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How Long to Keep Henna on Hair- Tips to Dye Your Hair Red with Henna

How Long to Keep Henna on Hair- Tips to Dye Your Hair Red with Henna

  • 26, Feb 2020
  • By: Carmen Wells
  • Comments: 3
  • Hair Care

Henna is the best and effective option to dye hair as it is made from the natural henna plants. The extracts from this plant help in covering the grey strands of the hair by coloring them reddish-brown. Today there are many options available for henna that are available in different color finishes such as brown, red, natural black, and burgundy. Select the color that suits your face and other criteria. Also, you can invest in all-natural and herbal henna dyes as they are less harmful than the ones mixed with chemicals. Depending upon your preference, select the henna mix available in the market.

 Applying the dye for the first time can be messy or tricky, so it is crucial to have a basic understanding regarding the entire procedure of the henna application. Apart from knowing the process of applying, it is also vital to know other things, such as how long to keep henna on hair for red, precautions, and much more. To help you with the entire process of applying henna on your hair, I am going to describe the procedure with handy tips to make the process quick and hasslefree.

How Long to Keep Henna on Hair?

Step 1: Soak henna and prepare the mixture.

Heena pasteThe first step is to soak the henna powder in the lukewarm water before applying it to your hair. You can follow the instructions given on the henna pack and soak it for the recommended time. However, a lot of people like to soak their henna for good six to eight hours so that the mix is ready entirely, and consistency is maintained. For this take a plastic bowl, add the henna powder in quantity mentioned on the pack. Start adding water and let it soak for the preferred time. Generally, for every 50 grams of henna powder, you need to add up to 60ml of water.

After the henna has soaked properly for the decided time, add a little water to adjust the consistency. Make sure that the mixture is not runny and is applied with ease on your hair.

Step 2: Prep your hair for the process.

hair washIt is vital to give your hair a good wash before starting the henna application. Washing your hair ensures that there is no dirt, grime, or oil in your hair. Getting rid of all these things help in a better application. Use a mild shampoo to wash your hair and do not apply any conditioner. Let your hair dry without using any dryer or heat. Air-dry your hair thoroughly before starting the process.

Tip: Towel dry hair after the shower to fasten the process of drying your hair.

Step 3: Take the necessary precautions.

apply vaseline on hairlineYou can end up staining your clothes while applying henna on your hair. For avoiding this, wear an old T-shirt or keep a cotton cloth beneath your hair. Wrap the towel thoroughly to avoid the chances of spoiling your clothes. You can also apply a thin layer of vaseline or oil near your hairline to prevent staining your forehead with the henna. Take all these preventive measures to avoid the mess that can be created while applying henna.

Step 4: Start applying henna section-wise.

Once your hair is nice and dry, comb your hair to detangle and get rid of all the knots for a smooth application. Now part your hair from the middle into two sections. With the help of a comb, take a section from the middle. Apply the henna mixture using a brush or hand. Make sure that the section is covered with the henna thoroughly. Once you have applied the henna, twist that section and pin it up to form a bun. Likewise, cover all the hair-sections proceeding from behind to the front hair sections. Your sidelocks should be the last sections to avoid the dripping of mixture. 

Tip: Apply henna wearing gloves on your hand, to avoid staining your hands with the dye.

Step 5: Touch up the sections. 

People often suffer from greying of hair from the roots, and hence it becomes vital to touch up the roots once you have finished applying it on your hair. You can also apply the mixture again on the parts that need more coverage.

Step 6: Leave the mixture for some time.

apply heenaOne of the most frequently asked questions related to this process is how long to keep henna on hair. Well, like all good things take time, henna also needs time to stain your hair. It would be best if you allowed the mixture to cover all the hair strands by leaving henna for one to two hours. Many brands also mention the time it takes for henna to color your hair, and hence you can follow that guideline too. It should be noted that many herbal or natural henna powders take a little longer than two hours to cover all the hair strands completely. You can also sit in a warmer place to improve the color coverage of henna.

Step 7: Wash your hair to get rid of the dye.

wash heena dyeAfter the dye has dried, the last step is to wash your hair thoroughly. Let the henna paste loosen with the help of water only. After it starts coming out, use a conditioner and rinse your hair properly. Make sure that there are no traces of dye left in the hair. The dye generally takes a day or two to develop color, so allow your hair to show the coverage. Initially, it might show orangish tint, but gradually the color will settle to a deep red brownish color. 

Tip: Opt for a good red or burgundy color dye to get the perfect shade of red for your hair. 

Concluding Remarks

As henna is a temporary dye and doesn’t stain your hair permanently, you will need to touch up your hair with dye every fortnight or month. The color develops in the first two-three days and then starts fading with every hair wash. You can also do root touch-ups every ten days to cover the grey strands. Also, make sure you use a shampoo that is safe for color or dye treated hair to avoid stripping the dyes quickly. Always opt for a good and trusted brand when it comes to dye and avoids cheap options available in the market. If you are not comfortable with applying the henna yourself, then you also visit salons to get it done by professionals.


  1. I’d love to learn more about the use of henna

  2. I think this is a real great post. Thanks Again. Keep writing. Jorey Gran Athiste

  3. The post is very helpful. Just one question. Should one essentially put a plastic cap on in order to keep that HEnna wet or can one leave the paste on hair and sit in the sun to let is dry?
    Thanks for the post anyways.

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