By: Guest Writer, Chetana from StyleCraze

Henna is a tropical flowering plant that has been used for centuries for coloring skin, hair, silk leather and more. Henna is even used to eradicate dandruff and itchiness.  Natural henna is great for dyeing your hair a glorious and rich velvety red by creating a transparent colored layer around the hair.

Chemical dye can wreak havoc on your hair and can even damage it permanently. Moreover, chemical dye get rinsed out within a week and henna can be reapplied as frequently as needed without damage because it is a great hair conditioner which will soften and add shine to your hair. Unlike hair colors and dyes, henna is totally safe for use and can be used as many times as you want.

The following tips will help you to achieve red hair with henna:

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1. Make sure you buy pure henna with no ingredients present.

Body art henna, also known as mehndi, which you can apply on your hands is the best henna to buy when coloring your hair red. WARNING: Do not use henna on chemically treated hair.

2. Depending on the natural color of your hair, the result will be darker or lighter.

Take 100 to 500 grams of good quality henna, depending upon the length of your hair. Mix this with warm water to make a smooth paste of it.  Optional: You can also add orange juice to it.  You can add any of the below mentioned ingredients to get red hair.

3. Cover the bowl with a plastic film and leave it in a dark corner of the house at room temperature.

Let it stay for at least 12 hours. Check in between to make sure that it is not drying out.

4. Optional: It is preferable to wash and dry your hair before applying henna.

5. Apply a cream or a petroleum jelly on your hairline, forehead and ears to prevent henna from staining the skin.

Put on protective gloves as henna stains everything it touches. Make sure it doesn’t drip on your clothes.

6. Divide your hair in half and go inch by inch and finally fill in the back of your head. Make sure you cover every strand of the hair to get an even coverage.

Henna is quite thick in consistency and gets even more difficult to apply if you have long hair. If you find it difficult to apply henna yourself then have someone apply it for you.

7. When you are done, cover the head with a plastic cap to prevent it from drying as henna stops working if it dries out.

Leave it for 3 to 4 hours to gets a rich shade.

8. When it is time to rinse the henna out of your hair, wash your hair with tap water and DO NOT use shampoo.

Your hair might appear super bright the first day while undergoing oxidation. Gradually, the color will deepen over a few days. Avoid using styling tools like blow dryers and hair straighteners as they will dry out the hair.

The color will gradually fade in a few days but you can reapply it whenever you feel like.

Looking to naturally dye your hair red but want an alternative to henna? These following products will dye your hair red too:

  • Filtered coffee for normal red hair
  • Red wine for copper red hair
  • Arabic spiced coffee for dark red hair
  • Water from boiled pomegranate husk for brighter red
  • Paprika for real red color
  • Clove for darker red

Rock it like a Redhead! 

Photo © How to be a Redhead, Model Kelly Kirsten at the Rock it like a Redhead Event