henna hair dye

How to Avoid 4 of the Most Common Henna Hair Color Problems

henna hair color, natural red, healthy hair

Tips for Making Your Henna Hair Color Look its Best

Many people are discovering the benefits of henna for hair. Henna has been used as a natural hair dye for thousands of years, but this hypoallergenic dye has recently grown in popularity as an alternative to boxed hair colors.

There is a bit of a learning curve to using henna hair dye, but the benefits are well worth the time investment. We want to help you avoid common henna issues, so we've put together a list of troubleshooting tips for preventing potential problems and getting the best possible natural hair color

Q1. The color didn't turn out as expected.

A1. Henna hair dye results aren't as predictable as those from box dyes. Henna works with the variations in your natural hair color, and previous colorings can affect the results as well. We recommend starting with the lightest shade available in the color family you want. You can always go darker, but henna cannot lighten your hair color.

Many companies offering henna hair dye provide info on which dyes work with different hair colors. If you have questions, contact your henna hair color provider before making a purchase. Once you've chosen a color, get a preview by doing a strand test with a small amount of henna hair color before doing a full application.

Gain more control over the outcome by tweaking your dye mix. Deepen brown henna hair colors by replacing the warm water in the henna paste mixture with brewed black tea or coffee. This simple replacement also helps reduce red tones. 

henna with coffee

Q2. The color didn't take.

A2. Apple cider vinegar helps your hair accept color from henna hair dye. Add a couple of tablespoons to your henna dye mix; any more than that can dry out your hair. Avoid adding oils, yogurt or coconut milk; these extras can stop the dye from binding. Use your henna hair paste within eight to 10 hours of mixing it for full potency. Only apply henna to clean hair; dirt and oil buildup may not allow your hair to accept color as well.

Q3. Henna straightened my hair.

A3. While some users experience no difference in curliness after dyeing their hair with henna, others find that their curls aren't as springy. That's because henna can weigh hair down, making it look straighter. Unless you apply henna to your hair every couple of weeks, the change in curliness will be temporary.

While various henna brands have their own unique formulas and different instructions for adding herbs, we at The Henna Guys recommend adding two tablespoons of amla powder to our henna hair colors to retain curls. Amla also enhances darker hair colors.

curl pattern

Q4. Help! My hair turned orange after applying henna!

A4. It can take a few days to a week for your henna hair color to fully develop. If your hair looks more orange-y than you'd like, take a wait-and-see approach. While you can diminish the results of your henna mishap by covering olive or coconut oil-soaked hair in plastic and sleeping in it (read here for full instructions), this is a very slow process. 

Applying a dark brown shade of henna for hair is a simple way to get rid of the orange look. Dark brown henna blends contain indigo, which will darken the orange hairs from your previous henna dyeing process. If you're nervous about how this color might turn out, try testing the dye on hairs left on your brush. 

From retaining curls with amla powder to testing your dye with a strand test, you can get the best possible results from your henna hair color by following these tips. Learn more by visiting our website, where you'll find plenty of resources for applying henna and much more.


Hi Denise,

We’re sorry to hear that your color is too dark. To help lighten hennaed hair naturally, you’ll need a large bowl, baking soda, and 8 fresh lemons. This is a two-day process:

Day 1
Fill a bowl with water, blending in 5 tablespoons of baking soda until dissolved. Dip your hair into the water. Squeeze the water out over a sink or tub, and repeat the process 4 times. Use a fresh bowl of water and baking soda each time. Do not shampoo.

Day 2
Apply the juice of 8 freshly squeezed lemons into your hair, leave on for 20-25 minutes, and rinse. Do not use shampoo for the next 48 hours.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

The Henna Guys

How to lift? color is too dark

Denise Florane

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