I’ve been doing henna hair dye now for 16 years, and learned a lot along the way, helping thousands of people get their hair in tip-top shape. I love getting feedback from different people and know the myths, and tricks of the trade. I have mixed henna with hundreds of different ingredients. One thing I never learned about was techniques to keep the color in and keep it from fading. Most people’s hair is very absorbent, and a few are not.

As a matter of fact, some people are “dye-less”, meaning even chemical hair dye will not change the color of their hair. One day a customer, “Vanessa,” called in to just say thanks for a great product, and she wanted to share with me how she applied it. I was shocked to learn she had been using our hair color since 2014 and only did her roots once a month. Many things can make henna hair dye fade quicker, sun, swimming, and certain products, among other things.

Do Try This at Home

This will not work on chemical dyes, only EarthDye colors, and actually will condition your hair even more and help with hair loss. Do not use lemon juice, and use oil-free shampoo. Essential oils are not recommended but optional if using only natural pure red henna. Not to be confused with red-red henna. This is the most natural coloring you will ever use, and you can easily make it match your natural hair color and also works on dark colors. Following the instructions below will make your henna color last longer.

Simples Steps to Longer-Lasting Hair Dye

  1. Boil 2 cups of water and shut off before shampooing hair (so it will cool! Do not use boiling water! Warm is great!)
  2. Get your Mix Ready! Prepare and mix dry powders (she mixed mahogany with a small amount of burgundy)
  3. Wash hair 2x w/shampoo
  4. Rinse with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and let sit for 3 min, then rinse with water. You are now ready to apply the henna hair dye.
  5. Mix hot water with powder (thicker is better) and only use the water you need)
  6. Use a hair dye application brush  to apply and let sit for 1 hour, to 1.5 hours
  7. Rinse out the dye until clear.
  8. Do not wash your hair for 2 days after (do not wait longer). This helps the darker pigment set and my hair oils to further recoup.

End Result

This method will help the hair color penetrate the hair shaft and is easy to apply. You can apply the henna to damp wet hair or dry hair. Shampooing your hair before the apple vinegar helps the vinegar do its job and you will not smell it for a long time. This also works on treated hair (that has been treated with chemicals, perms, or straighteners).




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  1. by carol May 21, 2023 4:03 pm

    thank you for the useful tips. curious why you say to only go 2 days (no longer) before washing?

    • by harvestmoon May 22, 2023 12:54 pm

      Hi because if you wait to long it will oxidize and turn many colors 🙂

  2. by Tawwney February 27, 2023 3:36 pm

    I’ve been using apple cider vinegar as a 3-5 minute condition in wash days – is this something I can repeat after the henna hair dye is applied without fading color? Any other shampoo/conditioner recommendations?

    • by harvestmoon March 1, 2023 1:43 pm

      Hi Tawny, the vinegar should not affect the hair dye 🙂 We recommend ours, however, we are sold out, other than that Liquid Pearl is a good one that is sold at Walgreens. You just want to make sure it is not heavy on oils, and the same with conditioners.

  3. by Stella Eyenam November 17, 2022 12:38 pm

    Hi. Can I deep condition my hair with heat after this process?

  4. by April November 4, 2022 2:53 pm

    Do you have any tips for gray blending? I faded my henna over the summer. Now I want to re-use henna ash brown, but I want to avoid the line that separates the fully hennaed hair from the gray coming in. I’ve been using color rinses that wash out to help avoid this line, but they contain some chemicals.

    • by harvestmoon November 4, 2022 7:43 pm

      Hi April, our dye will go equal or darker. One thing you can do is lighten it naturally, then go over it with the ash. Otherwise, you can go with a reverse ombre, they are always in style. Go here and follow the instructions for the “easy Steps to lighten your hennaed hair

  5. by JD Roberts October 31, 2022 7:50 am

    Apple cider vinegar……Who would have known? This is the second time I followed your instructions with the apple cider vinegar and it works. Typically the color is pretty faded three weeks later when I go touch up my roots again. The apple cider vinegar rinse works as the color stays on and the fading is minimal. I was on the verge of giving up on henna and your recommendation worked. I have about 50% gray hair which can be very challenging with henna. I have used organic henna (henna and indigo) products and have tried a ton of other tips but none of them did the trick. Thank you.

    • by harvestmoon November 1, 2022 3:40 pm

      That’s good to hear! Over 16 years of experience and, you learn a few things 😉

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