First, let me note that I’ve only used Light Mountain Natural Henna products.  I’ve not been paid by that company to write this blog.  It is the only henna product I’ve tried.  Others might be just as good, better, not as good—I don’t know.

My intent in dyeing my hair is to hide the gray.  The first few times I used henna, I was not successful in that goal.  The henna seemed to slide off the gray hairs a few days after dyeing.  Doing a little research, I discovered that there are henna products made especially for hiding the gray, and I switched Light Mountain Natural’s Color the Gray (light brown)!

Unfortunately, this new product requires two steps. You mix the first packet, let it cure, apply it, let it sit, rinse it out.  On me, the first dyeing turns the gray hair bright orange:

Next, you mix the second packet, let it cure, apply it, let it sit, rinse it out.  This second henna dye covers the orange and makes my hair uniformly light brown with reddish highlights (which is pretty close to my original color).

I’ve been extremely happy with the results.

Drawbacks:  This whole process usually takes about three hours, and then I can’t wash my hair for another 12 to 24 hours.  (Forget swimming, which I try to do regularly).  I almost always get a crick in my neck because of the difficulty of applying the dye.

Advantages:  Huge money savings.  Each package of dye contains a lot of dye.  At first, I used one package for a dyeing, but I had a lot left over.  After awhile, I decided to divide the packages in half, use half and save the rest in a plastic baggie for the next time, and I still had plenty of dye.  I have quite a bit of hair, too.  After doing that for a number of months, I now divide the packages into thirds.  This seems to be the perfect amount of dye for my shoulder-length hair.

The product I buy costs $7; that’s $2.33 per dye.  A lot less than the $70 I used to pay at the salon.

And, of course, the henna is plant-based and doesn’t make me sick, which the chemical dyes did.

Other Tips:

Don’t worry about getting the dye on your forehead, ears, fingers, etc.  You need to get it close to the scalp to cover the gray, and I’ve found that the dye washes off my skin easily.  That said, I have fair skin that is still (at age 46) extremely oily, so  I can’t promise this will be true for everyone.

Save plastic shower caps from hotel rooms to use to cover your hair.  The plastic head covering that comes with the box isn’t very good.

Those are all the tips I can think of right now.  If you have any questions, ask them in the comment section below, and I’ll answer to the best of my ability.


14 thoughts on “Dyeing Hair with Henna, Part 2

  1. Hi,
    I just did my hair today for the first time to cover my grey using the Light Mountain Natural Henna, Cover the Grey. My hair seems to have a greenish tinge to it. How long do you leave step 1 and step 2 in your hair for? I’m wondering if a longer amount of time would work better.

    • Hi Amy,
      Yes, you might want to leave it on your hair longer–or you could cure the dye for longer. For each step, I usually cure for about 30 minutes, then keep it on my hair for about 15 minutes. I never ended up with a greenish tinge; could it be that yours didn’t rinse fully? It can be hard to get out. I usually use a lot of conditioner and have a comb with me in the shower.

      Good luck!

    • Haven’t read all the comments, so not sure if someone me too a this further on, but we had a middle eastern friend who used a henna blend from his homeland and he and his wife used to sleep in the mixture over night (to cover grey, they used black henna).

  2. I am thinking about dying my hair with henna, but I’m a pretty frequent swimmer. After the initial dying, how does the dye hold up with swimming?

    • Hi Anna,
      I am a frequent swimmer as well. I avoid the pool for a day or two after dyeing my hair–I’m afraid a trail of henna will leak behind me! I’m not sure how the chlorine affects the “life” of the dye job. The color does fade, especially in the areas where I am gray, but I don’t know if it happens any faster than it would have without swimming. The chlorine did not turn my hair odd colors, which was something I feared. If you do dye your hair with henna and then swim, let us know your results.

  3. I’ve been using the light brown henna for a few years now and find to cover the grey I add a table spoon of cider vinegar. And it sticks like glue. I also swim in a pool at least 3 times a week. But i use a cap or it fries my hair. But then I stopped using Shampoo on my hair too, I use baking soda and water mix then after rinsing that out do a cider vinegar rinse. I use the Rainbow Research henna. No having to mix and or wait. I put it on an hour or sometimes 2 if the movies good. then rinse and i am good until the grey roots start showing. My hair has never looked better. I even used it to match my hair with some extensions I bought cheaply. worked great, and the hair is now shiny.
    Also used regular hair dye on others that were darker. Got the color I wanted but man do they stink. hope it wears off, not sure how i could stand that smell.

  4. Hi, have you found that doing this regularly darkens your hair over time? Do you always dye your full head or just the root regrowth? Many thanks

    • Hi Katie,
      Although this blog post is still up and hopefully helpful to people, I stopped using henna. My hair is almost all gray now so I dye it blonde with chemicals (Ewww! I know). I used henna for probably two or three years. It did not seem to make my hair darker during that time period. I always dyed all of my hair, not just the roots. Good luck!

  5. How long do you have to step 2 mix stand for a light brown dye? Instructions says 1-3 hours. Does it really take that long?

    • Hi Linda,
      It has been a long time since I wrote this post and dyed my hair with henna. Trying to remember…. I’m sort of a stickler for following rules, so I think I probably did wait at least an hour. I’m a reader, so it would be a great excuse for me to sit and read. Good luck and feel fee to post about your own experience.

  6. Elizabeth, I know that indigo rinses out eventually (or fades out?) so what color were you seeing this fade to before the roots started showing the grays? I was a light Auburn, that had such a beautiful blend of shades as I lived in a sunny climate. I was so afraid to ever dye and change that that one day I noticed I had inches of silver turning very white roots.

    I really cannot stomach the thought of that orange and yet the light brown is darker than I have ever been. We all know that beautiful rich auburn that comes from henna is usually a result after it has been done over brown. I miss my auburn hair that was a natural ombre color with strawberry blonde ends (especially by end of summer)

    I wonder if there is a way to subdue the screaming ORANGE without going so brown.

    If you say the fade of indigo brought about a more auburn color I might consider that, but how long would I have to endure a much darker color than I ever was.

    The very underneath of my hair has not gone white yet, and yet there is not one bit of my former red left. It is as if the red left the building…and it is a horrible drab brown, lifeless almost toner green. I am so afraid to take on that two step henna color on my entire head afraid it will go drab like my lifeless loss of red color…I am almost ready to bleach my entire head of virgin hair (yes completely virgin hair) hoping to lighten the brown…make the whole head white, rather than go orange!

    • Hi Chessa,
      I’m sorry for the loss of your beautiful hair. Aging hits us all where it hurts! I’m no expert in hair coloring. If you noticed my new website picture, I now have short blonde hair. I was blonde as a child, and I find the color works well on me and makes for a smooth transition when gray roots grow. So, I haven’t used henna for a long time, and I’m not sure what you mean when you refer to indigo. Good luck on your hair color quest!

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