Using henna as a hair dye is an effective alternative to commercial hair products, especially when it comes to covering gray hair! Commercial hair dyes are one of the most toxic beauty products on the market, but henna provides a natural alternative with just as good (if not better!) results. This is why I decided to create a blonde henna hair recipe to cover my grays naturally, turning them blond!
I’ve been having gray hair since I was 20, inherited from my father’s genes who’s whole head turned white when he was 35.
When I was young (and foolish), I dyed my hair black, purple, red and blond all with chemical dyes. At that time, I did not know better and ended up with hair so dry I had to cut them very short.
In my late 20’s, I started to have white hair but never covered them with chemical dye. There was no way I was going to use chemicals on my head every month or so just because have white or grey hair isn’t “socially” acceptable.
To be honest it never bothered me to have white hair as they blend with my natural color and my thinking is that it is what nature intended for me.
Plus is having grey hair a sign of wisdom? I’d like to think so!
Then I heard about blond henna and became intrigued, it looked like it would give blond highlights on grey hair and naturally blend with your color. So I decided to get a henna mix for hair and make my own blonde henna hair recipe this summer and was not disappointed.
I found that it turned out even better after the second application and the third….I also noticed my hair started to grow much longer and faster!
What is henna?
Henna is a natural alternative to synthetic hair dyes. Traditional henna is made from a plant called the Henna Tree, and has been used to dye both skin and hair for centuries. The earliest known use of it as a hair dye was in Ancient Egypt in 1574 BCE! It has commonly been used in Northern Africa, the Middle East and in India.
Today henna dyes are often mixed with other natural plant dyes, like Cassia Obovata for a blond henna hair recipe, to achieve a range of colors. These plant-based dyes, though a mixture, are typically still marketed as henna.
Benefits of henna for hair
Unlike synthetic dyes that contain harsh salts and chemicals that can damage hair, henna actually has beneficial properties. Henna helps to balance the scalp pH, which can boost hair growth and reduce hair loss. Henna has also been used to treat and prevent conditions like dandruff, and itchy scalp. Unlike conventional dyes that have a drying effect on the hair and scalp, henna is conditioning and helps control frizz.
Other benefits of henna include:
- Balancing oil production in oily hair
- Smoothing split ends
- Detoxification of skin
How to choose the right henna colors
Traditional henna is great for achieving a range of red and brown colors. You can find below a blonde henna hair recipe but if you are using red henna color, it is a similar process.
Red henna has long been used to achieve vibrant red color in hair, and can be blended with other types of henna to imbue red tones in brown hair.
My favorite is blonde henna with Cassia Obovata. Particularly when used over grey hair, this achieves a result that resembles blond highlights.
Black henna is often derived from indigo, and can achieve a dark color ranging from deep brown to true black. Some black henna brands use a chemical called P-Phenylenediamine (PPD) that you should watch out for. Choose an indigo henna that does not use this chemical like this one.
Why you should watch out for PPD
PPD is added to darker henna dyes because it helps to stain the skin or hair more quickly to achieve deeper results. It is essentially a short cut additive – but you should avoid dyes that use it because many people are allergic to this chemical and it can cause scarring to the skin and scalp. Exposure to PPD can also cause a lifelong sensitivity to coal tar derivatives and other dyes. The worst part is that damages to the skin can take up to 72 hours to appear so be very careful to choose a quality henna.
The problem with commercial hair dyes
Choosing a high-quality natural henna is far superior to conventional hair dyes that contain numerous chemicals:
- PPD, which is carcinogenic and can give severe allergic reaction and scaring
- Ammonia, which may cause burns and is harmful to the lungs
- Parabens, which negatively affect the endocrine system, and may be carcinogenic
- Resorcinol, which also affects the endocrine system and may cause skin irritation
These are just a few of the major chemicals that commercial hair dyes may contain. In addition to the deleterious health effects of these chemicals, commercial dyes work by opening the hair cuticle, which damages the hair shaft. This makes hair weak and porous, susceptible to damage, and strips it of its shine.
You end up in a vicious cycle, having to redo commercial hair dyes every month or so and damaging your hair again and again.
Which ingredients can you add to your blond henna hair recipe?
You can make your own henna hair dye recipe with additional ingredients to benefit your hair:
Chamomile flower tea strengthens the lightening effect of henna and can be used to create highlights in darker hair. On its own, chamomile tea brightens blonde shades and has a clarifying effect on the scalp.
Amla powder mixed with henna can help to further condition hair as you color it. It can also improve hair texture and boost volume.
Lemon juice boosts the lightening effect of henna and also helps to alkalize the scalp’s pH. Adding lemon juice to your henna mix recipe can also be used on its own as a natural dandruff remedy. Don’t add too much as it can dry the hair.
Honey can be added to henna to smooth the hair shaft and repair damaged hair. Honey is also great for moisturizing the scalp and is a natural antibacterial agent.
Coffee brew mixed with henna helps to deepen dark hair colors and can achieve a great richness. This henna color is also stated to help boost hair growth.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT USING HENNA
Do not use henna if you have colored your hair with chemical dye within 6 months. It can turn your hair green. To be safe, if you have colored your hair with chemical or commercial dye, do a hair strand test before applying to your whole head.
DIY blonde henna hair recipe and instructions
To get you started, this is my favorite blonde henna hair recipe that can help you to achieve a beautiful blonde shade and to cover grays naturally:
LIGHT BLONDE HENNA INSTRUCTIONS
- Wooden or Glass Mixing Bowl
- Wooden Mixing Spoon
- Vinyl and
- Plastic Shower Cap
- 1 bag Blonde Henna powder (100g)
- 50 g of chamomile tea (essential to bring blond highlights)
- Filtered Water, 3 cups
- Lemon juice, 1 tablespoons. Make sure you don’t use too much lemon juice as it can dry your hair. Using lemon will provide blond highlights to your hair.
- 1 tablespoon of organic honey
- OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon of Amla
- Boil the water and add the chamomile flower tea.
- Do a decoction, boil it for 5-10 minutes
- Let steep overnight for best results.
- Strain out flowers.
- Put the Blonde Henna powder, honey and alma powder if used into a mixing bowl and mix in lemon juice.
- Add the brewed chamomile spoon by spoon while mixing, until it is the consistency of thick yogurt.
- The mixture should not drip from the spoon but look like a thick paste that can be easily spreadable.
- Cover with a plastic wrap, and let sit for 12 hours or overnight.
- The next day, put a towel on your shoulders and
- Using gloved hands, apply henna to clean, dry hair.
- Put a shower cap on and let sit the henna mix recipe on your hair for 4 hours.
- Make sure there no henna on your face or
hair lineas it will stain your skin. Remove with a wet cotton pad if needed.
- After 4 hours remove the henna in the shower by running lukewarm on your hair until the henna is completely gone.
- Do not wash your hair for 24h to 48h to allow the color to settle.
Please let me know what you think of this blonde henna hair recipe and instructions in the comments below. Let me know if you have ever dyed your hair with henna naturally!