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How To Choose The Right Henna Powder

454 comments

There are so many different henna powders, how do we choose the one that will work best for us?

There are a few things that are a must when choosing any henna powder:

-Fresh. You must always buy fresh henna powder. If you want a great stain, don’t just grab henna off the shelf (since who knows how long it may have been sitting there) Even from crop to crop you will notice that the freshest henna powder gives the best stain results. After all, doesn’t a chef use the freshest ingredients in the preparation of our meals?
-Body Art Quality. This means that the henna powder is the best quality since they take the leaves from the top of the plant with the most dye content. It also means that it is 100% pure and natural. This term is usually used to describe henna that is also used for body art.
(Please remember that not EVERY henna powder nor herb is body art quality. Ask yourself this: Is this henna powder or herb used as a body art product or really for hair usage? This term is sometimes only used for marketing purposes. Always be well informed.)
-Finely Sifted. None of that dirt, grit, sand, nor sticks help with getting a great staining henna paste. Even if you try to sift it yourself, you lose most of the henna powder you purchased.
-Pure. Must contain no pesticides or chemicals. No PPD nor any other powders or ingredients. Only get 100% pure henna powder.

Now that we have the basics down, now comes the individual henna powders.

Jamila Henna Powder

   

Jamila henna powder yields great stains results and comes conveniently packaged in 100 grams foil packages in sealed boxes (when it is stamped with summer crop for body art usage, and is also used for hair). It does have the longest dye release, taking up to 24 hours to prepare for body art, and 12 hours for use on hair, before ready to use. It is a reliable henna powder, but not great if you need henna quick. It has the ultimate best sift of ANY henna powder. It is very popular amonst professional henna artists, and for hair dyeing. It washes out of the hair very easily, and the texture pf the paste is similar to melted chocolate. It yields deep reddish-brown tones for body art and for hair orange-red tones. This henna comes from Pakistan.
Please read our more detailed article on Jamila henna powder.

Organic Rajasthani Indian Henna Powder

 

In ever increasing popularity, the organic indian henna powder from the Rajasthani Region, is very well balanced. You get dye release in 8-12 hours for body art. So you can start a batch in the morning and have it ready by the evening. The stains results are some of the darkest I have ever seen. Typically reddish tones (burgundy/mahogany) and sometimes near cherry black on skin. For hair it yields a reddish-burgundy tone.  For hair usage, this powder we recommend you allow it to sit from 3-4 hours, and then apply onto your hair. It is triple sifted and through nylon cloth. On lighter hair it may come out more orange-copper toned.

Yemeni Henna Powder

Yemeni 2009

The yemeni henna powder comes from the Sana’a region. It takes 8-12 hours to achieve dye release for body art. For hair, we recommend you allow this henna powder to sit from 3-4 hours before applying it. It is well known for being one of the stringy hennas. This henna powder is now much better sifted (since the 2009 crop), since the company has upgraded its henna processing facilities. Now many more henna artists are using this henna powder. It is absolutely one of the most popular henna powders for hair dyeing, and covers grey very well. It gives the most gorgeous, deep red tones of any other henna powder currently.

Moroccan Henna Powder

Moroccan henna powder 2013 sm 

A very popular henna powder for both body art and hair, this henna is found in the Western Sahara. It has the quickest dye release. It is best to let this henna sit at least 2-6 hours for body art. For hair usage, only allow to sit for a maximum of 1 to 2 hours and then apply it. The dye can demise quickly if left out too long. It’s not a good henna to freeze as a henna paste. It is also a stringy henna. It has great color, usually very bright and becomes quite dark suddenly (on skin). We usually recommend this henna powder for achieving brown to black tones along with indigo, when used in hair dyeing because the least amount of red tones will show through on your hair. We recommend it because it has a fast dye release, and alone on hair it gives orange to red tones.

We do hope that this guide has been helpful to you, please let us know if you have any concerns or further questions by contacting us directly at info@hennasooq.com. Please visit us online at : Henna Sooq

  1. Kendra says:

    Hi,
    I came across your website. I am a henna user but so far never attained the auburn red I have always wanted. I have very black hair and very resistant. Do you think Raj or Yemeni henna will give me the auburn red I am looking for without the orange tone?
    Thanks in advance

  2. Hi Kendra, thanks for posting. I’d recommend our Red Raj. That would really give nice rich red tones, and do you regularly apply henna every 4-6 weeks?

  3. Kendra says:

    Hi khadija,
    Thank you for your reply. Yes, I use henna every 5 to 6 weeks.

  4. Hi Kendra

    Okay great then please do let us know how it turns out with Red Raj when you can.

  5. Hi, I purchased the Red Raj henna at the World Natural Hair show in Atlanta, and I was very impressed! The color is not as vibrant as I wanted, even after leaving it in overnight, but my hair definitely looks, and feels better. I will be recommending this to my friend for sure!

  6. Alli, thanks for posting. I’m so glad you like it. Is this the first time you’re using henna or no? I’d recommend our organic hibiscus powder to boost red tones and henna will give you more red tones over time.

  7. Lynne NaturallyBlessed Hannah says:

    What henna would be best for me to get deep brown and cover my gray? I used a henna once before that i purchased at Earth Fare but i don’t think i used it correctly. Any suggestions are welcome.

  8. Hi Lynne. For brown tones we’d recommend using Jamila with indigo. Make the indigo be at least 60-70% of the whole recipe as well. The instructions come with it but when you head to HennaSooq.com then take a look their and read the More Info tab and video tab and let us know from there if there are other questions. I hope this helps

  9. Vernita says:

    Hi Khadija,

    I’ve done 2 Henna treatments in the past 2 weeks, but I still haven’t been able to get to the burgundy red shimmer I would like for my grays. The 1st time I used the Godrej Nupur Henna I had purchased. This turned my grays more coppery orange. My grays are mostly along my hairline and concentrated in a few areas about 1/4-1/2″ from the root. My hair is shoulder length and almost black. The henna did great on the dark part of my hair. The 2nd time I used Red Raj and added 3tbs hibiscus petal. My liquid was lemon zinger tea with hibiscus flowers mixed with coconut milk. I prepared the mixture the evening before and let it sit overnight. I froze it the next morning. When I was ready to henna, I unthawed the mixture and added 2tbs honey, 1tbs olive oil, 1/4 yogurt and some sweet orange essential oil. I applied and let it sit over night. After rinsing out and waiting 48 hrs, there is still more off a coppery orange tint to the gray hair. I did add amla powder the 1st time to preserve my curls, but it didn’t have any darkening effect.
    I didn’t want to do the 2-step henna + indigo because I didn’t want all jet black. I really want to get that deep red/burgundy for my grays.
    Where should I go from here? Keep hennaing with Red Raj and hope it gets darker eventually. Or do I need to henndigo? After the second henna, I know I need to add amla to preserve my curl pattern. It did loosen the second time when I didn’t add amla.
    Sorry for being wordy. Hope I explained my problem.

    Great blog!
    Thanks for your help :-)

  10. Mary Beth says:

    I have medium brown hair that is lighter at the top and much darker at the bottom, which is from previous dye. I tried dying my hair with box color that is auburn red… It came out okay, but the top came out a bright red where the ends are still a dark brown with a reddish hue. I am afraid of lightening the bottom with bleach because of the damage it will do. can I use henna to color in order to receive a lighter color on the bottom in order to blend in to the top? or is there a specific kind that would just even it out?

  11. Hi Vernita, thank you for posting again. IN our recommendation you’re using too many ingredients and diluting your henna and hence the lesser amount of red results you’ll get especially with use of heavy liquids like coconut milk, and yoghurt.
    Also the dye release is way too long. The Red Raj instructions on the back of the box states 3-4 hours only. Please follow those.
    I’d recommend that you tweak your recipe once more to get better red results. 3-4 hours only or dye release. No yoghurt and no coconut milk in your recipe. You can moisturize afterwards. Adding oils is okay but small amounts like between 2-3 tbsp per 100 grams.
    After your henna treatment then soon after do an amla treatment all over your hair to preserve your curls. I hope this helps!

  12. Hi Mary Beth, thank you for posting here at Henna Blog Spot. It’s normal that that would have happened because of the two shades of your hair to start with and would have happened even with natural henna and ayurvedic hair dyes like ours.
    You would need to either lighten the darker area with a honey treatment or color your lighter area more so.
    Are you aiming to return to your natural hair color? Like the lighter area of your hair? Henna won’t lighten the darker area of your hair but it’ll add red tones. I’d recommend that you add an extra henna application on the lighter area only and get it to match a bit more. Then you can use henna regularly all over your hair. I hope this helps.

  13. Verb it's says:

    Thanks Khadijah,

    I’ll definitly give your suggestions a try!! Henna has definitely made my hair softer n stronger. I did see some strands after the treatment, but I believe they were coming out anyway. My hair had been over moisturized and was stretching terribly while pre washing. It felt like it was all going to over stretch and break off! The henna solved that…now to keep that protein/moisture balance.

    Another girl in love with Henna! :-)

    Vernita

  14. Vernita! You’re more then welcome.

  15. Hi Khadija,

    I’m aiming to get a natural-looking red tint on my dark brown hair, but I’d also like to use amla to preserve my wave pattern. It sounds like Yemeni gives the red tone I’m looking for. How much amla would you suggest adding to keep my waves but also get some red tint? Or could I do an amla treatment after henna-ing without changing the color?

    Thanks!

  16. Hello Mary. For amla add about 3-4 tbsp per 100 grams of henna that you use. Amla afterwards would not change the red of the henna and help maintain that color.

  17. Hi.. So I saw some of the comments about Henna+Amla. I was previously henna-ing with amla every 6 weeks, but it seemed that the Amla was making my hair darker (ie. instead of my sun kissed red from henna alone, with the amla everyone told me my hair looked like I’d rinsed it black). So I stopped with the amla. Now it’s warm out and I want to re-introduce the amla into my routine because I love my curls (and I’m trying to coax them back into good form).

    What kind of henna should I use to get a good red tone when mixed with Amla? I don’t usually have the time to do a good henna treatment and then sit with an Amla treatment, so I like to keep them in one step. Thanks!!

  18. Hi
    I was wondering if moroccan henna would be a good choice in trying to achieve more orange/coppery tones?
    Thanks

  19. Breeze, a rich red toned henna would be good to push through with redder tones or alternate your recipe with alma treatments every 2nd or 3rd treatment. A good strong henna would be our Red Raj or Yemeni.

    Zoe, Yes Moroccan would be a good choice or Jamila BAQ 2011.

  20. kathryn says:

    I have light brown hair and have always wanted auburn or a darker brown. Also, my hair grows super fast, is bsl and fine.

    You are so knowledgable I wanted your opinion.

    Thanks!

  21. Hello Kathryn.

    Sure absolutely we’d love to help but you didn’t ask a specific question. In general for dark brown tones you could use 60% to 70% indigo and the remainder would be henna. For more auburn, with redder tones 50-60% henna and the rest would be indigo of the total recipe. Then you just figure out how much total powder you’ll need. Please read our hair care tips here: http://www.hennasooq.com/hair-care-tips/
    I hope this helps

  22. i want natural looking black color hair as i am having dark brown hair. does any henna give natural black color to the hair as i have seen people get orange color often after they use henna.i don’t want to use dye with it.so please suggest me with a henna powder that you think is apt for me.

  23. Hello Uma.

    Yes for a natural black tone use henna first and then indigo as a second step. Please read here for how to do that: http://hennablogspot.com/basic-henna-recipes-from-burgundy-to-black/

  24. Madeline says:

    Hello, which would be the best henna for a strong red shine on dark brown hair? I’d prefer to order a less expensive henna (starving college student) but color I get from very cheap botanical-shop henna is a little too subtle for me. Right now I’m thinking Jamila or Rajasthani are my middle ground – the dye content seems good especially compared to pricing on other websites, but I’m still intrigued by description for Yemeni henna: “the most gorgeous, deep red tones.” But if Red Raj is really much redder I’ll consider it. Thank you!

  25. Hello Madeline

    Yemeni and Red Raj are the absolute best! But if you’re on a budget the Organic Rajasthani has a higher dye content then the Jamila but the Jamila 2012 is about to come out too and we’re awaiting test results. You also could qualify for a discount if you become a new fan as well on our Facebook page.

  26. Jennifer says:

    Hi there,
    I am working up to my first time using Henna, so I apologize in advance for the multitude of questions…..

    I have fine, layered hair just past my shoulders. It’s medium/light brown.

    I am going for an auburn red, similar to the color in the photo on your -hair care tips- page.

    I ordered 100g of Yemeni Henna and 100g of Jamila Henna.

    Am I right in thinking that Yemeni is a BRIGHTER red than Jamila?

    Should I mix the two together? And if so, should I mix in more of one or the other?

    Also, what do you recommend that I mix in WITH the Henna powder? I did NOT order any indigo, so do you think I should use something like a black tea? And if I do, is a grocery brand like “celestial seasonings” ok?

    Sorry, I am still asking questions….

    How long do you recommenced I let the dye release?
    And how long should I leave it in my hair? (Fine hair)

    If I wanted to tone down the red a little, should I let the dye release for a SHORTER amount of time? Or leave it on my hair for a shorter amount of time?

    And one last question, After I wash out the Henna, should I wait a certain amount of time before I shampoo? I am not using a natural shampoo, I am using a “salon brand”…

    I apologize again for asking so many questions, I am new to this- but excited to try it!

  27. Hi, my first time. My hair is current very short. Grays at hair line and scalp. When grays are dyed they are hints of red. My hair is lite brown at roots and darker at ends, like black. I would like dark brown all over and grays when dyed like hi-lites of brown. What henna should I use to achieve this result? I am dark complextion. If you have a better choice that what I suggest, please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Anna

  28. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaak!
    After G-d only knows how many years, I find out NOW I’ve been doing it wrong!
    Since HS, I’ve been buying various shades of Avigal, and never quite getting what I want.

    Now that I’m older, I’m *just* vain enough to want to get as close to my natural color as possible while eliminating the greys. And hopefully not scare the neighbors.

    You know it’s funny, you go from the embarrassment of being called “carrot-top bunny ears” in grade school, to proud ginger. I’m still not sure when that happened.

    From all the reading I’ve been doing over the last three days, my eyes are spinning in circles.

    It almost seems like *maybe* a mixture of the Raj Red and about 10% indigo would work, or maybe just straight henna with coffee and amla?

    Help me, Khadija, you’re my only hope!

  29. Thank you for your post Jennifer. Yes Yemeni is a more consistent and vibrant red then Jamila is. You can mix them together if you’d like which would be adding a bit less red since the jamila is a cool, soft red.

    Adding tea is fine but are you adding it to tone down the red of the henna?

    Dye release is about 3-4 hours, and since you have fine hair leave it it 3-4 hours but maybe a bit less if it seems heavy or is bothering you in any way, as fine hair is more delicate.

    If you want to be delicate about your color use a non-clarifying shampoo that is gentle. It can be right after you wash it out if you’re okay with that. Some clients will co-wash it out.

    If you want less of an intense color then your best choice is to leave it on for less time but henna is pretty strong generally.

  30. Hi Anna, for you we’d recommend our new Moroccan henna when it comes in and our indigo for hair. Just do a root touch up for now so that you have colored your roots and then you can do a whole head application to keep it all one consistent hair tone. I hope this helps!

  31. Hi Deb, how are you? I hope well.

    For that color tone generally it’s henna with cassia. But what is your current hair color as well? If you have photos that would be a great help.

  32. Hi, prepping for my henna treatment. This will be my second one. I want to make sure i do a good job because I dont think i did a good one my first go round. i have a few questions:

    Ok, I’m using Yemeni 300 g (just to be safe). Im going to mix in hibiscus powder but how much?

    I using the raspberry tea I spoke to you about before but how much ( 2 cups?) and what temperature should the liquid be? As last time i think it was too hot.

    Once I add the liquid to the henna should i make the paste thick for dye release then allow for that to happen then add more liquid for application or just add all of my liquid at one time?

    I did see that i should all Yemeni 8-12 hours for dye release, regarding that, what is the best method for doing so, i read somewhere putting it in the freezer and allowing dye release. Or should i just put it in a cool dark place?

    I also saw that you said once dye is released, let it sit for 3-4 hours is this just out on the counter or in the same cool place?

    Im sorry for all the questions, i just want to get the best out of my henna and make sure Im doing it right. It’s kind of like the lady said before, you dont want to find out years later you’re doing it wrong. Can you help me please???

  33. Khadija,
    Thanks for asking, I’m much better now that I’ve found y’all! :)

    Please, forgive me, I’m not used to taking pictures of myself – some are better than others.

    For the last seven years or so, I’ve only “hennaed” my bangs and a little of the temple area that’s going platinum, the rest has remained untouched.

    I’ve been getting away with about 3-4 TBs total every time I’ve “hennaed” it (I’m putting that term in quotes now since I know I’ve been doing it wrong).

    Here’s a closeup of the brassy color I got on the left side, and it actually turned out better than the right side.

    And here’s the full length shot.

    Thankfully, my husband likes playing with mud, so I’ll have help doing my whole head!

    Thank you for your time, patience, and advice.
    Cheers!

  34. Hi Khadija,

    I just purchased Vinita’s herbal henna and am excited to henna my hair for the first time. The instructions tell me to mix the henna in an iron/steel container and let sit for 4-6 hours. Since I don’t have an iron/steel container, I was just going to mix it in a plastic container. I understand the plastic may not release the dye as much as the steel container. Do you recommend I let it dye release for longer than the recommended 4-6 hours? Also, it tells me to leave the henna in my hair for only 45 minutes or 2 hours for grey coverage. Does 45 minutes seem too short? Should I leave it in for longer? I’d appreciate any feedback you can provide.

    Thanks,
    Diane

  35. hi I have medium brown hair naturaly but the bottom half is lighter and red tint from dying it previously. I want to try to use henna because it is more natural, i just want to go back to my natural hair color wich is medium brown. can you let me know a website that is trustworthy to purchase some dye and what i would be purchasing maybe send a link? thanks so much

  36. Hi,

    I’ve been using henna off and on for several years. After an 18 month hiatus, I’m ready for a little color in my life. I’m trying to achieve a deep burgundy-aubergine color. I’m debating between Yemeni and Rajasthan, or a blend of the two powders. I would follow with an indigo gloss (dye-released indigo mixed into conditioner, left on the hair for 15-30 min). Do you recommend this, or do I need to mix the henna & indigo pastes?

    Also, I’ve heard of some ladies using red wine instead of tea to mix their powders. Will thks be harmful to the powder, or do you think it would enhance the red color in my hair? What about black, brewed coffee?

    Thanks!

    Kim

  37. hi how do u make light chestnut brown thanks

  38. ANN MARIE says:

    I have been using Yemen light from Henna for Hair…
    I like the tone and I think the lawsone is about 1.7…
    I have blonde hair and some grey…so I don’t like the red to go too dark….less roots…
    When I do my new growth I use 1 tsp henna…shikkai and amla…about a 1 to 2 ratio…
    I am out of Yemen light and have just ordered Yemeni from you…Is the lawsone content mush higher for this henna?
    I was using BAQ and I am guessing yours is for hair..

    But Should I use the same ratio to mix? Or with yours should I use less henna….

    In other words…does your Yemeni henna have a higher dye content?

    Thanks….
    Ann Marie

  39. Thank you for your post Ann Marie.
    Our yemeni is BAQ but it’s not as finely sifted. It has a higher dye content. Did you get a chance to use it as yet?
    You may want to use less henna since ours is stronger. Let us know how it came out.

  40. ANN MARIE says:

    Thank you…I just received in the mail today….
    I can see it is a fine sift…going by the reviews I read about sticks and such…but it looks like my previous henna…
    A little gritty but excellent for hair….

    I am excited…

    I have a little of my old henna left and when that is done…I will use yours….(next month)
    And i will post a feedback as to color…

    Lots of blondes are conservative about going too dark with henna because of the permanence…I am excellent at doing roots…and I use a diluted henna mix for only 1 hour! But if there is a mistake it shows on us more! :)

    My hair is still quite red/strawberry…and so shiny!

    I am glad your is a higher dye release….so that means it less henna for me to use until you get more in!

    I will let you know later how it goes!

  41. Hello Khadija!

    I am brand new to color (with natural light brown curly hair), and a couple weeks went to a salon and got my hair died because I did not want to venture on the DIY path for the first time EVER. But now I am really wanting to A. go a little darker than what she died it and B. have something natural. I was looking for something darker than my original hair color but not too dark. She went with a “warm chocolate” color with caramel highlights. The caramel highlights pretty much take over my whole head, and you cannot see any of the warm chocolate, which is what I am really going for.

    Questions: If I want the chocolate color back, how do I choose the henna?? Based on my natural color, or based on my died color currently?

    Also, if I wait another month to henna myself, is it too soon? Will I be putting too much damage on my natural hair?

    I also do not want to loose too much of my curl pattern…I just need to add amla to my regimen?

    Thank you for any help!

  42. Hi Khadija,
    Actually I just read the Common Mistakes page http://hennablogspot.com/common-mistakes-and-tips-henna-for-hair/comment-page-6/#comment-112202
    and the second picture down is the kind of warm chocolate I am going for! It looks a little darker at her roots, but I am trying to achieve her mid-to-end level color on my now light caramel looking hair. Help!
    Thanks,
    Alexis

  43. Hello,
    i was wondering which henna power i should use. I am in the sun almost everyday, and my hair has turned to a light brown/ reddish… I want to to dye it back to a medium brown without any reddish tint. What would you recommend? Also where do you recommend i buy them from, any particular brands and online stores?
    Thanks!

  44. Alexis you could try using 50% of each indigo and henna and add about 3-4 tbsp of amla powder to both maintain curls, and tone down the red of the henna.

    Krystal, I’d recommend our Moroccan henna with indigo to get it more brown and moroccan doesn’t push red through. We have our own online store, at http://www.HennaSooq.com

    New fans: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Henna-Sooq/19553739018
    get 20% off.

  45. i want brown hair i am using henna regularly once in 15 days my hair is look like a thread now i was terribly confused because does henna make my hair like suggest some right henna powder which is available in india where am in pondicherry

  46. Manimala, thank you for your post. Henna alone will make your hair reddish but you’ll have to see if you can find any indigo locally. Add indigo to your henna recipe and it’ll give it browner tones. Otherwise we do ship to India and you can order it with us at http://www.hennasooq.com

  47. Hello i wanted to henndigo so my hair comes out dark dark brown- black could nupur henna mix be use for henndigo process? or do i have use jamila or a different pure henna with no herbs added?

  48. I am trying to decide what powders I should order. I have blended hair with dark blond, light brown & medium brown shades. I want to deepen my color, thicken my hair, and add shine. My natural color is in between a light & medium brown with gold & red highlights, and that would be my ideal. I was thinking about doing a mix of 40% Moroccan henna 30% indigo and 30% cassia. Do you think this would yield the results I am desiring, and if so, how should I prepare this blend, and how long should I leave it on?

  49. Hi
    This will be my first time trying henna but I don’t know how it will turn out on my hair. The reason being that I’ve died my hair Auburn brown 9 months ago and it is now growing out, so my hair in now dark brown and a lighter reddish brown. Will it come out to be two toned? And will the results of henna be the same because of the chemicals in by hair?
    Thank you

  50. Hi Khadija

    Thanks for this blog and answering queries from readers:)

    I have
    -off shoulder length black asian hair
    -loads of grey and dry as well
    -i do not have natural curls but my hair was chemically treated to have slight waves.

    I like to know which henna to use for

    -Lasting colour
    -reddish brown if possible light brown
    -cover grey well
    -how much powder to buy for my length
    -what to add to make it conditioning
    -steps to do make this mixture

    Sorry dear i ask a lot but i am totally newbie here.
    Hope u can help.

    thanks
    Chloe

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