Have you chosen your henna powder but unsure about wether to use water or lemon juice? There are pros and cons to using either one.

I can remember when I first started doing henna for my hair and my mix always consisted of water and a splash of lemon juice to boost the color. I’ve always liked keeping it simple.

For my henna body art mixes I started off using lemon juice as I heard that most people used lemon juice. I never really thought of alternatives as I was still learning but I do believe in experimenting and trying things out. I believe that we all have to find out what works best for us. It happens that what might work for one person might not work for another.

My henna for hair recipe is pretty much still the same for my personal use but it’s very intriguing to see the different liquids that clients choose. With henna body art the choices are a little bit the same overall. There isn’t as much variety.

Henna For Hair

Often times clients first come across blogs, vlogs and instructions for mixing their henna with lemon juice. A few things about using lemon juice in your hair recipes:

  • very acidic
  • it can be very drying
  • this can cause hair breakage
  • it makes the dye release take longer to release
  • it can boost the color in henna

A lot of the times when the information is found online it’s often out dated especially when it contains information about using lemon juice in your recipe for hair. Make sure everything you read it at least been from within the last few years as crops also change from year to year and sometimes dye release times are shorter due to better crops (henna batches).

Overall my recommendations for liquids has always been water (distilled water if possible) as the number one choice. It’s very mild, gentle and it does the job.

Read more about liquids and their use in henna for hair recipes:

How Liquids Affect Your Henna Recipe

Henna Body Art

For the longest I used only lemon juice as my primary liquid in my henna body art recipe but something changed along the way. I was noticing that some clients would say the henna was itchy after I did the design. That kind of freaked me out a little as the first thing that comes into mind is that they might be having an allergic reaction. This is not a situation an artist or service provider wants on their hands.

I decided to dabble a little with adding water to my recipe to see if it would change anything. I added about 50% water to my lemon juice mix. I began using those liquids and still do that to this day.

I ended up figuring out that it was in fact the lemon juice that made clients feel itchy if they had sensitivities because once I reduced the amount of lemon juice in my recipe the clients never once ever complained. I also realized this because when I spray them with my lemon-sugar solution they would complain about being itchy. At that point I knew for sure it had to be the lemon juice because it only happened once I sprayed them to seal their henna. These days I also dilute my lemon-sugar spray by adding rose water to it.

I have never had a client complain about being itchy ever again.

So lemon juice can be fine to use but do take into consideration it will take the dye release longer. Some believe it preserves the henna paste longer which is quite possible. I go through my henna so quickly that I have never found out if this was true 🙂

Do you have a favorite liquid that you use in your henna recipe? Please share below in the comments.