Top 10 Henna Hair Dye Myths

Henna hair dye information can be overwhelming! It is not complicated. The wrong information on the internet just makes it complicated! Our packets of hair dye come with super easy directions! Forget the rest! Just follow our step-by-step instructions! Tested and tried for 13 years!

Henna hair dye has been used for so many centuries that it is hard to give it an exact time frame. Secrets like this were protected by ancient kings and queens. The more they seemed like a god, the more control they had over their followers.

I have tested and tried more than 200 types of henna from all over the world. Let’s face it, today’s internet is a great way to do research, and the truth is almost all of it is false. People speculate and assume before experimenting. A lot of it does make sense, but like the circle story as a kid, the farther you get around the circle, the farther you get from the actual word or sentence where you started. It all starts with one word off and another, and well, you get the point.

The first thing I like to separate is henna hair dye and henna tattoos. Many people get henna tattoo directions and henna hair dye directions confused. “Body art quality is just a term for fresh henna that is used for tattoos. If it is fresh, it will stain the skin as well as the hair.

When you have the best, freshest henna hair dye, mixing is a snap!  You really need to follow our instructions, not from someone on YouTube or a blog, unless you really know what you are doing. Not all henna hair dye is created equal! The company you purchase a product from should come with instructions, but many are clearly copied. “99.9% of the time, problems can be resolved,” says Rod Harper, founder of EarthDye™. The same problems and questions come up over and over, yet most companies just want to sell the product and not help the customer. “It is extremely important that each person understand and use the product correctly. It impacts our society and our planet tremendously.” –

Myth #1

Henna hair dye has many colors.

This is partially true. Henna is basically a red-orange. In certain regions of the world, like India, Yemen, or Pakistan, the color can vary from light orange to a deeper red-orange. On hair, it usually comes out orange when applied to white or light-colored hair. Lucille Ball supposedly used henna for years and kept it a natural light red until she passed. Henna hair dyes usually have henna in them, be sure to read the ingredient list before purchasing. You should not have to ask for this list if it is listed as “natural.” Chemical-free hair dye should be just that, chemical free. The broad term henna hair dye also refers to the many shades of red, burgundy, brown, and black. These, however, also contain varying amounts of indigo and clay mixed with pure henna to create different shades of color.

Myth #2

I need to add lemon to my henna hair dye.

False! This buck just keeps getting passed around, and people get henna tattoos confused with henna hair dye. If you use 100% natural red henna, sure mix some lemon in it. Lemon can lead to dry hair but will make a great henna tattoo. Try Shikakai mixed with henna instead, pure henna loves oils and won’t keep it from adhering to the hair follicle, but oil is not good for hair.  Using lemons and oil in any other color besides pure 100% natural henna can lead to red and redder (Never mix lemon or oil in browns or colors that have indigo. Most henna hair colors are natural earth colors. The only way to get browns, blacks, mahogany, and reds is by using clay, indigo, amla, and cassia obovata. Lemon, oils, and essential oils will block indigo and other colors from working properly. So, unless you have a professional tell you otherwise, do a strand test first or just follow the instructions provided to you! Sunset Orange (extreme orange) is a perfect example of “when” to use essential oils and freshly squeezed lemon.

Myth #3

Do not go back to chemical hair dye after using henna hair dye.

False!  If you are using “chemical-free” henna hair dye, you can go back to chemicals, or you can use it just after using chemicals.  Some chemical hair dyes clash and can cause a harsh reaction with one another. And some henna hair dyes do, in fact, contain chemicals. The odds of this happening are far higher after dyeing your hair at a salon with chemicals and then buying an over-the-counter chemical hair dye. Our henna hair dye is 100% chemical free, so feel free to switch and start using it immediately.

Myth #4

I must leave my henna out overnight after I mix it.

Myth! There are two types of henna. Fresh henna and old henna. The older the henna, the more work that is involved.  This comes from flat-out hands-on experience. I have taken the best henna on the planet, mixed it with water, and let it set out for almost two years, and it still worked (in a henna cone). Super fresh henna will stain you as soon as it is mixed, while older henna can take hours to release, if not overnight to even days. Some “retailers” do not discard old henna and might even go as far as saying it was just harvested; then the directions say to mix and leave out overnight or leave on the head for two plus hours. Henna is harvested one time a year – October. If crops are harvested twice a year, the quality and nutrients of the soil are depleted, resulting in henna that requires a lot of extra effort to release the dye.  Ask to see the directions before purchasing. Good quality fresh henna should work on your hair in 15-60 minutes. Body art quality henna is simply great quality henna with a high lawsone content of over 3 %. Think of it like this – if you do not feed your grass, your grass will not grow so well.

Myth #5

Body art quality henna is best.

Myth! See myth number 4. Body art quality simply means it is fresh enough and great quality to do a henna tattoo. If you are buying henna to do tattoos, then you will want fresh henna.  Our henna will do awesome henna tattoos in a matter of minutes of mixing it. Not to be confused with herbal henna. Herbal henna has natural conditioners mixed into condition hair even more than henna alone. Great quality henna is hard to dilute. Amla is one of the few plants to make it lighter.

Myth #6

Wrapping the hair with saran wrap after you apply it.

Myth! Back in 2005, I learned a valuable lesson! I was doing a lot of henna tattoos, and two girls graduating high school called asking if I could do two matching tattoos for them. I agreed, and they scheduled an appointment. When they arrived, 1 told me she had to return to school to finish her last exam. Me being as clever as I was, decided to leave the stencil on and cover it with saran wrap, so she didn’t smear it all over her clothes. The second girl did the exact same two tattoos, however, did not have to return to school. On her, I left it as I did with so many at festivals and parties. About 7 PM that night I got a call from the girl who had to return to school. She had removed the saran wrap, and guess what? Yep, nothing! Not even a hint of the heart tattoo was there! In shock, I asked if she could come by again, and she did. On the very same exact spot, I did a second henna tattoo, this time using no saran wrap. I asked her to call me after it dried, and she removed the henna (an hour later). Exactly 1 hour later, she called, and just by her voice, I could tell the second time around hit a home run! Her words, “It looks just like my best friends! Thank you!” This was absolutely a eureka moment! The fact that I had a few people that had poor results using fresh henna that had not worked, and now I knew why. I immediately changed the directions and never had the same issue again.  Most of what I had learned previously was from henna Catherine Cartwright-Jones, who boasts a Ph.D. in henna. While I admire her, she still teaches saran wrap to this day.  The only benefit I see using saran wrap is it keeps it from getting all over you. My advice, use a 10-cent shower cap and poke holes in the top. Simple and effective. It is given fact henna needs air to release. This was also confirmed after doing numerous other tests on hair and skin.

Myth #7

Henna hair dye smells.

Myth!  Henna hair dye smells natural and fresh. Nothing like the overwhelming fumes of chemical hair dye. We have all been there, in a small bathroom, mixing chemical hair dye, and right before passing out, you open the window. Henna for hair or tattoos smells like hay or fresh cut grass. Not only have we had thousands of customers tell us this, but we have also worked with it for 15 years. Indigo as well as a smell, more like frozen greens. Funny thing is, also being around animals, I can tell you cats and dogs will eat it if you leave it in reach. Even horses get giddy when they are around it. It will not hurt them to eat it, but why waste good hair dye?

Myth #8

Henna dries out your hair.

Myth! EarthDye™ does just the opposite. In fact, we add natural plant conditioners for more conditioning.  If you are using pure henna (natural red), you can shampoo your hair as soon as an hour later, and it will be vibrant and soft. I did a simple test. I did blond highlights on my dark brown hair (lots of them), and shortly after, I could feel how brittle my poor hair was in the blond areas. I gave it one day and pulled out some red henna hair dye and applied it over the blond. Waited an hour and rinsed. Not only did it make my highlights red, but when I shampooed it the next day, I was amazed at how soft and normal it was again! I did this to prove one point which brings me to henna hair dye myth #9. TIP: Your hair will feel dry and icky after you rinse! You just rinsed mud out of your hair! Hang in there, and once you shampoo, you will enjoy the new soft, shiny hair. If you have thick or curly hair, use a cream conditioner to help rinse the henna out, then shampoo 24 hours later.

Myth #9

You must wait two weeks or longer to use henna after using chemical hair or beard dye.

Myth!  The reason I did blond highlights and used henna the next day was to prove a point. You do not have to wait two weeks. Most companies will tell you to wait because they are not even sure. EarthDye has tested and applied henna thousands of times. Remember that if you have used chemical hair dyes for many years, the more you use henna hair dye, the better it will work. Your hair must repair itself, which can take time.  I use my beard to try different things. You can see my beard dye video here:  Natural Beard Dye.

Myth #10

Henna on hair is not permanent, and it will stain my face.

Myth! Henna is extremely permanent but will not stain your face! I see videos all the time with people putting Vaseline around the hairline and ears. Um, henna loves this! The reason it will not stain your face is simple: Your face releases oils all the time, keeping the henna from being permanent. That’s why the hands and the feet stain so easily for henna tattoos. One, the hands and feet do not produce oil, and two, they are extremely porous. Your hair is also porous but will not release oils as fast as your face. When applied to clean hair that has been shampooed (oil-free shampoo), it is extremely permanent, just not on the face.

Myth #11

Using a metal utensil or bowl

I am not sure where it all started, but the myth of using a metal fork or spoon has been around since we started back in 2006.

Since 2006, we have made many videos and in the videos, we use a blender or a metal spoon. We have never had any issues!

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  1. by Zariah February 27, 2015 4:36 am

    sorry this is maybe not the exact place to post my Q’s– but i had the hardest time trying to locate one on this site!
    what is the real difference between natural red and natural deep red?
    can i pre-mix some diluted henna paste in a pointy-tipped squeeze bottle (like those mustard squeezers) and keep it in the fridge, so i can re-touch my roots every week or two conveniently?
    thanks for your answers! 🙂

    • by moondye March 3, 2015 12:38 am (there is a link at the top of the website) is the best place to post questions. However since you are here, deep red has indigo in it and clays to make a deep red color on lighter colors and browns.

      natural red henna hair dye is 100% pure henna and will give you a natural red head color or auburn on browns.

    • by moondye March 3, 2015 12:43 am

      Only mix what you need and keep the rest in a powder form. We have reusable root touch up kits and application kit. Just mix up what you need to do your roots.

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