Henna Hair Dye Brown Before and After
Melissa before and after with strands of gray/white hair


Henna hair dye, often heralded as a revolutionary product, boasts a rich history spanning hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Ancient Egyptians employed this versatile substance for various purposes beyond just coloring hair. Furthermore, there’s a common misconception between henna and indigo (Indigofera tinctoria), the latter renowned for achieving jet-black hues. Combining henna with indigo yields a spectrum of brown shades.

In the 1900s, individuals had to concoct their own mixtures to achieve different shades of brown or red. This task was particularly cumbersome, leading predominantly redheads to adopt the practice due to its complexity and time intensiveness.

Fast forward to today, where incorporating a small amount of henna with indigo can produce black tones or even shades of purple, especially when mixed with beer instead of water. The alcohol content in beer alters the dye molecules, resulting in deep or vibrant purple hues, particularly striking on light or white hair.

Pure Lawsonia inermis, the botanical name for henna, finds utility in various applications, including sunless tanning lotions, temporary tattoos, and fabric dyes. However, sourcing natural, fresh henna poses a challenge due to its susceptibility to spoilage from sunlight and oxygen exposure. Without proper packaging, its shelf life is drastically reduced. Despite the associated expenses, meticulous packaging is essential to prolong shelf life. Before committing to henna, it’s prudent to explore alternative hair products. To extend the longevity of your henna color, rinsing with apple cider vinegar prior to application proves effective in minimizing color bleeding. Explore further tips on preserving your henna hair color for an extended period.

How to make your henna hair color last longer.

Natural Hair Dye That Stands Out in The Crowd

Stand out with henna hair dye

Brands like EarthDye and Harvest Moon have this process down to a science, making them the best henna hair dye brands on the market. Triple-sifted, natural soil fed, harvested once a year, fresh quality henna penetrates the hair, protecting it from harmful UV rays while letting it breathe. It rids split ends and instantly gives your hair a softer, thicker, healthier look and feel. You will notice your hair does not lighten as easily if you spend all day in the sun, all while blending perfectly with your natural color. There are many shades of brown, dark brown, black, red, and blond. What makes EarthDye and Harvest Moon so special is that they blend in with your shade. Let’s say you have brown hair with strands of gray or roots coming in gray or white, you need not worry about the shade matching your original color because it will blend in making it all one solid color. You can also mix any of the colors together to create more colors. Mixing ash brown hair dye with light brown will create a lighter brown. Burgundy and mahogany mixed will give you a rich chocolate brown. Just remember, on some people, henna hair dye is extremely permanent, so always test a small area before applying it to your entire head.

Henna Hair Colors Do Not Go Lighter

Before and After Mahogany Burgundy Mix
Before and After Using Harvest Moon Burgundy/Mahogany Mix

If you have black hair or dark hair but wish to go lighter, and the thought of chemical hair dyes makes you cringe, or worse, you have a bad reaction, you do not have as many choices. Natural deep red or pure henna powder is your only option unless you have black hair with gray coming in. Reds will show up on black hair in the sun or in good lighting. Using browns, blonds, burgundy, or mahogany will not show hardly at all. If you have grays coming in you can use a soft black, or if you have jet-black hair you might need to do the two-step process.

The two-step process is tedious and time-consuming, however, it is extremely rewarding as it is extra conditioning for your hair. Jet black requires first doing natural henna ( turning your gray or white hair red) and then doing the indigo, which reacts to the henna and turns the darkest black. So many people have different hair, so do not be afraid to experiment with how long you leave it on. The more absorbent the hair the less time is needed. This same with any of the hair colors. The two-step usually requires leaving the pure henna on for one hour and the indigo for one hour, however, after talking with customers we have learned that many are doing it 30 minutes for each color and still getting incredible results. So do not be afraid to try less time if you are busier than most.

Benefits of Ayurvedic Henna Hair Dye

Ayurvedic Herbs For Hair

Harvest Moon® and EarthDye™ are both Ayurveda (herbal) hair dyes, both containing natural conditioners that also come from plants used for thousands of years in India and surrounding countries. Used along with henna and indigo the effects are nothing short of amazing. In recent studies, those using chemical hair dye compared to those using henna hair dye are night and day. The people using toxic dye (which also makes for a great weed killer, although the planet does not deserve that) over a five-year or less period suffered major hair loss, split ends, itchy scalp, dry mouth, swallowing issues, rashes, and the inability to grow long hair, worse they ended up in the hospital. Hair takes a long time to grow, and recovering from chemically damaged hair can seem like an eternity to grow out and repair itself. Hair grows at a rate of ¼ inch to an inch per month, less using man-made dyes. After using henna dye on hair you will notice your hair will grow even faster, upwards of ½ inch per month!

Henna Application

After testing all the brands available, I can confidently say that it can be quite disappointing! It shouldn’t be this difficult, which is why Harvest Moon and EarthDye set out to change the process, and they succeeded. Many brands or manufacturers make their hair color too complicated, resulting in a horrible experience. Some require letting it sit out for 3 days, or worse, mixing and applying within 3 minutes, repeating the process 3-6 times to achieve coverage. If you have to boil it, bake it, shave it, use special utensils, leave it on for over an hour (some even overnight or a minimum of 4 hours), or add strange ingredients you can only find at a specialty store, then forget it. After a few attempts, it will be tossed aside and forgotten, like all the other failed promises of miracle solutions you once hoped would solve your problems.

You should be able to mix and apply your dye to your hair and scalp in less than 15 minutes (for normal-length hair). The science is simple: quality, fresh, natural henna hair dye works quickly and effectively without all the extra hassles. With so many startups popping up selling a variety of henna hair dye colors, it’s not really their fault. I’ve seen them come and go over the years, making false accusations about other brands, when in reality, it comes down to hands-on education of the flowering plant Lawsonia inermis. Few have real knowledge of how and why some work better than others.

We have conducted thousands of hours of research and debunked every myth to offer the best and easiest henna to cover gray or enhance hair color. Education and premium ingredients are the key factors. We receive countless phone calls every week with stories of liquid henna hair dye or some crazy recipe that never worked, and countless hours or dollars were wasted. The reason liquid or premixed henna dye does not work is simple. Indigo only releases the dye molecules for a few hours. Pure henna, on the other hand, releases for months. So if premixed is for you, your best luck will be with natural red. But why pay for water when you can get it so cheaply and mix it so easily? It only takes a few minutes to mix, and freshly mixed is always better.

Updated Way to Dye Your Hair Using Quality Henna-Based Hair Dye:

Wash the hair twice with clarifying shampoo, omitting conditioner, and towel dry before application. Damp hair is preferable, but dry hair is acceptable. Do not forget to wear gloves and cover the floors and clothes.

Mix the powder with enough warm tap water (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups per 100 grams) until you achieve a pudding-like consistency. A thicker consistency is preferable.

Apply the mixture using a hair dye application brush to the hair, starting from the left ear to the right ear, one layer at a time. Then, work your way down the back in layers, pressing the paste down as you progress. If using a shower cap afterward, ensure to puncture holes in the shower cap for airflow.

Leave the product in the hair for 45 minutes to 1 hour, but no longer than 1.5 hours, and rinse until the water runs clear. If you have thick or curly hair, you can use a cream conditioner to aid in rinsing. Do not shampoo the hair for less than 18 hours or wait longer than 48 hours; 24 hours is ideal.


Failure to follow these instructions will result in poor results. EarthDye is permanent and easy to apply.

Gently clean facial hair/sideburns with shampoo using a toothbrush or beard brush twice. Avoid scrubbing vigorously, as this can irritate the skin. Not using a brush will not eliminate facial oil, so be sure to use one!

Mix enough tap water (do not use distilled or bottled water) to achieve a thick pudding consistency (only mix what you need and store the remaining powder in a ziplock bag in a cool, dry place).

Using a spoon or application brush, apply evenly to facial hair until completely covered. Ensure to cover all hairs; if the tips of the hair stick out, they will not be colored, resulting in a peppered effect. Leave on for 45-60 minutes, but no longer than 1.5 hours, and rinse. You can shampoo 12-24 hours later, but no longer than 48 hours.

Tips: Gray or white hair may turn red/green for the first 12 hours, darkening overnight. Dye hair early in the evening.

The dye will not permanently stain the face or hairline. If dye is present on the face, it will fade within several hours.

Oil treatments can prevent browns and reds from working. If performing oil treatments, wash the hair three times prior to application.


Henna hair color helps hair growth and protects the hair from harmful UV sunlight.  It works the opposite of chemical hair dye. Chemical hair dye kills the protein and alters the color.  Henna hair dye covers the protein and allows the hair to breathe naturally for optimum hair results. Your hair will grow faster, softer, and healthier using natural hair dye.

Our dye works on all races, men and women.




While pure henna is one color – red-orange, many other colors are called henna as well, I have even heard it called black henna hair dye, which does not exist but is used for marketing purposes as well as other colors. Red henna is the one ingredient in all colors, so in a sense, it is henna hair dye. The colors are usually always Earth colors except for purple. Colors include and are not limited to red, vibrant red, strawberry red, deep red, burgundy, soft black, jet black, mahogany, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, ash brown, blond, and copper brown (auburn). The lighter colors are only visible on light-colored hair. If you are using oils in your hair or cocoa butter, shampoo your hair well prior to application. If you are doing pure henna, no worries it loves oil, while we do condone oil in the hair, it will stain right over it. Any other colors, on the other hand, have the opposite effect and will not work on oil-treated hair. The great news is Harvest Moon hair dye will whip your hair into shape, and you will finally be free of the vicious oil cycle. Oils are not good for your hair, but that is for another article, another time.

How To Care For Your Beautiful Healthy Hair

Hair care after henna
So now that you have taken that step and you have happy, healthy, shiny, thick, beautifully healthy hair, how do you take care of it?

  • Stay away from hot irons. The henna will handle the heat, but your hair does not. Over time flat irons destroy the protein and hair. Would you stick your finger in a flat iron? Probably not on purpose. Just remember your hair is a living part of you that has no feelings. Just because you can’t feel the hurt does not mean it is not hurting your hair.
  • Ditch the chemical hair straightener. Hair straighteners are loaded with bad chemicals, in some cases just as bad as chemical hair dye, so why would you do that? Did you know most men prefer curls over straight? Straighteners also cause many reactions with indigo, leaving a Grinch green in its wake.
  • Back off the perms. Our henna will work over perms, before or after. However, do you really want to put ammonium thioglycolate on your hair? Really? Thioglycolic acid? Why go with natural hair dye and then nuke it? I will have the virgin martini, please!
  • Oils and hair dye do not get along. We all know you can’t mix oil and water, hair dye is no different. If you want to strip the browns to reds, use oil. It also thins the hair and causes split ends. Eat proteins like almonds and fatty fish instead. Remember, hair repair takes a long time to see the results, so be patient.
  • Using sulfate-free, paraben-free shampoos that are preservative-free and low-oil is ideal if possible. You will need a specialty shop for this.
  • Stay away from chemical hair dyes for good. With Harvest Moon hair dye, you can certainly go back to chemical hair dye, but why would you? It ruins your hair and our environment, so keep it natural. One use of chemical hair dye can set your hair back years.
  • Look for natural gels. If you find one you love, let us know so we can tell others. You want a gel that dries and does not have alcohol or chemicals in it. Good luck and happy hunting. We are still searching, but like on our ash brown, we never give up!
  • I hope you have learned more about henna hair dye, and if you have questions, please post them below. If you are looking to buy a henna hair dye, we hope you choose EarthDye. We work hard and we take it seriously as every business should. We love our customers and do everything in our power to keep them looking fabulous and healthy-looking.

Learn More About Henna Hair Dye
Buy Henna Hair Dye

Rod Harper founder of Harvest Moon hair dye

About the author:
Rod Harper became obsessed with henna hair dye in 2006. He takes business seriously and enjoys helping customers restore their hair’s natural beauty!

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  1. by Wendy October 21, 2023 10:06 pm

    I’d like to try this. What color do I need for very dark dark brown not jet black hair color?
    My hair falling out from chemical color. Help please

    • by harvestmoon October 23, 2023 6:27 pm

      Hi You can use dark brown and add some pure indigo to make it darker. The more indigo you add the darker it will be.

  2. by Stephen December 22, 2021 7:19 pm

    I developed an allergy to beard dye and have tried henna based products in the past with mixed success (too red or no colour change at all!). In the post above you state that premixed henna and indigo dyes don’t work, but I believe your product is a premix that contains henna and indigo – Is that right?

    • by harvestmoon December 26, 2021 7:55 pm

      Hi Stephen, if you are referring to creating black, then there are several ways to do so.

      Unless you have gray hair ( not white) then you can use soft black.
      here is a link: https://hennahut.com/mix_black_hair_dye/

      Also when I say premixed, I mean when water is added. Indigo only releases the dye molecules when water is added and then you have a few hours before it stops.

  3. by Holly June 13, 2020 9:47 pm

    Hey Rod, happy you are back! I am a old customer! Start to use hennahut henna in 2011 the best henna I ever use! Just place a order. Very happy I have found you!

    • by harvestmoon June 16, 2020 11:49 am

      Hi Holly!! Thanks so good to be back! Thank you for your business over the years!

  4. by adri May 11, 2020 1:10 pm

    Good afternoon, thank you very much for precious information I found on your web, including that I should stay far from oils if I want to avoid red tones in my hair. My natural hair color is middle to dark blond. I usually did not dye my hair but have been using for years the highlights, last highlights about 20 month ago. However since I let my hair uncut for 2 years already, there are still remarkable signs of the highlights and sun in my lenghts, which makes my hair looking and being very dry from approx. half of length. 5 weeks ago I decided to use Hair Wonder “natural” hair color but am not happy to unify the color and texture of the hair, to cover the old highlights and improve their shape. But I am not happy, color went to ugly orange at the top of the head and washed out from bottom halves very quickly. I want to use henna available at my country, in dark blond which promotes not containing red tones. But how should I treat my hair afterwards please? If you warn to stay away from oils and conditioners, do you have any recommendation what substances to use instead for care to be able to comb myself and for hair not to look fuzzy? Also is there any interval after application of henna, after which usage of oils and leave in conditioners is safe in terms of risk of red tones appearance? I hate any tones of red or orange in my hair, it does not fit me at all and I must make sure my hair will stay with neutral blond/ brown tones. Thank you very much! adri

    • by harvestmoon May 11, 2020 3:58 pm

      Hi, if you get reds from our dyes it is because something is stripping the brown. Even if you put oils on chemical hair dyes it can strip the color, the sun also plays a factor. Anything that coats your hair and keeps it from breathing will lower your natural oils from within.
      I recommend Shikapoo, it is 100% pure shikakai and will condition your hair and help with frizz all while letting your hair breathe naturally. Hairwonder has a ton of ingredients and they boast of adding natural organic ingredients, but the fact is there is no such thing as a virgin martini. If you add vodka to orange juice it does not make the drink any healthier, it makes it a screwdriver! It sounds like your hair color would be a mix of ash beach brown and light brown. If you are going over chemical highlights it might come out lighter in that area, however, since it has been so long it might blend it in perfectly. Any hair that you dye with chemical hair dyes is killed and it alters the protein. Henna hair color will cover your natural color while protecting the proteins. So your color is still there, you just do not see it. The more you use our plant made hair dyes the better and faster your hair will grow and the better it will work over chemically dry damaged hair. Leave-in conditioners and oils are never good for your hair. Your hair breathes like your skin, it just does not have feeling. Happy hennaing! P.S always do a strand test to determine the outcome of the color!

  5. by Jackie April 30, 2020 11:29 pm

    Hi. I have dark brown hair never dyed except highlights 14 years ago. I’m starting to get more white hairs on my crown. What color should I order. I’m not a fan of cherry red over brown hair. Any suggestions?

    • by harvestmoon May 1, 2020 12:43 pm

      Hi Jackie! Absolutely our dark brown henna hair dye 😉 It should work perfectly. No worries on the cherry red, we are sold out for the time being. With dark brown you will be set.

  6. by Sally Baker April 21, 2020 2:34 am

    Beer did not work with my henna to make purple or anything like purple, went in the sun and my grays are gingery!

    • by harvestmoon April 21, 2020 2:01 pm

      Hi Sally, henna will never turn purple. The only way to do that is to use pure indigo powder. Indigo is what we use to make blue fabrics, however when mixed with beer high in alcohol (we recommend bud ice), it will turn blue then purple and you will see it more on light-colored hair. People with bleached blond can use pure indigo and some will get a blue effect. Beer and indigo will make purple but takes a few days. If you are using henna, it will stay red, beer will have no effect on it.

  7. by Best Henna March 27, 2020 4:47 pm

    Hey! I really love this henna hair dye! It is the absolute best I have ever found or used! Harvest Moon:
    *Works faster
    *Covers better
    *Last Longer and works better than anything on the market today, this is absolutely premium henna.

    • by harvestmoon March 27, 2020 8:55 pm

      Thank you so very much for your review!

  8. by Heather Payne March 26, 2020 7:04 pm

    I really want to ditch my blonde highlights but I have no idea what could happen if I henna on top. I have mousey hair with some grey strands coming through. I dont want to go ginger which I am very scared of if dying over the highlights. Could you give me any suggestions of what could look good thanks

    • by harvestmoon March 26, 2020 9:16 pm

      Hi Heather, mahogany or any of the browns will do well. If you want the highlights to be highlighted, just use a lighter color and it will cover the gray and make the darker hair a great fresh look. You can also mix any of the colors together to create more colors.
      If you can post a picture it will give us a better idea.

  9. by Deb Huggins February 22, 2019 4:44 pm

    I need to purchase the pure 100 percent pure henna for my hair.

  10. by Julie Sebastianelli December 7, 2018 8:55 pm

    I developed an allergy to hair die about 8 years ago. I was devistated at the thought of going gray so I did research and found Henna Hut. I’ve been a loyal customer since. I order the 5 packs at a time and my last couple orders were poor quality and took what seemed like forever to arrive.. So when it was time to reorder I googled Rod because it was obvious the decline in customer service and quality was because he was not involved. Glad your back , I placed my order today soft black (1st time) and my usual black henna/indigo single packs of each cause I want to try it but I’m pretty sure I’ll be 100% sastified! Congratulations Rod glad you didn’t give up and battled for us.

    • by Rod Harper December 9, 2018 4:15 pm

      Thanks Julie! Glad to be back and so sorry so many had issues while I was gone.
      It launches in about 10 minutes 🙂
      I am also still improving and you will love the latest henna. It is to “dye” for! Soft black has been getting rave reviews and many are getting away from the two step. Also hiring new staff and shipping lightening fast.

  11. by Ellie November 29, 2018 1:32 pm

    I just wanted to say you changed my life! I was having a nasty reaction to chemical hair dye and tried many other brands that did the same and they said it was natural. Not only did yours work incredibly well, I had no reaction. I have been using your dye for 6 months now and kept meaning to tell you “Thank You” and I will be a customer for life. My mother also uses it as well as other friends and wish you continued success. Also, your website is packed with great information. It seems silly, but purchasing a natural hair dye can be challenging because everyone is misleading on the ingredients. You are very upfront and transparent and I always receive my dye quickly.

    • by Rod Harper November 29, 2018 1:35 pm

      That was very kind of you Ellie, we are always here for you and thank you very much for your business! Especially glad you can knock another toxin off the list!

  12. by Angela Kean November 28, 2018 11:42 am

    Thanks again Rod for happy results. Just did the New Blonde on my Mother, who had white/grey top looking sparse. She’s a very happy lady today after 1 hour of easy, conditioning and peaceful process. Took several photos. Did not want drastic change just some depth and grey silver coverage. Bonus was the condition afterward. I’ve been a fan myself of Copper. Overdue to do mine soon. Appreciate your hard work. Can’t wait to get the shampoo and conditioners soon to try.
    Thanks Angel Kean
    Carol Vann new Customer

    • by Rod Harper November 29, 2018 1:18 pm

      Thank you Angela! So happy you and your mom are happy hair dyers 🙂 We love love love pictures! Especially before and after and desperately need some on the blond! If you can email us some, we can certainly help you out with some copper!

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