There seems to be a lot of information on the web regarding using Henna for coloring hair red. I too, use Henna.
Most of us know that Henna is of Egyptian origin and is an integral part of the Eastern culture.
The quality of the Henna and the color it imparts to the hair depends on its source and country of origin;
Persian Henna is the finest, producing a deep rich red;
Egyptian Henna gives more orange results
and Chinese is the cheapest, being of inferior quality.
Henna can be mixed with other organic substances to modify the color: such as, coffee, wine, eggs, lemon juice and onion skins. Indigo shoots and Betel nut may also be added.
I have seen Black English Walnuts hulls also be suggested to bring a darkening reddish hues, although I personally wouldn't suggest anyone to use Black English walnut hulls for dark hair color. I had some experience with hulling walnuts by hand and the hulls literally burned the skin on my hands a crispy black! Talk about hurt and sting! The skin peeled and after about a month, my “new skin” came in. However, my nails had a moon on them that was much darker and it took almost 4 months before that cleared up.
Some people like to use a combination of Henna and indigo to get the color they desire, such as a darker brunette, black or light brown. Indigo is a very deeply pigmented blue plant. When mixed with Henna, it can produce lovely shades of color for those with darker hair.
Often times Henna and indigo dyes are mixed with something acidic to help the color take, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. While the process is a bit more time consuming than traditional commercial hair colors, it is usually well worth it. Many who use natural dyes feel that it makes their hair look shinier and healthier.
I have and do use Henna in my hair, as I like the reddish tones. I have found that when I bought red hair coloring products in the store, they didn't last very long and the color would change every week. Not only that, we all know that there is a possibility of the commercial hair dye products being dangerous to those of us who like to dye our hair quite frequently.
My natural hair color is blond and it does depend on your skin color how Henna will turn out for you. For instance I'm very fair skin and if I don't mix the Henna properly, it will turn my hair orange or yellow. So, the darker a person's skin is, the easier, in my opinion, it is to get the desired results.
Here's my formula that I fiddaggled around with and finally seem happy with:
( before you get started: don't make the dumb mistake like I did the first time I did this of using coffee grounds! What mess that was to get out of my hair!)
OK, here we go:
½ coffee scoop of coffee. Make the coffee like you make your morning coffee. When the coffee is ready, keep about 1 ½ cups hot.
1 coffee scoop of Henna (or 1/8 cup)
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
( you can also add ¼ cup of red wine)
Take a small saucepan that is non aluminum, and put in the Henna and pour the coffee in. Mix real well. Add the egg and ground cloves, mix again. Add the lemon juice, and red wine if you're using it. Mix again.
It's a puke color and should be similar to looking at fresh cow poop.
Heat this mess in the small saucepan til hot, but, not boiling.
On your hands rub cooking oil or olive oil and rub it all thro your hair and scalp.
Put on rubber gloves, and rub the mess you just made in the saucepan all through your hair. Bring it through from the scalp to the ends of your hair. ( this is a whole lotta fun!) Work fast, this mess has to stay very warm.
Pile your hair up on top of your head, and put a shower cap over your hair. Wrap a towel over that, turban style.
You need to keep your head warm, so, sit in the sun (but, not outside) or near a wood stove. Maybe under a full hair dryer, put on low.
After about 1 ½ to 2 hours it should start turning blondish. Wait another 15 minutes more. It needs to stait turning reddish. You can only tell how it's doing by looking at the edges of your hair. ( kinda, sorta) The longer it stays on, the redder it gets. However, be careful that it doesn't start to turn orange.
Rinse out,very well. Then shampoo. Towel dry your hair, enough so that it is not dripping wet and add a conditioner and leave on for 45 minutes. Then rinse that out. You really can't tell what the color will be til your hair is dried. Don't worry, it won't be green.
Fortunately, you won't have to do this for another 2 or 3 months.
You will have to experiment to get the right color that you want. I suggest writing down everything that you do, so, that when you finally get it right, you can follow your written instructions. If you are fair skinned, give my instructions a try first, then, you will be able to get an idea about tweaking things to get the color you like.