Henna is a plant that grows in Africa, the Middle East and South America. It is dried then crushed to make a powder. For centuries it has been used for decoration on hands or feet, but also as a hair dye. Because henna is a natural product, it is not harmful and does not have any known side effects (if you use it properly!). What you want is 100% henna without any additives. Did you know that henna can reduce headaches and migraines?

Henna permanent hair colouring

Henna can also cover up grey hairs and in the process make it stronger. Below is a video from You Tube’s BeautyFoodTips she had grey hairs at the tender age of 14! So you can imagine that she has quite the experience in relation to permanent hair colouring. Find out more in her video as she stands firmly by the use of henna. This particular video was just that popular, that she made a new video just to answer all the questions! For now though here is her first video on how to do it yourself. Please do see through her thick Italian accent as what she says is very useful!

2 DIY recipes

A very kind reader offered to recommend two recipes that she has tried out herself with great results! These recipes are from the Arabian YouTube channel Samarelhawanem. Even though the videos are mostly in Arabic, the recipes themselves are easy enough to follow. Samarelhawanem is a pretty big organisation and it gives a lot of information on a wide variety of topics with very high viewership to boot!

Henna powder is green if you mix it with for example water it turns dark brown.

Recipe 1 for chestnut brown hair

1x bowl
1x tablespoon
5x full table spoons of henna
1x full glass of hibiscus tea
2x table spoons of apple vinegar
2x table spoons of yoghurt

First things first. Make the hibiscus tea. For one big cup of tea overflow a tablespoon with boiled water and let it brew for 5 minutes. The result should be a dark colour. If not, add some more hibiscus tea. Add the 5 full tablespoons of henna in a bowl. Add while stirring a little of the hibiscus tea. Make sure you stir it well so that it turns into a nice sort of porridge like texture. Add 2 tablespoons of apple vinegar and 2 tablespoons of yoghurt. With the spoon stir it well!

In the video below, go to around the 1:52 marker to see how it is mixed.

Recipe 2 for brown hair

1x bowl
1x tablespoon
5x full tablespoons of henna
5x full tablespoons of cocoa
2x tablespoons of yoghurt
2x tablespoons of apple vinegar
1x glass of water

Mix 5 full tablespoons of henna with the 5 full tablespoons of cocoa in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of apple vinegar. While stirring continuously add a little water to the mixture, until you got the desired thickness.

In the next video around 13 seconds in, the recipe is demonstrated step by step.

Work method

What follows is the experience of one my readers. I have yet to try the henna colourings.

I always do it on my own, but if you haven’t done it before, do ask someone to do it for you. You will need a pair of gloves, otherwise you will end with some very red hands. Put something on that you wouldn’t mind getting dirty. Best practice is to do it in the bathroom. Lay down some old newspapers on the floor and on the sink. Put a towel over your shoulders. Divide your hair in two segments. If you have very long hair then put half of it in a knot so that it doesn’t get in the way. Rub some henna with your hands into your hair. Do this bit by bit. Smear the henna in thickly. Avoid making contact with other parts of your skin, this is because if it does it will turn red. A good way to avoid that is to pre condition your skin with some Vaseline.

Once your done doing all that, wrap all your work in plastic and then with a towel. Preferably I would do this in the day so that you can let it dry.

Let the henna mixture do its job. Best practice is around 7 hours. The longer you let it do its job, the deeper the colour will be. Once done rinse with warm water and shampoo.


Before you give your hair the full treatment, test it on a small lock of hair first. Henna is best used if you have dark hair. If you have light hair (i.e. blond) you may get a orange glow. The same applies to dyed hair, as you may end up with an entirely different colour then you may have had intended.


In the winter you can get very cold, dangerously so even when using henna. Please do exercise caution. Make sure that you have been in a heated environment for at least 2 hours prior to use.

Henna can be bought at the local herbalist. If you don’t want to start off with henna another good and popular DIY hairmask is the honey & cinnamon hairmask for shiny hair aswell.

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