All About Henna (and my henna experience)

What is Henna?

Henna (or Lawsonia Inermis) is a plant which grows in hot climates such as the Middle East, Northern Africa and India. It leaves are commonly used to dye skin, nails, hair and fabrics. Henna dyes usually produce red and brown colour-variants (however Indigo and other additions can be used to achieve different tones and darker colours). Henna is also beneficial to hair as it has conditioning properties and it can reduce dandruff. It can also loosen and/or define curls (a bit).

How is Henna used to dye hair?

There are a few ways to dye hair with Henna.

The most common way is to purchase Body art quality Henna. Mix Henna and citrus juice or vinegar together into paste which is the consistency of unwhipped cream or yoghurt. Citrus juice or vinegar is vital because acid is needed to release the actual dye from the Henna. Then leave the Henna mixture overnight at room temperature (70 f/21 c).

The Henna should be applied to clean dry hair, so I would strongly suggest you clarify, detangle and dry your hair before application. Also you will need some dark towels, rubber gloves, something to section your hair and some Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly to prevent staining around your hairline. When ready, start applying the henna mixture to the back of your hair first and then work your way forward. Make sure application of Henna is quite thick.

When you have finished applying the Henna, wrap your hair in cling film or cover with a processing cap or plastic bag. This will ensure the Henna stays moist whilst processing. You will need to leave the Henna on for an hour to six hours. for better colour result leave it on longer. Also repeating the whole process can build-up a deeper colour.

Additions to change/vary outcome colour

Indigo – to make darker reds to jet black
Wine, Grape Juice, Ground Cloves, Cognac, Paprika – to get a deeper red
Coffee, Walnut Powder, Black tea – to get a darker brown colour
Beetroot Juice – Redder tinge (may wear off quickly)Chamomile Tea, Marigold, Rhubarb Root , Turmeric – for golden tones

My Henna Experience using Lush’s Caca Rouge

When I used Henna I actually used Lush’s Caca Rouge Henna which is a tiny bit different to the raw stuff and therefore it’s prepared a bit differently. I actually used the Henna twice in a row to get a better, deeper colour and the second time I used wine. So this is how I used their Henna…

Lush’s Caca Rouge Henna comes in solid bar form (like a chocolate bar).

To prepare it you need to either break it up like a chocolate bar into smaller pieces or grate it into a powder.

Next I added red wine to the Henna (I used Echo Falls) and boiled it until it became a yoghurty consistency.


Then I applied it to my hair to my hair. Wrapped it with cling film and left it on for 5 hours.


After waiting 5/6 hours I thoroughly rinsed, shampooed and then conditioned my hair – making sure ALL the Henna was out.

Alternatively you can prepare Lush’s Caca Rouge as demonstrated below;

My results


Colour after first Henna dye:

Colour after second Henna:

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